Symptoms of ADHD: What symptoms does a child with ADHD show?
As a toddler and pre-schooler he will have been extremely busy and active, much preferring to play outside or run around inside, and less interested in more passive activities such as looking at books or drawing. Socially he may have been slower than others to learn to share and take turns. He will most likely have a very short fuse and may lash out when frustrated, especially at siblings.
At school the ADHD child has difficulty sitting still for any length of time. He is constantly on the move. He may appear to have “ants in his pants”, will have a very short attention span and is very easily distracted. He is often very impulsive and can act without thinking first, sometimes hurting other children in the process. He will call out in class, answer questions before they are completed, talk excessively and seldom finish what he has started without extra help.
An untreated hyperactive adolescent will have low self-esteem from failure to learn in class and from constantly getting into trouble at home and at school. He may begin to engage in more negative and/or oppositional behaviour and possibly, because of his impulsivity, end up as a young person on the wrong side of the law.
What are the underlying causes of Hyperactivity?
Dr Robin Pauc, a functional neurologist, professor at the Carrick Institute and author of “Is That my Child ?”, states that most learning and behavioural difficulties, including ADHD are caused by an underlying developmental delay. He describes two major waves of brain development. The first wave of brain development occurs in utero prior to birth, and this gives the child his learning potential. At birth however the human the brain remains immature. A second wave of brain cells or spindle cells develop rapidly at 4 months of age. These are the cells which will enable the child to concentrate on what he is doing and learn easily. If these do not develop properly the child’s ability to learn is impeded.
As a specialist in learning difficulties, over the years I have also discovered that most children who have concentration and attention difficulties also have poor listening skills. This is because the auditory processing centre of the brain has not fully developed. These children have normal hearing but frequently mishear what people are saying to them. Much of what they hear does not make sense to them. It is very difficult to follow an instruction or learn a new concept that does not make sense.
A child who is hyperactive and very impulsive does not follow instructions well, and may often do something completely different from what was requested by a parent or teacher simply because they did not understand. This often means they get into trouble, which causes further frustration because they do not understand why. This child may be seen as a “naughty” or oppositional child, but underlying this behaviour there is likely to be an Auditory Processing Disorder or difficulty as one of the causative factors. His hearing is most likely normal, but what he does with he hears is not.
Not only does he struggle to process what people are saying to him, but he also may be getting too much high frequency sound into his auditory system, which in itself causes behavioural problems such as restlessness, difficulty falling asleep at night, poor sleeping habits, anxiety and a tendency towards tantrums.
In addition, he may not be getting enough low frequency sound into his auditory system. Low frequency sound such as in cello music or Gregorian Chanting has a calming effect on behaviour and without sufficient input of these frequencies into the brain it is very difficult to relax and sit still.
What can be done to help a child with Hyperactivity?
CHANGES IN EXERCISE AND DIET
Dr Robin Pauc suggests a neuro developmental assessment and a programme of exercises designed to correct this delay and mature the brain. He also suggests dietary changes to support the child’s neurological system, such as supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids, eating protein for breakfast and avoiding sugar. Recent studies have shown that 600 mg of Krill oil taken daily over a period of several months reduced ADHD symptoms in both adults and children by 40 -60 %. Krill oil from the southern ocean is more easily assimilated by the body than other sources of Omega 3s.
Dr Pauc says that current medical treatments such as Ritalin manage the symptoms but do not treat the causes. While medication may be necessary in extreme cases, the long term affects of these drugs are unknown. To learn more about the pros and cons of Ritalin and natural alternatives, read our blog. At DLC we offer a Developmental Movement Therapy Assessment followed by Developmental Movement Therapy. A referral to biomedical GP or an experienced nutritional advisor might also be recommended.
The other effective therapy to treat ADHD naturally is Auditory Retraining Therapy. Carefully selected pieces of music are filtered so that specific frequencies can be delivered in therapeutic “doses” into the brain. A high dose of low frequency therapy is usually delivered first to calm the child, followed by speech and language frequencies to focus the child’s attention on the speech sounds in their environment. Careful desensitisation to high frequency tones also helps to reduce distractibility, hyperactivity and anxiety. Both auditory pathways can be used (via air conduction through the ears, as well as via bone conduction) and when this is combined with multi sensory movement therapy the child is soon on the pathway to balance and recovery.
At home, try playing Gregorian Chanting or cello music regularly into the room and see what happens. Most likely you will find that your child will gradually relax and become calmer, more mellow and responsive, and so will you.
Does your child show symptoms of Hyperactivity?
Call 0800 543 399 or Request a free call back with the Developmental Learning Centre to understand how your child could benefit from our natural and holistic therapies