Many of today’s children are suggested to symbolize the three classical signs of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) i.e. hyperactivity, distractible temperament and impulsiveness. This is sharp contrast to children who grew up 30-40 years ago. They were labeled as ‘normal,’ even when they blew off a little steam, or kicked up a little dirt.
In contrast, hyperactive children today have their conventional (allopathic) medication dosages carefully calculated and also monitored. More so, in families where both parents are working and just don’t have, give and/or provide quality time for their kids.
While most doctors accept the dysfunctional portrait of ADHD, there is a new school of thought that strongly opposes the view. The latter suggests that behaviors labeled as ADHD are merely a child’s active response to complex social, emotional, cultural and educational contexts, or influences.
Behavioral specialists suggest that there may be a possible ‘connection’ between the ‘amount’ of time children spend watching TV, learning disabilities and ADHD. Such pointers include environmental or societal influences, computer and video games and short-attention spans that many of our children today ‘suffer’ from. The credo also encompasses their ‘trouble’ while paying attention in school and academics.
• The child has difficulty following instructions
• Inability to maintain focus at academics or play activities in school and at home
• Tends to misplace, or lose, things needed for activities in school and at home
• Appears like being not attentive
• Cannot give adequate or ‘close’ attention to details
• Disorganized; has trouble planning ahead and executing tasks
• Forgets things; gets distracted; loses track of things easily
Psychologists too aver that the rapid shift of visual frames on TV is actually related to hyperactivity syndrome. This occurs because of non-stop camera flips and varied spotlights, where the viewer’s thought compass changes every few seconds. This is said to be another ‘source’ for short-attention spans, the bane of modern life, because the hyperactive child is attempting to recall the dynamic quality of the TV screen, by quickly changing their own perceptual points of reference.
This is reason enough why they also suggest that parents and teachers should regulate rather than do away with a child’s TV and video game activity. The rationale is simple. Such children would be at a disadvantage, if they cannot take part when their friends discuss programs, or events. In addition, it is useful to cut, or reduce, aggressive programs a likely trigger from your child’s TV, computer and video games schedule as far as possible. If your child wants to watch them anyway, sit with them and watch the program together. Try to explain your feelings, while listening to your child’s reasons for preferring this type of program. This helps to bring about some balance, if not acceptance.
A ‘relative’ disorder
Researchers suggest that individuals with ADHD do not produce enough biochemicals in key areas of the brain that are in charge of organizing thoughts and behavior. In such a scenario, the brain does not work just as well as they do in non-ADHD individuals. Some studies reveal that ADHD is more common in children who have close relatives with the disorder. Statistics also suggests that boys appear to be more affected than girls.
You need not be a psychiatrist to discover a child’s personal learning style. Besides, it would be half of the battle won so long as parents encourage and provide their child with a chance to learn what they do best. One may ask their child to use soft, gentle music to focus and help calm their hyperactive, or hypersensitive, behavior. But, they must make sure that the music their child listens to is soft and soothing not something that is too noisy, or loud, which seems to be the order of the day.
Yet another good idea is: ask children to visualize by focusing on a special place in nature, favorite color, sports or movie hero, a book, or film. This will have a comforting effect. Most important: try to remove allergens from a child’s diet, because what may be ‘firing’ the child’s hyperactivity could be what the child is eating.
Healing with Homeopathy
Homeopathy is mind-body medicine. It analyses and treats subtle variations at one’s emotional, mental, social, spiritual levels and also behavior, which directly affect health.
Homeopathy is clinically useful for all types of emotional and psychological problems, including ADHD. It helps to restore children to their natural state of emotional health and overall well-being, without side-effects. Homeopathy believes in individualized treatment, wherein healing is targeted at the entire child, not just at a specific disorder, or illness. It takes into account the unique, distinctive nature and characteristics of each child, no less, and prescribes treatment accordingly.
Homeopathy also lays the greatest emphasis in treating the ‘source’ of the emotional problem. Emotional and psychological problems often appear at the deepest, most protected level. This is precisely where the overall healing process must begin. The right homeopathic remedy produces a noticeable, beneficial change, while regulating a natural balance that may have gone away. In the process, it restores the child’s emotional potential to its optimal level.
It would be interesting to note that Ritalin, the conventional medication used in the treatment of ADHD, is based on homoeopathic tenets, albeit with a loose loop. A stimulant, Ritalin is given to ‘restless’ ADHD children to pacify their ‘wandering’ hyperactive states. Put simply, it relates to the ‘like cures like’ principle of homeopathy a remedy that can cause hyperactivity can also be used to treat hyperactivity.
Homeopathy aims to treat distinctive hyperactive symptoms that a child presents with, by the use of an appropriate remedy that suits one’s individuality, or personality not hyperactivity in isolation. This is where it differs from conventional medicine in which one medicine is prescribed to ‘fit’ all, not withstanding each child’s unique nature, individuality and temperament.
Homeopathy: Clinical Evidence
A study, conducted in Switzerland, followed a group of children who were carefully diagnosed with a number of screening processes to verify the diagnosis of ADHD, while excluding other diagnoses. The study, published in The European Journal of Pediatrics, involved three phases. First, the children were treated with a constitutional homeopathic medicine individualized to their case. Only those children who improved by at least 50 percent on ‘ADHD rating scale’ were included in the second phase of the study, with a placebo (dummy pill) group. Subsequently, the children were treated with their homeopathic remedy.
The progress under homeopathic treatment was assessed with parents at intervals of four weeks. After a period of observation, children eligible for the final phase of the study were randomly assigned to either receive the appropriate homeopathic medicine, or placebo. Next, the groups were switched and treated with homeopathic medicines and compared accordingly, in terms of response. The study results showed that children did not improve while taking placebo, but continued to improve while taking the homeopathic remedy.
FAQs: ADHD and Homeopathy
Homeopathy considers each child as being different from another child. What causes a problem in one may not cause it in another. Homeopathy also assesses each child and treats them individually, based on their unique, characteristic temperament and presenting, or latent, symptoms.
New research suggests that most of the behavioral disorders in children are metabolic in nature; they are not essentially mental disorders. To succeed one must, therefore, first aim to correct a child’s metabolism. Homeopathy aims to improve a child’s behavior and learning ability by giving a suitable remedy that boosts bowel function; this, in turn, improves metabolic and brain function.
How can homoeopathic medicines help children with intellectual and developmental disabilities?
Intellectual and developmental disabilities often include a variety of conditions ranging from emotional problems, ADHD, dyslexia, autism and Down’s syndrome. Such kids tend to suffer from a host of physical and psychological problems with high incidences of epilepsy, obesity, poor dental health, side-effects of conventional drugs etc. With their inability to cope with their peer group and society, the likelihood of traumatic events, such as abandonment by loved ones, abuse, bullying and mental harassment, is also often high. This may leave a deep, negative impact on them. Homeopathy, thanks to its stimulating, therapeutic action on the mind and body helps resolve such problems, naturally. Most important: homeopathic remedies are simple, easy-totake, or administer, and free from side-effects.
Homeopathic remedies, such as Kali bromatum and Tarentula hispanica, are not only clinically useful to ease ADHD-triggered restlessness and temper tantrums, they also ‘perk up’ attention span, while improving academic performance.
Studies published in the British Homeopathic Journal and The European Journal of Pediatrics, as cited before, report that ADHD children, who were given either homeopathic treatment or placebo, showed significantly less ADHD behavior with homeopathic remedies than those given placebo.
How early should parents take such children for homoeopathic treatment?
Any deviation in behavior in comparison to ‘normal’ kids of the same age or siblings should alert parents to consult a professional homeopathic doctor. This is because there is generally a significant time lag between the appearance of symptoms and establishment of the diagnosis. It is, therefore, always better to ‘catch them’ early.
Can homoeopathic medicines help in speech and behavioral problems too?
Children with speech and behavioral problems tend to be angry or depressed and/or experience mood swings due to their inability to cope with peer pressure and surroundings. In addition, symptoms such as restlessness, lack of concentration, temper tantrums and impulsiveness are also common.
Professional homeopathic treatment helps such kids to cope better, calm down, improve their self-esteem and attention span and reduce impulsivity and restlessness. Speech therapy, or supportive learning therapy, may also be given in conjunction with homeopathic remedies, like Baryta carbonica or Calcarea carbonicum, as the case may be, which are evidenced to be clinically effective in behavioral problems of children.
What can be done to create awareness and popularize homoeopathic treatment for ADHD and other behavioral disorders?
Training teachers and parents to identify behavioral problems, right from the beginning and encouraging them to seek medical help for such children. In addition, making people aware that professional homoeopathic treatment is safe and effective for ADHD and other behavioral problems. This will surely encourage people to opt for early treatment.
Self-Help for Parents
• Improve your child’s self-esteem
• Make available a variety of stimulating learning activities, like reading, drawing and painting for your child
• Provide positive role models, or hands-on activities
• Teach your child organizational skill and to appreciate the value of personal effort
• Teach your child focusing techniques, such as yoga or simple breathing exercises
• Give your child choices, but establish consistent rules and routines
• Hold family meetings; better still, hold a positive image of your child
• Seek professional homeopathic treatment, when simple measures don’t help; follow-up with your doctor on a regular basis.
Written by Batra M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Photo: Public Domain