Saturday, April 16, 2011

Physical and Alternative Therapies for ADHD

Four and a half million American children aged between five and seventeen have been diagnosed with ADHD since 2006. The symptoms vary from one child to another and certain symptoms may be more pronounced in one child than it is in another child, depending on the type of ADHD that the child has. Generally, the symptoms could include overactivity, uncontrollable behavior, impulsivity, and the inability to remain focused.
Some medical doctors like to prescribe medications while naturopaths advocate natural remedies, such as mineral supplements that have proven helpful for the condition. In addition to any herbal or pharmaceutical medicines, research has shown that physical therapy can be very beneficial. It is suggested that parents exhaust all other options before settling for drugs.
Since there is a link between sensory integration disorder and ADHD, sensory integration is one of the therapies on offer to help improve hyperactivity, impulsiveness and restlessness. Strenuous exercise and deep pressure are some of the methods used. Research has shown that kids who receive sensory intervention therapy are better able to pay attention in noisy classrooms and generally more at ease.
The therapy will depend on the type of behavior which is most pronoounced. The exercise ball, swings and gentle or deep brushing of the skin are some of the most common therapies.
Occupational therapy is used to improve school performance by helping the child to learn self-management techniques. Sensory integration therapy stimulates the five senses in a regulated manner. The patient is assisted in effectively organizing the sensory information and interpreting it correctly.
The alertness is regulated with self-regulation techniques which helps the child to better concentrate on the task at hand. Programs exist for both adults and children alike.
As part of the intervention, the sensory input is managed along with the regulation of alertness levels. This helps the child to easily regain focus after a break and to help him or her maintain concentration during the day.
It is recommended that ADHD kids take part in physical activities such as organized sports. Sports provide an appropriate outlet for all that hyperactive energy.

Jenny McCarthy uses the biomedical approach for her son Ethan.

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