Dealing with a Kid with ADD

ADD which stands for Attention Deficit Disorder is a distressing psychological condition which results in all kinds of behavioral symptoms including a lack of concentration, bed-wetting, aggression and compulsive behavior.  It affects both adults and children.

ADD is almost always described as a three-pronged illness that contains three components – irritability, compulsivity and distractibility.  Another form of the disease is ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder), which adds hyperactivity to the mix. Minimizing the provocation of these four mental states can greatly help to minimize the extent to which a person's daily life can be affected by this disease. 

Here are some tips to helping you or a loved one deal with the uncomfortable behavioral and emotional symptoms of this disease. 

First of all Practice HALT.  HALT stands for Hungry, Angry, Tired or Lonely. Avoiding any one of these emotional states can help prevent the compulsions, irritability and wandering thoughts that are symptoms of ADD. Low blood sugar is definitely something to avoid so make sure you child eats her meals on time, gets plenty of sleep, has company and is never provoked unnecessarily. 

Make sure that your kid takes all medications as prescribed and exactly on time!  Many of the medications used to treat ADD and ADHD have a short half-life. If they are not taken exactly as prescribed, the sufferer can suffer from a rapid shift in mood that results in aggression or an emotional 'crash.' 

Understand too that a misbehaving kid might also be suffering from the side effects of prescription drugs used to treat the ailment. Make sure that your child can avoid fluorescent lights.

Studies have also shown that ADD sufferers find it more difficult to concentrate if they are sitting under fluorescent lights. Low incandescent lighting of a yellowish quality helps them to focus. Realize that your child may need more exercise than most people. As most ADD sufferers are hyperactive they need an outlet to burn off excess nervous energy.

Make sure that your ADD child takes in at least an hour of aerobic activity such as walking, running or playing an athletic game a day. Take your child to Yoga class with you!  Meditation and deep breathing can help control the speeding mind and distractibility and irritability that are associated with Attention Deficit Disorder. Avoid stimulating entertainment. Movies or video games that are too stimulating can provoke violent episodes and mood swings in both adults and children with ADD. 

It is also a good idea to deliberately steer your child away from any kind of high pressure or competitive situation especially if your child is having problems getting his or her excitability under control. Stick to a daily routine.

Many symptoms disappear if an ADD sufferer learns how to stick to a daily routine that is consistent over a number of months. This includes eating and exercises at the same times every day and not working overtime.  Consistency goes a long way to controlling a child's ADD symptoms.