ADHD: a wholeness perspective

July 7, 2022
ADHD, ADHD Treatment, ADHD Diagnosis, Summer 2022, ADHD and Children, Naturopathic Medicine

Starting summer off right can be very important for a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Dr. Kylie House, MD tells us that cognitive science has created a deeper understanding of the differences in how each individual brain functions. This includes:

  • attentional regulation
  • sensory processing
  • overall processing speed, and others.

Understanding and appreciating individual differences in the brain, particularly in areas of relative struggle, can eliminate a lot of confusion and shame for a child. For instance, it can be frustrating when one is really good at learning vocabulary but struggles in math. Children start to feel that this is somehow their fault or that they are not trying hard enough.

Cognitive science can help illuminate particular differences and create an alternative explanation for the child’s difficulties.

Dr. House typically breaks down the treatment of ADHD into three separate domains:

  1. Diagnosis.  It can be really confusing and shame inducing when a child has difficulties with every-day tasks or continues to lose objects despite their best efforts. Having a neurobiological explanation of their difficulties can create a more neutral understanding of the problem. Contact Dr. Kylie House MD if you would like to talk more about and ADHD diagnosis.
  2. Behavioral Interventions.  As a psychiatrist, there can be a lot of focus on medications or supplements, but at the end of the day the individual with ADHD still has ADHD. Specific behavioral interventions, such as color-coding planners or providing audiobooks, can be immensely helpful.
  3. Medications and supplements.  Medications do include stimulants, but there are many natural remedies to aid the individual who has ADHD. Naturopathic doctors can provide solutions that complement a conventional medical approach.

To approach ADHD from a whole health perspective, it’s important to balance both the conventional and naturopathic approaches. At Wholeness, our team works together to create the best options for you to live fully with and through your diagnosis.

Dr. Matt Brennecke ND adds to Dr. House’s thinking when he says, “With ADHD, it’s important to find the root cause of the symptoms. It’s not always just an imbalance of chemicals floating in the brain causing an inability to pay attention.

Oftentimes, we see ADHD symptoms presenting themselves with certain foods and gut inflammation, or it could be related to mitochondrial dysfunction.

Being able to discern where those symptoms are coming from and fixing it from a functional medicine perspective can alleviate the need for stimulant medications of many people.”

Here are several ways to start your summer off right and create an environment for continued and improved cognitive function:

One. Implement regular neurofeedback to train the brain to react to different scenarios in more positive ways. Please contact Dr. Steven Rondeau if you would like to learn more about neurofeedback and brain mapping to support your child’s diagnosis.

Two. Keep your brain as active as possible. It’s important to continue with puzzles and games, like crossword puzzles and Sudoku, to challenge your brain regularly to keep it sharp.

Three. We offer several supplements to give the brain the “fat” it needs to be fully capable of processing cognitively. Contact Dr. Matt Brennecke ND if you would like to learn more about naturopathic supplements that support an ADHD diagnosis.

Four. Stay hydrated and drink lots of water.

Five. Create a meditation practice for both you and your child. Scientists have found that a consistent practice bolsters your body and helps prevent heart disease, reduce pain and support your immune system. Having a stronger mind-body connection will lower your risk of diseases, help you to cope better with stress, help sleep issues and even improve your memory!

Six. It is important for people (and children) to keep the right amount of engagement and structure into their schedule. This is particularly the case for people with ADHD and can be difficult in finding the right balance. Everybody needs their downtime, but everybody needs stimulation and diversion.

Seven. Fresh air, sunlight, and exercise are key components to mental and physical wellness. You can practice mindfulness in the summer by going on nature walks, planting a garden, fishing, tubing, kayaking, swimming — anything that gets you into a “flow” state and gives your planning, worrying mind a rest!

Eight. Summer is a great time to really get some learning done when it comes to specific interests that are not academically related. Some want to learn about the mountains we live in, or where the headwaters of a river are, or what type of fish are found in our lakes and rivers. Follow your passions.

As one grows older with a diagnosis of ADHD, they have a higher likelihood of developing anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and low self-esteem. In these cases, it is important to work with the therapist who is familiar with the specific challenges of a diagnosis of ADHD that occurs later in life.

If you are dealing with and ADHD diagnosis and want to start the summer off right, please contact the Wholeness Center. We have a variety of mental health tools to assist you. If you live in the Northern Colorado/ Ft. Collins area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs the Wholeness Center has to offer, please call 970-221-1106 or email info@wholeness.com.

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Posted in ADHD, Kids, Summer by Wholeness Center | Tags: , , ,