Drugging Geniuses…

by Jamila Owens-Todd, Naturopathic Doctor 

There are many options for healing our children with ADD/ADHD/ODD (behavioral disorders). Medicating young children is not always the best option. Teachers are overworked and undercompensated, therefore stressed. Parents may have unrealistic expectations of their children. Children are forced to have a mental and spiritual balance in an unsupportive system. This combination, along with an already declining educational system creates confusion, disruption and leaves the child hanging in the middle. We must keep the child in mind and be observant of their behavior (parents) and be careful to not immediately suggest a behavioral disorder (teachers) when they get out of line.

To medicate your child is NOT the only solution. Some possible solutions:

1. Leave the school or school district: consider alternative schooling such as Waldorf or Montessori or Project-Based Learning or Charter schools.
2. Supplement the education: If you are in the perfect school, it is up to you to teach your child. Parents are the first teachers and we never stop educating our children.
3. Enroll in a sport or arts program…outside of the school! Create opportunities for your child to grow and allow creativity.
4. Observe your child’s behavior: Before you ream out the teacher, be observant. Does your child respect you, if not, they will not respect everyone else. If you find concerns, start counseling or behavioral modification therapy.
5. Cut the sugar: Sugar overload creates mood swings, highs and lows. If a child consumes sugary cereal or pancakes/waffles, that is a dose of up to 10 teaspoons of sugar. This is not the way to stabilize a child for a full day of concentration.
6. Increase the protein: Protein provides amino acids, which are important for brain health, building neurotransmitters and hormones. Provide them with a stable start by giving them grounding foods such as nuts, seeds (nut and seed butters), beans (hummus on carrots) and eggs.
7. Reduce the electromagnetic radiation: A stimulated brain needs not to be over-stimulated. The hour before bed should be free of television, video games and computers. Balancing brain activity for a child with “extra” energy starts with yoga/tai chi, meditation/quiet time, board games (remember those), painting, dancing, swimming, hiking and being in nature. Nature is the grounding, balancing tool for us all.

The point. Every child is special and every special child deserves the right care. Many children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD/ODD have exceptional intellect and often have higher IQ’s than expected. This highly intelligent brain must be handled with care. The system needs changing and not the delicate chemistry of this child’s brain.

Jamila Owens-Todd is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Webster Groves, MO since 2007. Contact her at (314) 918-1555 or online at www.minthealth.org.