Dietary Treatment – Increasingly, parents seek wellness alternatives to standard drug therapy, and high on the list is dietary change, both the “do’s” and the “don’ts”. A lot is known about food colourings and their contribution to ADHD symptoms. Other dietary culprits include sugary drinks and in some cases, gluten. Some promising research backs the use of fish oil, evening primrose oil, and zinc against ADHD symptoms. Melatonin is used to help them sleep. Nutritional tweaks like these are important for taking the edge off of symptoms but are rarely game changers for the ADHD child.
Educational Treatment – To some extent, Special Ed services are provided in the schools but often parents need to supplement with tutors or an after-school learning centre. These programs are effective because with one-on-one help and without the distractions of the classroom, ADHD kids can usually focus and learn. The problems with this approach are that the child gets stigmatized and also never really learns to focus in regular school and life situations.
Behavioural Treatment –ADHD is defined by behaviour. That’s why many psychologists try to treat it using behavioural methods, such as behavioural modification, parent training, school interventions, and cognitive behavioural therapy. These methods can be very helpful but don’t address the main problem which is more neurological than it is psychological. We need treatments that can strengthen the key connections in the brain that improve attention and self-regulation.