Managing Childhood Behavioral Disorders

Joan Haynes, ND

View this slide presentation on childhood_behavior_disorders.

In recent years, diagnoses such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder, and autistic spectrum disorders in children have skyrocketed. Labeling children with diagnoses such as these tends to overlook the real issue – what is the underlying cause(s)?

Naturopathic physicians address the underlying cause by diagnosing not just the behavior disorder itself but also the biochemical processes that contribute it. Many of these children with behavioral and emotional problems are treated with psychiatric medications and their families are given few other options. An effective approach needs to involve relational, nutritional and environmental factors. The result? A happier, healthier child, and a more peaceful family and school experience.

If your child suffers from one of these labels:

  1. Ask for help. Parents are overwhelmed and tired, often struggling with similar symptoms themselves. We just can’t do this alone and do not need to reinvent the wheel. It often takes more than one professional expert and a team approach. Involve the school counselor, take parenting classes, find medical providers who welcome your questions and have new ideas. Find credible reading material. Create a plan for action.
  2. Get an accurate diagnosis not a label. If you want to avoid prescription medication, you’ll need to become proactive. Testing is available for food allergies, heavy metals, nutritional deficiencies, hypoglycemia, hidden infections, lack of integrity in the
    digestive system, and toxic overload.
  3. Focus on the things you can change. Daily multivitamin,omega-3 oils and other specific supplements. Treat hypoglycemia with regular protein based snacks. Avoid or desensitize them to food and environmental allergens. Make positive lifestyle changes for you and your family. Consider homeopathy.

Resources:

Please Don’t Label My Child: Break the Doctor-Diagnosis-Drug Cycle and Discover Safe, Effective  Choices for Your Child’s Emotional Health by Scott M. Shannon and Emily Heckman

Ritalin-Free Kids: Safe and Effective Homeopathic Medicine for ADHD and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth