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New Research Provides Help For ADHD Symptoms In Children

A recent study completed by the Michigan State University in combination with the University of Vermont has showed that performing exercise before school could have positive results for children suffering from ADHD. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have trouble focusing in school, especially due to high levels of energy which can cause attention to be distracted into many processes at once. Physical activity before the start of the school day can reduce these symptoms both at home and in their place of learning.

How The Study Measures Up

ADHD is accompanied by signs of moodiness, difficulty playing with others, and inattentiveness, and while earlier studies have shown that physical activity can have a positive effect on children who cope with these issues, this latest research provides more conducive findings in regards to how it could affect learning and school. Previous studies regarding this combination have shown that there is significant improvement in brain function toward reading and math in students at an elementary level when they have time to exercise before school. Science20 reports: “It is widely known how consistent exercise might improve the broad range of symptoms and impairments associated with the disorder.”

The study, which was published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology was conducted over a twelve week period, during which two hundred young elementary school children were studied. Students ranged from primary to grade two, and both exhibited and did not exhibit symptoms of ADHD. During this time, randomly selected children were asked to participate in moderate physical activity or vigorous activity every day before school. Another group would perform less physically demanding tasks before school.

What The Results Showed

All participants in the study showed some improvement simply from performing tasks before school began, but the students who exercised had a far greater range of outcomes than those who were sedentary. The team has suggested that further testing may be required to find out if different types of exercise, or student’s ages might make a difference to these findings. It’s possible that this method of treatment for ADHD only works with younger students, but there is a great possibility that it could help those of all ages to better fit in and focus on their studies. It also gives rise to the concept that lunch time activities and sports could be of great use to continuing focus later in the school day as well.

ADHD Risk Prevention and Treatment

There is no sure way that is known to completely prevent any chances of ADHD from occurring, as the known factors contributing to its arrival are still murky; with that being said, there are a few things that parents can do to try and prevent the disorder. Even before your baby is born, you can avoid any harmful elements, foods, and drinks that could give risk to the fetus. Drugs, alcohol, toxic chemicals, over-exhaustion, and obesity, are all contributing factors that could hurt a child before birth. You can also protect your children after birth from harmful toxins in the air, including pollutants such as cigarette smoke, lead paint, and other chemicals. Mayo Clinic suggests: “Although still unproved, it may be prudent for children to avoid excessive exposure to TV and video games in the first five years of life.”

Once your child has been diagnosed, there are still things that you can do as a parent to prevent future complications, such as being consistent with limitations and consequences for bad behavior, keeping routines with very clear expectations for tasks such as chores, bedtime, and television time. Focus on eye contact and giving your child praise for a job well done, and always work with teachers and other care aids to understand any problems your child is having and learn how you can better help them through it.

Life With a Child With ADHD

ADHD can be frustrating, both for yourself, and for your child, but there are ways to control and reduce symptoms so that your little one can go on to lead a perfectly normal life. Finding positive channels, and ways for your children to express themselves in healthy ways can help them grow into independent and successful individuals. Sometimes it can be difficult for children with ADHD to plan or organize ahead, as impulsive behavior often rules over these outlines, this means giving additional guidance is a definite necessity, and being patient is highly important. Help Guide explains: “Before you can successfully parent a child with ADD/ADHD, it’s essential to understand the impact of your child’s symptoms on the family as a whole. Children with ADD/ADHD exhibit a slew of behaviors that can disrupt family life. They often don’t “hear” parental instructions, so they don’t obey them.”

Be direct, and communicate positively with your child, and have them repeat back instructions before they perform a task. This way you are aware that they understand what is expected of them. You should also communicate to other family members what is required of them when they communicate with your child, so that everybody is on the same page, and nobody causes more difficulty than is necessary for your son or daughter. If members of your family, family friends, teachers, and other adults don’t know how to interact with your child, problems could arise, so it’s important not to be embarrassed or worried about how they will react. This is simply a way of life for your child, and although he or she may require additional help, they are no less normal than any other child.

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