I made some time to chat last night with Victoria about the diagnosis. The way I see it, any discussion that is about my children is warranted to be discussed with my children. I step it down to a familiar level for them because I believe wholeheartedly in honesty between us; I have promised them this since the day they were born.
Victoria first asked, “So, what’s wrong with me?”
“Do you feel that there is something wrong with you?”
“Neither do I.”
She smiled and relaxed a bit. We discussed the diagnosis and what it meant. I explained to her that the symptoms of ADHD are found a little in most everybody at some point in their lives. And I pointed out that the symptoms I have been most concerned with are things that she has been able to control on her own over the last two weeks. And that deserves special note and praise for her efforts!
But I also offered her an experiment. We are going to first play around with our food ingredients so that we can determine what foods serve her best in the areas of concentration and mental focus. She’s up to the challenge of finding foods that will help her during the school day. And I’m up for the challenge of fine-tuning the menus for her benefit.
It appears, not to my surprise, that we need to center on meals containing higher protein, complex carbohydrates and omega-3 fatty acids. Several studies have shown that many children with ADHD traditionally have significantly lower omega-3 levels.
So how do you get a child to eat grilled salmon with you? If you live in my house, you can hang that idea in the coat closet and never bring it out again. Suddenly, this doesn’t sound as easy as I thought.
But, I found a wonderful article that was written in words simple enough for little ol’ me to understand. Jeannine Virtue wrote about dietary supplementation as alternative treatment for ADHD. She suggests using flax oil and flaxseed to add the essential omega-3s to foods. I’m going to try adding a tablespoon of flax oil to a smoothie in the mornings and see how that helps. We will also limit cereal consumption in favor of eggs and other protein-rich foods at breakfast time. As I have mentioned before, Victoria is not necessarily a big breakfast eater, but I have seen that incorporating breakfast into a steady routine produces positive results for all of us.
For the information of those who choose medication, Ms. Virtue suggests that these dietary changes can be used in conjunction with prescribed medication. And she further says to give it a good 10-12 weeks of effort to really see how it will work with a particular child.
Looks like I’ll be able to report on this particular leg of the adventure sometime around Christmas. But you know I’ll be chiming in about it long before then! 🙂