children

Tips for helping children focus and study: Improve Sensory Integration especially in children with ADHD, hyperactivity with nutrition and lifestyle changes

Monday, January 28, 2013 by: Talya Dagan
Tags: mental focus, children, nutrition

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(NaturalNews) Many children have trouble focusing, and those who have issues with being overactive, can have more trouble than most. Changes to the diet and the environment can make a big difference for these children. Many children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Sometimes these children can be normal children with dietary issues that can be treated by improving diet. (See suggestions below). Some children have issues with sensory integration. These children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) need special guidance in order to help them process the sensory overload in their brains. SID causes all the incoming sense messages to be processed in one brain center, instead of being sourced to the various brain centers specific to processing neurological messages from the various sense centers. Because of this, all incoming information for the various senses is jumbled together for these children and they cannot separate auditory messages from visual messages. Again, these children might be helped by dietary recommendations as well.

Diet recommendations for children with ADHD, ADD or Sensory Integration

Remove all sugar from the diet of children with ADHD or sensory issues. Sweeteners can be added like honey and stevia. Many commercial products contain these now. Avoid any foods that have artificial colors or flavors. Avoid wheat and have the child checked for food allergies, particularly to wheat, gluten, dairy and nuts, as these are common food allergies.

Create a quiet study area

Because children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction are easily distracted, they should be taught to seek a quiet area for their studies, in order to stay on task. They need to be shielded from interruptions, such as children passing by, conversations or other noise, and even changes in lighting. Grey noise generators can be soothing to these children, as they mask the more distracting sounds that will cause them to lose focus.

Allow more time for tasks

These children need more time for tasks, such as reading assignments because they can be easily distracted and have trouble focusing. They cannot screen out noises such as conversations, or people passing by. If possible, they should be allowed more time on tests or a quiet, private area to take tests in. They may also need to speak the answers to someone, rather than write, as even holding a pen may trigger distraction or anxiety in some children.

Teach them to recognize and separate incoming messages

As soon as children can learn to verbalize what they are sensing, they should be encouraged to do so, even when their irritations are out of the ordinary. When a child can point out that their socks are bothering them, the distractions can be removed and the child will learn to segregate the loudest irritations. This can enable the child to self-soothe, a skill which many of them lack.

Sources:

http://www.thelancet.com
http://abcnews.go.com
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org

About the author:
Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine. You can follow her blog at www.talyadagan.com

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