It is often difficult to diagnose attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in your own child. Dr. Rainilda Valencia and her knowledgeable, compassionate associates, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, can help you assess your youngster at Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California.
What do ADD and ADHD look like
As many as 1 in 20 children in the United States suffer from ADHD. ADHD includes hyperactivity, while ADD does not. Dr. Valencia and her team can help diagnose your child with ADD or ADHD by reviewing:
- Medical and family histories for any hidden health issues that may be affecting your child’s behavior
- Input from other adults in your child’s life, from coaches and teachers to babysitters and family members
- Possible learning disabilities
- Difficulties with reading, language, or motor skills
- Traumatic life experiences
- Anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder
- Current health issues, such as epilepsy or thyroid problems
Types of ADHD
The American Psychiatric Association only recognizes ADHD today, which they classify three ways.
- Makes careless mistakes and doesn’t pay attention
- Has difficulty focusing
- Doesn’t complete homework or chores
- Problems with time management
- Dislikes tasks requiring sustained focus
- Fidgets, taps hands and feet, and squirms when seated
- Talks too much at inappropriate times, such as during class
- Always moving
- Interrupts others frequently
- Trouble waiting his/her turn
Displays a combination of:
- Physical hyperactivity
- Focusing difficulties
Treating your child
Dr. Valencia treats your whole child. If she suspects ADHD may be causing problems in you and your child’s life, Dr. Valencia suggests certain behavioral therapies or medications that may help. Medications can include antidepressants and/or stimulants, which have assisted as many as 80% of children diagnosed with ADHD according to a variety of studies. Nonstimulants, such as atomoxetine (Strattera) or bupropion (Wellbutrin) may also be used.
Natural ways to help
The American Academy of Pediatrics finds behavioral therapy the most successful treatment for ADHD, especially among younger children. Dr. Valencia also recommends alternative ways to handle your child’s ADHD, which can be used in combination with behavioral therapy and/or medication. These include:
Remove potential allergens, such as chemical additives/preservatives BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), from their diet. These can be found in a range of processed foods, such as potato chips to cereal.
Eat more organically to eliminate harmful chemicals, food colorings, and additives that can disrupt hormones in both children and adults, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, may increase hyperactive behavior. They further recommend a diet low in white bread and sugar, full of healthy fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed, and other foods.
Encourage such activities as yoga or tai chi, which has been shown to curb hyperactivity. Physical exercise has also been shown to improve anxiety, attention, and impulse control in children with ADHD.
Spend more time outside in nature, which may help curb hyperactivity and increase focus.
Try certain herbs, such as ginkgo and passionflower, and supplements, including zinc
magnesium, L-carnitine, and vitamin B-6. It’s crucial that Dr. Valencia and her team monitor these through blood tests, especially when taken in combination with other medications.
Your child’s health is our number one concern
Dr. Valencia and our team can discuss a variety of treatments, from talk therapy to medication, to help manage your child’s ADHD or other medical concerns. Simply give us a call at Valencia Pediatrics and begin your child’s journey to better health today.