Q.What are the main symptoms of attention deficit disorder? My child is 8 years old, and my husband and I suspect that he has ADD. --K.H., Oakland, Calif.


A.There are several symptoms that are common to children with attention deficit disorder (ADD). And although these characteristics are found to a lesser degree in many children, they are more pronounced in children with ADD.

First, ADD children are very easily and quickly distracted, a factor that is considered one of the main symptoms of the disorder. They may be distracted when someone coughs, sneezes, drops an object, moves a chair or sharpens a pencil, and the ensuing interruption of their concentration can affect their ability to complete assignments, homework or tests.

Children with ADD also are daydreamers. While other children are listening to the teacher, they may be engrossed in their imagination.

They also are impulsive. They act before they think. An ADD child usually has many different thoughts in his mind at one time and may act impulsively on any one of them.

Selective attention is another symptom. Whenever anything becomes boring, the child will quickly lose attention and turn to whatever interests him.

A well-structured social environment is very beneficial for children with ADD. It is important for your child to have set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as for doing his homework and going to bed. But don't be too rigid with this, and set adequate time for him to play and have study breaks--to keep him from becoming bored and to minimize daydreaming.

Most children with ADD are hands-on learners--they are known as "kinesthetic" learners, not auditory or visual learners. But most school systems use auditory or visual teaching methods.

To help offset this difference, children with ADD may need to move around while learning, or touch objects as they learn about them. Many ADD children are quite good at video games, certain sports, and any other activities that involve watching and practicing with hands-on learning.

Drama and role-playing are very helpful in holding their attention. Do what you're able to do to make the learning experience exciting, fun and entertaining.

Unfortunately, there is no single, conclusive test for ADD. It requires a clinical diagnosis that usually is based on either a psychologist's or medical doctor's judgment.

Q.What treatments besides Ritalin are available for children who suffer from ADD?

--J.G., Colorado Springs, Colo.


A.The first thing I recommend is to eliminate junk food from the diet of a child with ADD and implement a whole-foods diet. Symptoms of ADD improve dramatically in many children if they are taken off sodas, candy, cake, cookies and chips and are fed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and lean meats.

It is very important that children with ADD take in complex carbohydrates instead of simple sugars. The brain requires a steady supply of sugar and uses 20 percent of the body's carbohydrate supply. Highly processed foods with simple sugars cause wide fluctuations in blood-sugar levels--both too high and too low--and will affect a child's mood swings and ability to concentrate.

Foods such as whole-grain breads; fruits; and high-fiber, low-sugar cereals help keep the blood sugar stable. A well-balanced snack--such as a nutritionally balanced bar from a health-food store--fed at mid-morning and mid-afternoon is advisable for any child with ADD.

It might prove helpful to make your child a "brain smoothie" to boost energy and concentration. A simple smoothie includes 8 ounces of skim or soy milk, 1 tablespoon of granular lecithin, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon of soy protein, 1 frozen banana or 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 packet of the natural sweetener Stevia. Blend all ingredients and include crushed ice if you'd like.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to 500savingschallenge.com to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit