Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is found in 5 to 10% of children. Hyperactivity alone does not decide ADHD, since it is normal to find children overly active and boisterous up to about four or five years of age. ADHD symptoms are found to typically occur before the age of seven. It is very difficult to differentiate between a normal kid behavior and ADD/ADHD.
Symptoms of ADD/ADHD
Hyperactivity is one of the guiding symptoms but there are children with ADHD who are not excessively active, but inattentive, unmotivated and appear spacey. Most of the children with ADHD enjoy doing activities they love but find it difficult to focus on tasks that are boring or repetitive. They are not be able to stay quiet and sit still on one place. They exhibit a sense of urgency and restlessness that is not normal to children of their age. The intensity of the condition cannot be gauged by the activities of the child.
Children are found to be restless and they have a tough time completing their homework or other exercises. They are found to shake their legs constantly. They frequently commit mistakes due to their inattentiveness. They may not complete a task at hand, and will move to other tasks only to discard them later for another one.
Though all children exhibit these symptoms though infrequently, in case of children with ADHD these are observed as a constant occurrence at school, home and at play. This condition is found to be mostly hereditary in nature.
One positive thing to note is that this condition does not affect their studies and most of them are found to perform well in exams like any normal child. Boys are found to be affected more by this condition than girls. If left unattended, this condition can affect the child’s interaction with itself and with others. This can give rise to difficulty in communication, tiredness, depression etc.
Ayurvedic Remedies for ADHD/ADD
Children with ADHD are generally found to be restless. They will not stay in one place and will move about constantly. They usually misplace toys and other items. They behave impulsively and often intrude on other people’s speech, games etc. These symptoms resemble the nature of ‘vata’ or ‘vayu’. ‘Vaayu’ by its nature is restless and is one of constant movement. This is related to ‘Praana’.
According to Ayurveda specialist Dr S Mahadevan, abhyanga with shastika tailam made from navara rice and pacharavindha ghee made from lotus are effective in treating this condition. In his book ‘Deva Marundhu’ Dr S Mahadevan suggests some ayurvedic treatment options for ADHD. He finds application of a paste of panchagandha choornam on head and enema with dhanwanthara tailam to be effective. Regular application is found to bring the restlessness under control.
He suggests that these children should be taught to sit still in a place for one or two minutes initially and then the duration should be increased. They can be taught to repeat some mantras or songs during this period. These are some of the alternative treatment options available for children with ADHD symptoms.