More and more kids each year are being diagnosed with learning disabilities. There are some that think that the screening for these is too tight. Others believe that the parents and teachers have lost their tolerance for healthy and active children. Still others believe that there truly is an increase due to the increase in sugar, food additives, antibiotics and hormones in our foods. Along this same line there are those that would say the lack of nutrition in the standard American diet plays a huge role.
What if they are all right?
What if there is a combination of all of these factors? Getting to the cause of these issues is the best way to deal with any problem. It gets harder when there are multiple factors in play.
If you are a normal parent and you are concerned about your child your first impulse is to find out if there is something really wrong with them. What happens if your doctor can’t find anything wrong, but puts them on a medication ‘just in case’? This seems to be happening a lot in our world today.
The problem is that those medications have not been proven effective, and come with a host of huge side effects. Typically when side effects occur doctors are reluctant to remove medications, they just add more to cover the side effects.
Those side effects include things like strokes and heart attacks, high blood pressure, slower growth rate, seizures, increased heart rate and eyesight changes or blurred vision. The most disturbing side effects are worsening of behavior and thought processes, new or worsening of bipolar symptoms, new or wore aggressive behavior or hostility, hearing voices and/or acting on those voices, mania, and suicidal tendencies. If the side effects are the same (or worse) than the original problem how can we be sure they are ‘helping’ the child? Parents are being asked to risk the lives and futures of their children with drugs that are inconclusive as to if they work.
What if parents worked on the children’s diets before they opted for drugs?
What if they took a few classes in behavioral management to teach themselves and their kids how to cope with the behaviors that were being considered unacceptable in the home and classroom?
Nutritionally we always seem to focus on what needs to be taken away.
In this case it may be a really good place to start. The first thing would be sugar, in all its forms. This includes both foods and beverages, including those so called healthy fruit drinks. Secondly would be all processed foods. Yes, I know that parents have very little time to actually cook, but it doesn’t take that much more time to hand your kid an apple than it does a cookie. These two things alone would make a huge impact on most kids.
Then we need to look at what might be missing.
If they have been eating mostly processed foods they are probably missing nutrients, enzymes and fiber. These are actually pretty easy to supplement. Fish oil supplements containing DHA have been shown to have an impact on behavior. So have probiotics and fiber supplements. Eating organically and taking a plant based vitamin and mineral supplements have been shown to help as well. If digestion is suffering a plant based enzyme supplement may also be called for. Probiotics are also a must.
What else could be missing?
If they are the typical modern child then fresh air and exercise are definitely missing. It is understandable that people in dangerous neighborhoods don’t want their children to be running around outside without supervision. Recess and PE in our schools used to help, but budget cuts have eliminated a lot of them. Parents may have to get creative in order to combat the television and video game culture our children are being indoctrinated with. This may even be the hardest part of the formula for healthier kids, both physically and emotionally.