Saturday, April 4, 2009

Non-Medicinal Coping Skills for ADD & ADHD

Non-Medicinal Coping Skills for ADD & ADHD
By Gregg Prescott, M.S.
Posted April 5, 2009

There are non-medicinal options available for those who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The number of diagnosed cases of ADD and ADHD has risen meteorically in the last two decades. The most common prescriptions for those diagnosed with ADD and ADHD are amphetamines such as Adderall and Ritalin.

Many of the symptoms are normal for children as their bodies are experiencing hormonal changes while their minds are trying to assimilate to their identities. Some children have difficulty concentrating in school because they may find school boring and may be labeled as possible candidates for ADD/ADHD testing.

Children with ADD and ADHD commonly feel like they have a plethora of energy and need to find creative ways to expend this energy. In school, their energy may surface through fidgeting, tapping their pencils, daydreaming, humming to themselves or foot tapping.

In general, many people diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, have a difficult time focusing on anything they find mundane, such as school, rules and authority figures that cannot relate or understand them. There are many more undiagnosed cases of ADD and ADHD where people feel this same anomaly.

There are several coping skills children can try as an alternative to medications when trying to deal with this "disorder".

1. In school, a child can sit in front of the class, away from any windows.

2. The teacher can tap the child on the shoulder if he or she notices the child drifting away from the subject being taught.

3. If allowed in school, the student can chew gum which also helps people with ADD or ADHD maintain focus.

4. When studying, eliminate all distractions. Shut off the television, cell phone and stereo. Structure your time where you allow 15 minute breaks every hour and hold yourself accountable to exactly 15 minutes.

5. Meditate. Meditation allows the mind to decompress while focusing on breathing technique.

Other considerations:

Be watchful of what you eat. High carbs and sugar will only feed the fire. Try to eat balanced meals.

Get organized. Buy a pocket organizer and use it every day. Buy some "post it" notes and place the notes on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator to remind you of important events.

Structure your sleeping habits. Try to go to bed around the same time each night and try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep The goal is to get your circadian rhythm working on a regular schedule.

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Sometimes, we take on more responsibilities than we can handle, which creates an overload for the child with ADD/ADHD.

Consider holistic remedies. There are many natural remedies to treat ADD/ADHD, such as omega 3 oils, multivitamins, St. John's Wort, etc. Please consult a holistic physician before trying any natural remedies.

Ironically, those with ADD and ADHD tend to think outside the box as their minds are constantly wandering. They're usually creative in the art and music field and have no problem maintaining focus when their minds are occupied on something they love to do. They will come up with ideas that are so outside-the-box that others will initially discredit their ideas because the ideas are too advanced and cannot be described articulately enough for others to understand the end results. They are often innocently forgetful and have a difficult time remembering anything past or present.

They often have a difficult time fitting into cliques and can relate to almost every clique, but many not want to be part of any of them. Some are described as "scattered," loners or wanderers who are trying to find others who are like them or people who can accept them for who they are without conforming to societal standards. Many feel confused as to why they have ADD or ADHD and cannot understand why other people have such an easy time remembering past or recent thoughts.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Best Child Advice I Ever Received

The Best Child Advice I Ever Received
by Gregg Prescott, M.S.

We have all received some sort of valuable advice from friends and family or from an inciteful article or video. Besides Maslow's hierarchy of basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, safety, etc) there always seems to be some sort of gem that we treasure a lifetime. The best advice came to me before my daughter was born.

At the time, I was working as a bartender at a small country bar. One of my customers told me some advice that I have never forgotten and have passed on to as many people as possible.

She stated, "Don't look forward to your baby's milestones, such as his or her first tooth, the first time he or she walks, etc... Appreciate and love your child every day because those milestones will come and go too quickly."

This is so true. My daughter turns 15 this yer, yet it seems like only yesterday when I was bottle feeding her.

The only thing I would add to this is to take a lot of pictures and videos because each day, they change just a little and you can never go back in time to recapture how they looked yesterday, last month or last year.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Take the time to appreciate the little things in life

Take the time to appreciate the little things in life
by Gregg Prescott, M. S.

About the author: Gregg Prescott is a Parenting Counselor, Child & Family Therapist and business owner of Family Unity Network's Parenting Megasite ( Prescott attended the State University of New York at Oneonta where he obtained a B.A. in Psychology. Upon graduation, Prescott attended Capella University where he received a Master's Degree in Human Services. As a Child & Family therapist, Prescott noticed common parenting mistakes amongst his clients and developed a U.S. and Internationally patent pending program to address these issues, called an Adolescent & Family Skills Program. Prescott is also the author of 100+ Common Parenting Mistakes (available at and and wrote and illustrated a soon-to-be-released "Interactive Children's Book" entitled, "Meowsey Finds a Home" which will also be available on both and at

A couple months ago, I took my daughter for a walk on the beach. My daughter and I ended up having an incredible day. We stopped to look at a fence that was previously submerged at high tide. The fence had barnacles on it and we knocked a few of them into the puddle below the fence. As we looked closer, we could see tiny conch-like animals congregating around the barnacles. After looking even closer, we saw the tiniest little crabs around the fence post. It was amazing and beautiful at the same time.

Many people passed by this fence but no one stopped to see the beauty that was before them. Now, the fence has been removed and the beauty that was once there is just a wonderful memory.

That's what life is all about. That's God's message telling us to take the time to enjoy the little things in life because they're right there before our eyes, yet we seem to take them for granted.