2012年3月23日 星期五

5 Steps You Can Take This Summer To Help Improve Your Child's Attention And Behavior Without Drugs

A Summer Home Guide To Help Get Your Child Ready To Succeed in School From Day One!

Summer Program

Getting ready for school next year begins this summer. This vacation break is the perfect time to help your child with attention and behavior problems. In just a few weeks, you can begin to find and fix the underlying causes of the most common attention and behavior problems I find in my practice instead of using drugs to cover the symptoms. This approach has helped thousands of children I have treated at my center. The goal of this article is to give you the information that can start you down the road to help your child succeed in school and in life.


It may surprise you to learn that drugs rarely cure anything. Drugs can cover up symptoms while the body heals itself and that is often how it works. I am not saying that all drugs are bad and that we shouldn't use drugs, but I do think it's important for the public to understand that a doctor's training emphasizes, almost exclusively, the use of drugs. Sometimes this use is appropriate, but it is always important to understand the limits and risks of using drugs. I learned the hard way. I went to medical school at the age of 39 to save my daughter after doctors made her ill with psychiatric drugs for bladder infections.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is officially a psychiatric label. When children are diagnosed with ADHD, they are considered to have a psychiatric disorder. The signs and symptoms of ADHD listed in The Psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV) are completely subjective. ADHD cannot be tested with an objective method such as a blood test.


Parents should have the right to decide if they want their child drugged or not. Here are the facts:

1. There is no objective way to diagnose ADHD.

2. The drugs used to "treat" ADHD can cause heart problems and worsening behaviors.

3. The drugs do not help all of the symptoms.

4. There are no long-term studies on the safety or efficacy of the drugs.

5. Many of the drugs used have never been tested on children.

In this article I will discuss how to help identify the most common underlying health and educational causes of the ADHD symptoms I find in my practice and discuss the non-drug techniques and methods I have found to be most effective in treating them.


Low blood sugar actually can occur from eating too much sugar. When someone has low blood sugar, their body releases adrenaline to raise the blood sugar back to normal. This adrenaline can then cause changes in behavior, concentration and focus. Yes, sugar does affect behavior. Sugar affects children even more then it does adults

Even if the child is sitting comfortably in the classroom, trying to pay attention, an adrenaline release can have a profound effect. Studies have shown that if your heart is beating fast, you cannot concentrate or focus. The child can become agitated. Any little thing can now trigger the child to act angrily or even aggressively. Such behavior is not conscious. The child does not choose to act that way. It is a physiological reaction.

The second way to have a low blood sugar is to not eat often enough or to eat carbohydrates instead of proteins. Proteins are meats, eggs, cheese, and nuts. To protect a child from having a low blood sugar response, I have them remove all sugar and artificial sweeteners and begin a diet eating frequent protein to help keep the blood sugar stabilized. In my practice I do a thorough evaluation of the child's diet.

Approach: Consider removing all sugar and artificial sweeteners from your child's diet and add frequent small protein snacks.


Consider that perhaps ADHD doesn't actually stand for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder but really means A Demand for a Healthy Diet. Many children's diets are shameful. Sweetened cereals are still the most popular breakfast item. The FDA's minimum nutritional requirements are based on the amount of nutrients needed to prevent diseases such as rickets, scurvy and pellagra. They do not take into account the modern day problems and symptoms that may be caused by nutritional deficiencies. In conventional medicine, these deficiencies are treated with drugs to cover up the symptoms. Most physicians are not looking for nutritional deficiencies as the underlying cause of health problems.

Looking for the underlying cause of a problem will often lead to a nutritional solution since nutrition affects every way the body works. The body cannot function properly without the right nutrients. It is basic biochemistry taught in medical school that specific nutrients are needed in our body to make the biochemical processes work properly. You might not feel sick without these nutrients, but you may not actually be well either. Your body must compensate and work harder if you don't get the nutrients your body needs to maintain health.

There are literally hundreds of articles in the medical literature showing a correlation between certain nutritional deficiencies and many different health problems, from heart attacks to cancer. Nutritional deficiencies can also affect how we feel, act and think.

Even when we eat more nutritious foods, I do not believe that we can get enough of the nutrients we need from our diets. Not only are most foods laden with sugar and artificial ingredients, many have chemicals added to lengthen their shelf life. Animals are fed antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals before they are slaughtered and fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides while they are growing. All of these things can affect the quality of the foods we eat as well as add unhealthy toxins to our biological systems.

In light of the many problems and concerns with the American diet, I believe that supplementing nutrients can help to make our children healthier, and, as I've seen in my practice, the supplements can make a major difference in how they feel and act. That's why I recommend supplements for all my patients. I have had children in my practice do nothing more than take supplements and improve significantly.

Approach: Use organic foods whenever possible. Find out what deficiencies your child might have and ask your child's healthcare professional for nutritional supplements recommendations.


Allergies do affect how we think, feel and act. Conventional allergists have told me and many of my patients this is not so. They were taught that allergies do not affect behavior or learning. The medical literature says otherwise. The report says the "coincidence of the pollen season, with the timing of examinations, discriminates unfairly against children suffering from allergies. It further asserts that unless the children's allergies can be effectively treated, they should not be expected to maintain the same rate of learning as their normal peers and that it would be fair and/or wise to postpone examinations until the pollen season has passed."

Of course, the recommendations from this report are not being implemented in schools. Instead, these children are being placed on amphetamine-like drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall for what could be an undiagnosed and untreated allergy. I see this all the time in my practice. I find that children who have been on these drugs or whose parents have been pressured to put their child on one of these drugs actually have allergies that caused the learning and behavior symptoms.

The number one food reaction I find in my patients with behavior and learning problems is from cow's milk. Many of these children will improve to some degree when milk is removed from their diet. Milk is not the only source of calcium. We can obtain calcium from many different sources including salmon, broccoli, calcium fortified fruit juices, soy and rice milk, and supplementation.

Approach: Consider finding and removing or treating at all offending foods.


Many chemical fragrances are made from petroleum chemicals. We spray these substances in the air, heat them up in our electrical outlets, and apply them to our bodies through soaps, creams and perfumes. Can you imagine going to the gas station, squeezing the nozzle, filling your cupped hand with gasoline and splashing it all over your body or spraying it in your home? That is what you might be doing when you use some of these products. No wonder our children do not feel well. People with asthma can start wheezing when they are exposed to fragrances. I always recommend that my patients never wear or use fragrances. Even if it doesn't bother them, it could cause a serious health problem for someone with asthma or other breathing problems. These fragrances can also cause headaches which can certainly have a negative affect on how your child learns in class.


I will not see a child at my center if a parent smokes. The parent should never smoke in any of the air space the child uses, even when the child is not in the space at the time. That means never smoke in the car if the child is ever a passenger in that car and never smoke in the house. This also means to never allow anyone else to smoke in those spaces or around your child. I cannot emphasize this enough. Smoke is a very serious toxin and it causes as many health risks for the non-smoker as for the smoker. This was true for one mother who smoked. When I allergy tested her child for tobacco smoke, his behavior changed dramatically. That mom never picked up another cigarette after seeing what a major negative effect it had on her child's behavior. Smoking outside is not the answer either. New studies have found that the toxic chemicals from smoking outside are still on the hair, skin and clothing and when the smoker enters the home, the effects on those in the home are almost as severe as if the person was smoking in the home.

There are many chemicals in our environment with new ones being added all the time. We are just beginning to understand the affect these chemicals have on our environment and on our bodies. I see health problems resulting from chemical exposure everyday. These are not the acute exposures that send people to the emergency room but the chronic ones that cause a multitude of baffling symptoms such as behavior and learning problems, headaches, tiredness, muscle and joint pain and other chronic problems.

Approach: Consider remove all chemicals from your home. Go green for your child.


It is often assumed that all students by the age of five or six have completed the development of skills needed to be successful in school. However this skill development is not automatic and does not occur magically by a certain age. Some students are not prepared for learning in a structured classroom situation and this can affect their entire educational careers. Many programs are available to help children develop visual and auditory learning skills. "Vision Therapy" is available through developmental optometrists and auditory processing programs enhance the ability to listen. Sensory Integration works to strengthen the sensory skills. I have developed a home program based on these established developmental activities that can be done at home.

Approach: Help you child develop learning skills needed in school.

To help you decide if your child has learning differences that can be helped by one of these programs, review the following checklist:

Learning Problems Checklist

A "Yes" Answer to any of these questions may indicate that a child has learning differences and may need help to retrain their auditory, visual and sensory-motor skills.

My child has difficulty remembering left from right. Y or N

My child does not understand how the directions of North and South on a map relate to the world. Y or N

My child is not very coordinated or good at sports. Y or N

My child has difficulty throwing a ball into an intended receptacle, such as a basketball into the goal or a paper wad into the garbage can. Y or N

My child has trouble jumping rope. Y or N

My child does not seem to hear me when I call, but his/her hearing is fine. Y or N

My child seems to wiggle and move all the time and is unable to sit still. Y or N

My child touches everything of interest. Y or N

My child seems to get confused when asked to follow simple directions. Y or N

My child has trouble with handwriting. Y or N

My child is forgetful, unorganized and sometimes confused over what is expected of him/her. Y or N

My child has difficulty remembering more than one verbal request at a time. Y or N

My child describes things using "tactile" words, such as, "That doesn't feel good." and

"You hurt my feelings." Y or N

My child is sensitive about how things feel - complains that clothing is too scratchy,

or stiff and hurts. Y or N

My child has difficulty understanding cause and effect - does not seem to understand simple consequences to specific actions. Y or N

Other Helpful Learning Tips:

Tactile learners can hold something while studying

Listen to classical music with earphones while studying

Make a check list to remind the student of all classes/homework/books to take home

If handwriting is erratic test for handwriting changes before and after eating specific foods.

Keep blood sugar levels even-provide protein snacks and/or meals every two hours.

Practice right and left

Find successes outside the class room, music, art, acting etc.

Find something your child does well and make it part of the first impression with the teacher.

Dr. Mary Ann Block is an international expert on the treatment of attention and behavior problems without drugs and author of the top-selling books, No More ADHD, No More Ritalin, No More Antibiotics: Treating Ear and Respiratory Infections The Natural Way, Breaking Free From ADHD Home Program, The Learn-How-To-Learn Program, The ABC's of Raising Great Kids and Just Because You're Depressed Doesn't Mean You Have Depression. Dr. Block is founder and Medical Director of The Block Center in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, an international clinic for adults and children with chronic health problems.

A tireless advocate for children, Dr. Block has been traveling the country speaking to parent and professional groups and at legislative hearings on the dangers of the psychiatric drugging of our children. Dr. Block has been featured on the CBS news show, 48 Hours, MSNBC's Scarborough Country, and The Montel Williams Show, and interviewed on CNN News, NBC`s Home Page, Fox Network News, The Today Show in New York, The Joni show on Daystar, Your Health with Dr. Becker and is a medical contributor on Trinity Broadcast Network as well as such magazines as Newsweek, Better Homes and Gardens and radio and newspapers across the country.

For More Information on Dr. Block visit http://blockcenter.com

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