Having tried many random things to help my son (and myself) to better cope with living ADHD, Dyspraxia & Dyslexia. Here I have shared some of the simple ones that seem to help us, (note none of this is medical advice) but maybe you will find some of them useful too.
(🎧 Psst if you prefer to listen not read there is an audio reading of this blog post scroll to the bottom) 😃
Protein – make sure you get enough protein and good fats these help brain process as carbs can cause insulin peak and brain crash! And this can be harder for ADHD brains. So a breakfast with natural yoghurt add chia seeds for their omega and iron, and a little coconut oil maybe, blueberries, nuts, maybe eggs or salmon. Or if they really want toast try peanut or a nut butter on it, or humus!
I notice that gluten rich foods seem to have a detrimental affect on both of us, usually resulting in a ‘food coma’ and loss of concentration, digestive, mood and hormone upset, we both gets more spots when after we eat a lot of gluten/carbs meals and snacks. So I try to get more bean, chickpeas, chia seeds, Quinoa and breads like Rye bread with seeds in.
As ADHD brains find access to dopamine harder it may help to encouraging eating serotonin rich foods, these can help lift and balance mood. Serotonin turns to melatonin in the gut to help with sleep. Serotonin rich foods are: Salmon, tofu, turkey, eggs, cashew nuts, dark green leafy veggies (like Spinach,) Watercress, Pumpkin seeds, peas, cucumber, pineapple, bananas, kiwi fruit, plums, and tomatoes
Caffeine free drink options that help stimulate the mind: Matcha, Green tea, Mint tea, Lion’s Mane mushroom extract/tea. , For the evenings Linden tea, Pukka bedtime tea, Melissa.
Filter your tap water
We have a water filter that filters our water direct from our tap, Zero filters sound good as they say they take out nearly all of the fluoride that is a known nero toxic substance.
Note as with all supplements you need to ideally get medical advice especially if you are on medication. Also consider that they take time to work so try for at least 2 weeks/ a month to see for any subtle changes.
Omega 3 – especially needed by Dyslexic & ADHD brains as they struggle with short term memory and especially if you are plant based you might not be getting much. This brand is very good quality is Wild Nutrition Omega for kids, read more about ADHD and Omega oil here:
I also LOVE Sea Buckthorn oil that has a wonderful mix of Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9 and is very rich in Vitamin C. Here is a capsule that I have found but not personally tried
Magnesium citrate – give one before bed it will help the body ‘mop up’ stress and other used hormones so that the liver is more able to function. Also is relaxing and will aid deeper sleep. We use Magnesium for so many processes that its easy to be low on it. Magnesium is also great as a foot spray, learn how to make a magnesium foot spray here
Vit C to boost immune in winter and to help ease allergies in the summer, helps skin health too,
Vit D 3 – this is a actually a hormone and vital for our immune, we are in the UK so not strong sun and given the amount of screen time and indoors time teens have these days I personally consider this a vital one.
There are good teen multi vitamins here, consider that girls and boys will need different ones, but both will benefit from Omega and Magnesium.
Natural Remedies to consider
Know to help with over all body and mind balance and its also thought to help calm racing thoughts.
I do take a sativa strain CBD to help me in the day with focus, brain fog and hormones so I thought I would offer it to my son. Oh and I know CBD is a bit of a minefield!
So with so many options I narrowed it down to choosing Sativa whole plant < 14% CBD, its a low dose, and usually this variety is better for the daytime, so I give my teen 1 to 2 drops after breakfast, mainly on days he requests it and on any test or exam days.
The CBD brothers oil is diluted in Hemp seed oil that is also a good source of omega 3, and so that to me is a double benefit! Some brands are in coconut oil. I personally would avoid isolate as I think taking the whole plant has benefits of all the molecules available in the plant.
There are possibilities that Saffron may help ADHD symptoms, the advantages are there are not side effects unlike prescription drugs. These I tried with Dylan for a while, they seems to help his mood. Saffrosun https://www.thenakedpharmacy.com/products/saffrosun-for-children
Lion’s mane mushroom extract
Thought to help repair and develop neurological pathways – I sometimes give this to Dylan in the morning it’s a bit like miso soup I guess, I would give him a little shot in warm water, he would say on those days his brain felt super powered! I only stopped because I ran out. I used this brand Natures Antidote Lion’s Mane Extract
I have made pulse point rollers recently that can be used on wrists and neck to help with focus and anxiety and feeling restless. My son loves using his pulse point oil. Teens generally respond really well to essential oils used in this way and they can have fun making their own roller.
‘Focus’ Pulse Point Roller Recipe:
10ml pulse point roller bottle
10ml Sunflower oil base
Rosemary 7 drops
Lemon 5 drops
Mint 3 drops
To use – apply to temples, the back of your neck, inside of wrists, base of thumb where it meets the wrist, for focus and decision making rub a little onto center of forehead (3rd eye) and solar plexus .
Diffusing Essential Oils
You can also try essential and oil in a diffuser, try one at a time to see which ones they respond to.
Important: diffusers should only be on for about 10 to 20 min bursts not on constantly, and use them in a ventilated space. Be mindful of pets as dogs and particularly cat process essential oils differently to us).
Essential oils for focus:
Rosemary, Pine needle, Bay Laurel, Frankincense, Mint
Essential oils to uplift mood:
Lemon, Orange, Bergamot, Melissa, Geranium
“My son loves using his pulse point oil. Teens generally respond really well to Essential Oils used in this way”Suzie
Stretch & Get moving
Movements to feel empowered! Superhero stance! Stand up with your arms wide to your sides, palms up, chin up, stand like this for 30 sec each morning, it helps circulation to important nerves, opens chest & heart chakras, energises the mind uplifts mood. Try watching this calming neck stretch video that release Vagus nerve that will help calm your bodies nervous system
Self soothe by massaging calming pressure points on the hands, centre of palms, press at the base of the thumb and squeezing sides of wrists
Breathing – Try out this 4-7-8 calming breathing technique
I have one in bedroom, gives a lovely calming glow, eases breathing – you can also drop a few essential oils onto these.
Brown Noise Revalation!
Music & Sounds
I recently learned about ‘Brown Noise’ the gentler calming sister to white noise. I listened to it and the calming effect was nearly instant! I find I can listen to it and it instantly calms all my racing thoughts and helps ease that jumping from thought to thought.
I wonder if this might be good for class room and or if some children might be given retro CD player with headphones (with wires not bluetooth) to help them focus in class.
Listen to pure brown noise for study or to help reduce anxiety here
Read about the difference between white, brown, pink and grey noise here!
This I find good when I need to focus – brown noise with the ocean
I also like this brown noise with rain for sleep/rest
Random things that I have explored
& some tin hat stuff 🙂
Consider reducing exposure to ‘Gadget Radiation‘ (EMFs) – Its thought that some people and maybe those with ADHD are more sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies.
• Simple things you can do are make sure is they dont have their phones near head or under pillow at night.
• Check your router is not right where you sit regularly or near bedrooms.
• We now turn off our wifi at night, and switch off bluetooth when not using
• We use headphones with a cable
• Use your phone on speaker to avoid holding it on your head when chatting.
Earthing AKA Grounding
Get them outside in bare feet on the ground, or sitting directly on the earth, I swear by sleeping on an ‘earthing’ sheet, this is the one I have on our beds, you can put a single width ways across a double bed
Watch the Earthing Movie to feel inspired
Go on its fun! Pop one in your pocket or put near EMF producing devices in the house: Shungite, Obsidian, Tourmaline are all supposed to help with EMFs. Smokey quartz and amethyst is thought to help with protection. My son loves to choose a crystal that he feels drawn to that day. (Try to by ethically sourced)
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