Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or ADD (without the hyperactivity) is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children today. It is often believed to be a physiological brain disorder with a genetic component. Other conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and PANDAS (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection) are also increasingly common diagnosis. Symptoms can overlap but the causes are often different and require different treatment.
In a study published in the British Homeopathic Journal, children diagnosed with ADHD were given a homeopathic treatment or a placebo for ten days, then their parents and teachers rated the children on the amount of ADHD behaviour they displayed. Those taking the homeopathic medicines showed significantly less ADHD behaviour, in just 10 days. ADHD/ADD is often treated medically with stimulant drugs such as Ritalin, oral antihypertensives and antidepressants. While these medications can at times be effective if carefully monitored, side effects are possible, and most of these drugs have associated risks.
Autism Spectrum – The main features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are problems with social communication and interaction. Signs and symptoms can include delayed speech development, difficulty in responding or interacting with others, avoiding eye contact, repetitive movements and / or strong food preferences. Symptoms will be different depending on the age of your child.
- a learning disability
- Tourette's syndrome or other tic disorders
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- generalised anxiety disorder
- sleep problems
- sensory difficulties
ADD – the dreamy child: Symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder include restlessness, shyness, poor concentration and dreaminess, dullness, disinterest in life, vagueness, forgetfulness, listlessness, indifference. The child has difficulty collecting their thoughts, may have learning difficulties and be lacklustre and unresponsive.
ADHD – the impulsive, restless, distractible, hyperactive child: Symptoms associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder include excessive talking, aggression, impulsiveness, restlessness, distractibility, hyperactivity, a short attention span, concentration difficulty, precocious, impulsivity, capriciousness, weak self control, cannot stop themselves from interrupting, bossy, dictatorial, behaves like a tyrant, wants their own way, selfish, angry, irritable, loud, impulsive, overbearing, impatient, difficulty sitting still in class or waiting in line, fidgety, has temper tantrums, throws things, displays a violent temper. These symptoms may be accompanied by learning difficulties.
PANDAS - Children with PANDAS suddenly show signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or tics or both. The changes to their personality and behavior are quick and dramatic. Doctors aren’t sure why some children get PANDAS, but it appears to be an autoimmune disorder. That’s when an infection such as from a sore throat or recurrent ear infection causes your immune system to attack your body’s healthy cells, in this case, cells in the brain. The strep bacteria disguise themselves to look like normal cells. When the immune system eventually finds and fights them, it sometimes also fights the cells that the strep is imitating.