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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
Any kind of stressful circumstances can worsen the symptoms of ADHD. As a result, lifestyle changes are an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Improvements in your child’s environment, brought about by behavioral therapy, can reduce symptoms a great deal. Because most cases of ADHD are diagnosed in childhood, many of these lifestyle changes are geared toward helping parents help their children cope with ADHD.
The following recommendations all have the same objective: reduction of stress and distractions to help focus your child’s attention. Children and adults with ADHD are more sensitive to these stressors than the average person.
General Guidelines for Managing ADHD
At School or Place of Employment
Some research has shown that behaviors like fidgeting, pencil tapping, and constant movement in adolescents may serve a distinct brain function and help ADHD kids stay alert and on task. Some teachers and schools may take a different approach and allow children to move and fidget in a quiet manner (such as squeeze a ball or stand at the back of the room with work).
When to Contact Your Doctor
Talk to your family doctor or a mental health professional if symptoms worsen or you need help addressing these lifestyle changes.
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Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 2/4/2015
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