Thursday, February 16, 2006

Managing 2 Million Hyperactive Kids

So what if anxious parents and their doctors take kids off Ritalin and stimulant drugs after the announcement last week that there may be a link between heart-related deaths and Ritalin?

Now what are we going to do with the 2 million hyperactive children in the U.S. who take these drugs?  That’s a lot of kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD!

For years, we haven’t had to take responsibility for helping these kids or keeping ourselves from going crazy trying to keep some kind of order in the classroom and at home. The drugs did it for us. Now we may be on our own. So here are some suggestions:

  1. Have kids cross their ankles, right over left, and then give themselves a big hug by crossing their arms over their body left over right.  Calms the central nervous system and connects the electrical circuits in the body.  You can do it too. You’ll notice a difference.

  2. Get some order, consistency, a schedule in place. These kids, on their own, have a lot of trouble with order and consistency but respond positively to it if you help them with it. Make a game out of it. Do it often. Less clutter. More rules about where things go like a hook for the backpack in the front hallway. And the backpack always goes there.

  3. Stop telling them to sit still.  Their ability to do so is limited. Furthermore, movement is essential to learning.

  4. When you start to lose it because they’re losing it, keep in mind that Einstein himself had ADD. So do lots of other famous and brilliant people. To see a list of some of these folks, go to

You can read more about the proposed FDA warning and managing ADD/ADHD at

And don’t forget Brain Gym. Not a few kids have been able to stop taking stimulant meds after learning Brain Gym.

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