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The ADD Child - It Doesn't Get More Vibrant Than This!

Self-esteem and Attention Deficit DisorderChildren with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are labeled long before they come to an understanding of the term ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). From a very early age they are told that they are unfocused, distracted, lazy, nervous, unable to sit still, undisciplined, stupid, rebellious, or that they just don't care. When teachers or parents are putting a good spin on things they will label the ADD child as a dreamer or with having a great imagination.

This is very understandable because the fallout of having ADHD is huge. The ADD child is chaotic, spontaneous, and has trouble following through on tasks or simply paying attention. This confuses adults because the ADD child acts erratically. Sometimes they can pay attention even better than other children and when they like a subject they usually excel. Adults make sense out of this by assuming the child is lazy or rebellious.

What isn't discussed or generally known is how smart most children with ADD really are. Many of our greatest thinkers such as Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Isaac Newton, and our most famous entrepreneurs such as Henry Ford, had ADD. The mind of an ADD child is often amazingly creative, spontaneous, and dynamic.

People with ADD are often more likely to take risks and see things in novel ways. Certainly this can lead to failure, but it often ends in success and pushes the bounds of human knowledge. Recent research has suggested that a variant of the gene DRD4, called 7R allele, is associated with novelty-seeking in addition to ADHD. This might well have helped man during his nomadic existence and made him more successful than others who did not possess this gene.

Luckily, treating ADHD appropriately does not dull these gifts, but rather gives the ADD child or adult more control and choice over when it is appropriate to take a risk and go with their intuition, or when it is not. To appropriately manage symptoms often associated with ADD it is important to exercise, eat a protein rich diet while shunning simple carbohydrates, regularly take vitamins and supplements, follow the behavioral protocol for ADD, and engage in a self-disciplinary activity like martial arts or yoga. This will only manage 30% of the symptoms, however. The remaining 70% has to be managed by stimulant medications or a natural supplement that helps with those symptoms.

Jef Gazley, LMFT