Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) are also known as overactive and inattentive behavior.

What are the three things you should know about this behavior from a more natural perspective?

1) The major treatment for ADD/ADHD is a class II controlled substance.

For many children the treatment of choice in ADD/ADHD is the use of behavior modifying drugs like Ritalin (Methylphenidate). This treatment option is often supported by classroom teachers, administrators, and parents who are just trying to help the child’s behavior.

They just want him or her to be able to concentrate and learn, or at least stop disrupting the classroom.

For many doctors, educators, and psychologists, Ritalin appears to be a trustworthy tool, especially when combined with counseling. They see nothing controversial about controlling behavior with pharmaceuticals.

However, for others, the thought of using these substances to control child behavior causes some worry.

After all drugs like Ritalin are class II controlled substances, which are habit forming, and whose long term effects we are just beginning to understand.

2) Toxicity in the child’s body, food, and environment can contribute to overactive and inattentive behavior.

Over the last 10 years searching parents, doctors, and nutritionists have sought the answer for the rise in ADD/ADHD, and come to a startling conclusion.

They believe that a combination of the following is playing a major role in the disruptive child’s behavior:

• Nutritional deficiencies in vital nutrition, particular in necessary fatty acids

• Exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins, through prior medical intervention, through chemicals in the home environment, or even passed along in the womb from mother to child

• Toxic levels of food additives which over-excite parts of the immune system in those who are susceptible

If you think toxicity and child behavior is a funny theory from alternative health practitioners, then read this article in WebMD: Kid’s exposed to Mercury, Lead at risk for ADHD.

Giving a medication without dealing with the child’s toxicity may only be covering up a major source of the problem and not really dealing with it.

3) Spinal alignment matters!

Another underlying cause needs to be examined.

In the landmark book, Manual Therapy in Children, edited by German surgeon and manual therapist Heiner Biedermann, MD the author Reinhard W. Theiler (doctor of manual medicine) speaks of the role the top of the spine plays in attention disorders.

He writes:

Parents reported that in general the children’s’ ability to concentrate, sustained effort, ability to sustain attention, and impulsivity had improved considerably, and that their children seemed more mature. The follow-up tests confirmed this, with children working more quickly and confidently.

(Theiler, R. Attention Deficit Disorder and the Upper Cervical Spine. Manual Therapy in Children, H. Beiderman Ed. Churchill Livinstone Press, Elsevier. 2004.)

What kind of care did these overactive and inattentive children receive?

They received manual re-alignment of the upper cervical spine, improving balance between the head and neck. These German doctors call the misalignment KISS (Kinematic Imbalance due to Sub-occipital Strain).

Upper cervical chiropractors in the U.S. call it the atlas subluxation, and yes, this issue is just as correctable in Glendale, CA as it is Germany.

The case for more than just Ritalin

Upper cervical alignment, environmental toxins, and food additives all may be playing a role in a child’s inability to concentrate. While Ritalin and similar substances may be effective in many cases, you do have other, safer, less invasive options to help control disruptive childhood behavior labeled as ADD/ADHD.

Even if you do not get support from your child’s teacher, principal, or pediatrician, you still have the right to seek alternatives to behavior modifying drugs.

Remember adults need help too

Natural, non-invasive options for attention deficit problems may be just as effective for adults as well. Please have them get checked by an upper cervical doctor as well.