Dr. Harriet Hiscock, a pediatrician at Murdoch Children’s Research at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria in Australia, found that many of the problems associated with ADHD – poor behavior, school readiness, irritability and impulsiveness, declined with increased sleep.
When parents are taught how to establish night time routines, clear bed times and the removal of electronic equipment from childrens’ rooms, children were able to achieve better sleep. Their behavior was improved during the day as well as at home in the evening. Researchers noted that parents are so exhausted in the evening and may need to make a concerted effort to implement changes but noted that the results were often positive.
Researchers are examining the effect of blue light from computer screens on brain stimulation and the body’s signaling system. It has been suggested that this light overstimulates the brain making it difficult for people to fall asleep..
In the report, Children’s Health Spending: 2009 – 2012, issued by the Health Care Cost Institute, an increase in prescription drug use by children and teens in the United States was noted along with increasing hospital admissions for substance abuse and mental health problems. While girls were more likely to be prescribed antidepressants, boys were more frequently prescribed ADHD drugs including amphetamines, cerebral stimulants, respiratory drugs and miscellaneous anorexigenics. These increases affected boys beginning at ages 4 to 8 years while girls were more likely to begin receiving prescriptions for these central nervous system drugs in later years, ages 9 to 13.
This trend of increased medication of young children may be attributable to the publics lack of awareness of the efficacy of talk therapy to identify and reduce behavior problems in children. The added education of both parents and children when it comes to coping skills for ADHD and parenting techniques could provide essential lifelong preventive mental health skills.
Renowned neurologist, David Perlmutter, says that it’s neither consistent with reality nor current science to deny the negative effects of bread, cereals, pasta and other wheat products on brain health. He says that he feels “we owe it to the public to tell them that gluten, carbohydrates and sugar represent a modern brain threat”. He notes that medications for many common brain disorders are detrimental to health, especially for children. He notes that we do not understand the long term consequences of medication for ADHD kids, for example.
Dr. Perlmutter points out that he puts nearly all of his patients on a gluten free diet because of the overwhelmingly positive results.
Women taking antidepressant medications are 45% more likely to have a stroke and increase their risk of death by 32%, statistics that Dr. Perlmutter calls “horrifying”. If you are depressed he points to a study that claims it increases the risk of having gluten sensitivity by 230%. Movement disorders, like Parkinson’s and others, have been powerfully responsive to the removal of gluten from the diet.
Dr. Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is the author of “Grain Brain” (#1 New York Times bestseller), “The Better Brain Book”, and “Power Up Your Brain”. Website: http://www.drperlmutter.com
Do your kids eat chicken nuggets? This first week in April, 2014, Tyson Foods has issued a recall of 5 pound bags of chicken nuggets sold at Sam’s Clubs. They reportedly received calls from customers reporting plastic particles mixed into some of their packaged nuggets. And while we’re looking at chicken nuggets, there have been a number of reports about how other manufacturers make chicken nuggets and the sources and types of meat used to make them. While Tyson, in the current press release notes that their chicken nuggets are made from white meat, reports of questionable nugget content associated some brands with a form of chicken “pink slime”.
Some clinicians have noted that children presenting with ADHD and other neurological problems reported daily or weekly consumption of chicken nuggets and some higher sugar-content breakfast cereals.
Many pure food advocates feel that ALL cereals are poor nutrition for children and expose them to a number of additives & chemicals used in the processing of grains into cereal. In addition, many children may be missing important minerals and vitamins because they consume these processed foods instead.
High quality protein to start the day is associated with better behavior, longer attention spans and better memory. Sources of protein are lean meats, eggs, fish and various beans. Morning smoothies made with frozen organic fruit, a few kale leaves, nut milks, hemp protein powder and no added sugars, juices or syrups provide a quick, healthy start.
What?! No waffles, pancakes, pop tarts, granola bars, biscuits, donuts and other forms of the same stuff the cereals are made of on the recommended list? Certainly not.
A study released today by the US Department of Education shows that racism is alive and well in public schools across the country. This study included data from every school district in the country which showed:
Black students were expelled or suspended at triple the rate of whites
Black girls were expelled more often than most other students and at more than double the rate of white students
Black students had less access to qualified and trained teachers than white students
25% of school districts pay teachers in less diverse schools up to $5000 more than teachers in predominantly black or Latino schools
This disparity in treatment begins early with black preschool students representing 43 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once when they are only 18 percent of the preschool population.
This early pattern of school mistreatment shapes black children to fit into the school to prison pipeline, with 16 percent (black students’ population) comprising 27 per cent of students referred to law enforcement and making up 31 per cent of students arrested in school. Recall the case of the five year old Florida girl who was handcuffed with her ankles bound for throwing a temper tantrum in 2005 or the six year old Georgia kindergartner who was handcuffed and taken to the police station for having a meltdown over candy.
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