Vera Resnick-Weisz, DHom Med (Lic), IHM. Classical Homoeopathy. Local and online homoeopathic treatment available
This is the first in a series of posts on the subject of ADD/ADHD. It’s a subject that inevitably poses problems for the homeopath.
The first diagnosis of ADD/ADHD – couched as “this child needs medication” – is usually made by someone not qualified to diagnose or prescribe – the schoolteacher. Or in the (true) example below – the kindergarten teacher…
Parent: “Do you treat children with ADD/ADHD?”
Me: Yes, I work with such cases. Would you like to tell me more?
Parent: It’s about my child. He’s disruptive in school and the teacher recommended that he should get treatment.
Me: How old is your child?
Parent: 5 years old.
(yes, if I could raise an eyebrow, my eyebrow would be raised)
Me: In what way is he disruptive?
Parent: When the children all sit round in the morning for the morning routine of stories and songs, he doesn’t want to sit and listen.
This kind of situation poses a central dilemma. Sadly parents in this situation are rarely able to listen to the sweet sounds of common sense. A 5-year old child is exactly that – a 5-year old child. To medicate such a child for not wanting to sit still during a kindergarten session is – in my eyes – little short of criminal. Especially when the drugs involved are amphetamines or act similarly to amphetamines, whatever sweet and catchy names they may be given by the pharmaceutical companies.
Some parents can hear this. I suspect it’s those parents who can remember their own childhoods, who can remember the feeling of being cooped up and told what to do when all you want to do is go out and play. Of having to sit next to the little girl with the runny nose who you really don’t like. Of teachers making you wear scratchy cardboard head things which make you feel silly. When I explain this to some parents, I almost see the lightbulb go on over their heads.
However, sadly some parents cannot see this. This is often compounded for older parents of a young child, who can’t believe that such restlessness is normal. In many such cases, parents will bow to the authority of the kindergarten teacher, the elementary school teacher, the high school teacher – especially when that authority comes with sanctions. I have heard this happens in some schools – the school states that if the child is not medicated he/she can no longer attend the school.
Homoeopathic treatment can only be given against pathological presenting symptoms. Restlessness in a 5 year old child is not a pathological presenting symptom, by any means. Very often there are other symptoms which can be treated with homoeopathy, in which case the work can go forward, and there may even be a change in the restlessness as the child matures.
My recommendation? You’ve probably already realized it. With such young children, hold firm against the kindergarten teacher and wait. Fibs are allowed – even recommended. Tell the teachers your family doctor said to wait. Remember that no-one can force you to drug your child. Speak to your child, explain that restlessness is not wrong but sometimes it’s necesssary to sit still and listen. Even if you don’t like sitting next to the little girl with the runny nose.