Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD)
A huge number of children in the United States have been diagnosed as having an attention deficit disorder (ADD), and many are on medication for it. ADD covers a wide range of characteristic behaviour patterns relating to learning ability and social skills. As a society we should be concerned that so many of our children are experiencing these difficulties.
Figures show that ADD affects more boys than girls and seems to run in families. ADD includes a condition known as ADHD - attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Children three years of age cannot be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD or put on medication for it because the symptoms of the disorder could be said to apply to all normal children of this age.
Signs and Symptoms
Poor attention span; easily distracted; difficulty in concentration
disorganized and losing things frequently, learning difficulties
difficulty following instructions; difficulty in accepting authority
impulsive behaviour; mood swings
poor school performance
ADHD - hyperactivity; sleeplessness; headaches
There are many other quite specific symptom indicators. These include shouting out the answer in class before being asked by the teacher, being disruptive in class, and not being able to wait patiently in line. Children can also engage in dangerous behaviour, almost as if they have lost their sense of fear. This is what worries society so greatly - children out of control - and it perhaps explains why so many children are put on medication.
At present, there is no known specific cause of ADD, and it's likely there are many factors involved. Symptoms vary from child to child, and some may have developed the condition because of a nervous system disorder, dysfunctional brain development, brain injury, or having been born premature, or being a drug dependent baby.
Other causes of ADD may be environmental, such as chemical farming methods and food additives, or industrial and vehicle pollution. It has even been suggested that ADD is caused by immunization.
Before worrying about all these things we need first to ask, does the child actually have attention deficit disorder? The symptoms listed above could be applied to many children who are going through the normal development process. All children get bored and frustrated, and act impulsively. One symptom of ADD is given as " not being able to play with one toy, but moving on to another." All children do this, and if some do it faster than others it is not surprising, given the type of society we live in.
Think about television, with so many channels to choose from, we flick between them rapidly, with the remote control. Children grow up with this, so it's not surprising if they think it's normal to change from one toy to another, as we flick between channels. If we want our children to concentrate on one thing at a time we have to give them the environment in which they can learn such a skill. There was a time when children spent hours pushing the same toy car around the floor. Now they have computers and zap monsters that move around in a split second. We need to spend time with our children and teach them to slow down.
Some characteristics of ADD could equally be applied to adults - making careless mistakes, not paying close attention to instructions, disrespect of authority, not finishing assignments because there is something else to do. Our children do not live in a vacuum, they watch and copy us.
Having said all that, for whatever reason, some children do have what might be diagnosed as ADD, and essential oils may help them. All children have to wash, and essential oils can help make this a time of calming down, and soothing.
Reference: Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child; Valerie Ann Worwood