6. ADHD: How to Take Action: A Step-by-Step Plan

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6. ADHD: How to Take Action: A Step-by-Step Plan

June 2023 Update

I highly recommend you read chapter 3, 4 and 5 at a minimum to truly understand the ADD/ADHD puzzle, along with the autism puzzle and many other similar neurological conditions. Heavy Metal Detoxification is absolutely key to success. Next is adding in essential fatty acids as a daily supplement (or food – I pour flax oil on my food and love it) to help build that myelin sheath. And then, seek out mild hyperbaric oxygen treatment – 40 sessions – and also work with a practitioner from The HANDLE Institute. These are your “minimum” keys to success. If you do just these four things you will see dramatic improvement. Yet, after you see that improvement, why not try the other things I suggest as well and get as much repair and recovery as possible!

~ Larry Cook

Original Chapter

The key to reversing an attention disorder or any other neurological challenge is adopting a natural living philosophy and lifestyle. This approach has enabled people to recover from a variety of supposedly “incurable” conditions, including cancer, heart disease, paralysis, and polio—in addition to attention disorders, autism, dyslexia, and other neurological challenges. Healing occurred thanks to the innate wisdom of the body: under the right circumstances, it restores itself to health. Conventional medical philosophy and many of those who practice it believe in managing illness with drugs, surgery, and radiation; natural medicine adherents know that, when given the correct conditions, the body and brain will heal. The job of the natural medicine practitioner is to help that process along.

Thus, the first step to recovery is to create a belief system acknowledging that the body will repair itself—and that it’s up to you to figure out what your body requires for it to do its job of healing. The preceding chapters have given you a solid understanding about how to start the healing journey. This chapter’s purpose is to make that information more accessible by summarizing and outlining some of the most important steps to take toward healing. (Additionally, it expands on information given in Chapter 3 regarding Attentional Priority Disorder and how The HANDLE Institute effectively addresses attention disorders and other neurological challenges.)

If you don’t see results after applying the principles outlined here, don’t give up. Keep searching for other natural therapies that promote the healing of root causes rather than the management of symptoms. Remember, the body and brain will heal under the right circumstances. Have faith, and push forward.

Eliminate Stressors and Distractions

As discussed in Chapter 3, sensory overload is common for children and adults who have an attention disorder—which The HANDLE Institute has characterized as Attentional Priority Disorder (APD). When overload occurs, attention to tasks at hand won’t occur efficiently, and frustrated outbursts, meltdowns, or shut downs are likely. Therefore, do what you can to remove or minimize environmental offenders if you want the child to attend to your instructions or rules. Doing so successfully requires your acute empathy and perception: what you can normally “tune out,” the APD child may not be able to. Try to remove or reduce any of these following stressors/environmental offenders before requesting a child’s attention:

  • The sights and sounds of a TV.
  • Background music.
  • Tight and/or synthetic clothing on the child. (Such tactile sensations can absorb the child’s attention.)
  • Strong odors, regardless of whether or not they strike you as pleasant.
  • Patterns in fabric such as clothing, drapes, furniture, carpets, etc. (Patterns can give way to visual overload.)
  • Fluorescent lighting, particularly when flickering.
  • Sunlight (when it interferes with vision).
  • A blowing fan.
  • Audible conversations or other talking.
  • Echoes (which may be present in certain rooms).
  • Traffic noise.
  • Other similar types of tactile, visual, auditory, or olfactory (smell system) distractions.

Allow Certain Behaviors

People with APD may exhibit behaviors that make them look unfocused and inattentive (such as squirming in their seats, avoiding eye contact, or insisting on wearing a visor). In reality, their behavior is an effort to mitigate the effects of stimuli that may not only distract them but also cause them to feel uncomfortable or physically insecure: everyday sights and sounds, a lack of balance, poor muscle tone, and so forth. Before assuming a restless or fidgeting child isn’t paying attention to you, allow the behavior to continue while talking with the child, then determine whether he or she has been able to pay attention to what you’ve said.

Some behavioral situations to allow:

  • She’s looking away while you’re talking to her. (She may be reducing visual input so she can focus on what’s being said.)
  • He’s slouching in his chair. (He may not have adequate muscle tone. Slouching reduces stress on the neurological system responsible for muscle tone, allowing him to feel more comfortable and better able to pay attention.)
  • He wants to wear a visor. (He’s reducing glare and/or reducing the flicker of fluorescent lights, which may be uncomfortable or painful.)
  • She’s drumming with a pencil, moving around, or fidgeting. (She’s keeping her vestibular system activated so she can process information and pay attention.)

Finally, keep in mind that APD children tend to process information at a slower rate than their peers—so patience is required.

Stop Eating Poison

Most food available to us is genetically modified, irradiated, stripped of vital nutrition, and loaded with synthetic chemicals and heavy metals. In reality, it’s pretty much poison doctored up to look and feel like food. Vibrant health and neurological repair requires abundant nutrition, not abundant toxins! Therefore:

  • Stop eating at fast food restaurants.
  • Stop eating conventionally grown food (at least at home).
  • Stop all dairy consumption (e.g., milk and cheese).
  • Stop eating highly processed foods (such as prepackaged meals, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, and other food items that have been mass produced, stripped of fiber and nutrients, loaded with sugar and synthetics, or otherwise rendered unhealthy).
  • Stop eating any foods with synthetic additives, such as dyes, preservatives, and flavorings.
  • Stop eating sugar-coated breakfasts and other sugar-infused items (juices with added sugar or corn syrup, sodas, excessive sweets, and so forth).
  • Stop consuming sources of fluoride, including fluoridated tap water, fluoride tablets, and fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a deadly poison that may affect neurological functioning and overall health. (There’s a reason for the fluoride warning on toothpaste!)

Eat Organic at Home

Fill your entire pantry and fridge only with organic food. Organic food is the best food available, so why not have it in your home to help ensure health and nutrition? Remember, it’s much less expensive at natural food stores than at conventional supermarkets.

Eat Alive and Whole Food

Prepare your meals from scratch, using fresh food from the produce section, whole grains, and as little boxed, bagged, or canned food as possible. Alive, whole, fresh food is very important because it has far more nutritional value than prepackaged meals—canned, boxed, or frozen.

Shop at a Health Food Store

To make adopting a natural lifestyle easier, shop at a natural food/health food store, where you won’t have to sift through unhealthy products. Natural food stores stock consistently nutritious items and nontoxic alternatives to household supplies as well as other products. While there, shop for:

  • Organic food.
  • Nontoxic cleaning supplies.
  • Botanical, chemical-free soaps, shampoos, detergents, and body products.
  • Chlorine-free diapers and feminine products.
  • Fluoride-free toothpaste.

Detoxify the Body and Brain

Toxins impair overall health and neurological functioning—and, unfortunately, they’re everywhere: in our water, in our air, in pharmaceutical products, in synthetic fabrics, in household cleaning products, in cosmetics, in foods grown with pesticides and laden with synthetic chemicals, in allergens—and the list goes on. Our toxic world overwhelms our natural defenses and infiltrates our bodies and brains. To improve our health, it’s important to remove these toxins from our systems. See a natural health practitioner, and use the tips below: 

  • Use Pure Body Extra & Pure Body zeolite detox products every day
  • Wheat grass juice and chlorella are excellent detoxifying agents.
  • Colon cleansing removes stored toxins.
  • Chelation therapy is an option for heavy metal removal. Consider transdermal chelation (applied to the skin). Chelation therapy requires supervision from a qualified professional, such as a naturopathic physician or a medical doctor who practices natural medicine.
  • Apply castor oil packs helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Eat vegetables that naturally detoxify the body, such as beets, raw potatoes, asparagus, and parsley. Do not underestimate the power of these whole foods. Eat them (especially raw potato) in small quantities, and be sure to drink plenty of water in conjunction with this or any detox protocol.

Take Potent Supplements

Inadequate nutrition precipitates and exacerbates poor neurological health. The following supplements, discussed throughout this book, can be tremendously useful in improving brain functioning (and overall well-being): 

  • Probiotics help to augment intestinal flora and are highly recommended, especially for those who undergone an antibiotic treatment. Bio-K is an excellent brand found at natural food stores.
  • Enzymes are helpful for proper digestion, which is required for nutrient absorption.
  • Green super foods, such as spirulina, barley grass, and chlorella, help provide whole-food nutrition. Green super food powders and formulas, such as Super Green Juice by Touchstone Essentials, are an excellent option.
  • Consume high amounts of essential fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil or fish oil. Essential fatty acids build myelin in the brain, thereby increasing the speed at which information is processed. Flaxseed oil can be added to salad dressings, smoothies, and meals after they’ve been cooked (try it on baked potatoes, stir fries, and burritos). Wellspring by Touchstone Essentials is an excellent choice.
  • Take an amino acid custom-blended supplement. Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters, the chemical language of the brain. Request an amino acid test from a naturopathic physician, and ask her to acquire the custom blend for you. Brain Link is an excellent choice.

Be Wary of Vaccines

Because of public outcry and thousands of lawsuits, mercury—the second most lethal substance to humans—has been removed from some childhood vaccines. However, it’s still present in flu vaccines and other vaccines. Furthermore, contrary to manipulated statistical data and public relations blitzes, there is no credible evidence that the synthetic immunity from vaccines is any better than natural immunity; in fact, it may be quite the opposite.

One of the best reasons to adopt a natural lifestyle is so that natural immunity will be high, therefore avoiding any need (perceived or otherwise) for vaccinations with toxic ingredients and pathogenic viruses and bacteria. One of the best books on the topic is Immunization: The Reality Behind the Myth (Greenwood Press, 1995) by Walene James. It offers an accessible, well-researched, highly illuminating overview of this controversial issue. Take my free 12 lesson course on how to raise a healthy vaccine free child to learn all about the benefits of natural immunity and the dangers of vaccination.

Visit a Naturopathic Physician

Visit a naturopathic physician or a medical doctor who practices natural medicine. Run all available tests for heavy metal toxicity and amino acid deficiencies. Consider other tests, such as stool tests (which check for candida) and blood tests (which check for mineral imbalances). Your physician should be able to provide you with a detoxification program that includes chelation therapy. You may want to request transdermal DMPS chelation, and ask the physician to read the Appendix of this book. To find a qualified naturopath, visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physician’s Web site at www.naturopathic.org and chose a naturopath from their database.

Visit a Holistic Dentist

Holistic dentists don’t use mercury amalgam. Because other dental materials are much safer, why not help ensure that toxic mercury vapor won’t accumulate in the tissues of your child? Find one at www.iaomt.org.

Visit a HANDLE Practitioner

The HANDLE Institute’s approach has a unique understanding of neurological function. HANDLE’s evaluation process leads to a neurodevelopmental profile that offers a significant understanding as to which neurological systems are compromised, weak, or not connecting with other systems. The institute’s practitioners work with people of all ages (on an out-patient basis) who have neurological challenges, including dyslexia, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, and attention disorders, as well as those who experience challenges in daily life who have not been given a diagnosis or label. Once a child’s unique neurological profile is understood, a customized program is provided to strengthen and reorganize weak systems, utilizing a Gentle Enhancement® program of low- or no-impact exercises. Activities require about a half hour per day and can be carried out at home. Minor changes are often noticed in two weeks while significant improvement can be seen in three to six months. Probably the greatest benefit of the HANDLE approach is that the gains achieved from the program are lasting, even after treatment has stopped. Visit www.handle.org.

HANDLE is very highly recommended for parents who want to see significant gains in their child.

Adopt a Natural Living Lifestyle

How you choose to live becomes an extension of how your child lives. To the degree that you adopt natural living so will your child, and that will play a major role in determining his or her physical and neurological health. This entire book is an explanation of why and how to live a natural lifestyle (even natural medicine falls under the umbrella of natural living). Much of the plan for neurological healing, and recovering from attention disorders, is natural living in action. For a more comprehensive understanding of how to live the natural lifestyle and why, read my book, The Beginner’s Guide to Natural Living. Meanwhile, you can make the changes described above, and throughout this book, to improve your child’s neurological functioning and overall well-being.

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