5 Non-Prescription Ways to Treat ADHD Symptoms

by Chris Regal Editor

For many children, medications can work successfully in diminishing the symptoms of ADHD. Yet there are instances where medications don’t work as well as parents had hoped or they have so many side effects that the child stops taking them. Another option is to use a multi-treatment approach that combines non-prescription methods with medication.

Sensory integration techniques

It is believed by many special educators and developmental therapists that children who have disorders such as ADHD or autism may also have what is called Sensory Integration Dysfunction (sometimes also called Sensory Processing Disorder): that the child is unable to process input from their senses in the same way that most people do. The child may be under or over-sensitive to various environmental stimuli.

Green play settings

There are several studies which show that children with ADHD have improved functioning and fewer ADHD symptoms when they are exposed to natural settings such as fields, woods, and parks.

Behavior management strategies

Aside from medication, behavior management strategies are often one of the first lines of defense used to help a child who has ADHD. Restructuring and modifying a child’s environment can greatly reduce a child’s stress and reduce many of the symptoms associated with ADHD. Behavior management strategies can help a child to make sense of their world so that they can better understand cause-and-effect and be able to predict consequences for behavior.

Healthy diet and exercise

This is advice we hear for the general population, but it may be especially important for children who have ADHD. There are many diets out there touted as being helpful for diminishing the symptoms of ADHD including the Feingold Diet or the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet (GFCF diet). Studies also support taking Omega-3 fatty acids and utilizing exercise, especially yoga, to help control ADHD symptoms.

Good, restful sleep

According to a recent study, researchers reported that over 73 percent of a sample of children having ADHD also experienced some sort of sleep problem, whether it was difficulty falling asleep, restless leg syndrome, nightmares, feeling tired upon awakening, or breathing difficulties during sleep.

Chris Regal
Meet Our Writer
Chris Regal

Christopher Regal is a former Web Producer for a variety of conditions on HealthCentral.com, including osteoarthritis, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, Migraine, and prostate health. He edited, wrote, and managed writers for the website. He joined HealthCentral in November 2009 after time spent working for a political news organization. Chris is a graduate of the Catholic University of America and is a native of Albany, New York.