"Emotional causes of ADD/ADHD"

[deleted account] ( 24 moms have responded )

Read the article, and let me know what you think. Agree, disagree?



http://www.unhinderedliving.com/ADHDemot...



Here's an excerpt:



"Now, how does this apply to ADHD?



Children that are hyperactive often have not been allowed to heal from traumas in their past. As a result, they develop what we call a control pattern to distract them from their emotional pain. Pacifiers, security blankets, rocking, many things that parents do to distract their children just contribute to this problem. Instead of sticking a pacifer in a child's mouth to stop the crying or fussing, a parent must stop, tend to the child's need, or if it is impossible to meet the need, then they must allow the child to cry to heal themselves. Few parents are willing to take the time necessary to truly meet their child's need or let them heal. We find meeting their needs inconvenient, or aren't willing to change our schedules or plans. Or, we have been taught that if children don't immediately obey they should be punished. The use of punishment to control children is one of the greatest travesties in our world. It causes unbelievable trauma."

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Ez - posted on 07/02/2011

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When my 2yo has a tantrum, I am close by. I don't give in to her demands necessarily, but I let her know that we will talk about it when she is able to stop crying and feeling better. I see that approach as an extension of the 'Cry in Arms' theory. She gets it out (and yes, it is hard to take at times - this kid of mine is loud!), then I will ask her why she was crying/screaming. She can almost always tell me. Even if it's something as seemingly trivial as 'I wanted the ball back'. That then leads to an explanation of why she couldn't have that ball back at that time etc.

Sometimes she does choose to go to her room to cry (if she's particularly angry rather than just upset) complete with door-slamming (who knew 2yos did that! ha!). If this happens, I respect her space for a few minutes. Then I go in, get down to her level, and tell her I am there waiting for her to stop crying and talk to me.

I am very anti-CIO, so it makes sense that this 'Cry in Arms' appeals to me, even at this toddler stage. It just doesn't feel right to me to totally dismiss her feelings. It is possible to ignore the bad behaviour (tantrum - throwing things, hitting, yelling etc) but still acknowledge the feelings that caused it.

Ez - posted on 07/03/2011

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LOL thanks Liz. I love it too :)

Emma, that's the whole point of Cry In Arms. Sometimes kids will just cry. Sometimes they NEED to cry (which is what this research is saying). It's then up to us to provide the safest and most supportive environment for that to happen.

[deleted account]

When I was reading this I wasn't focusing so much on the ADHD aspect, but the method of letting children cry through their emotions. I agree that I find it hard to link trauma to ADHD. But I can also see the link between a traumatic birth and a baby who won't stop crying...my sister. Mom was induced (some malarky about my mom's labor being too quick with me, and they wanted to control it with my sister.) My sister was born with the cord around her neck...blue...not breathing. She literally cried 12 hours of everyday for the first few months. She had chronic ear infections and her tonsils removed before she was two. And she was a strongly attached child...didn't leave my mom's sight until she went to Kindergarten (mom taught at her pre-school). No sign of ADHD...top grades all through school...fairly popular...now about to graduate with her Master.

So my point...I can buy into the parts of the article about allowing children to cry through emotions. That's what I focused on when reading the article. Now that I read other responses about the link to ADHD...I agree that seems a little far-fetched. And Jane had a great point...hyperactivity does not necessarily equal ADHD.

Elfrieda - posted on 07/03/2011

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I'm going to respond with a bunch of contradictory opinions!

I don't know anything about ADHD. It makes sense that some behaviours stem from trauma, but that's as far as I'm willing to go.

I also don't know how true the equation of colic with trauma at birth is either. I had a homebirth, and it all went really well. (although actually they were a little concerned with the baby's faltering heartrate during the pushing, so maybe there's something there)

On the other hand, I was a bit stressed during the pregnancy. We lived in 4 different places, each temporarily, while I was pregnant and we were building our house. (finally moved in when the baby was 4 months old)

But overall, it reminds me of those smug moms with the perfect babies who say, "Well, I was just really relaxed, so my baby fit into my life really easily." I wanted to smack those women! I *used* to be really relaxed until my baby wouldn't stop crying!

On the other other hand, maybe my baby did cry out all his problems, because now he's a really cheerful, easy-going toddler.

Conclusion: I have no idea. :P

Rosie - posted on 07/03/2011

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i'll copy paste what i wrote in the other community:


my oldest child has ADHD and the article had me freaking out for a second or two. i thought what on earth could've traumatised him when he was younger?? then i snapped out of it, and realized that he is the way he is because of genetics and how his brain functions. his biological father was EXACTLY the same way. it's almost frightening to me how similar they are having never met, but handful of times all under the age of 2.

while i don't discredit that trauma could cause hyperactivity that could be mislabeled as ADHD, i don't feel it is the reason for REAL ADHD.

i don't agree with the first part either. i find it odd that alot of the attached parents who claim that you need to be there for everything your child does, let them have their paci, blankets etc when they want to, actually are agreeing with this.
to me it seems like just leaving your kid to cry alone, instead of trying to make them feel better, which many here equate to CIO and claim to despise.

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[deleted account]

In regards to the link between trauma and a colicky baby, it couldn't be further from the truth in my case, not that I'm discrediting it. It just doesn't apply to my stressful pregnancy, labour and delivery. I won't bore anyone with the details but Roxanne had an extremely rough entrance into this world and she rarely cried as a baby and is a mellow, content, easy-going toddler.



As for the link to ADD/ADHD, I don't know enough, but I'm enjoying reading. I posted this article because I found it to be on the extreme side and wanted to learn, and you ladies are so smart.

Jane - posted on 07/03/2011

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As to crying in arms: We were never able to do Cry It Out. Not ever. Our children cried in our arms, slept in our arms, played in our arms, spent a huge amount of time in our arms. Sometimes I am amazed that they ever learned to walk, but they did, at 9 and 11 months respectively. According to some of my in-laws both children should be incredibly spoiled. But instead, they seem to be remarkably secure.



My daughter cried a huge amount. Doctors said at first it was just colic, but then she developed an ear infection when she was four months old that didn't go away for three years. After dealing with many doctors, some of whom were definitely in the wrong profession, we finally found out that she had a problem with her immune system and she was crying because her tummy and then also her ears hurt. We finally got things under control when she was about three years old.



If colic, stress and pain lead to ADHD, then my daughter should be bouncing off the walls, but she isn't. She is a happy, active, bright , popular and athletic girl, now off to college.



In contrast, her brother did not cry very much at all. He was physically very healthy. But it was evident that he wasn't your average child in that when he was two he never said no or had meltdowns. Then when he turned three all Hell broke loose. He wasn't just hyperactive, he was violent, angry, determined things would go his way or else. He almost got expelled from daycare for biting, destroying other children's work, and peeing on the teacher and her desk. Eventually he was diagnosed as ADHD, ODD and Bipolar. He went through the same type of parental care when he was a baby and a toddler as did his sister, except he had little or no physical pain.



My son did have a traumatic birth while his sister did not, yet one would think that our daughter's pain would have caused a behavioral problem. We also used rewards more than punishment, and punishment was typically a time out or being held so the child could not continue being disruptive, until the child was calm.



We met their needs, we changed our schedules for both children, we held them, we let them cry, and we loved them. We used positive reinforcement rather than punishment. So why is one child tormented by mental illness and ADHD and the other isn't? The answer can only be genetics and/or the brain damage my son got at birth from lack of oxygen.



Folks need to realize the difference between hyperactivity (a symptom) and ADHD (one of several diagnoses that are marked by the symptom of hyperactivity).



And if punishment is traumatic and results in unhealed damage that presents as hyperactivity, why are the rates of hyperactivity increasing? We have largely given up "Spare the rod and spoil the child" in favor of time outs or positive rewards. One would expect the rates to go down as the rates of positive parenting go up. This tells me that hyperactivity, or, as this article equates it directly, ADHD, is NOT related to whether you give your child a pacifier or not, whether you hold them or not, or whether you punish them (not beat them or torture them but make sure they know that you do not like what they are doing). This is just another ploy to make parents feel guilty about something they have little control over.



You can be the best parent in the world, behave perfectly during gestation, have a wonderfully calm, natural birth, and do everything right with your child. But if genetics says these are the levels of brain chemicals this child will have, you have no control over that. If genetics says "ADHD" then that's what you get. All you can do as parents is help each of your children learn what they do well and enjoy, and teach them ways to make the best of their short comings. In some cases, this may include taking medications to change the levels of various brain chemicals. In others, it may only require teaching the child to use sports to help with their extra energy.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/03/2011

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Also, I agree with Cathy. In every case of ADD/ADHD I ever saw, there was a clear genetic component. My stepsister is pretty classic ADD and guess what? So is stepdad. I don't think it had anything to do with their raising because the siblings remain entirely unaffected. But I bet my step-granddad was the same since he is so much like the other two. My best friend in high school was also ADD and he totally inherited from his dad. There was no emotional trauma or failure to heal. Just an unfortunate genetic inheritance. Although there can be upsides. If the energy can be focused on something loved, the results can be pretty spectacular. Hell, my stepdad builds boats just for a hobby and because he can't sit still, boats actually get built in a timely fashion. I think that would take me about 20 years.

Jane - posted on 07/03/2011

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As Dyan did I will also post what I wrote in the other thread:

Having dealt with foster children and kids in our school's special ed programs I can say that yes, many of these kids have seen trauma, experienced bad parenting, and show hyperactivity. However, I have also seen children who are greatly loved, protected from trauma, and who have parents that do tend to their needs, who are very clearly hyperactive.

Hyperactivity is a symptom, not a disease or disorder by itself, It is the result of several causes. Some hyperactive kids are indeed victims of unhealed trauma. Some have sleeping disorders that keep the child from getting enough sleep. Some hyperactivity is because parents never imposed limits or boundaries so the child has never developed controls on their own behavior. But some hyperactivity is an indication of ADHD.

Just as a person may suffer hallucinations for more than one reason (schizophrenia, influenza, medication, head injury), kids display hyperactivity for different reasons. Some of these kids have classic ADHD and respond well to ADHD medications. Others are hyperactive for different reasons.

The term "hyperactive" is NOT a synonym for ADHD. It is a behavioral symptom that tells us that there is something wrong. The cause of the hyperactivity is what needs to be addressed in each child, and different causes require different solutions.

Unfortunately, kids who have experienced trauma often have parents who have either caused the trauma or allowed it to happen. These parents are not particularly involved in caring for their children and so don't work with schools and doctors to determine the cause of their child's hyperactivity. Thus, the label of ADHD is not opposed or investigated.

If a child is labeled as having ADHD but does not respond well to ADHD medications, then alternative causes for hyperactivity need to be addressed.

ADHD is a real disorder. Hyperactivity is a symptom of ADHD as well as other disorders. The trick is to distinguish between the two.

Ez - posted on 07/03/2011

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But that's the thing... the article DMak posted makes no mention of them crying alone. Aletha Solter (from the research I posted on Crying In Arms) explicitly warns against it. So I'm not sure how it could be confused with a CIO approach?!? One advocates leaving the crying child to self-settle, the other encourages a parent to be holding the crying baby (or close by in the case of a toddler).



I will agree that the Unhindered Living link is on the extreme end of the AP spectrum (which I am not).

Stifler's - posted on 07/03/2011

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I don't get the crying in arms thing, No matter what I did to Logan and no matter what I do to Renae sometimes they just won't stop crying anyway! Logan didn't have a bad birth except for his entry to the world was met with fire alarms going off... nice. Poor kid must have been scared to death.

Lady Heather - posted on 07/02/2011

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Great, so now the soother is going to give her ADD. What a load. I guess maybe that might be the case if I stuffed the thing in her mouth and walked away, but that is NOT what happens around here. When she's upset I do my best to help her calm down and when she's calm we talk about the things that upset her. I don't see how the soother is really hurting anything in that case. She doesn't always have it, but if we are on a fucking airplane, you can bet she's getting the soother.

Jenni - posted on 07/02/2011

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@Sara- I think that would be very helpful with an older baby or toddler, to talk to them and explain their feelings to them. I think it's very helpful to express feelings to very young children and identify their feelings for them before they have the words themselves.

[deleted account]

Both of my children have been fairly easy so far. Yes, they've had their bouts of crying as babies, but nothing terrible. My oldest will pitch crying fits when things don't go her way, especially when she's tired and especially now that the baby is here. I usually separate her and let her cry until she's done...kind of like time out. This method is difficult in public, but public meltdowns aren't very common. So according to this article, I should sit with her while she cries. I wonder if I should try to explain her feelings to her? Maybe I'll try it. It just seems to make sense to let her cry on her own instead of trying to suppress it. Those are my random thoughts about this article.

Jenni - posted on 07/02/2011

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Yes, both my children were high-stressed births as well. Both were 42nd week inductions with pitocin and emergency c-sections. My daughters arm received a lot of bruising when they were forcibly pulling her out during the operation. I've also heard about the link of colic to tramatic births.



I came across the 'instinctive parenting' link I posted while I was desperately trying to find a solution to the crying. The crying was difficult to handle emotionally in itself but not knowing what I could do for her was even more stressful. I had already begun to just hold her in my arms through the bouts based on my instincts (and because nothing else seemed to help) so it was interesting when I came across this website on instinctive parenting that suggest and explained "crying to heal".



It made sense to me as well. It talks about how parents often try to stifle their children's needs to emotionally let go of stress... by feeding them when they're not hungry, rocking, swinging etc. which is suggested can lead to eating our feelings (eating when emotional as many people do), head banging and other detrimental self-soothing.

Ez - posted on 07/02/2011

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Aletha Solter was the one who coined the term 'Crying In Arms'. When I had a colic baby, it made a huge amount of sense, and I have continued with this approach as my daughter has grown.



A growing number of psychologists believe that the healing function of crying begins at birth, and that stress-release crying early in life will help prevent emotional and behavioral problems later on.11-14 However, babies should never be left to cry alone. This healing process will be effective only if babies are allowed to cry in the safety and comfort of a parent's loving arms. When toddlers and older children cry or have temper tantrums, it is still important to stay close and be attentive, even when holding may not always be appropriate



There is also a link between colic and other excessive, unexplained crying, and a traumatic pregnancy or birth.



What kind of stress or trauma do babies experience? The emerging field of prenatal and perinatal psychology has taught us that, if the pregnant mother is anxious or depressed, babies can be stressed even before birth.16-18 Furthermore, the birth process itself can be frightening and painful for infants, especially when medical interventions are used. In the absence of emotional healing, early trauma can have a lifelong impact. Studies have shown that complications at birth correlate with later susceptibility to psychological problems, including schizophrenia, drug abuse, depression, suicide, and violence.19-25



There is evidence that prenatal and perinatal events are major causes of extensive crying in infants (commonly referred to as "colic"), and that "high-need" babies are often those who have experienced early stress or trauma. Researchers have found that babies whose mothers were extremely stressed during pregnancy, or whose mothers experienced a difficult delivery, cried more and awakened more frequently at night than babies who did not have these traumatic experiences.26-30 It is possible that the crying we see in these stressed infants represents their attempt to heal themselves and regain homeostasis. Sheila Kitzinger mentions the need for babies to cry in arms following a stressful pregnancy,31 while William Emerson emphasizes the healing effects of crying following both prenatal and birth trauma.32




http://www.awareparenting.com/comfort.ht...



This was certainly applicable to my daughter. She was a forceps baby. Even before I did any of my own research, my child health nurse explained that there is a higher incidence of colic in intrumental deliveries and c/s babies. And it makes sense. Their first experience of the world is stressful and unnatural. It is not what their bodies are made to withstand. For my daughter, that meant almost 3 months of significant, inconsolable crying during the daytime hours(unless she was on the breast).



I'm not sure how I feel about the link with ADHD. I would have to read some more about it. But Cry In Arms seems like the safest and most respectful way to allow a baby or child to express their feelings and move on.

Jenni - posted on 07/02/2011

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I actually posted an article on this awhile back: "Crying to Heal". Let's see ahhh here it is: http://www.instinctiveparenting.com/flex...



My son had bouts of unexplained crying in the first 3 months, but not enough where it'd be considered colic. He was also fairly easy to soothe to by offering him different positions or walking with him.



My daughter on the other hand was severe. Nothing I would do would calm her. She would scream as if intense pain. Walking didn't help, colic carry positions didn't help, attempts to relieve gas, remedies for reflux didn't help, she would just scream bloody murder in my arms until she eventually passed out cold. It was a really frightening and painful experience to watch my daughter in what appeared to be immense pain. It lasted until her 3rd month as colic often does.



Anyways I came across this article about healing to cry and since nothing else I did seemed to relieve the crying I would just hold her in my arms in a dark room and resist the urge to rock.



I actually got a lot of sass on here when I talked about my experience and the article. But really, there was nothing else to do. All the supposed remedies either didn't make a lick of difference or prolonged and escalated her crying. So I practiced letting her cry to heal.



Now whether it was a good decision or not, I'm really unsure. There are conflicting studies on this. Here are a few that suggest prolonged crying is linked to ADHD-

This study excludes those with colic however saying they were uneffected as well as babies before 3 months of age:

http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/002...

Now I'm not sure how to interpret this. If they mean letting the child cry alone, or the child is crying because they require a need met: tired, hungry, lonely, uncomfortable, illness. Or any amount of crying. Also I don't believe the article mentions what amount of time is considered to be prolonged.

And here's one that says there are possible links between colic and ADHD:

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/colicky-b...



You know me Dana, I don't believe in 'punishments' or that children MUST OBEY my every command. I have no problem letting a certain (non-dangerous) behaviour slide the first time so that I can take the time to develop an appropriate discipline plan. I don't believe most behaviours can effectively be nipped in the bud during a first time offense.

Elfrieda - posted on 07/02/2011

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