ADHD: look beyond the obvious

About a month ago, a mother brought his 8-year-old son to me. He was having difficulty at school, particularly in math class where he just “couldn’t get the math concepts”. Doctors/ specialists assessed him and concluded that it was ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The mother wanted a drugless approach so she wanted me to assess him and make sure he was getting all the nutrients needed for optimal growth and development. As a naturopathic doctor with a holistic mindframe, I wanted to do more than that- I decided to do a complete physical exam, something that I realize many medical doctors are too “rushed” to do nowadays during the doctor’s visit (especially in Hong Kong).

Lo and behold (in addition to several other findings), when I checked his eyesight, it turned out he couldn’t even distinguish between X’s and O’s held 20cm from his face! I informed the mother that I suspected there was something not right with his eye accommodation or information processing and suggested that the child see an eye specialist as soon as possible. How can a kid be expected to learn from the blackboard and do his schoolwork when he couldn’t even see properly? I also prescribed natural medicine to help improve his focus and concentration as well as eyesight.

It turned out that my suspicions were valid. Besides getting prescription glasses, the child has since been prescribed eye exercises for his eye muscles. He has been taking the nutraceuticals I prescribed religiously.

After only 3 weeks back to school this new year, he has already received an “improvement” award for focus and concentration at school. Parents, lesson of the day: don’t take everything at face value. Sometimes, it’s necessary to look beyond the obvious.

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