Thursday, 3 July 2014

Can't concentrate? I try an in-house experiment (5)

If you follow Life As It Is, you'll know that back in November of last year, Esme Grace (my fidgety 5YO), was struggling to concentrate. In class this was particularly obvious to the teacher, who then raised it as an issue one parents evening. Esme was unable to focus for long periods of time. Often, she would be in a world of her own;  not listening to what the teacher was saying.

I'd heard that omega 3 could be beneficial in this scenario, and as a result, I wanted to try Esme on a blend of omega oil. I was interested to know if it could help. For more about this, read here and follow the posts Can't concentrate? I try an in-house experiment, of which the last post (4), concludes:
The result of my in-house experiment with Udo's Choice blend of plant omega oils, and my fidgety 5YO is therefore, that this product does indeed have a positive effect on a child's ability to concentrate. It will help your child to sit still and focus for longer periods of time - not to mention the other health benefits it brings. Whacko. As a consequence, I'm putting Sofia on it too. 
When I began Esme on Udo's Choice, it was back in November 2013. As far as I knew, my in-house experiment was one of a kind. How naive of me. Turns out that's not the case at all. Udo's carried out its own study at Lever Park School in Bolton, with remarkable results:

Udo’s turns the tide in unruly classes
In a pioneering trial that shatters the notion of fish oils being the only omega 3 recommendation for children, Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend was shown to improve key markers in a school for disruptive children. During a 6-month trial pupils enjoyed the organic seed oil in a smoothie at lunchtime, resulting in the following improvements: 86% of pupils improved their literacy; 76% felt happier about their academic work; boisterous behaviour reduced by 75%; and 79% of parents noticed positive changes in their children.
This has led me to question yet again, why aren't all children put on omegas as a matter of course? The answer to that will of course be expense. But when you read how it can benefit disruptive children, and know that through helping them, you are also helping the other children in class; surely this is a healthy alternative that ought not to be overlooked?

It could aid schools and indeed the struggling NHS, in as much as paying for additional staff in the classroom environment, and the cost of helping children with concentration issues, ADD, and other spectrum disorders through drugs, is a far bigger expense. Is this not something the #NHS could give to parents and carers of children with #ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) to try, before taking the often devastating* #Ritalin route?

Food for thought, that's all.

*I watched Ritalin (the drug commonly given for ADHD) at work on many children that were in my care, years ago when I helped out at an American summer camp. Half of my group (six out of 12 children) were on the drug, the side effects of which, I dubbed 'zombiesk'. The biggest heartbreak of all, was that these children were only three-years-old. 

I realise that often there is a need for drugs to help control a child's behaviour - and indeed I nannied for a little boy that Ritalin helped. However, in this summer camp situation, I believe it was a case of behavioural issues amongst spoilt parents; unable and unwilling to deal with the antics of their own very spoilt children. 

In short, age, diet and the upbringing of a child, all ought to factor when it comes to dishing out Smarties Ritalin. 


Anonymous said...

Love this post Emma! I completely agree that although natural alternatives could be expensive in the short term, the money to be saved long term would surely outweigh it. Unfortunately getting to the root of a problem doesn't seem very high on the NHS agenda.

I've just ordered fermented cod liver oil, which is supposed to be amazing. So pleased that Esme is better now :-)

Emma Oliver said...

Thanks mummy tries, - can't believe I don't know your name - sorry! Glad you enjoyed this post, and do let me know if the cod liver oil enhances your world!

Everyone Else Is Normal said...

Interesting stuff, Emma. Thankfully, my two have both had an amazing ability to concentrate, but many of their class mates didn't. You need to shout about this louder! Keep tweeting about it (i didn't see your tweet about it, but then i'm hardly on twitter lately...). Sx

Anonymous said...

I read too the Omega 3 is good for Mommy brain. I am trying to incorporate more of this in our diet. Thanks for this. An eye opener. #pocolo