Gardening has long been considered a type of relaxation exercise close to home. As the parent of a child who lives with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), I’ve found this form of relaxation provides some true therapeutic benefits. If you enjoy gardening, and if you find that it is a family hobby that your children enjoy, then it is important to consider it as not only a form of relaxation, but also a form of therapy for a child with special needs. For many children, especially those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, alternative forms of therapy are necessary.
Role of Alternative Treatments
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is a neurological development complication that plagues thousands of children each year, often leading to complications involving success in school, in family life, and in developing quality interpersonal relationships. While medications can work to minimize the symptoms of hyperactivity, and improve focus, most children will also need treatments using alternative forms of therapy.
Emotional Impact of Gardening
Gardening can be used as a therapy for many types of mental health complications (Simson 200). The success in using the garden in a therapeutic nature comes by way of creating landscapes and gardens that require attention to detail and working in a structured pattern. In doing so, many individuals who live with mental health complications find they are able to escape from the emotional stimulation of their brains, while their analytical and focus mechanisms of the brain are elicited.
Gardening Promotes Concentration
If your child has ADHD, it is important to consider how your garden may play a role in helping your child not only learn about nature and their environment, but also promote their focus and attention skills. By working with their hands, I have witnessed, in my own child, a change in their movements from a disorganized approach to one that is more deliberate and goal-oriented. In addition, your child’s secondary risk for conditions like depression can be minimized by seeing the results of their gardening when flowers, fruits, and vegetables are in full bloom or ready to harvest.
Putting your child in an age-appropriate gardening class is a great way to get their feet wet in the realm of gardening. If you have experience in gardening you can certain provide the guidance your child needs. For many children living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the symptoms of this disorder are managed more effective after engaging in regular gardening and, ultimately, you may be able to discontinue the use of medications for this neurological condition. This was the path we took with our own son and it has paid off from a financial as well as a physical and mental health standpoint.
Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening
Signs of ADHD in Children
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Gray Matter Brain Changes in Teens with ADHD
Classroom Behavior Charts in Children with ADHD