Managing Neurobehavioural Challenges in Children

Managing children with neurobehavioural disorders is a challenge for both parents and professionals. Finding the right combination of medication and supplemental support is a delicate balancing act – made all the more precarious because there is a child on the tightrope.

According to dietician Andrea du Plessis of Vital Health Foods, the South African distributors of the Efamol range of omega products, many families are seeking new ways to deal with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other behavioural conditions. “While it is clear that many neurobehavioural problems require medical intervention, research has shown that supporting these interventions with supplements containing the omega-3 and other essential fatty acids significantly improves outcomes. These omegas are sourced from high quality fish oils and evening primrose oil, and have been shown to improve the quality of life of both the recipients and their families. In fact,” du Plessis adds, “a recent independent study showed that six months of daily supplementation with omega-3 resulted in a 41.6% reduction in incidents of anti-social behaviour in children between the ages of 8 and 16.”

An unexpected finding of this study was that the supplements appeared to reduce problem behaviour not only in the children, but also in their parents. This may be because as children become more manageable, their parents become less stressed and are better able to cope with problems when they arise.

Ms du Plessis explains that while these supplements show promise for children with neurobehavioural problems, a supplement such as Efamol Brain Concentrate Chewies can help to restore balance and enable children with less acute symptoms to function optimally, both at school and at home.

Healthy children also benefit from such supplements, as they improve concentration and performance in the classroom. “It’s also a great product for adults,” Ms du Plessis is quick to add. “We tend to focus on our children and neglect our own physical and mental well-being. We, as parents, are better equipped to perform our day-to-day tasks if we have the correct tools for the job.”

When dealing with children’s emotions, we often overlook the underlying conditions that may contribute to their ‘acting out’. These may include obsessive compulsion, sadness, lying, stealing, perfectionism, inappropriate sexual behaviour, phobias and defence mechanisms. However, the symptoms often mask a more serious problem that cannot easily be explained away.

An organisation called Professional Minds has invited a panel of experts from a range of treatment backgrounds and modalities to assist parents and professionals to tackle these issues. The objective is to discuss the emotional impact, physical treatment and management of these behavioural conditions, and to explore how products such as Efamol’s essential fatty acid products can significantly improve outcomes.

“This conference provides a unique opportunity to present the treatment options and explain the nuances and benefits of each. There is the added advantage of being able to ask questions of experts in their respective fields,” says Ms du Plessis, who will also be attending the event.

For enquiries, telephone Gabi on 083 700 3644 or Haley on 084 581 7557, or email bookings@professionalminds.co.za.

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