ACCORDING to 'Kid Whisperer' and local author Diana Vogel, we need to "stop drugging our kids" and learn new ways to deal with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
"Fifteen percent of students in Australia suffer some sort of learning disability and teachers and parents are dealing with it by medicating them," Diana said. "It's making children as young as eight and nine look at suicide because they hate being called dumb, slow, or stupid by their teachers."
After a personal journey of helping her own child and eight years of research into drug-free ways of helping children with learning difficulties, Diana has written a book called How to Stop the ADD/ADHD Nightmare and will be giving a free public talk in Lismore on Thursday, February 21.
"My oldest son was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade two and the school said he was lazy and should try harder to do the work," Diana said.
"I was very mad, pulled him out of school and home-schooled him instead. He was a smart boy, but angry and frustrated and I discovered that the normal ways of learning didn't work and I went on a quest to teach him in a way he understands. People were surprised I didn't want to drug him and I found simple easy things that I could do to help him without drugs. He's now a capable student and has gone back to the regular school system."
According to Diana, diet is an important factor contributing to imbalances in brain functioning.
With her own children, Diana found that by eliminating wheat and dairy from their diet, her children's focus, energy and concentration improved.
"If you are going to go through a process of food elimination, you should do it with professional guidance because kids can go through withdrawal."
Other factors contributing to learning difficulties include looking at TV or computer screens and sitting in fluorescent lighting.
Diana has pulled together research from a wide variety of disciplines, from research by neuroscientists on learning profile types to Chinese acupressure techniques. She has developed a six-minute exercise regime that parents can take their children through each morning before school to focus them and calm them down.
"I founded and still operate nine specialist tutoring centres and have a 94% success rate helping kids with learning difficulties," Diana said.
Diana's talk will be held in the CWA Hall at Spinks Park in Molesworth St, Lismore, at 10am on Thursday, February 21. There are limited seats, so phone 1800 194 206 (ext 3) to reserve your place. Her book will soon be available through major online bookstores.
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