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A Boy with ADHD, Mom's Tired of Yelling

If anyone could help me, I will listen and take any pointers. My son was finely diagnosed with ADHD. He is 6 1/2 years old. It's been a very long process to finally get where we are at. He is still being tested at school, man that's along process. But I myself don’t know what to do, I'm pulling my hair out. I yell all the time, I'm just so fed up with him. It's hard for me to be around him sometimes. I'm trying so hard not to have him put on any medication at this time. My husband just doesn't understand. Please if anyone has any information or ideas let me know. Very concerned mom.

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I have a child with ADHD and tried just about everything. The doctors put him on meds at 4. I agreed since they told me he needed it or his develpmental delays would get worse. I asked about diet and they said it was not proven. Well... he didn't do better but actually fell off the charts with weight and growth. I took him off the meds and tried the feingold diet. That works for him. I find if I keep him 100% organic and no salicilates then life is good. The diet is hard in the beginning but so worth it for us. We have been doing it for 3 years now. Life is still not a peice of cake but much easier. My husband was a skeptic at first until he gave him something we wasn't suppose to have. He went crazy within 5 minutes.

my older son is now 7 1/2, he was diagnosed adhd in kindergarden. i fought for 2 years not to medicate him but after much research and talking to my inlaws (nephews are also adhd)we put him on meds. it has taken 3 years to find the "perfect" med. this along with diet changes, and his school, he has become a much happier and easier to deal with boy. he has his moments of adhd stuff, but is is a lot better than it was. he told us he feels better and can do better in school. i also read ADDITUDE magazine. good luck.
M. silver

Hi N.,
Change his diet. No suger or simple carbs. Lots of protein, fresh fruits & veggies. This has kept my niece off meds for her ADHD.

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Dear N.,
First of all, you have my empathy. I have taught children with ADHD for fourteen years. I know how much energy they require, and, I am only with them for about six hours a day!
Rather than advice...here are some things for you to think about:
If your son was diabetic, would you give him insulin if it meant he could live normally?
If your son was asthmatic, would you give him an inhaled steroid if it meant he could breathe easier?
If there were a medicine that could stop the manic rush of chemicals that are flooding your son's brain, that even he wishes he could probably stop, would you give it to him if it meant he would be better equipped to cope with life?
I sense that you do not feel good about yelling at your son. Believe me, even if he doesn't show it, he doesn't feel good about it, either. Children with ADHD often have exremely low self-esteem due to the fact that most of the people in their lives are often annoyed with them and basically exhausted by trying to keep up with them.
Have you found the yelling to be effective?
Does it make either of you feel better?
After you have answered the above questions, it will help you to make the decision to continue yelling or practice great restraint and stop it. You may even want to go to the opposite extreme and whisper to your son when you are at your wit's end with him. I have used that practice both as a mother and educator and I have found it to be a much more effective means of getting a child to listen to me, especially a very energetic one.
I wish you well. If you decide to try medication, I have seen it be effective and non-effective and would be happy to help you navigate that path!

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My son had ADHD and he is now 43 year old. In those days they did not diagnose anything so I was on my own and refused to give him Ridalin, which at that time was the only alternative offered to me.

There is a center here in the Chicagoland area that will work with these kids and help there bodies to calm down, naturally. Email me privately and I will give it to you: ____@____.com

Here is what I did with the help of a friend who recognized what was going on with my son.

1. I cleaned out the whole house, and I mean the whole house of all foods that were processed and had refine sugar. I filled two outdoor garbage cans with food.

2. Went to a local organic store and bought all fresh food. Even baked my own bread. Did not know about gluten at the time. Switched to organic foods as much as possible.

3. Get rid of all gluten products. Become a gluten free household.

4. Striped by son's room of all toys and clutter and painted his room light blue - read that blue was calming and clutter was stimulated to these types of kids. Even his window treatments were switched to plain white blinds. All his toys and books were put into a playroom that I created in another part of the house. If he has a computer in his room I would remove that also.

5. Changed my behavior. This is a big one. If you had a child who physically could not walk would you yell at him for not being able to walk? Your child is doing the best he can with whatever is going on in his body. When you change he will calm down somewhat. Your agitation is not helping the situation.

6. I went to his school and insisted upon two things.
a. That they do not give him sugared treats. I provided alternatives. I also gave him a lunch every day. That did not stop him from switching foods once in a while with his buddies. He was advised not to do it, but I could not control everything. The school called me the "health food nut" and I did not care.

b. That they provide an outlet for his "energy". We paid thru the nose for a private school so that we would have some control. He went to a lab school where there were lots of college students to call to help. He would go outside and shoot baskets once in the morning or afternoon. He was grouped with a couple of other boys to do a special assignment that took him out of the room = they interviewed people, they did research, they went on nature walks. He was allowed to walk around the room every hour as long as he did not disturb anyone else.

7. When he came home from school he was outside playing and running off his energy until dinner and he would do the same until dark. We had no expectations of him to do his homework until after dinner. And when he was done with dinner he was not expected to sit at the table. We really lowered our expectation as far as him sitting still for any length of time anywhere.

I think this is a story that will help you and it really happened: One beautiful summer afternoon my parents came over for dinner. My son really loved my parents. After he was done eating I suggested he stayed in for a while and visited with his grandparents. Aggetated he jumped up on a counter that we had that acted as a divider between the kitchen and dining room and said, "Mom, you know I can't sit that long. I need to go out and play." He was 9 years old.

Boy did it hit me what my son was all about and what he needed. And of course he went out and played.

I know it is harder now because most parents do not allow their kids outside without their presence, but you will find a way.

Good luck,

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I also have a boy with ADHD....I completely understand your frustration.....my boy is 9 and we have battled since he was 2-3.....it is an exhausting lifestyle!! My boy did have to go on meds....and I can say it did help.....we can tell a distinct difference when he is on them and when he is not!! But you can try fish oil tablets which is a "proven" natural way to curb ADHD symptoms. My Dr. said you have a 50/50 chance it will help....my girlfriend (boy is older--14) took her son of prescribed meds and put him strictly on fish oil....happy with her decision. Total Transformation is a series of CD's you can buy to help you parent a child with ADHD (maybe heard the commercials on radio) a little costly like $400.00, but can pay in payments, (or buy outright on E-bay for a little less) but it DOES HELP!! Go to totaltransformation.com and listen to the testimonials.....GREAT!! My best advice I've received is learn to parent a child with ADHD.....you parent them differently!! My 4 1/2 year old NEVER has to be yelled at....she is just more compliant....but my son.....EVERYTHING is a battle!! A book suggestion I received is...."How to behave so your children will too" by Sal Severe....several people recommended it and it is a great resource. Mainly it is learning to parent them....not changing them....you just have to parent differently.....let me know if you want some other tips I have gotten (from school....Dr's...counselors) otherwise GOOD LUCK!!!!! I understand being fed up!!

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I'm not sure I understand...does your husband want your son on meds or not?

At this point you have to do SOMETHING. I am not a big believer in medicine, so I tend to agree with the posters who suggested a diet change. However, you and your family must be prepared for a RADICAL diet change. You can't do tiny pieces of it and expect visable results. Obviously the diet change is a lifestyle change for your entire family and is more energy-consuming than putting him on meds.

As for not wanting to put him on meds...why did you have him diagnosed? If you just wanted an "official" diagnosis of ADHD, then you've got it. I would imagine that you had him go through all of the testing so that you could help him. You cannot let ADHD be an excuse for bad behavior. You either change your parenting style, (dieting, parent behavior) put him on meds, or use the ADHD as an excuse for why he's not learning and behaving.

My sister, who has a son who can push her buttons like no tomorrow (he has quite a few problems) quotes Dr. Phil quite ofthen: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and getting the same result." I get wanting to yell; I have a 7 year old boy and he drives me nuts sometimes! But if the yelling isn't working, then you've got to stop it for your sake and for his.

One other suggestion: Watch Supernanny! If your children aren't as "naughty" as the ones on the show, you'll feel better after watching it, and also you'll get some great ideas to incorporate into your lives.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

First "Stop Yelling"; as you already know this doesn't help him nor you. You need to seek help with care-givers that have experience with this same disorder; ask his doctor/nurse for referrals. Reading "between-the-lines", you refer to your son as "boy" and your daughter as daughter. You are quite upset with your "son's" problem, and I'm sure he feels your anger. I'm sure you love your son, otherwise you wouldn't be asking for help here.
I'm praying for your you and your family.
God Bless!

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First, educate yourself about ADHD. The library is loaded with material on the topic. I myself always go to the childrens department first because they always have simple explanations. (read to your husband if he's willing to listen) Second, get help from your school. Ask the social worker and occupational therapist for tips on coping. These kids need lots of activity and what occupational therapists call "heavy work." Like carring a weighted backpack or pulling a plastic container filled with something. Nothing should be too heavy for a 6 year old to manage. And these kids usually LOVE to be helpers, so you can arrange to let him "help" by carrying something heavy to a neighbors or to the back yard "for Dad." You can try "wall push-ups" (just lean against a wall and push off).
Avoid sugery cereals and treats. Try sweet fruits/raisens instead and "cut" sweet fruit juices with water. No soda pop.
Lots of exercise, try exercise cd's or tapes for rainy days.
Give them lots of important jobs (like stacking magazines neatly, or even putting playing cards neatly back into the boxes.) Finally, getting very close to their face or ear and whispering is 10X more effective in communicating than volume.

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I agree 100% with the effects of artificial dyes! I have 5 boys. My 6 year old is my one "with extra batteries" we like to say. My mom is a Special Ed teacher and even suggested medication. I started paying attention to when he was his behavior was at its worst, then I would look at what he had eaten that day. I found that red dye especially triggered CRAZINESS in him. Now I try to exclude it from all their diets. It is such a difference! I buy all dye free medicine...Tylenol, Benedryl, etc. The crazy thing is that if he needs a prescription, they all have dye in them! I can definitely see the hyper part come back within the hour of taking the medication...even when he is sick!!
He was in Kindergaten this year and did great! I always thought he would get kicked out of Kindergarten:) He was able to sit still and stayed on "green light" the whole year.
I would just start with the obviously dyes foods...the ones that leave his lips and toungue stained and go from there.
HE is still my kiddo with extra batteries, which is just his personality now. The difference is, he is in control of his personality.
Good Luck.

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I didn't have time to read all the other posts here, but speaking as a mother who has raised a son with ADHD, why on earth would you NOT want to medicate him?

Here is what will happen (I am speaking from experience) if you do not medicate him: You can expect an ongoing and escalating pattern of behavioral problems from school and anyone else he is interacting with. As he becomes older he will begin to self-medicate (yes, street drugs and alcohol). And yes, you are going to yell, stomp your feet, pull out your hair - these kids are extremely difficult to deal with because they have absolutely no understanding (THEY ARE PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO COMPREHEND) cause and effect. In other words, he doesn't 'get' why he does what he does.

If you have a proper diagnosis (and it sounds like you do), why would you deprive him of a medication that will help him? Chances are, when he gets older he will think he can control himself without meds (and he might) as my son did, for awhile....and then it gets really bad, I'll spare you the details.

Please get him what he needs and do not listen to parents who do not have children with this disorder, they just don't understand.

Here is an excercise to help understand what it feels like to have ADHD:
1. Look around the room and notice everything brown for 10 seconds.
2. Now look only at your computer screen (don't cheat) and recall only everything red in the room. Frustrating? This is just a tiny fragment of what it feels like to have this disorder. (I learned this at a seminar).

It is your decision of course, and the meds do have side effect, but know that very soon (sooner than you'd like) he will be making decisions about his own body in an attempt to modify his behavior himself in order to fit in.

best of luck to you.


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Ah yes; ADHD can be frusterating:) However, these kids are usually a ton of fun, very inquisitive and usually have a great sense of humor.

Yelling, will only frusterate the both of you. He can only control so much, and it can take years for them to remember to do or not do something. Organization, impulsive behavior, risk taking....

He'll need a lot of coaching, a calm, but firm parenting style, and you'll need a good sense of humor.

Dr. Sears has a good book. Also, something as simple as the 1,2,3 Magic approach (book or DVD for you)can be a good place to start.

Meds are a parents choice, but remember that his brain is wired differently than someone w/out ADHD. In order for him to feel consistent success, meds may help him w/ his impulsivity, organization, as well as how he takes information in during the day at school.

Good Luck:)

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Hi N.,

I was where you are now. I loved my child but he was driving me crazy. I hate to admit this but I was really starting to hate him. My son has Aspergers Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism. I was at my wits end. I was sure he was the problem. After a lot of research I found a great therapist. We started going to see her and we would speak privately about my son. I started to open up to her and she helped me immensely. She started to explain to me how my son's mind works and it really helped. Things are so much better. I have stopped yelling and we are getting along. It is not an easy road but you have to realize that you are the only advocate for your son and you must be on his side. His self esteem and worth are based on how you react to his ADHD. You must convey to him that he is wonderful just the way he is and that he can come to you. Talk to your son's counselor/doctor or join a support group. That has worked for me.

Good luck!

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You've already found out that yelling doesn't work right? First, your son may have ADHD, but he isn't deaf - he hears you. You need to set rules and consequences for breaking those rules and then ABSOLUTELY stick to them - NO second chances. You son needs to learn how to set boundaries for himself which is can do! Also important, designate "yeses". What can he do as an alternative to what he is doing? Have these alternatives available to offer him. Kids need to know what they CAN do, so instead of always saying just "no, don't do that", you can say "hey, lets to this instead". Finally, limit his sugar and make sure he is eating healthy foods. You may want to keep a log of what he eats and see if anything makes his ADHD worse.
He may not have a long attention span but giving him consistent rules to follow, enforcing those rules, and provides "yeses" in his life will help.

Good luck.

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Dear N.,
My heart goes out to you. What a difficult situation you are in. I know, because my sister had a son like yours.
What she found was great nutrition made him a different boy. Now he is in Jr. College, and he knows he can't function without his Shaklee.
I have a little booklet called, "Healthy Kids", which has 111 little stories from moms who found help for all kinds of childhood ills through Shaklee nutrition. There are 10 stories on ADHD, plus lots more on ADD, since these problems are getting so prevalent these days.
I would be glad to send you a copy, if you would like to see how other moms found help for their kids without drugs.
to your sanity,
www.goshaklee.info password DS00579
P.S. Shaklee nutrition could be a great help for you, as well, to help you deal with stress and have the energy to keep up with an active, challenging child. (It gave me my life back, from fibromyalgia.)

1 mom found this helpful

My son has ADD and I used to yell at him all the time. It was aweful, he thought I loved my other kids and not him. It was so hard, I felt so bad about the yelling but he drove me crazy. One day I just decided that I would change how I responded to him. It wasn't easy but I hugged him lots and told him how I loved him and did some special things with him. I took him on errands and left the other kids with my husband. I tried to rebuild our relationship, over several months. Yelling doesn't work especially with a child with ADHD. I'd love to tell you that I never yelled at him again, but I do still sometimes, except now we have a better relationship and he responds to me better. Try to be positive with him and notice the good things he does. Try to find things to keep him busy too.

On another note, my son could still keep his grades up in the grade school even with the ADHD, but when he got in 7th grade his grades dropped and we tried for a year to help him get organized and keep up with the homework. My doctor says that this happens so much with kids with ADHD, when they get to puberty they can't keep up. My husband didn't want to medicate my son so for a year we struggled trying to help him. I told my husband we had to try the medication, my son's confidence in himself was gone, he felt like he was stupid. So this year he has taken a low dose of Adderall and he is back to his old self in school, the teachers love him again and his grades are great. He has thanked me over and over for starting him on the meds, he feels confident in himself again. He doesn't have to take the medication on the weekends or in the summer. Good luck, just remember he needs to know that you love him, he's counting on you as his mom to be the one to help him through life. He needs you. It's not his choice that he has ADHD. I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I just think if you look at him more as a child with a disability it will give you more compassion for him. God bless you, you're going to make it through this, it's not going to be easy but you can do it!!! You're a good mom!!!

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Hi N.,
Don't be hard on yourself. I know yelling is frustrating for you and him, but I am a teacher and have dealt with adhd kids for 7-8 hours at a time and know how difficult it can be. I also understand your concern on medicine. So, please consider the following. I work for a wellness company that sells toxin free cleaners, bath and body products, cosmetics, and supplements. There has been a lot of new research suggesting that the pesticides in our homes is linked to autism and add and adhd. So, first I would start by getting all of these things out of your home. It is really necessary even if he did't have adhd. Secondly, adhd kids have different brain chemistries than you or I. There is a lady in our network of moms helping moms that gave her child two of our supplements (not medications, just vitamins)and her son went from 30 mg of medication to just 10 and only for school. She put it as "now I can deal with him at home, but I would not do that to his teacher". She still felt like he needed something during the school day.
You can check this company out at melaleuca.com. You can order things directly or get a $29 membership similar to cosco or sams club and receive the p.c. prices you will see. I would really recommend at least looking into this. Once on medication, he might stay on it for years, and as he gets older and goes through puberty the dose or even med. might need to change or increase. If there's a better way, that would be awesome!
Any questions, please please feel free to call or email.
Good luck,
Also, you print any of the labels off online and bring them to your doctor to have him/her take a look.

Let me start out my saying that I don't know anything about ADHD. I am responding with the experience of one of my best friends. Her son was diagnosed with ADHD and also has a sensory disorder. She medicated him (but didn't want to) and then started seeing my alternative medicine doctor. She told my friend to cut ALL sugar out of her son's diet. For the time that she followed that instruction, he did much better. She relented to the other kids wanted stuff with sugar, which her son of course got into. But for the time she did it, the no sugar did great for him.

Good luck!

I'm no expert but from my own personal experience. Try enrolling your child in some Martial Arts classes. There are some schools out there that do very well in instilling discipline and self control. If you research it, a few experts have actually said that one of the best things a child with behavioral problems can do is Martial Arts. Karate, Tae Kwon do would be highly recommended. Please make sure you look for a school that believes in teaching the child and not just a number. If you need any school recommendations please feel free to ask me.

Wow, we are two peas in a pod. I am struggling with the same thing right now, my son has ADHD as well. He is 7 years old, we were trying to figure what was wrong for about a year. I just got my son to see Dr. Blair, at Dreyer. He is an ADD specialist. I agree with you that it is a long process. We just went to see him for the first time last week, and I have to say that he has already helped our house. It is quieter, as much as can be right now. I completely understand how you are feeling. There have been times when I have locked myself in the bathroom to get quiet, I would flush the toilet and run the waster just for some sanity. But my son would be beating the door on the other side. I am so understanding what you are going through. My son is not on meds. right now, Dr. wants to hold off and see if behavior modification might be the key to helping him. I hope so!!!! It has been a very long road, one that we are still on. I think this doctor is really going to help us as a family and help my son as an individual. Please feel free to email me... ____@____.com a good day... please email me if you want to talk


I just read an article about this in the May issue of delicious living. You can get it at Whole Foods. See deliciouslivingmag.com maybe it's there too.

according to the article kids w/ autism & ADHD got better w/ elimination of dairy, gluten, & soy; also lists of supplements & parent resources, books & websites

Your reactions are normal. Hang in there. Give yourself timeouts!! I'm sure you have looked into this, however, Nutrition or lack there of can make a HUGE difference in the childs behavior. Please take a look at the website below. I know of many parents who decided to take a good look at the amount of Whole Foods, Fruits and Veggies, that are given to their child daily. Once introduced to the Whole Food concept, drastic changes for the better are experienced. Find a doctor who knows alot about nutrition, not just medication. Hope this helps.
N. - Nutrition Naturally


Although the behavior exhibited by children with ADHD makes you and everyone else want to yell, this is probably not helpful for anyone. Structure is probably what is most helpful and heading off problems before they become problems. Physical outlets are also important.

There is a huge body of information on how to manage children with this diagnosis and probably the web is a good source. In addition, school specialists might offer information that would be helpful before their testing is complete.

Good luck.


Medication is not always bad. However, doctors and schools are quick to use that as a total answer. Go to Wrigtslaw.com (I think that's the right address). They help parents with special education needs, including ADHD. They help you deal with the schools and the IEP plan your son will get. He will be labeled and you need to advocate for his rights. This site will help you find the information you need to do this. We had a good doctor who was conservative on medicating. My son took Ritalin, low dosage, twice a day, before school and after. He did not take it on weekends. It helped tremendously! If your doctor won't work with you on this and just gives you an RX and hope it works, find another doc. Don't trust the school psychologist for info because in Illinois School Psychiatrists do not have to have a doctorate in psychology! Your son needs you to structure his care. If you do, your life and his will be better. You're absolutely right, a pill is not the answer. It is a tool to help you.

I hear you, sister! I'm a teacher! Basically what I've learned with my ADHD students is that they're fine so long as they're constantly busy. If you're going on a walk to the park, bring a toy in case he gets bored. Dominos is AMAZING with my adhd kids. I don't know why-- maybe building things uses their whole bodies and imagination. Any toy that can be used and re-used a hundred times and still be new-- that's versitile, is good. Like legos etc.

Have you considered occupational therapy? It's not medication and wow does it help! I've had difficult students whose parents take their kids to therapists and they can give me some of the pointers their therapist gives them and some of them are so simple and clever! It's really impressive!

I also have an adult friend with ADHD and he says what helps him is structure and organization. He says his mind is already everywhere, so if his apartment is spick and span it helps to calm and focus him. I've noticed the same thing with my students-- they're usually not bad until they're in unstructured situations like lunch or standing in line (boring!). Try to make your son's day as structured as you can-- have time for games-- the same time every day-- time for homework, time for quiet reading or other quiet stuff, time for bath... but always on schedule. Amazing the difference that makes.

The last thing I've learned, your title made me think of: Those who cannot hear a scream may strain to hear a whisper. Maybe don't yell. Change up your tactics with punishments and rewards.

Good luck!!!! You'll do fine. I know some very successful adults with adhd and they're lovely people!

This may sound strange to you, but it could help quite a bit to back away from some of the toxins you may have in your home. Let me explain. There are tons of chemicals in our cleaning products and personal care products, and they are actually really harmful to our health. We leave a toxic sludge behind where we clean, and the chemicals linger in the air making our indoor air pollution 2-5x inside than out! These chemicals really do a number on kids causing a huge increase in the rate of allergies, asthma, cancer ADD, ADHD and other behavioral disorders. Switching to non-toxic cleaning products can make a big difference. See my website for more info - I'd be glad to send you some information if you would be willing to look at it. It can't hurt to try (and you'd be going green and saving money at the same time since our products are super concentrated.) Good luck!



My son, now 17, was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 8 years old. I use to yell a lot also. I am not sure of what kind of pointers you want so I will tell you some things we have done in the past. Give him two choices instead of many (we were told that if you take him into 31 flavors and tell him to pick a flavor, he would get to anxious, instead tell him you can have chocolate or strawberry then he can give you an anwser right away.) If he is asking a lot of questions, then make up five question cards, tell him he can ask five questions and each time give you a card, after the fifth time, he needs to accomplish the task. If my son would get to excited, anxious we had a cool down time (he would go to his room and look at a book or draw to cool down) for 20 minutes then he can continue with what he was doing, within time he would go himself to the cool down time and then come back. If he got nervious over something we planned to do (we signed him up for a camp) we found out not to tell him until the time to go, then he would not get nervious about it and ask us millions of questions for days instead he would ask us the five questions and then be satisfied. Please note thought that when he was 16 we found out that he was wrongly diagnosed with the ADHD and instead we found out that he has asperger (sorry about the spelling). Hope this helps you.

First off let me say *hugs*!! I know what you are going through. My 8 yr old son has ADHD, he was diagnosed over a year ago and we have had a really rough past few years. He is on medication. It's a decision only you can make and believe me I know it's not something parents want to do but sometimes it's what you need to do. I still have a really rough time with him...but with his meds it's not constant. I am in no way trying to talk you into putting your son on medication, just telling you about our experience. Hang in there, it's a rough road. :)

N., I know you have probably heard alot of bad things about medication but it will probably be a life saver. It may take some trial and error but if you get the right medication you

might just be a happy mom again !! Good luck

Hi N.,
Change his diet. No suger or simple carbs. Lots of protein, fresh fruits & veggies. This has kept my niece off meds for her ADHD.

My 6 year old has not been diagnosed..yet...I know it is coming soon.
I am a single mom of 4, I used to yell alot! One of the things I have discovered is that if I make it clear what I want done and give consequences to follow thru on them. No yelling just follow thru on the "go to your room" or whatever. Also, when the voices start to get raised, make yours calmer and calmer almost to the point of a whisper. It throws them off and they have to concentrate to hear you. I think it calms them to see you not worked up when they are! Another thing I noticed is that keeping him going and involved is a huge plus! Soccer, baseball, what ever...keep him moving as much as possible. Homework has even been better since baseball season started! Just make your expectations clear, as well as the punishment, and whisper so they have to slow down. I also send myself for a time out when I get to the point of screaming. I lock myself in my room, then the bathroom and turn the tub on. After a few minutes I am good to go. If not climb in the tub and relax! (I take my 3 year old with me on these trips to the bathroom).

Good Luck!

I know it's a very difficult deccision to put a child on medication. However, it may make an enormous difference in his life and your families life. Your son cannot help some of the things he does, and yelling makes no difference. Research a low dose of medication or some natural supplements. Maybe the doctor you work for can help you understand better a make a wise decision. Good Luck. S.

Hi N.,
I agree with Amanda and that your son may need a diet change. Be especially aware of foods with artificial colors (they are in more things than you know)! Red #40 is the worst one but anything artificial is bad.

Good Luck!

WOW, I could have wrote this. I too have a child with ADHD, but he was 3 1/2 when I realized something wasn't right. He is 7 1/2 now. I was yelling all the time. Raising a child with ADHD takes a lot of patience. What I did was changed his diet, stopped yellling, routine, routine, routine, visuals, and VITAMIN B. I know every child with ADHD is differnet, there are a number of different characteristics, so unless your child has severe ADHD where it is also a mix of bipolar, I would suggest NOT medicating. Medicating may be easy now but in the long run, the side effect are dangerous and you will regret it when your child is an adult. Besides, no one ever said parenting was easy. With my son as long as I had a very strict routine with him, he knew what to expect, it may take a week or two to get him used to something, but after he got used to it, then there was no yelling, and life was smooth. Also, the visuals, all kids, especially kids wtih ADHD do best with visuals. Make charts for everything! Praise him when he does well. And go overboard with the praise. And finally, stop the yelling. The most effective way to get his attention is to bend down to his eye contact level, hold his arm or hand and be very specific. Last but not least, research the effets of Vitamin B. It helps produce seratomin (sp?) in the frontal lobe. That is what children with ADHD are missing is the natural chemical the frontal lobe part of the brain is not producing. This is what calms people and helps them rationalize.
Good luck.

I think you are doing just what you need, to talk to others and educate yourself. Russell Barkley is a leading expert with ADHD and I would read his books and glean information from him regarding this subject. Also, to think about getting references of psychologists who could help as well while you are at home. Medication is always a difficult thing and I would want to try things at home very strongly (e.g., like a behavior plan) before I would go to that option. It is more helpful to kids who are more hyperactive than inattentive. Trying to do a lot of behavioral things with him like token economies,behavioral charting would be helpful to try and get in a good positive behavioral patterns as kids with ADHD tend to get a lot of negative feedback everywhere. It also will be helpful to get the report from school, that way you can look at things he does well and build off of his strengths and see where he needs help. Best of luck.

Sounds like he really needs to be put on medications. I know parents don't like to medicate their kids but sometimes they really need it. Think of it this way. If he was sick with an infection or something like that would you withhold medications from him??????


I have been there. My son was diagnosed at the same age. I was all for putting him on medication and my husband was not. An alternative, believe it or not, is caffine. Caffine in kids with ADHD works the opposite than it does with non ADHD. Where for us it would make us wired, for them it calms them down. The brain NEEDS the stimulation to work. The same is true with the meds. If someone without ADHD were to take ADHD medication it would be like taking speed. Our doctor told us to let him have the caffine, chocolate milk and even soda, mountain dew being the best. If my son has to do something that I know will require alot of attention on his part I make him drink a pepsi. I was so agaist soda for my kids and when they did get it as a treat it was always noncaffine, like root beer or 7up. It's a hard transition for me but it's better for them.

Talk to your pediatrition (sp) about the medication. Alot of them are safe though sometimes it takes a while to get find the right one. My son was on a few different ones until we found one that works.

I know it's hard to deal with a child with ADHD that is not on medication but you have to remember that they can NOT control it. They are so over stimulated and thier brain can not follow one thing from beginning to end. It's frustrating to them also which is why I know in my case my son was always angry and easily irritated.

If you can get him on meds please do it. He is just starting school and each grade will only get harder for him.

Your not a bad mom, your just human. The unfortunate part is you are yelling at him for something he can not control. As much as you and your husband don't understand it, imagine how your son feels. When giving your son directions to do something like put your shoes and jacket on and get in the car, you need to take it one step at a time and keep redirecting him. Start with put your shoes on. When he completes that then move on to put your jacket on. If he gets distracted while performing the task you need to remind him, calmly, to put his shoes on. He truly forgot what you said to do and needs to be reminded.

The good thing is the weather is finally getting nice and you can send him outside to burn off some of the energy he has. We invested in a trampoline and it works wonders. My son will jump and bounce for hours. It helps him and it gives you some peace.

I'm sorry this is so long it's just that I know exactly what you are feeling. Please consider meds and if not try the caffine. Chocolate milk is the best because they get thier milk for the day as well as the caffine. Please hang in there and realize that you are human. I know how frustrating it can be but he cannot control it. He will react to how you react.

Good luck!


I take fish oil and drink coffee for my ADD. It may be worth investigating. I know that they do give fish oil to children to help symptoms of ADD, and coffee is definately reccomended for adults with ADD...sure felps me. Also, Ihave heard of some parents being thrilled by chiropractic care for their children's ADD and being thrilled with the results. Personally I think my mother had the right idea, hippie that she is LOL...lots of fresh air and exercise, schedules, and she never fed us a lot of prepared foods. Good luck, and hang in their.

Wow! You have a lot of responses and I don't want to repeat others. There are lots of alternative/complementary treatments out there. The two I feel most strongly about are diet changes and neurofeedback. Each child is different with the diet changes, but if you haven't already, I'd recommend seeing an allergist and a nutritionist. Simple changes or supplements can make a big difference. Our son takes cod liver oil every day and you can completely tell when we forget a dose.

Neurofeedback (where children play a video game controlled by their minds while hooked up to an EEG) has had very promising long term results for ADD and ADHD. Many insurance companies now cover it too.

I also recommend the book Getting Rid of Ritalin by Robert W. Hill. There are many other great reads out there too.

Good luck!

Have you read "How to Raise Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka? This book is AMAZING and I highly recommend it.
Otherwise, if you are certain of the ADD/ADHD diagnosis, have you looked into allergens or other triggers? Very often dairy and food dyes can cause these symptoms. It might by something to check out if you are really against medication.

Hi, I am a chiropractor that specializes in children and I have seen a number of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. I would recommend you take him to a chiropractor that specializes in children ( any regular chiro wont have the patience for him or know how to handle him or know how to calm him down to even treat him). You can find one close to where you live by going to icpa4kids.com That site also has great research you could read about the treatment and its positive effects for ADHD. I am located in Villa Park if you are interested.

I would head straight for adjusting the diet and finding what food trigger good behavior and negative behaviours. I heard of a facility that does testing for young children with a wide spectrum of needs. I believe their name is Pfeiffer International. It's in the area.

I understand the feeling of not wanting to be around your kids some times. Having kids is such a challenge and it points all of our flaws. Just take a deep breath, or walk into another room when you really hit the boiling point. Be as consistent as you can with your son and send the direct message that you are the rule maker, but he is responsible for his actions. As you go through the process look for some sort of trigger for him to remember to keep his actions in check. Make sure to use this same trigger/key word phrase at home, school, and all outside activities. It will really help when he starts to get wild.

My son now 33 was diagnosed at age 8 with ADHD. We went to a wonderful doctor who had us buy a book but I can not remember it's name that had an 8 step program to follow. The program has been around for years and is a behavorial modifaction program it was a life saver. You can use the program with all your children at the same time. This was it is the same rules for all and no one seems to get special treatment. Good Luck and remember ADHD is s lifetime problem and teaching him the program now and reinforcing it thru the years will help him and you.

HI N.. I am sorry you are going through this and I can so relate. I yelled all the time as well and my son is now 7. he was tested for ADD/ADHD in kindergarten which was negative, I had his ears tested and eyes tested twice. I finally took him to be evaluated at the pediatric place and learned that although he has 20/20 vision he does not see that way- he had binoccular vision and occular vision and needed to go to OT once a week as well as see a behavioral vision dr every other month- I highly recommend dr syphered who also specializes in ADD etc.. anyway, because of the way he sees he moves around alot- which looks like add. thats not all after all this hard work and a lot of money the school just finished testing him for autism/ashbergers and again negative. I took him to personal growth associates which stunk I got no feed back etc. so I took him to neuro psych they were awesome! so much feedback. they gave him an IQ test and really looked at him. we were told he had features of tourettes which in turn some of theese kids have learning disabilities, OCD, anxiety and depression. my son, it hurts me to say this but sometimes hes just not nice- he laughs at people when they make mistakes and is always commenting "I am better then you at.." the one think I learned- dr sypherd gave me a book on dyslexia- which means learning disability is that we parents get angry and frustrated and its hard to stop and realize these kids do want to learn. we expect them to control themselves and we cant control ourselves. I have a jar I put a quarter in everytime I yell- later I can take the kids out for ice cream. it really made me realize how much I was doing it and when I hear my sister do that on the phone with her kids I think how terrible that sounds and I sound like that. I also started a marbe jar and the kids get a marble everytime they do something good or nice- the neuro dr advised to never take a marble out for doing something bad rather have a seperate naughty jar. thats pretty much stopped and when my son misbehaves I have him write 25 times or a time out. If its really bad no video games and it is so important to follow through. We are now waiting for our appointment at sedom to have him evaluated for CAPD which is central processing disorder. I cant wait. things are better but I know we have a long road to travel and I pray that maybe by the time he is ten things will fall into place. good lucK

my older son is now 7 1/2, he was diagnosed adhd in kindergarden. i fought for 2 years not to medicate him but after much research and talking to my inlaws (nephews are also adhd)we put him on meds. it has taken 3 years to find the "perfect" med. this along with diet changes, and his school, he has become a much happier and easier to deal with boy. he has his moments of adhd stuff, but is is a lot better than it was. he told us he feels better and can do better in school. i also read ADDITUDE magazine. good luck.
M. silver

I feel for you N.. My son was finally diagnosed with pervasive dev disorder which is on the spectrum of Autism. He has sensory integration and a seizure disorder too. The seizure disorder was found first. I definitley hear you on it being a long process. It takes forever and I still think that Erik is more severe then what they diagnosed so I am taking him to an Autism clinic. I have to make the appt. I also feel for you, because I know how it is. Alot of the symptoms that a child with ADD and ADHD and Autism have are very similiar. So, i know exactly what you mean. good luck, and know that you are not alone. I would love to talk if you ever would like to. PM me if that is of interest. Us moms have to stick together to stay sane right? My sons name is Erik and he just turned 5 by the way.

S. Bailey CLD


I have a 5 year old boy with SPD (sensory processing disorder) and I sympathize with you. There are days that I feel like a raving lunatic because my son just won't listen.
My husband and I have impossed a reward system for good behavior and to track the issue both at Pre-School and a School District ECE program we have a star rating for the day for three issues: following directions; participation in circle (group time) and listening. So far this is working, we also have a spiral notebook that goes back and forth from home to school everyday. Somedays are still crazy but life is slowly becoming less crazy.
Talk with his teachers and your doctor to discuss avenues to pursue (sports, etc).
Good Luck.

I had the same situation with my son. I didn't go the medication route and am now sorry. He struggled his whole life, had teachers who would not put up with the distractions and treatd him like a "bad" child all the time, needed special one on one school help but the classes were filled with mentally challanged kids (where ADH kids DO NOT BELONG. My son was kept busy in sports which he loved but that was not enough though necessary. Proper meds would have been the route to go. I now understand that the meds don't have to leave them in a doper state, there are less strong meds and the dr. will find the proper one. Good luck mommy. I hope I have been helpful.p.s. yelling frustrates you and your son. Take him by the hand and help him with whatever needs to be done. Remember their attention span is short...don't give him too much to do at a time (the buggest problem of schooling).

The more you yell, the less effective it becomes! It is time to look at medication because ADHD is definitely affecting his ability to deal with you! His relationships with teachers and other authority figures can also make it difficult for him to grasp what he needs to learn in school. Since the summertime is coming, you should begin medication now so that you can learn to properly give the right dosage. ADHD also affects his friendships too. Kids can be cruel but parents can be less forgiving about allowing a "hyper" kid coming over to their house. Maybe a little one-on-one time with him (without yelling) can also make him feel good. Kids sense when their not wanted and he might be acting up even more because he doesn't know what else to do!

Hi N.,

There is hope! I have many stories from moms who have made changes in cleaning products, diet and nutritional supplements which have changed their lives. I have a booklet called Healthy Kids which has some ADHD stories. It's hard to believe, but one child's behavior problems was triggered by a particular cleaning product she was using and that story is in the book. We aren't aware of how chemicals can affect children. I would be happy to send you a copy of the booklet if you let me know where to send it or you could pick it up at my house. I live in Downers Grove.

My suggestion is to seek help yourself rather than wait for the school system. Try Easter Seals in Oak Park Illinois or Tuesdays Child in Chicago. Either of these places would be able to help you. Good Luck and Best Wishes

I am a mother of an autistic child. He is 7 now. I first wanna say that start by reducing the yelling. A child often shuts down when all they hear is yelling. Try to be a little more patient. Sooth yourself whether it be by taking a deep breath or drinking some coffee, etc.. Get help by a therapy center. Make some phone calls and see if you can get some type of therapy where it can help the both of you. Ask his teacher of different ideas or other techniques that they use in the class in which you too can carry at home. There is hope and just want to encourage you that it will get better, but you have to make a first step and try to be very positive. Try to do things he really enjoys. And after every good task reward him. Doesn't have to be with always buying something but either with a snack or favorite toy he can play with at the moment. But please I have done the whole yelling thing myself and it just made everything worse, especially on myself because you are using all the energy on the wrong thing. It takes time but these children have lots of potential. Have a blessed mother's day! ;)

I can tell you from experience in a classroom for nine years that they become immune to yelling. You find yourself hoarse, worn-out, and frustrated and they are still going about their business without a care in the world. So save yelling for the most important of circumstances....like someone running out into the street.

From my experience in a school system I found that the majority of children diagnosed with ADHD didn't suffer from anything but inconsistent, far too lenient parenting. Some kids are just more work than others. Some are more stubborn and headstrong than others. It is all about personality. My little brother would have surely been diagnosed with such a disorder, but my mother had a brother just like him and did what her mother did. She applied constant, fair, very strict and exact punishment. She never let him slide when he broke the rules. There were days when he spent more time in time-out than he did out...literally. He hated time-out with a passion because he was so high strung. She constantly lectured him on behaving, following the rules, and paying attention. When he started school she always backed the teachers because she knew how he was. She never told them in advance, but took their word for it when they would call. After awhile Ed would come home and tell my mom a teacher was going to call.

I have to admit now that my mother has confessed on more than one occasion that Ed was so much work that if he had come first there wouldn't have been two more children in the family.

As a teacher I often found great relief in a child that was medicated, but I wondered if some very consitent harsh discipline wouldn't have done just as well.

I don't blame you for not wanting to medicate him. I found that many of my students on medication were just zombies. I don't know if things have improved much or not.

So I would ask if you have researched diet for one. My aunt had very good success with modifying her son's diet. No sugar, no white flour, no packaged foods, and as little food with preservatives as possible. Combine that with very strict rules and consequences and you have something to work with. I have to say both my brother and my cousin faired well.

Here are a few things that my mother and aunt used:
1.) Always be consistent...never let a single thing slide....exact pre-described consequences immediately for bad behavior.
2.) Always make your little one look you in the eyes when you are speaking to him. If you have to get up forty times a day to speak to him, then so be it. He has to look you in the eyes. I would suggest this to the teacher as well.
3.) Constantly remind your child that you are the parent and you know what is best. They have to listen to you period.
4.) Constantly remind that them that though you may get angry or frustrated, you love them with all your heart always.
5.) Make the majority of their diet fresh foods.
6.) Always be 100% consitent. If you make a threat, then always follow through. That is the biggest mistake parents make in general and definitely the biggest for a parent that has an ADHD child. If you tell him he will suffer a consequence for a certain behavior then jump on it as soon as he pushes the limit. NEver, never let it slide.

Hope some of that ramble helps.

I know that you've already gotten a number of responses, but I'll add my 2 cents worth in case it helps. I have nephew who is now 16. His teachers in K, 1st and 2nd grade all told my sister-in-law that he has ADD, but for lots of different reasons, she didn't want to hear it. My aunt, who ran a special school outside of Dallas for children with learning difficulties, spend an hour with him and said he had ADD. Finally, when he was going into 3rd grade (I think) she took him to a doctor who officially diagnosed him. He started on medication. First,ritalin, now concerta. He has gone from the kid who couldn't sit still, couldn't learn, spend every other day in the principal's office, to a bright, smart, pleasant person who is doing extremely well in school. I am thrilled for him and for my sister-in-law. Although it is sad that it took a long time for him to get on track, he has recovered so well and doesn't seem to have missed out on too much from the early years. I know that there are many cases of over-medication and over-diagnosis, but in the cases where it is truly needed, it can work wonders. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try any and all alternatives, but if the time comes that you say either "this isn't working" or "we need more" the medications really do help the right people. Good luck.

Hi N.. I know the frustration you are going through. Our son to had ADD. We knew something was not right as soon as he started school (so did the teachers) but my husband did not want to admit it until he was in 4th grade. At that time we did see adocotr and out him on medicine. It was the BEST thing we ever did. He even wrote us a letter and thanked us. It took awhile to find the right one for him as many of them (like Ritilin) give you the highes and lows throughout the day, and then they have to take it at school which is embnarrising for them. We findly found a drug called concerta and it worked great for him. But as you say it was a long road before we got to that point. The good news is he is doing fine now and has actually grown out of taking it. He is 19 now. I don't know if I have helped you or not but hang in there. I have read many reponses to your letter and I to heard diet makes a difference and if you can do it GREAT. Sometimes that is not that easy, especially if you have a very busy family life. Good luck to you.
Also, know that if your child goes to a public school as my son did they have many special programs that can help and they are wonderful.

My son, 12, was diagnosed with ADHD as a toddler. We have always eaten a healthy diet, never used toxic products in our home, had a daily rhythm and very limited electronic media exposure. I implemented every natural strategy to support him as we moved through the years. The one thing I was unwilling to do was medicate him. I knew there was a message that he was bringing and I was not hearing it. As a result of his tenacity and my unwillingness to accept a "professional" diagnoses, we now homeschool. I am witnessing the unfolding of a beautiful being that would have been numbed down with meds and an antiquated educational system that doesn't work... all in an attempt to have him conform to a set of standards that were making us both crazy! It required me to be willing to go against the status quo, to trust the genius in my son and adjust my thinking and our life to foster this amazing transformation. I beg of you to research the alternatives. Most renegade geniuses would have been diagnosed ADHD. From Einstein to Bill Gates, Michelangelo to Bono, none of them fit the mold that society dictated. Trust me, I know what you are going through. Persevere. Here are a few books that helped me get my head on straight: The DaVinci Method by LoPorto, The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child by Thom Hartmann, A Call to Brilliance by Brown. The insight from these and many other books gave me the strength to do what I needed to do for my son. May they be a source of inspiration for you a well. Blessings on you both.

Educate yourself. A book was just released last week called Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Bock, M.D.

This book explains medically and scientifically what is going on with ADHD kids and how you can improve or even reverse the condition. It has details on how to implement many of the suggestions the other moms have posted.

N. M.

Our son was just diagnosed with ADHD also. Its very frustrating. We made the mistake and put him on some meds, well the side effects were not worth the result. A friend of mine in into Natural stuff, she suggested going the a Health Food Store and see if they have something. We have our son on some on the Natural meds, we see some good results. But he still has tantrums and outbursts, due to the inbalance. We find the more we yell the worse it gets. We women know how frustrating it is when we are trying to get out the door at a certain time. I think the more you read on it and tell your husband that he has to understand how your son feels. (Mine was the same in the begininng) He can't control the some of the things that he does. There are so many websites. Good Luck and remember your son can't help some of his action. I always keep that in mind, because it is true.

Hi - I'm a bit late at responding to your request, but here's my bit. I was FINALLY diagnosed as having ADHD at age 40, after the birth of my son. In a nutshell, what I went through as a kid having ADHD and never being treated for it (no one ever heard of it at that time) is something I wouldn't want for any other kid. I had the ADHD that instead of being hyper, I was in "my own little world".
I knew I wasn't stupid - in fact I always tested high on standarized test, but I couldn't remember or focus on anything I wasn't super intersted in. EVERY report card said "doesn't pay attention", daydreams in class," etc. I remember my mother screaming at me "What's wrong with you! - Why can't you remember a simple thing!" (she'd send me to the store and I'd forget what I went there for).
It really did a number on my self-esteem. I really wanted to study and do well, but I'd start reading on a subject I wasn't really intersted in and my mind would instantly start wandering about anything - I'd read the same paragraph 3 times and have no clue what I read. I struggled and was a C student. Now, after being on medication for the past 4 years, it's a whole world of difference to me - I can focus on a task, remember details and not feel stupid for forgetting I told someone something the day before, and repeating the story the next day.
I'm glad some of the other Mothers are having good results with natural remedys, but please don't be afraid to use medication. It has made a world of difference in my life - if I could go back and be able to focus in school, I'm guessing I would have done really well, instead of just getting by.
I still have my moments, medication is not a magic elixir, but I KNOW I'm better, and things are easier.
Good luck, J.

My kindergartener was diagnosed with ADHD and put on Ritalin this year, and it is fantastic. No yelling, much less frustration (it doesn't completely change him, he'll always be easily distracted), but it's so much better for all of us. He himself likes taking it, because he wants to do well in school. His daily report cards used to have lots of frowny faces and now they are all stars. Don't let popular foolish misconceptions about medications prevent you from doing what's best for your son.

HI N., as a teacher and a mom, i can identify withthe frustrations of loosing ones patience, even with someone you love dearly. You have gotten a lot of great advice from other moms already--educating yourself on methods of communicating and helping your son learn how to cope with his disability is very very important. Recognizing he has a disability can be an emotional process---find a group you can meet with to talk and share your frustrations with. Also, if a doctor suggests medication, consider it. Research and educate ourself. I have seen amazing turn arounds in children who are put on the right medication--but it takes time to get everything running smoothly, which is why it is so important that you do something as soon as he is diagnosed and you can begin addressing the problem with a professional, before he is at risk of hindering his learning experiences at school.

stay positive!

Man, hugs to you mama! I work at a public school teaching music so I see all age groups and all abilities of children and I can only imagine how rough it is to live with a child with ADHD. The only thing I can recommend immediately is to schedule a meeting with a holistic practicioner. I truly believe a lot of the ADHD cases can be linked to a food or environmental allergy. It would be a shame to overlook what could be a simple and painless (med-less) solution. Also, talk to his classroom teachers and find out what works with them. At that age, school is very scheduled and methodical, so they may be able to give you suggestions of what works with him at school. Finally, by all means, try to get away! Lean on friends and family to care for your son so you can regroup and de-stress. If you're yelling a lot, it might mean that you've overstretched your boundaries. Getting a massage, treating yourself to Ethel's chocolate cafe, or going for regular walks might help.

I'm a mom of 2 a son with ADD and a daughter with ADHD. Both are on med the reason is they were doing poorly in school and being disruptive to the other kids in class. I understand not wanting meds now but my ped suggested taking it during school year and having vacations off of them. Mine are on Adderall and Focalin, it has made a world of difference in their grades and in how the other kids respond to them. Best of Luck to you. B.

Having read up on all of the medications offered, I too have decided not to medicate. The side effects were too much for me, and can be life changing as well. I have taken the natural approach, and it has worked wonders for me. Go to Nativeremedies.com and check out the ADD and ADHD section. They offer herbal remedies that work with no side effects, and no chemicals. It might not work for everyone, but it definately helped us.

I understand what you mean by not wanting to put him on meds. There are other options available.. to try. If they don't then you might have to resort to the pills. But Here are a few things I discovered. A lot of our food we eat on a every day basis affects our kids brains. Learn about the different sugars and food dyes that can make this illness worse. Also, there are a few homeopathic remedies available at your local whole foods market. If you search on line, your search would be "homeopathic remedies for ADHD" I feel for you, as I was reading this, it reminds me of myself and my 6 year old girl. She makes me feel crazy too. Good luck and I hope this helps.

Hi N.,

I am sure that you may not have time to read thru all your messages, you've gotten quite a response from this and they run the gammot - from pro-drugs, anti-drugs and go natural (which blows my mind sometimes, because even herbal remedies are drugs... they are earth's medicine and should still be viewed as 'drugs' - tobacco is a plant, but it's still bad to smoke it...but i digress) and allergies, etc.

Now you have a diagnosis, you can at least take a breath and can move forward into the mindset that your goal now is to help him. I too believe that there could be a whole spectrum of things that can cause this, and I still believe that a lot of the symptoms of ADHD could be environmental, psychological, chemical, etc. So that being said, every case is a bit different. My daughter was in an early development thing funded by the state because she was shown to be 'at risk' for developing problems in learning. She was in the IEP program during her grade school years and I was very pleased with how our school handled it. The school psychologist is not to be confused with a psychiatrist... they have special education in dealing with the psychology of children, social workers are not to be confused with psychologist's either... the same way that your child's teacher shouldn't be confused with a college professor. The level of education is clearly different... but they are professionals in their fields all the same. My daughter was treated so well by the school's professionals... they worked with her from every angle... assistance with her acedemic work, making sure she didn't feel singled out, or labeled, and really took the time and effort to address her self esteem. She still battles with attention problems and I am not immune to losing my temper sometimes, but once your mindset changes and you understand (TRULY understand) your patience will get better, and you know that yelling isn't effective. We had to be sure to give our daughter one-step directions, any more than that and she would get lost and not do the task at all. We got this information from the school psychologist and social worker and it helped TREMENDOUSLY.

So what now? Well, I think that you need to attack the problem from all angles, and approaches. He may be having allergies to food coloring, or other factors, he may have blood sugar problems (I am a total "B" and have a short fuse when my blood sugar drops) he could have a problem with the chemistry in his brain, maybe it's a reaction to the dynamics of family life... maybe he's stressed out, or not challenged enough - maybe he's simply not a good match with his teacher (my daughters 2nd and 3rd grade teacher was amazing! If I could afford to send this woman to Jamaica for a week as a thank you for what she did for us, I would do it - she is the most amazing teacher I have ever dealth with).

So, work with the school, his doctors, a homeopathic doc if you like that idea best, and if you are feeling like you don't want to even be around him, please seek some form of help for yourself as well... your son really needs you and at 6 yrs old, he's just not ready to mentally handle your frustration and anger. I don't believe you want to feel this way so instead of putting the pressure on him to be better, try to step back, take a breather and maybe consider some medication for yourself to be all the mother you can be. I do know how very stressful it can be... and the whole family will be affected by the tension.

p.s. my daughter has short term memory problems - and the social worker and psychologist and two doctors have mentioned that it might be related to her difficult labor and delivery (72 hour labor) - they said there is a definite connection between children with learning disabilities and labors that were long and difficult, they just cannot pinpoint what it is. so.... food for thought.

Good luck!


Please, please, do your son a favor. If you have exhausted environmental and dietary modifications, and he still exhibits ADHD symptoms, please put him on medications. It may take a few tries to find one that works for him, but it is worth it. ADHD is a chemical imbalance in the brain that one is simply born with, and is treatable with meds. If your son was born with diabetes, you wouldn't hesitate giving him insulin, would you? Same thing with ADHD. Our experience was similar, and we now have the fun, and more focused child that we had always wanted, lol. Within a few days, your child himself will even notice a difference, and will be happier. No kid wants to be the "different" one, and remember, it IS about him, not you. Have you ever thought that he really doesn't WANT you yelling at him? Moments are tough still, but so much better...for him AND you! And, if you wait too long, he'll have even fallen behind in school because of his inability to concentrate, sit still at his seat, or even play nicely with his peers. (You'd really be surprised if you talk to your school nurse how many kids are on meds.) I hope this helps, good luck. It took us three years to put our son on meds, and I regret waiting that long when we saw such an improvement in him almost immediately. Best wishes.


Yelling isn't going to do anything but get you upset. He cannot help what he is doing if he is truly ADHD. If medication is needed so be it - I was totally against it as well. However, as I mentioned to another mom who has a very hyper child...I sought help for the impulsiveness at the Health and Research Institute - Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Warrenville, IL. It was a chemical imbalance my son had and was treated for through their vitamin program. Was he diagnosed by a doctor? I don't quite understand what kind of testing the school needs to do with him. I would also suggest counseling for both parents and the child. Counseling will help you deal with what your son is going through, and will help him as well.

C. T.

Hi N.,

My first child was ADHD and I also yelled alot. It really does not do any good. I found that I needed to seperate myself from him for a few minutes. I also tried to explain to him that I was not upset with him but with his behavior and that I realized he could not help it. It will be a big help if you can limit (or eliminate) sugar and red food dye in his diet. I am willing to listen or do whatever I can to help. Give me some ideas as to what you need help with specifically if you can pinpoint it. I know there are lots of things. I also ended up putting my child on medicine and it gave us both alot of relief. I am like all the others, I am not saying that you should or should not put him on medicine but don't rule it out totally. I am 50 and for a long time I too was on medicine for ADHD.


I have a child with ADHD and tried just about everything. The doctors put him on meds at 4. I agreed since they told me he needed it or his develpmental delays would get worse. I asked about diet and they said it was not proven. Well... he didn't do better but actually fell off the charts with weight and growth. I took him off the meds and tried the feingold diet. That works for him. I find if I keep him 100% organic and no salicilates then life is good. The diet is hard in the beginning but so worth it for us. We have been doing it for 3 years now. Life is still not a peice of cake but much easier. My husband was a skeptic at first until he gave him something we wasn't suppose to have. He went crazy within 5 minutes.

I know it is hard and scarey to put your child on medication. I, too, have a son (15 now) with
ADHD and I was asked a long time ago if I would hesitate to medicate my child if they
had any other illness that would benefit from medicine. It's true. The medication can help
get him to a place where he can learn, socialize, build self esteem and be happy. Mostly i it may save your relationship with him, which is the most important thing he needs in his life.
Good luck, it is a long hard road but these kids have a lot to love about them.

I work with a wellness company that strives to make our lives safer and healthier. I have a rather long testimonial that you would find interesting to read. I would prefer to send it to your e-mail address if you would be willing to give it to me. This is a proven, healthy alternative rather than medication. Please respond to ____@____.com or call me at ###-###-####. Thank you and I hope you respond.

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