September 08, 2011,
S.W. asks from Hobart, IN on March 13, 2009
ADHD And Mountain Dew
I just had a parent teacher conference this week and the teacher asked if i had my son medicated at home. I was extremely upset. I just went online and researched add and adhd and he does have aslo of the same symptoms for adhd. I have heard about using mountain dew to calm the symptoms and would like to know if anyone else has used the same thing. I am extremely against drugging my child! I used to work in a daycare and dealt with alot of add/adhd children on meds and they didnt even act like children. I dont find my child horrible at home and his grades are all a's and b's except for the recent c. Please help me help my child!!!!!
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you everyone for the good advice. I am not seeing any probs at home other than him being a normal kid, so for now I am going to let him be a kid. He gets awesome grades and no other teacher has ever had a problem with his behavior. Im pretty sure getting him into an after school sport will help. Once again thank you everyone for all of your help.
M.R. answers from Chicago on March 13, 2009
(I'm taking a deep breath and hoping I don't offend anyone...)
I think I have to comment on the soda issue before I can address the ADD/ADHD diagnosis issue. NO soda is good for kids. No matter what the symtoms. EVER.
High Fructose Corn Syrup- no matter what you see from the corn industry, it is not good stuff. WHY? The commercials glaze over why "we" hear it's bad don't they? Here is a list if you're curious: It is digested by the liver instead of the stomach, it is often made from genetically modified corn, it is NOT natural and made through a very weird enzymatic process, it is overly sweet and fools our brains into thinking we need MORE sugar... that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Caffeine- can cause increased blood sugar levels, ringing in ears, high blood pressure, decreased sleep times, insomnia, headaches, possibly cancers, heart and breathing problems, addiction... and again, there is more.
Vanillin/Arificial Flavors- Vanillin is the waste from paper mills and the other stuff? Some of it is code for MSG and the other is who knows what... the FDA won't release it. It's ARTIFICIAL though, which means it's not natural and wasn't originally meant to be consumed. This can cause everything from cancer, to your brain chemistry TOTALLY changing. Scary stuff. And sometimes people just immediately go into respiratory distress with no warning.
Artificial colors- things like Red #40, Yellow #5. These are made from petroleum- which you might know as gasoline. They, also, aren't made to really EAT. But they are in most foods now, so they must be safe right? NOPE. Most countries have now banned these nasty chemicals in their foods. America has not. Both Red #40 and Yellow #5, SPECIFICALLY, are linked with CAUSING or contributing to, or worsening ADD/ADHD. In fact, studies in every country show that taking artificial additives OUT of your kids' diets can actually improve their grades, their attention, and their moods, as well as their health and things like energy and decrease obesity rates.
Diet sodas- contain all of this and more, because they also have ARTIFICIAL sweeteners. Even tiny doses in rats can cause seizures, tumors, cancers.. on and on... and in humans, dizziness and all of the above.
Now a word about diagnosing, since I already have preached :(
Sorry, this is just a subject I am passionate about and have spent many hours researching for my own child.
If you or your teacher thinks your son has a problem, then find a therapist you like. You can have him tested. You can take first steps OTHER than medication to help him. Have problems with getting distracted doing huge worksheets? Cut it up into smaller worksheets or cover the rest of the page with a blank paper, etc. A good teacher will be helping you (and herself) know how he is teachable. She will give you specific testing she has seen help, and tell you what the school has resources for. ALL public schools are required to form an IEP (Individualized Learning Plan) for children.
Allergy testing is a good way to go. There is traditional testing by bloodwork, scratch testing, and then there is Meridian Stress Testing (MSA) testing using something like accupressure. HomeFirst does this and it really got to the bottom of some things for my daughter that traditional testing wasn't showing.
Chiropractic work can help. Practically everything in your body is nerves. Once your spine is balanced and adjusted, you feel and function better. I thought this was woo-woo until I was struggling with a specific pain in my back and just happened to have heartburn at the same time- and chiro fixed both (I didn't mention the heartburn, and she asked- I was floored!!)
Adjusting diet- this was a biggie for us. We are on the Feingold diet, which cuts out all of the additives I mentioned above and cuts out certain foods at first until you see if they are "triggers" that create aggression, lack of attention, etc.
Epsom salt baths can help too- start w/half a tablespoon and work up to 1/4 cup.
And lastly, if you do get a diagnosis, and a second opinion, etc and you come to the conclusion that it is ADHD, don't panic. You don't HAVE to medicate. And if you do medicate, you can go to a compounding pharmacy and have them alter the medication so you get only a PURE medication without a lot of added chemicals, etc. You are part of the team you will work with, and you are his mom above all. My daughter is medicated after much much soul searching and me NOT wanting to. It was only after things got really out of control that I decided to medicate her, and she was BEGGING for help. Our circumstances include a lot more diagnoses than your potential one though too. We started her off on what was literally a drop of medicine and worked up until it was working but not making her a zombie. A good psychiatrist will do that too.
I hope this helps and I didn't come off as too much of a know-it-all. I have TONS of info, hours of research saved on my computer and on actual paper. If you are interested in any of it, or want a list of books to read, etc etc. Just message me and I can give you more info.
Hang in there. It sounds like it's nothing. His grades are great! You should be proud. He's probably just a kid being a daydreaming, creative, little kid- they way they are meant to be :)
3 moms found this helpful
K.K. answers from Chicago on March 14, 2009
I see you have lots of awesome advice...I just wanted to comment on your comment about drugging your child....I was a special education teacher before having children. My kids that were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD truly benefitted from their medications. Saying you do not want to drug your child puts a very negative stigma to those kids who truly need it. If a child was diabetic you would not deny them insulin. The medications these kids use is needed for them. Do all kids with ADD or ADHD need to have medication, no...it is a decision based on an individals needs.
Not trying to attack...parents have such a hard decision to make in regard to their kids...putting it in such a negative way makes it even harder.
Good luck with your little guy
3 moms found this helpful
K.R. answers from Chicago on March 14, 2009
I am glad for the advice that you received, you did receive some valuable information. I particularly liked the last comment from Karin K. Please do not assume that "drugging" your child is ALWAYS a bad thing. Please remember that ADHD is a chemical imbalance in a persons body (brain) and that is the way some were "created". ADHD is not an insult on parenting or the result of a child's personality, it is a part of who some children and adults are. Secondly understand that ADHD, in part, is the inability to stay focused in a controlled environment or situation...your childs teacher is seeing him in exactly that situation. Maybe she is noticing things at school that you don't notice at home because he is in a far more structured environment while at school. Remember that the teacher did not ask you this question as a general guideline for a "conference"...she is seeing something at school that lead her to ask the question. Rather than assume it could not be an issue because you don't see it at home, keep an open mind that there is the possibility. TONS of children diagnosed with ADHD pull good grades in school, just because a kid is good in school doesn't mean there can't be other things going on in school. No one wants to have to "drug" or medicate their child, but ultimately it is the parents responsibility to ensure their child has the best life they can offer. And for some parents that does include the help of an outside source. Just another way to look at it!! Best of Luck to you!!
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C.D. answers from Chicago on March 15, 2009
I'm responding late, but didn't see www.feingold.org in the responses. Feingold informs about how the chemicals in foods can react in the body and how taking out chemicals and artificials, it has helped with so many of those symptoms. The diet is actually good for ALL of us, as natural foods are so much better than artificials that were never really intended to provide nutrition. So his "plan" is to buy natural food choices, like Breyer's all natural ice cream instead of other brands, Dannon all natural yogurt instead of other brands that have artificials, things like that. This elimination diet has really helped my niece who is now 10 years old. The symptoms usually seem to show up in focus and socially as opposed to grades. I wouldn't discount what the teacher says immediately as the teacher sees how your child acts in a controlled environment, as well as socially with other children, though probe maybe into what exactly are the struggles she thinks your son has. Best wishes to you!
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E.P. answers from Chicago on March 13, 2009
Don't be upset with the teacher's observation. They may see things that we don't because they are with them for long periods of time. True, there are teachers who don't always "click" with your child. I would accept the advise of the teacher and get your child tested, then follow the advise of your pediatrician. In your post, you're suggesting that "there are symptoms" so don't be so defensive. You are seeing it too.
If your pediatrician believes that he falls in the guidelines of ADD/ADHD, either try medications or even determine if there are dietary measures that need to be taken.
Caffeine is the world's most popular drug so, why would this be less of a concern than giving him the proper medication for ADD/ADHD to help him focus and function in school, should he be ADD/ADHD??? My one friend has three children - one is ADHD and the other is ADD. She was so against ANY kind of medication - her doctor asked her "if her child had any kind of illness that people could relate to, like cancer or asthma, would she withhold medications????" Three years later, her once, "C- child (ADD), is now enjoying school, she's focused, has raised her grades and is doing so much better. She is a normal child on medication.
No person WANTS to take medication or to have to administer medication to their child! Sometimes we just have to do this to be healthy. And, at some point, that child may come off of their medication. You just shouldn't medicate your child with caffeine thinking it's the medically right thing to do, without consulting a physician - it's still medicating your child. Medicate him with the proper one - whatever that may be -if any is needed.
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S.W. answers from Peoria on March 14, 2009
First of all you need to figure out WHY the teacher asked about you medicating your son. Is he disruptive? Has he had troubles? with his grades it doesnt seem as if there is a learning issue here, so im not understanding the problem.
when my daughter was in 1st grade, she had some learning issues. i took her in and had her tested, and she has ADHD, innitentive type. what that means, is she lacks the focus unless its something she likes. she also had reading comprehension issues, which caused her delays. of course medication was brought up, and i said NO!
we did several things, such as moving her next to kids who were not disruptive to her, covering her paper, daily sheets from the teacher on what was helping, what was not.
she then moved to 2nd grade, and things got worse. the teacher, knowing her AHDH was in her school records, was awful. told me i needed ot medicate her. i of course told her i would not. she wouldnt do as her 1st grade teacher had done, and she got way behind. i menioned the Mt dew thing and told her we wouldbe trying it. BIG MISTAKE. she told me she was 'all over the place" ...which was funny, becasue we did it at home over a long weekend, and she was fine. (heres a link to that: http://www.come-over.to/FAS/MtnDew.htm)
well, i stopped telling her, and lo and behold, things improved. she asked if i had her medicated LOL
well, i didnt want to continue the mt dew therapy, because it was not the most healthy way to go.
we found a natural supplment with the help of our doctor, its called PED-Active...and it worked wonderfully! because she had to take it at school, the doctor had to send a note....many doctors do not agree with a natural remedy. we got lucky!
i would recomned first having your son tested, then trying anything and everything other than medication. my husband was on ritilin and he said no way he would ever allow any of our kids to go throught that.
*My daughter is now almost 13. she repeted 3rd grade due to her learning issues, and has been a striat A student ever since.
there are so many other options out there. id say look into all of them before you make a decision.
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J.M. answers from Chicago on March 14, 2009
Thank You for opening the dialogue. I have been dealing with the same issue with my 9yr old son. He has a great teacher this year who is well trained, and has many methods to work with him. Most of these things help him, but he still has focusing problems. I was also told in am IEP meeting Diet Coke.....for the caffine..because the caffine helps focus. Well my husband gave him a cappachino and he was very calm and focused, but that also could have him feeling like a grown-up drinking coffee with his dad??? UUUUGGGGG! Medication is our last resort, we're both opposed to it, but my decisions are weakening... I am told by many teachers that he will be rich and famous one day, the next President...but we stillvneed to find a way to focus because he has so much potential.
Anyway....Thanks for listening, you're not the only one. Best wishes! I hope you will find something that works for you. God Bless your family.
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S.A. answers from Chicago on March 14, 2009
I had a friend that used mountain dew to medicate herself....of course anything that would make me hyper, calmed her. If she took Benedryl she would bounce off the walls. Mountain Dew actually had a calming effect for her. She also smoked, but I wouldn't recommend that for your son...
I worked with middle school children for nine years, almost ten. And children often behave differently at home than they do at school. At home they don't have to sit for hours on end and do what others tell them to do. At home they can go from one activity to the next at will. They can entertain themselves with what they enjoy. They can move at will and fidget or whatever it is that they do. ADHD and ADD kids often can't concentrate unless there is something very animated to attract and keep their attention. Television has created a visual stimulus that teachers can't compete with.
I've often had to work with kids that are and are not on medication. Some kids were on medication because they did know anything about consequences for bad behavior and thus did what they pleased and got into trouble. Everyone was ready to label them and medicate them so they wouldn't be a problem anymore.
Then some kids truely couldn't sit still or concentrate. They lost interest in things easily and found it very hard to complete anything that took too long to do. They often dumped information they didn't deem interesting. They found television to be fascinating and often are couch potatoes or computer game junkies.
I would be very careful in labeling your child. I would really try to handle any behavior problems with strict discipline and make your son understand that if he gets in trouble at school, then he will suffer double the consequences at home. Check up on him and keep a close reign on him until you can determine if he really has a disorder or he's just testing limits because he's away from home.
And please, please, please work with the teacher and make you child understand that the teacher is the adult and you will work with him/her to solve these issues. Never allow your child to believe that mommy will put that teacher in their place. You will undermind the teacher's authority and he/she needs that to run a classroom where learning it taking place. It only takes one child that can't sit still or be quiet to ruin it for everyone else. He might not be a horrible child, but if he's even a little disruptive a few times in class each day....he's wrecked the learning environment for everyone.
Every time a teacher has to stop and address disruptions...no matter how minor it will take time to get back on course. When I was in college it was taught to us that it takes 20 minutes to get a point across. It takes 20 minutes of uninterrupted teaching time to get the point across. The typical class time is 50 minutes in 5th grade on...at least it was then. If a teacher has to stop even once during that 50 minutes period, the point he/she is trying to get across may have been lost. If he/she has to address disruptions more than once...then the whole class time was wasted. Only a sample few of the students will be able to grasp much in that kind of environment and maybe that would explain why children in the United States fall behind their peers throughout the world starting in 4th grade. We lead the world until 4th grade and then we start to lag way behind. By highschool our children rank so far at the bottom compared to other nations in the world it is embarrassing.
One of the biggest problems is not funding, not the teachers, not the curriculum...it's the attitude and behavior of the kids.
Kids today are preoccupied with soooo many things: their clothes, their video games, movies, tv shows, peer pressure, drugs, sex, violence. By the time they get to 4th grade they don't know how to sit still anymore or pay attention. And that is because they do not fear authority figures anymore. They have figured out just how helpless most teachers are to control them.
I'm not saying your son is bad...I'm not saying he is ADHD, but I think if you were able to visit his classroom without his knowledge, you might see something that would shock you. I found many parents that I asked to visit were very shocked.
Hope some of that helps and good luck!
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