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ADHD With Inattentiveness

Hi, I have an almost 11 year old daughter who has a generalized anxiety disorder and is being ruled out for ADHD with inattentive. She is having trouble in school paying attention, especially on tests - bringing home D's and C's, although she does bring home an occasional A and B. She is a well-adjusted, social kid with lots of friends. She is not socially withdrawn in any way. As a matter of fact she is too social, which contributes to some of the inattentive problems. She flies under the radar screen with her teachers and counselors because she seems so "normal". We have had meetings with her teachers several times this year and basically they feel she is a bright child that just doesn't apply herself therefore not in need of any special help. My husband and I both feel that because of the anxiety, tests are especially hard for her and that's where the low grades are coming from. She brought home a 54 on a science test yesterday, for instance. She has been in counseling for the last year with a good therapist, but I'm just not sure we are doing enough. Her physician wants to medicate her and now the therapist does too. They both suggest Concerta. I'm having a real problem trying it and would much rather see if there is something else we can do with behavior modification and/or diet. She has trouble staying focused, especially when we are studying with her etc. Constantly yawning, looking away - just not paying attention. Therefore the study sessions are frustrating for us and her and she ends up not prepared. We have tried a tutor and she does the same thing. It is so frustrating because we know she is capable. Any help, advice on medication, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi Everybody, First off, thank you all so much for the responses to my post. I have read every one of them and have gotten such great advice and support from all of you. Nice to know we're not alone! I met with my daughter's principal on Friday and just laid it all out on the table - frustration with teachers not listening, mastery test results, ADHD with inattentive diagnosis and she immediately put her on a 504 plan for 6th grade (next year). She has hand picked the team of professionals that we will be working with and has been wonderfully supportive. I'm feeling really good about the outcome of the meeting and am looking forward to my daughter's 6th grade experience without dread. All I can say to all of you out there dealing with similar experiences, if your heart is telling you something is wrong, don't let the teachers or other educational professionals push you off. Dig your heals in and demand to be heard. Thank you again so much.

Featured Answers

Hi M.,
I would not do anything until you have evaluated her diet completely.
Artificial sweeteners, additives and processed foods can completely alter personality and emotions.
What does she eat? She should be off of all soda, processed foods, candy, fast foods, and sugar. Maybe even dairy products.
I would suggest a strict diet of organic foods only until you can determine which foods affect her most negatively.
You will not believe the difference.
Good luck.

It sounds like her brain is over stimulated and can't withstand getting her work done while other things are going on. My son was like this and we took him to Dr. William Weiss in Middletown, CT and my son has made great strides without med.'s.

Good luck and I hope this was helpful!

Hi M.,

My 10 year old son also has symptoms of inattentive ADHD (wihtout anxiety) and we have chosen not to medicate. Some of the things that we have done (based on my own extensive research) are The Listening Program, a self administered music listening program designed to improve one's auditory processing skills, I have modified his diet focusing on high protein, low carbs and avoiding processed foods. I also have him on a number of vitamin supplements, including Omega-3, L-carnitine and a few others. Take a look at Dr. Daniel Amen's website for some very interesting information on the subject. I hope that helps.

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I had a similar problem in college. Tests made me freak out and I'd know the material but do poorly. Wanna know what worked. A Worry Stone. It's a small rock you can hold in your hand and rub while she's taking a test. You can get them at any "Earthy crunchy" store or rock shop. It helps to release the anxiety and she can focus. She just holds it in her hand and rubs the groove while taking a test. It worked wonders for me.

2 moms found this helpful

This is a response I sent to another member, but I thought some of it may apply or help in your situation. Her condition doesn't have to be ADD for a 504 to be implemented especially with regard to test taking. It is my understanding that any diagnosed and documented medical condition that affects their education would apply. Also I tried the diet modifications and numerous other things. It's not to say they are not effective and may work well for you, unfortunately we did not have much success in that regard. You will see if you read through that my older son is doing better and this summer (when it won't affect his schooling) I intend to try some antioxidents and b vitamins that I already take, but that come highly recommended to help w/ADD and ADHD symptoms. They are all natural and I am excited to try this. Will be happy to share this info w/you as well.

I have two boys 16 and 10 they have both been diagnosed w/ADD. I understand your frustration. I wanted to point out a few things that may be helpful when dealing w/the school. First my oldest was on Adderall, he didn't like the way it made him feel and he wasn's sleeping well. We have since (maybe 3 yrs ago) switched to Metadate CD(my spellings may be off). We looked at the recommended dosage for them and then divided the dosage in two (even though they are already time released). They take one in the a.m. at home before school and one at lunch in school. This helps greatly with getting them through the afternoon and homework time. Understand I really hedged with medicating my children, felt ADD was a huge dumping ground diagnosis, etc. I have done a lot of personal research and not only loved their pediatrician(they now see a general practitioner), but even took my oldest to an ADD specialist and discussed medications. My oldest son has ADD w/o any learning disabilities. I am happy to say he is reaching an age where maturity has enabled us to reduce his meds. I believe statistically it is like 1 or 2 out of 3 children will outgrow this. With him I put him on a 504 plan at the school. This plan is monitored through the Special Board of Education. Because he was diagnosed by a doctor a 504 applies in that he has a medical condition that requires special accomodations for his learning plan. This is a plan his teachers MUST follow. Remember he sees like 6 different teachers a day, but this plan enables me to call them on it if it isn't being followed. This can follow him onto college as well. Specifically for him in highschool he must sit in the first row on an end seat (less distractions). He does not go to study halls, instead to the learning center where there is an adult supervising and his homework actually gets done, or they help if he needs it. He goes to the testing room for tests, too much going on in the classroom for distractions. His teachers must sign his assignment pad every day - this helps to keep him organized and on task. ETC. But these are some of the things that you can do. Most schools do not have any school employee whom oversees the 504 kids. It really is up to the parent and child to see that it is implemented. I am fortunate and I have a liason at the school who is awesome in working with my son and I to keep things where they need to be. Honestly I didn't take no for an answer and I held each and every teacher accountable as we all did my son. In the end the person who oversees the IEP's either was asked to or elected to oversee that my son's 504 was being followed. Some teachers are great and really want to see children succeed and some are of the opinion that it's not really their "job to babysit at this stage".

MORE IMPORTANTLY IN YOUR SITUATION.....I am assuming that you also live in NY, as I don't know if and how the 504 or special education laws are in other states. I know you children are younger, but I wanted you to know the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP which my younger son has. An IEP falls under the special education laws. I feel this give me as a parent more leverage with the school district because they are legally required to follow it. There are numerous organizations available to help you advocate for your child. The Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York is awesome. With their help I have not only educated myself, but one of their advocates is available to go with me (if I want) to meet with the school!!! This organizations services are free of charge. They run through a grant through I believe the United Way. There is also another youth advocate that I was put in touch with, again that is free of charge. Our school district was not offering to do anything beyond testing him for his reading level. Through this organization I learned of some other avenues I could take and rule out. I was very fortunate our doctore worked with us and our insurance covered the testign we had done. Granted it was some leg work on my part and travel, but in my opinion it was well worth it. Besides you are entitled to have independent testing done and in some instances can request the school district cover the costs. For my son and his issues we first had CAPS - central auditory processing - testing done. We then had his speech and language assessed. He was good on all accounts except his language where it contains reading and the phoentic breakdown ( I know my spelling is off on these things). Then he went for a full neurological work up. Again each of these tests gave me information about where his breakdowns were occuring, but also what his strengths were. Also I received a detailed written report and was able to sit with the specialist and go over that report. It turns out my son is dyslexic. Well this explains a lot!!! But there is a lot I didn't know about this. There are many different forms of dyslexia and we are currently working to immplement recommendations from the specialists. BUT with these reports I went back the Special Board of Education (requested a meeting in writing because they have 30 days by law to respond) and now he has a consultant teacher in the classroom each day for 40 minutes, he has individual reading services 2 times per 6 day cycle, speech 1 time per 6 day cycle. He meets with a peer group. Also there was a program I found at one of our state colleges that master's students were conducting in reading and literacy. It was costly and even though I provided all the transportation, I still got the school district to pay for this program for him. Based mostly on the fact that he was (the numeric values they assign based on testing) so behind.

If you have any questions, or want any contact information, please let me know. I would be happy to pass along anything I have that could be helpful. We have seen a great improvement in my son's reading ability this year and it is so awesome to see his confidence rising!

Hi M., I see you've gotten a lot of advice already, but I thought I'd give you my 2 cents! My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD- inattentive 3 years ago. We struggled through school... what you are going through sounds very familiar. For years the schools couldn't do anything to help us. The doctors recommended Concerta. We tried EVERYTHING including behavior modification, diet etc.... but we finally gave Concerta a try. I can't begin to tell you what a difference it made. She went from C's and D's to HONOR ROLL! She just needed a low dose of Concerta and she was able to stay focused. She always tried her best she just couldn't stay focused. I know what a big desicion this is, read everything you can about it and ultimately I'm sure you will do what's best for her.

M., I think that if you were to choose a medication for her I would pick Concerta. My 12yr old son has been on it for the past year or so. We tried the Adderal and Straterra and some other I can't remember. But since he has been on Concerta he grades have improved from C's and D's to A's and B's. The only concern I have with it(well I'm not sure its the meds) is that he still has trouble with anger issues. But then again what pre-teen bot doesn't!! Some counciling is still needed but I can deal with that. Well I hope this helps a little. Stef F

Hi M.,

My 10 year old son also has symptoms of inattentive ADHD (wihtout anxiety) and we have chosen not to medicate. Some of the things that we have done (based on my own extensive research) are The Listening Program, a self administered music listening program designed to improve one's auditory processing skills, I have modified his diet focusing on high protein, low carbs and avoiding processed foods. I also have him on a number of vitamin supplements, including Omega-3, L-carnitine and a few others. Take a look at Dr. Daniel Amen's website for some very interesting information on the subject. I hope that helps.

My son will be seven in two months. Since he was four he was referred for testing for ADHD. He was diagnosed after a second opinion in kindergarten. I still refused medication. I began therapy for him, a type of behavioral therapy. Then he was threatened with getting left back and discharged from the smart and gifted program for lack of work and behavior. I gave in and tried daytrana. It's a patch and it works wonderfully. He lost some weight due to lack of appetite. I am monitoring that. He began to digest the medication too quickly, so I recently switched to concerta. I am going to start Monday the 19th. If you want to know how it goes, send me a message and I'll keep you posted. Bottom line; no one wants their child to be on medication, let alone have to deal with something like ADD/ADHD. Give it a shot. You never know. I have been amazed at the changes my son has shown me. He's much calmer, more behaved, more compliant, more focused and just a better thinker. I hope I helped. All the best to you and your family. Be well!!

Eliminate sugar, gluten, dairy, and eat organic.

I have a blog with information regarding diet and behavioral interventions that help kids with primarily inattentive adhd. The URL is http://primarilyinattentiveadd.blogspot.com

Personally I think your right holding off on the medication. I would definitely look into other possible causes and solutions. For example I had a little boy in my first grade class one year who was having difficulty focusing one day I had to much and brought him to the next door class to sit and do his work (something that was done in that school) When I went back to check on him the teacher told me he fell asleep shortly after he was in there. I met with mom who told me he goes to bed at 10:00. I told her that was too late and she willingly agreed to have him in bed earlier. It workded like a charm he was fine after that. Also I have heard of girl at the camp I worked at who had a gluten allergy that caused her behavior to be completely off the hook. We never saw it at camp because it was already discovered and her diet was modified. I would have never guessed. I am not saying that I am completely against medication I think in some circumstances it is called for but I think it is overused and I would go to it as a last resort. You have to figure out what works for you. Lots of luck to you.


I rember going thru the same things your daughter is going thru. Not untill the 4th grade did they realize i had a learning disability. She is social no intrest in school work. Well because she doesn't get it. I would check with the child study team and see if they can evaulate her. I would bring home c and d before they understood that I had to be taught a different way. It's worth a try. Once they started teaching me in a way that I understood I brought home great reports. I started to love school.

Hi M.,
I would not do anything until you have evaluated her diet completely.
Artificial sweeteners, additives and processed foods can completely alter personality and emotions.
What does she eat? She should be off of all soda, processed foods, candy, fast foods, and sugar. Maybe even dairy products.
I would suggest a strict diet of organic foods only until you can determine which foods affect her most negatively.
You will not believe the difference.
Good luck.

It sounds like her brain is over stimulated and can't withstand getting her work done while other things are going on. My son was like this and we took him to Dr. William Weiss in Middletown, CT and my son has made great strides without med.'s.

Good luck and I hope this was helpful!

Hi I'm sending you artical ADD and ADHD I hope it well help. These natural supplement company that I am associted with. As I under stand your dilema to chose what best for your child If any Here my web sit WWW.healthyhart.usana.com

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
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It appears, at least on the surface, that ADD and ADHD has become epidemic. Attention deficit disorder is just like the name implies-the patient or child has a very short attention span. In other words, they are able to concentrate or focus on any particular subject or project for only a very short period of time. ADHD is associated with a child who is very active and can rarely sit still. Obviously, these children are not able to focus on anything very long.

When it comes to schoolwork, this disorder leads to poor performance and class disruption. This is especially true if the child has the hyperactive form, which means the child is continually in motion-literally. When these children come into my office, I leave the exam room exhausted after the child has all but disassembled it. I have certainly gained great respect for the parents and teachers who have to deal with this day in and day out.

However, I also realize that many children are being improperly diagnosed as having ADD/ADHD, since it is almost a "fad" diagnosis today. This makes it imperative that physicians and parents follow strict protocols in the making of this diagnosis by making sure there are no physical disorders and then following a battery of neruopsychiatric testing. This testing should be done with a clinician that has experience in this disorder.

Traditional therapy for ADD/ADHD involves the use of psychostimulant drugs like Ritalin, Cylert, and Adderall. Although these drugs have been shown to have a significant clinical effect in these children, they have their own set of side effects and have even been found to lose their effect over a couple of years. This is why many clinicians dealing with this disorder like to give their patients a "drug holiday," especially in the summer. I also find many parents showing up in my office sharing with me that they would like to try and get their child off the medication permanently because of the terrible side effects, saying they want their child back. Parents will often state, "My child's attention is better but his or her personality has totally changed on the medication."

I encourage parents to make the lifestyle changes I recommend below and hopefully over time their child will be able to come off the medication and still do well socially and educationally. If a child can be started on this program in the winter or early spring, I suggest giving him or her a "drug holiday" (only with doctor's approval) during the summer. Then in the fall, I advise the parents to "drag their feet" in starting the medication again. Many are pleasantly surprised to see their child doing well in school, having increased attention span, and relating better to their classmates while not taking any medication.
Minimal support for Cellular Nutrition
My minimal recommendation for creating cellular nutrition is to simply take an Antioxidant Tablet and Mineral Tablet that contains as close to the recommended nutrients you can see by clicking on each particular nutrient or tablet. Several nutritional companies are now combining most of these nutrients into one or two different tablets, which makes it much more convenient to get the cellular nutrition that I recommend. The Antioxidant and Mineral Tablets need to offer the cell ALL of the antioxidants, B cofactors, and antioxidant minerals needed by the cell at ideal levels. In order to achieve the best results, in general I recommend taking 2 Antioxidant Tablets and 2 Mineral Tablets in the AM with breakfast and in the PM with your evening meal. Now the exact amount may vary with the particular nutritional company you choose; however, nutritionals should always be taken with food because of better absorption and better tolerance.
Optimal support for Cellular Nutrition
For the most favorable results for basic cellular nutrition, I also recommend adding to the Antioxidant Tablet and Mineral Tablet some additional Calcium/Magnesium Tablets and essential fats. You are able to get additional essential fatty acids from high-quality Flax Seed Oil or pharmaceutical-grade, filtered Fish Oil Capsules. These recommendations provide all the nutrients at their ideal levels creating the cellular nutrition I recommend in my book, What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine.
It is critical that you know the necessity of adding Enhancers, which contain additional potent antioxidants, to your foundational cellular nutrition for optimal results. Patients who are suffering from a chronic degenerative disease or illness are producing more free radicals and are under more oxidative stress than the average healthy individual. Therefore, adding potent Enhancers to the basic cellular nutrition I recommend offers you the best chance to bring this oxidative stress back under control. The synergy and increased potency created by this approach to nutritional medicine is why I’m able to get such consistent improvement in the health of my patients.
However, in order to suit each individual’s unique financial situation, I always offer both an optimal and a minimal plan for cellular nutrition and for adding Enhancers. Obviously, one’s improvement of their health will be more consistent with the optimal recommendations; however, a minimal regime can still produce significant improvement in your health.
Recommended Enhancers:
• Grape Seed Extract - 2 tablets daily
• Grape Seed Extract - 1 tablet daily
Optimal Recommendations
Nutritional Supplement Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Antioxidant Tablet
2 2
Mineral Tablet
2 2
Calcium/Magnesium Tablet
2 2
Grape Seed Extract
1 1
Flax Seed Oil 2 tsps.
Fish Oil Capsule (may substitute for Flax Seed Oil) 1 1
Minimal Recommendation
Nutritional Supplement Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Antioxidant Tablet
2 2
Mineral Tablet
2 2
Grape Seed Extract
Choosing High-Quality Nutritional Supplements
One of the most difficult aspects of being involved in nutritional medicine is the fact that nutritional supplement companies are basically an uncontrolled industry. The FDA looks at supplements like foods. Nutritional companies are really not required to put in their tablets what they say is on their label. The quality of products that is placed in most supplements is of inferior quality and their manufacturing processes are generally suspect. People who have read my books or used this web site will sometimes go out to their local chain stores, drug stores, or health food stores and try to put together my recommendations on their own. The frustrating thing about this is that they think that they are doing what I am recommending only to either not get any health benefits from their efforts or very marginal results.
When you look at my nutritional recommendations for the Antioxidant tablet and Mineral tablet, you will quickly realize that you cannot get this amount of supplementation in a simple daily multivitamin. However, some companies are now putting all of the needed nutrients together in one or two different pills. In order to achieve the optimal levels I recommend, you will most likely need to take several (four to eight tablets) daily. The more antioxidants you take and the more variation your supplement provides the better. Also be sure that you are getting all the recommended levels of the minerals and the B-cofactors.
You need to spend a little time investigating the nutritional company you choose. You can locate information on the company’s website or you may need to call the company directly. Most importantly, you want a company that follows pharmaceutical-grade Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This means that they purchase pharmaceutical-grade raw materials and then follow pharmaceutical-grade Good Manufacturing Practices in producing their supplements. These companies produce what is called pharmaceutical-grade supplements, meaning similar guidelines are followed for manufacturing their products as companies making over-the-counter or prescription medications. The government does not require the manufacturers of nutritional supplements to do this; still, some nutritional companies put this extra effort into the manufacturing of their products to provide their customers with the assurance that they are getting what is on the label. These high-quality manufacturers will put the actual amounts of the nutrients found in their products on the label and give full disclosure of all the ingredients. You also want to find an expiration date on the bottle and the company’s full address.
Another aspect of quality that needs to be considered is whether or not the manufacturer of your nutritional supplements follows what are known as U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP) standards. These are government guidelines that assure consumers that their medications and supplement tablets are of the highest quality and will dissolve properly and be readily absorbed into the body. Pharmaceutical-grade GMP’s would be rendered worthless if the company does not also follow USP standards for the dissolution of their tablets. If the tablet does not dissolve properly, it does not matter what they put in them. Choosing a company that follows the USP guidelines is certainly a step in the right direction.
Balance and completeness is another very critical aspect of choosing a high-quality nutritional supplement. Just like there are drug-interactions, there are also nutrient interactions that can create poor absorption and poor interactions. This is probably the most difficult aspect for the average consumer to really know or understand. Therefore it is critical to choose a company that understands completeness and balance in their products.
Another aspect to consider when you are researching a particular company is where it markets its products. A company that markets internationally usually has to follow higher standards than those who market only in the United States. Canada, Australia, and Western European countries have the highest standards for the manufacturing of nutritional supplements. Canada and Australia presently have some of the most restrictive requirements for nutritional supplements.
Starting Your Nutritional Program
Over 80 to 90% of my patients are able to start taking their nutritional supplements with absolutely no problems. The cellular nutrition that I recommend provides nutrients that you get from foods but at levels you just are not able to obtain from your foods. These are not herbs nor do they have any pharmaceutical properties. They are merely nutrients that our bodies need to function at its optimal level. My cellular nutritional recommendations have been developed to provide all the essential nutrients to the cell at these optimal or advance levels that have been shown to provide a health benefit in our medical literature. The level of the nutritionals provided in these recommendations are all well within safe parameters. However, you will be nourishing your body more effectively than you have ever nourished it before. The medical literature has shown us that when you supplement your body with these high quality, complete and balanced nutritional supplements that there are several health benefits. Remember, taking supplements is about health—not disease. Over time of supplementing a good diet and exercise program, you will not only optimize your body’s natural antioxidant defense system, but also, its natural immune and repair system. Your body will also now be able to begin to remove waste products (toxins) more effectively from the body. A small percentage of my patients (less than 10 to 20%) may experience some mild detoxification reactions.
The most common detoxification reaction is mild muscle aches and/or mild headaches. These symptoms will usually pass within a few days to a week or two. If the discomfort is not unbearable, I simply have my patients continue their nutritionals as I have recommended. However, occasionally there is a more severe reaction. The patient is not in danger; rather, the amounts of nutrients are just too much too fast. In this case, I have my patients quit their supplements for a few days until the reaction subsides. I will then have them start back on their program but initially at lower doses (approximately one third of the recommended dose). Once they are tolerating this amount of supplementation, I suggest slowly building up to the recommended doses.
Some of my patients actually develop a "detox" skin rash somewhere on their body. As you know, the skin is an important route for ridding the body’s toxins. This rash is a dry, red rash that looks almost like a mild sunburn. Some people confuse this with an allergic reaction to the supplements. I have never seen an allergic reaction to the high-quality nutritional supplements I recommend.
Patients may also experience some aspect of loose stools or even diarrhea. This again is a common "detox" reaction because the GI tract is another prime route for eliminating toxins from the body. This symptom will usually diminish within 7 to 10 days. It is an important part of the detoxification and healing process. Therefore, I usually encourage my patients to continue the supplements as recommended unless their bottom gets too sore. I will then again recommend lower doses of the supplements until they feel better and then begin adding the supplements back more slowly until the recommended doses are reached.
Natural Relaxation Response:
A small percentage of patients develop a natural relaxation response when minerals are absorbed into their body. This is of great concern to those patients who have just been told that nutritional supplementation may potentially improve their energy level. They take the supplements as recommended only to find themselves more fatigued and dragging themselves around throughout their day. If you experience this response, I recommend that you take all of your minerals with a light bedtime snack. This allows you to take advantage of your body’s response while getting a good night’s sleep.
Stomach Upset
A small percentage of patients have difficulty tolerating vitamin C. It can cause an upset stomach that will usually become evident a couple days after starting their nutritional program. The vitamin C I recommend usually is found in the Antioxidant Tablet. If you are experiencing significant nausea, I suggest taking just one Antioxidant Tablet with the largest meal. Once this level of supplementation is better tolerated, I suggest slowly adding another Antioxidant Tablet to the next largest meal. I anticipate building them up to the recommended level of supplementation, but sometimes this is just not possible. For those extremely sensitive, I advise just taking the amount of Antioxidant Tablets that they can tolerate even if this is just one or two per day.

Hi M.,
Please consider listening to a call about this and other diseases. Sign up to listen at www.LiveTotalWellness.com/L.
My son has ADHD so I understand your situation.

Hi M.,

Please refer to Terrie post re: her ADHD children, and I will give you the same advice. After giving this to my then 10 year old daughter, she said she "felt smarter". Here's a clinical study- cut and paste- I'll be glad to discuss this with you further:


I am a Mom of an ADHD 7 year old girl. She gets "anxious"at times about tests and how the teachers handle her depends a lot on the outcome.
Try a "diet" solution before medication. If you choose medication do your homework on the possible side effects of the meds before you decide. My pediatrician said meds and I said NO!
We have to cut her junk food and let her only have it on Friday night or Saturday. Also Red Dye (present in everything from toothpaste to gum) is a HUGE trigger. She turns into a totally different child 20 minutes after having something with red dye #40 or straight sugar. We also avoid sugary cereals, use whole wheat pastas, get white cheddar cheese its and cheese puffs rather than the orange ones. It seems so small but it makes a difference. There are still so many "treats" she can have without creating a "monster".
She is old enough to to voice her feelings and that helps. When she gets "nuts" I will ask her how she is feeling. She may say antsy, running inside or any number of things and it is then that you get out the bike, trampoline, etc. and let her go. At school that is harder and my daughter has been in major trouble at school because of it but watching what she eats has helped. Also giving her as much time for high activity in the afternoon helps.
Also a reward system helps my daughter. She can buy ice cream at school 2 days a week but she must "earn" the money. If she gets up, showered, dresses, eats and doesn't fight with me in the morning she earns the money. It sounds dumb but that was a huge problem time for us.
There is no one thing that works every time or with every kid but the food she eats DOES AFFECT EVERYTHING!!!! Find a nutritionist, doctor, holistic dr. or someone that can help you.
Also teach her to make good decisions and the people she goes places with must be informed of "triggers". Get friends and family on board as well as explaining to your daughter that making better choices helps her out. I was met with opposition from someone and had to tell them what she could and COULD NOT have. It was said that I was being mean but in reality it is being kind and loving to help her find a way to deal with a condition NOT a handycap.
Don't excuse behavior as ADHD because it will become a "crutch" and her behavior won't get any better. My daughter has been doing great in school finally but it was along time coming. Her behavior was so bad she almost got kicked out of Pre-School and she is in 1st now.
Meds are sometimes necessary but should not be your first line of defense. Good Luck!!! A.

please........go see a naturopath dr. they will get to the root of the problem and heal via natural methods.

i have little to no experience with ADHD, but wanted to comment about a recent book that i looked at.... the theory was that one aspect of ADHD is a lack of connection with nature.


i obviously do not know you from adam... but if your boys don't get much outdoor free play time... or time to just find a frog or play in a creek, perhaps adding these activities into your regular schedule may help them with their symptoms.

i also have no clue how much outdoor/nature time they get at school... but perhaps it can be suggested to teachers or specialists that work with them?

i will try and find the title of that book, so that this isn't just me blowing smoke!


Dear M.
I wish you and your daughters all the best.
There is another woman on the site who is has 3 boys with ADHD and I sent her this response. I hope you find it helpful too:

What many doctors and therapists do not know is that DIET can play an huge role in ADD and ADHD. Often times children with these challenges have numerous food allergies and related gut disbiosis (which means their digestive tract isn't working that well.) There is a website http://bodyecology.com/autism.php and Donna Gates has done a lot of research into the relationship between gut health and ADD/ADHD. This is not my expertise but I'm happy to help you out with this as I am a holistic health counselor and assist people in whole food nutrition education.

K. Hara

Try the meds!! I used to be very against it, but after trying it and seeing how much it helped my son, I became a believer. The meds are not there to make a teachers life easier, but to help the child perform better in school. As her grades improve, so will her self-confidence. We usually only give my son half doses of his meds on weekends and in the summer. There are several dietary changes you can make as well that many people find helpful. My advice would be to try the meds as a 'quick fix', then start exploring the dietary issues (gluten, dairy, food coloring, additives, etc). If you find a diet that works, then you can reduce or stop the meds. Good luck!

Hello, My name is T. Im a 32 year old mother of four! 3 boys and a girl. All three of my boys have ADHD! It make for a very difficult day on my part sometimes. Getting them around in the morning for school is a complete nightmare at times. All three of my boys symptoms are different. My 11 year old is very compulsive and and does not think about the recorse of his actions becouse of the compulitivity, he also has trouble sleeping. My 9 year old has some compulsivness but we are dealing more with behavior issues with him and not getting him to sit still long enough to concentrate. He does not have any sence of responsibility when it comes to thing like homework or class work. He looses home work all the time! He is the opposite when it comes to sleeping thogh. He could sleep all day if let him. My youngest is 3 and has just begun to show sighns and symptoms of the dissorder, so we have a long ways to go before we get to the point of medication with him. I do have a 8 year old girl who was spared from the dissorder. Our pediatrition has informed us that ADHD is a hereditory conditon and there is a chance that our boys may pass it on to there children. I had the ADD while I was growing up, so we know where and who passed it on. We are medicating two of our boys, the two older ones are on Adderall 30&25 XR 1x daily in the AM. It is a constant struggle in school for my boys. one day they could go from being the most well behaved boys in the class to the worst kids in class that day. I'm at my whitts end with the school. They don't have any kink of an alterave education programat the school where my kids attend do to the fact that the school is so small (700 kids total K-12) All three of the older children are in danger of retention in the same grade this year! PLease if there is anyone out there that can help me, let me know. I'm a sinlge mother and I just don't know what to do any more, I've tried everything. They are in councling every other week, they have a peer tutor 3 times a week and a mentor once a week too! Help me some one!

Hi M.,
I've read alot of requests on ADHD topics and I'm really involved with it because my son is ADHD. I have grown to be very aware and concerned about this condition because it has rapidly increased the number of children affected and diagnosed. It sounds like your daughter is showing suddden signs and I am thinking it may be ADD, but it may also be depression. I know at 11, it sounds crazy but I can remember feeling that way in school also. The yawning and tiredness is a sign that her brain is working overtime to keep up and that is a sign of anxiety but also ADD. It doesn't sound like she has the impulsivity side of ADHD so that pretty much rules out the H in ADHD. You mentioned she sees a therapist. Perhaps this therapist isn't good enough for her. Have you talked to the guidence counsler at school? Have you tried maybe a one-on-one with her on a weekly basis to see if there is a bigger, deeper problem in her life right now that's distracting her or making her feel insecure? I'm brainstorming with you because it's easier to get opinions from other moms. Especially when your so worried, it's hard to think straight. I give my son Focalin for his ADHD because he doesn't need to take it all the time. Only on the weekdays for school. It's in and out of his system in 8 hours, and the long term effects are pretty much eliminated because of it. He focuses better in school and when he comes home, hes beck to his hyper self and plays and that's ok. It does supress the appetite at first but when he got home he would eat me out of house and home. He's only 7 and he already appreciates what it's done for him. He calls it his 'Smart Medicine'. Keep asking questions and brainstorm with other parents. We cann all get to the bottom of this and help you out. Doctors only know the 'Common Sides', you know your duaghter's side and you know best. Keep in mind, You are Mom, You know her better and You know what to do to make it better. Go with your gut and lean on us moms for support. good luck and if you need to talk or ask more questions. ____@____.com

Dear M.---
First of all, I can totally relate to your frustration and conflicted feelings about possibly medicating your girl! My son has had untreated ADD for a long time, and today we are starting him on a very low dose of ritalin, which we will increase week by week until we reach a therapeutic dose (if it works for him---if it doesn't, we'll try a different med).
I wrestled with the decision to go with medication until OCD made itself apparent in a BIG way earlier this year; he was ultra-anxious and fearful and could hardly function, what with all the rituals he was having to perform. After consulting wiith a child psych who is very experienced in both these disorders and medication, we put him on a low dose of prozac which we upped week by week. The relief he's gotten has been SPECTACULAR, and although he'll need to practice a program of cognitive behavioral therapy in order to get more long-term relief from the OCD (I'd rather not keep him on prozac forever), you have no idea how much happier and less anxious he is.
My point is, as conflicted as I was about medicating him, I am SO glad I did. He was SUFFERING and now he's back to being the happy kid he used to be---and now that THAT'S better, we can address the ADD. His inability to focus (and it IS an inability, not a choice) in school and at home doing homework (believe me, I KNOW the scene you're describing) has been debilitating, and I am hopeful that the right medication will help.
Diet changes and therapy are great---but sometimes they alone aren't enough. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing, and I am personally grateful that there are treatments for disorders like ADD/ADHD that didn't exist when I was a kid! Back then, kids with these problems just got labelled "lazy" or "spacey" or "underacheivers"...when the fact was, they didn't focus because they COULDN'T focus.
Anyway, that's just my experience and two cents.
Good luck and best wishes to you and your daughter.

Hi M. -

I just left a resonse for Terrie Y as she is going thru the same things.

I have found a natural alternative to the meds that should really help. My son has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and some other emotional development. We struggled with the same things. Very bright child, bringing home barely passing grades, losing homework etc.

Since we have been using the natural alternative, things have improved! I would love to give you all the information so you can make a decision if this is an alternative you would like to try for your family.

Feel free to contact me.

S. M

I am a nurse practitioner who specializes in treating ADHD. I have been giving medication for years and I see it work "miracles". Mostly, people start to do better and feel better and mostly the side effects are minimal and transient. Kids usually take credit for the improvement themselves and forget that it's the pill that got the process started.
There are other treatments, like biofeedback and diet. If you try something other than medication and have success with it, I would love you to let me know. As a prescriber, mostly I hear that these treatments are not as effective as meds; but, of course I wouldn't hear about the people who do well there.
I do recommend that she take an omega 3 fatty acid supplement like fish or flax seed oil.
I am impressed that your physician looked for ADHD underlying the anxiety. Many don't and only suggest anxiety medication. And I'm glad she is already seeing a therapist.
I'm sure you've been told that ADHD is like having a faulty filter on your brain. Information like "the tag on my shirt is itchy" or "I'm worried about the test tomorrow" or "I had fun with my friends yesterday" aren't filtered out appropriately and they are much more "interesting" than school work or chores. Because the problem is biochemical, biochemical treatments are very effective.
There are a lot of excellent websites out there to help you. I'll send you some if you like. CHADD of Suffolk county is having a resource fair on Wed, June 4 in Ronkonkoma.
I will be happy to try to help with your other questions if you like.
Good luck and holler if I can be of help.

Hello, your daughter sounds just like my 4th grade 10 yr old son. I did not want to medicate either but last Fall we decided to try it. And it has been very helpful. He is taking Concerta. He started out with the 18 dose and is now on the next dose up, 24 I believe. Anyway, it works! He will not be taking it over the summer as my doctor does not think it's necessary when not in school. You should try it I think you'll be surprised and DON'T TELL ANYBODY SHE IS TAKING IT!!!!!VERY IMPORTANT!!!good luck, J.

Hello M.
Your situation is endeed a tough one. Mi aunt has an adoptive son who has ADHD and at first the school did respond the same way " He is a bright child who does not apply himself" after a lot of stroggle my aund whent to a natural remedies dietician and they found a treatment that helps, it does not control the problen 100% but I would say about a 65%. He is bringing home B 7 C's instead of F's and D's.

Good luck

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