A.D. asks from Sherwood, OR on November 07, 2008
Child with ADD/ADHD
Hello fellow moms,
I don't like to get into other people's business, but this situation has me upset and I want to help. I have wanted to help since I met her.
There is a child in our son's school who has ADD/ADHD. None of the kids like her because she is constantly "out of control" and disrupting the class. The kids are mean to her and the teachers are short tempered with her. I have known her for over 3 yrs and just found out about this condition a few weeks ago when I spoke with her guardian about why she is so easily distracted and annoying. Our children have sports together after school and I see/talk with the guardian weekly. Her guardian couldn't understand why she wasn't focusing on her task that day. I asked her if the child was on medication and she said, no. I was shocked. The guardian told me a few weeks ago that she can't understand why the child is always in trouble. I found out that the child only has insurance from the state and they will only put her on Ridilin (SP). The guardian doesn't want to give her medication (I don't blame her)and feels that putting her in extra activities will "cure" this ADD/ADHD condition.
Does anyone have or know of something tht will help this condition without medications and/or has had some success? Are there any success stories with medications? If so, what was/is the medication.
The guardian makes all of her food by scratch, so the only chemically processed foods she gets are from the store bought foods for school parties and Halloween candy.
I really want to help because this child is so sweet and deserves to be treated with respect from others. Like I stated before, NOBODY likes her, which is a huge esteem buster.
I really want to help the guardian with education and knowing that this child is suffering and struggling in school.
I need to add that the guardian has surfed the internet looking for a solution with no luck. She doesn't know where to turn and with your help, I can get her the information she seeks to make some choices that will help this child.
3 moms found this helpful
J.N. answers from Seattle on November 11, 2008
This is something that we were told about but haven't tried. I have read up on it and there are many success stories from those that have tried it.
C.H. answers from Medford on November 08, 2008
HI...I'm C....please try( www.webmd.com/add/adhd )on google and you'll get about 140,000 responses....hopefully at least one will help her. They seem to have some great ideas. Good Luck
C. M. Hamlin
M.E. answers from Spokane on November 08, 2008
I use to nanny for a family of 4 children all of whom were challenged by ADHD/ADD. They never received medication. There were several things that I discovered helped those los a great deal. The first is control sugar as much as possible, but do NOT use sugar substitutes. Whole grains, veggies, and fruit are also helpful, because they help the body regulate itself. Instead of using store bought juices make fresh juice with a juicer combining both fruits and veggies and then add the pulp to breads, pies, and cakes. Activity does help too. We use to do spelling and math on a trampoline by keeping their bodies busy their minds could focus better and they were better able to rest at night.
M.B. answers from Eugene on November 08, 2008
When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, Ritalin was first suggested. I asked what Ritalin was and how it worked, I was told it was a stimulant similar to high doses of caffeine that calmed the ADHD mind. I thought gee, why not just do that...we kept the harmful stuff out of his diet, but we would have him drink caffeine (coffee, Mt. Dew) throughout the day...it worked like a charm for years. Of course he had to brush his teeth a lot, but he's always been obsessed with cleanliness. The caffeine did the same thing as the Ritalin without the side effects. When he became a teen he did get worse, and we gave him his first meds at age 14...since Strattera is non-stimulant, there were less side effects...the only one really was a little too much of a weight loss. But the moral of the story is, later he weaned off the medications, he is now a healthy 18 year old and even though still a very high energy person and does have a hard time focusing in a calm kinda structured (school) environment, he's going to make a great adult. There's hope for that girl...as long as those who care never give up.
2 moms found this helpful
L.L. answers from Seattle on November 08, 2008
I have ADHD, and I must say that this child's guardian sounds as though he/she is not well educated on the topic. I would recommend a book called Healing ADD by Daniel G. Amen MD. Dr. Amen describes the 6 types of ADD in this book, includes a quiz that the guardian can use to determine which type her child has, and it has specific recommendations on holistic care for each type.
Many people (even those of us how have this LD) are not aware of how many types there are and that each type requires specific treatment. What workes for one person with ADHD may or may not work for another based on these types. If this child is a different type than myself, than things that work for me could actually be distructive to her. This book cost me $15 at Barnes and Noble and that is the best $15 I have ever spent in my life.
I will say that one universal truth for ADD/ADHD is that excersise is huge! One person suggested swimming, which is only become popularized due to the recent olympic games. Any excersise that this child gets really passionate about will work. If it engages her mind and her body at the same time, then it will be effective. For me, it is horseback riding (I do 3 day eventing which many parents would deem to unsafe for their children), I have a friend who swears by running - the sport doesn't matter, as long as the child is passionate about it.
THe other thing I will tell you is that I never took medication until my senior year of my undergrad degree, and I only took it then during midterms and finals when I was truely overwhelmed. It made my childhood a bit harder, but my grades were good enough to receive and acedemic full scholarship to college. It can be done and the added benifit os that I have a vast amount of coping methods that my medicated peers do not have. This means I don't have to rely on medications - my parents never allowed my to make excuses due to my LD, and they held me to the same standard as my brothers (who are"normal"). I am so thankful for this. Again, it wasn't easy for me or them, but I am better off as an adult. Now that I am pregnant and can't take adderal even if I wanted to, my MD was conserned that I wouldn't beable to hold down a job without meds. But I am doing well - just had my annual review and my boss can't tell any difference. I do have an Rx now, as an adult, but I only take it occasionally, when I am truely at my wits end.
Don't take away this child's self confidence and self dignity by letting her be classified by her LD. Don't give her the message that she will only succeed with drugs. Send her the message that she has amazing talents that the other children will never possess (because she does)and give her the resources to flourish. Teachers are not well educated on this topic, (I am a former middle grades teacher with a BS in Education - they do not cover this topic sufficiently or accurately in colleges) so do your research and find a MD that has experience with this. What she needs most is a well educated guardian who can teach her to set herself up for success.
Not sure where you are located, but I am on the kitsap penninsula in WA. I would be glad to meet up with you or help you an any way that I can.
2 moms found this helpful
C.B. answers from Portland on November 07, 2008
i don't know much about medication, but i know my little sister was diagnosed with adhd and a few years later found out she had a wheat allergy that was causing the behavior proplems, i've heard alot of other stories ware the condition was controlled by diet, i personaly wouldn't say anything without knowing a little bit more, as not everyone belivies that medication is the answer, and she may be really offended or feel like you are insulting her ability as a gaurdian
1 mom found this helpful
K.K. answers from Seattle on November 08, 2008
My stepdaughter has been diagnosed with ADD (not the same as ADHD, basically she is missing the hyperactivity component of this disorder). She is distractable and unable to focus on her schoolwork much of the time.
We took her to a naturopath (the same Dr. Wendy Weber at Bastyr) to avoid the medication route hopefully. The naturopath recommended that she eat some protein every day at breakfast which she was not getting. So, that would mean peanut butter (or another nut butter) on toast or PB sandwich, string cheese, hardboiled eggs. These are all easy to pack or take with options, and can be made the night before, for a fast/easy departure from the house in the mornings.
The naturopath also told us to have her take it easy on the sugar...which is in everything nowadays. I have found it in canned tomato sauce, even! It is an ongoing struggle, but we do the best we can to limit the sugar for the entire family.
She also now takes dietary supplements, specifically:
- GB24. This is made by Thorne Research, 1 capsule two times per day.
- DHA Junior arctic cod liver oil capsules, 250 mg, 2 capsules two times a day. This is made by Nordic Naturals and is a chewable form in strawberry flavor (I think they have other flavors). Basically it's fish oil which they have people take to lower their cholesterol. You can also get regular fish oil tabs and freeze them to avoid the fishy burp taste problem that some people have!
She is 12 and has been on this since age 10 at least. I have not noticed a great difference, but slight difference except that she has worked up to reading at grade level finally! This was a major concern for many years.
I have had a hard time finding these, but have searched on the internet. We order by mail from our naturopath. I would imagine you could go to a diet supplement or natural foods store and perhaps locate them there.
Finally - just a thought - to limit TV. I recently read an theoretical article about the input we get from our TV in today's world, which trains us and our children to constantly want fast action. The TV cameras and angles are constantly changing, second to second - even on the daily news programs (they called this "flicker"). I didn't quite understand what this meant, but they said to go take a look at an old Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood show and compare it to an average child's program from the past 10 years. Mr. Rogers is very slow-paced, and the camera does not cut in and out. The camera follows him without the constant stop-start you see nowadays. I ABSOLUTELY understood and agreed that this could be contributing to our entire population's sudden surgence of ADD/ADHD. And I am now limiting my children's exposure to TV even more as a result.
Best of luck with this situation!
1 mom found this helpful
R.S. answers from Seattle on November 08, 2008
I have a girlfriend that's daughter was diagnosed with adhd. They choose to go med free and do allergy test with food to find an underlying problem. They are a gluten free family now. the differance in behavior is amazing. when you met their daughter before. She wouldn't even look at you let alone speak to you. Now she's just like everyother child. Communicated fine and learns and behaves just like a non adhd child. Diet is key with anything. It can affect any of us is so many ways. Always eat as naturally as you can. Whole foods are best. No proceed foods or very limited.
1 mom found this helpful
M.D. answers from Seattle on November 08, 2008
I put in another vote for the gluten free diet...it really helps!
1 mom found this helpful
N.Z. answers from Portland on November 08, 2008
Two natural things that work well. My boss, his son and my oldest son have ADD/ADHD. My boss and his son are ADHD, there is quite a difference!
The things that work best for all of them are taking fish oil capsules. Fish oil helps the brain function and it really helps with continuing a thought. Exercise, if my son doesn't run daily his attitude sucks and he can't focus. I "run" him and things work much better. Both of the kids have been on medication and that does help but, you can't take all your life. Learning to deal is better. She has an added disadvantage in that there are far fewer girls than boys with the problem, and most teachers are less helpful with girls than boys. Boys will be boys, you know.
My boss is ADHD, he wears me out, but, he went to pre-med then to Chiropractic College. He's one of the best Chiropractors around. So success is achievable.
It's great that you want to help, and it takes more people with understanding to help these people.
A famous person with ADHD is Ty Pennington. I read his story in Guidposts recently.
1 mom found this helpful
R.W. answers from Anchorage on November 09, 2008
My youngest son, 13 years, is ADHD also and he refuses to take medication and I'm not forcing him to. But when it comes to being around other children his own age and in a learning environment, he is a 'terror' so to speak. He ended up having to go into a behavioral residential health center for 3 months because of it along with having anxiety and ODD( Oppositional Defiance Disorder). It helped straighten him up to a point, but if I would've left him there just a little longer, he'd be even better than he is now. However, he has come a long long way WITHOUT MEDICATION! This was in 2007 from May 1st to August 9th! Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to put him in there in the first place and I'm not saying you should tell the child's guardian that she should put the child in one of those at all. But what I am saying is that they do help get the kids focused on what is important and makes them realize more about themselves.
Also, I found that also separating my son from the other kids when doing school work helps a great deal cause they aren't distracted and more focused. Another words, having a one on one tutor is a good idea or even trying home schooling (that's what I'm doing this year) helps a great deal as well. Having a routine and boundaries also is a great structural direction for them.I'm just making suggestions and letting you know what works for me and my son. Maybe these ideas will work for the child you are concerned about and her guardian as well or at least a couple of them. Hope it helps. Good luck!!!!
1 mom found this helpful