A.W. asks from San Saba, TX on May 08, 2008
Needing Ways to Handle Child with ADD?
My sister adopted a foster child a year ago and when she got him, she was informed that he had ADD and was on medication. Both my sister and her husband don't like the idea of medicating a child and took him off his meds, but for this whole past school year he has been constantly getting into trouble at school. He is not near as bad at home, but the school is fed up and my sister is at her wits end even to the point of wondering if she made a mistake. Which we know is not the truth, but that she is just upset about not knowing what to do.
Does anyone know any natural ways to deal with ADD behavioral issues? Any techniques, medicines or anything that you should not let them have that would help keep their moods under control? I am sure that my sister is not the only one going through this. She has tried incentives and rewards, talking to him, punishing him, and taking priveleges away. All these helped for a few days, but didn't last very long.
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So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone who responded. I can't believe the amount of responses that I received! I sent this page to my sister to look at. I know that she is going to try several of the things that were suggested and if the natural way doesn't work then she will put him back on medication. Thanks again for taking the time to share.
J.S. answers from Austin on May 12, 2008
She might get him tested for food allergy's my friend's daughter was having problems at school and ended up being allergic to several foods
K.C. answers from Houston on May 09, 2008
My son had a problem with misbehaving at school. We took him to the doctor to find out if he had some form of add, adhd, or if it was something else. Before his second appt I found a trick that works for him to think of behaving at school. Its worked for me for the past 3-4 weeks. He's only come home maybe with 4 bad marks since. What I did was have a talk with him about breaking mommys heart when he came home with reds on his folder. (Reds mean he misbehaved at school greens mean he did really great.) He was upset because he thought it really did break mommys heart so anyways I started drawing hearts on both of his hands so he could see my heart on him. I know it sounds so small but it has been working for me and even if he has pink hearts he still thinks about how he is acting. I hope this might help you on some ideas to try.
S.W. answers from Houston on May 09, 2008
Sometimes medication is necessary. Or look into food allergies. Allergies are a big trigger to behavorial problems.
M.T. answers from Houston on May 16, 2008
I have a step son that is ADHD... for a while his mother did not want him on medication. After a year of struggling with school, taking away everything but his bed and dresser in his room at our house, grades dropping and having to put him at Sylvan to get him on track we finally had him tested for ADHD. My husband went to his private school and watched him in action on a TV screen, he litterally had NO CONTROL, my husband knew that no punishment was going to make it better. His mothers major concern was that she did not want him a zombie and did not want him on medication that he should be able to control it on his own. We took him to the pediatrician this dr did a blind study, he was on a dose of medication one week and we all had to fill out a survey including the teachers and Sylvan. The next week was a double dose and the other week was a placebo. We did not know what dose he was taking on which week, only the doctor and pharmacist did. Blood tests were also done. He was definately in need of the medication. The doctor put it this way - if your child was a diabetic would you not give him insulin? If he had a heart condition would you not give him heart meds? Our son was definately in need of a small dose of medication that has helped him immensely, he was a different child. He continues on medication 6 years later, however a different medication and has continued to go through the necessary blood work, etc. We did go without for a while because of some of the side effects and weight loss, however we did that in the summer time. The medication he is on now really works well. We did however read an article somewhere about there has been some studies that children with mild cases of ADD or ADHD have had some improvement with taking Omega 3 - fish oil... we did not see a diffence in our son going this route. Some children can learn different techniques but it takes daily counseling and patience galore... there were a couple of really good "Super Nanny" programs that I recorded that she delt with ADHD children... There is even a parent group - out there that you can get lots of information. The main thing is learning which buttons you can and can not push with a child with ADHD, or ADD for that matter. You have to deal with them TOTALLY different than normal children, things have to be explained more so with our child.
Hope this helps....
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T.B. answers from Houston on May 12, 2008
If the child is truly ADD then he most likely cannot control the behavior to the extent that he needs to at school. It is a chemical imbalance and requires medication. There are medications available that are not stimulants if that is the parents concern. My son is ADD and I did not want to put him on medication at all. We tried everything for over a year and finally gave in and tried medication. Within 3 weeks his conduct had improved and his grades were on their way up. Within 6 weeks he was back to making straight A's. As the child matures he may be able to handle his condition without the medication. I do agree that some parents and physicians are too quick to put an "unruly" child on ADD medication but in some instances it is really needed. If your child had diabetes would you give him insulin shots? They are both diseases, why not try the medication for ADD and see if it helps the child? Withholding it from him may actually be doing more harm than good. I would recommend taking the child to someone who is an specializes in ADD as opposed to a general practicioner.
Good luck - I know it is a difficult situation.
1 mom found this helpful
B.R. answers from Austin on May 09, 2008
A., I'm so glad you asked. I have a similar situation with an adopted child. When my husband and I began researching ways to help him, we discovered a remarkable company called Nikken. Nikken has a whole-person approach to wellness that incorporates a concept called the five pillars of health. I was so impressed with the company, their products, their integrity, and their business plan that I went to work for them. To learn about the five pillars of health, please visit my website at www.nikken.com/brendaramsey. The website has videos explaining how Nikken products can change your nephew's life.
I heard a recorded message from a noted pediatrician, Dr. Melanie Caldwell, a Georgetown University graduate. Dr. Caldwell saw in her practice lots of children with asthma, ADHD, obesity and diabetes. Fifty percent of her patients had ADHD, and she found herself writing over 600 prescriptions per month for stimulant drugs to treat it. She was frustrated, though, because despite continued use of drugs, the childrens' symptoms never improved. Dr. Caldwell discovered Nikken and began her own, informal clinical trials with her patients.
Dr. Caldwell believes that the most significant cause of ADHD is a sleep disorder. It's a chicken/egg situation. Which came first--does poor sleep cause ADHD, or does ADHD cause poor sleep? No one knows for sure, but in Dr. Caldwell's trials she put her patients on Nikken's sleep system at night, and in special, therapeutic shoes all day, and their sleep, and their symptoms improved. In fact, over 80 percent of her patients saw dramatic behavioral improvement. She recommends Nikken products exclusively now, and no longer recommends stimulant drugs, because the Nikken products work.
Nikken's Wellness Home concept addresses water quality, air quality, fitness, nutrition, and sleep. Improving all these areas can radically improve a multitude of health conditions. Dr. Caldwell recommends them all, but specifically recommends starting with a sleep system for children with ADHD. I found it very helpful with our son. He used to thrash around all night and wake up with his covers in a heap at the foot of the bed. When he slept on the Nikken sleep system, he woke up with his covers intact, and said he felt much more rested. He was considerably more clear-headed as well. It made a very noticable difference. We have him on several of the Nikken nutritional products now, and look forward to adding to our Wellness Home as finances allow.
Please don't think I'm just trying to sell you something. I've seen these products change lives, and I truly believe in them. They could help your nephew.
1 mom found this helpful
J.H. answers from Houston on May 08, 2008
Hi A. my aunt has a son with the same problem and she hates giving him meds.also so what she tryed and it has worked so far she sit him down and talked with him about the things he was doing at school so she told him if he could go to school all week with out geting in to trouble we will go have a day of fun on the weekend like takeing him to movie are to chukiecheese's she will let him pick what he would like to go do and that has worked for over 3mos now,so maybe yall could try that and girl you are a blessing to those childern that need somebody i wanted to be a foster parent as well but then i got sick with some health problems so never got around to it thankyou for loving those little angels god bless you.
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L.D. answers from Houston on May 14, 2008
You are a wise woman with a great love for children, you rock!
I have a 7 yr old who has had mild symptoms since he was 2. We looked into see if he had any food allergies, sensitivities to food additives and preservatives. We took him off processed foods, sugary (real and sugar substitutes), and anything with food coloring. He did improve after trying this new diet, but still had temper tantrums, concentration problems and an unability to process his emotions. Things improved greatly when we put him on a childrens DHA supplement from my local healthfood store.It's made from 100% arctic cod liver oil which promotes brain development and visual function. The brand he takes is Nordic Naturals Children's DHA. They are chewable oil caplets with a nice strawberry flavor. My son asks for them everyday. After being on them for two months he is a happy, confident, peaceful child.( Granted we do have regular tempers flair up but not the rage that he had before)
His teacher at school is so impressed with his reading improvement( he is on level now).
Also, look up www.loveandlogic.com, these cd series have transformed they way I talk to my kids, and adults for that matter. They teach you how to parent in a way that helps children devlope great character and responsibility. Check it out.
Blessings on you and the littles ones you love.
1 mom found this helpful
R.D. answers from College Station on May 09, 2008
I highly recommend a book called: Healing the New Childhood Epidemics.
E.E. answers from Austin on May 09, 2008
Give him coffee or green tea. The caffeine calms them down. Just remember to send some in his lunch as well.
S.S. answers from San Antonio on May 09, 2008
Here is some perspective from an ADD mom with an ADD child:
a. Medication is NOT a moral failing.
b. Research shows that a combination of medication, behavioral counseling and diet is the best way to help people with ADD
Everybody is different, and there are several types of ADD. My son and I are both the "combined" type. Our body chemistry responds to stimulant medications - not necessarily connected to being ADD combined type. The non-stimulant varieties do nothing for me. Believe me, for nearly 40 years, I've tried them all and then some. I tried going off of meds - I thought I didn't need them. I was wrong and made a lot of bad life choices for a lot of years, which is common for untreated ADD.
Check food labels. You don't have to go all organic. Just stop buying food with high fructose corn syrup and a list of ingredients you can't pronounce. Yes, I've noticed that just about everything in the grocery store has HFCS, but there are lots of items that don't.
A high-protein diet is important. Start the day with at least two protein sources. Proteins with Omega 3 fats are best (eggs are easy).
I don't have anything against so-called "natural" remedies. Many can be helpful, however, there are so many variables. The quality is not consistent, nor are the products regulated. They may not be used in a quantity or a frequency that gets the desired results. Many work, but in combination with other factors, like diet, meds, etc.
Lastly, if your sister and her husband do not like the idea of medicating for illnesses and disorders, they should choose not to take in foster children with illnesses and disorders. They could be prosecuted for refusing to provide appropriate medical care.