ADD / ADHD Help!

Updated on January 29, 2009
S.W. asks from Flower Mound, TX
55 answers

My 5 year old son was just dianosed with ADHD. We have been having a lot of behavior issues at school and home. After several months I finally talked with Pedi about his symptoms. My husband is completely against any medication & I was wondering if anyone out there has had a good or bad experience with ADHD meds. Our Pedi gave us a script for Focalin XR.

I am not trying to resort to meds as an "easy" fix. We have been working with his school/ teacher for the last several months & working at home to try and change some of his behaviors. We are at a point where he is getting in trouble several times a week at school (vp's office). He is already seeing the counselor at school for behavior therapy & his teacher has really gone above and beyond trying to help in the classroom. Please share with me any experiences so we can weigh our options.
Thanks!

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W.K.

answers from Dallas on

My friend used special nutritional supplement for her daughter and within 2 months she was ADD/ADHD free. Before she used conventional medecine without good results. It is pleasant to see her daughter without all the problems from ADD. Let me know if you like to learn more.
Bless you-
W.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

My son just started Focalin XR. He was getting into trouble several times each day at school and at home. We have been so pleased since starting it. He's finally able to "calm down" rather than bouncing off the walls screaming. We will be moving him to a new private school in January so that he can learn coping skills. We are hoping that with time and skills, we will be able to reduce his dose and eventually stop taking medication. (Ped says 5-7 years on meds.)

We tried the diets, and supplements. I mean we were spending hundreds of dollars a month on these. We saw no change. Only a very small percentage of people actually see changes with these.

Good luck.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

Ok this sounds a little out there and not that easy to follow. But we changed my sons diet and eliminated all gulten. For some kids you also have to eliminated dairy as well. We were able to go with out ADD medication and saw a remarkable change. When son got older 8th grade it was hard for him to follow the diet he did not want to be different from his peers and the Add behaviors came back at this time we decided to medicate. Good luck

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C.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

You can avoid medication ALTOGETHER if you take your son to a CLINICAL nutritionist. They are doctors but use whole food supplements rather than medications. And they don't treat the problem, they eliminate the problem. Medical doctors only treat the symptoms of illnesses and disease. Clinical nutritionist find the cause and eliminate that which then eliminates the illness. I have a great doctor who can help your son. She is in Wichita Falls TX and has clients all across the country so distance is not an issue. Her website is www.advancedclinicalnutrition.com and you can reach her by phone ###-###-#### or email [email protected]____.com isn't an option, this is the solution!! Call her!!

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J.E.

answers from Dallas on

Go to www.thebraininstitute.net - they offer a service called neurotherapy that can treat ADHD without medication and are located in Colleyville. See also www.maxhealthfamilymedicine.com, which is the doctor's office that The Brain Institute is associated with. I actually work at MaxHealth and they have had good results with the treatment - many of our employees and their children have done it as well, as they can treat several different types of ailments.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

For once, I think a husband may be right ;)

Have you considered dietary and nutritional solutions? These can be EXTREMELY effective and are supported by medical and scientific research. Few traditionally changed doctors know anything about the impact of diet and nutrition on overall health, thus they often don't even mention these approaches.

The best source of information, and best doc in the area and nationwide even, is Dr. M. Ann Block:
www.blockcenter.com

She does extensive testing for allergens and recommends key nutrients that can have tremendous impacts on behavior. She has also written a book (just search on her name on Amazon) on the steps parents can take to resolve these issues on their own.

Take a look at the video on that website and watch a child going from calm (with neat handwriting) to out of control (with sloppy handwriting).

We adults too can benefit from these nutritional and dietary interventions. It has helped me and my sons tremendously.

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E.F.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

There is alot of advise and info here. I urge you to check out www.newideas.net. They have alot of info on Add and ADHD. The best site I have found and it is an all natural approach. Good Luck and God Bless. P.S. All and I mean all, medication has side affects that are worse than what the problem that it is prescribed for. Your husband is right not wanting to medicate him. Best Wishes.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

He is only FIVE. Unless someone can get me a bloodtest showing he is defficient in some chemicals that control behavior, I am with your husband. What grade is he in at 5? If he is in Kindergarten, and he hasn't had his birthday to 6 yet, he is probably just immature. It is so frustrating that the schools (even private) sometimes chalk up immaturity to ADD. But what is more frustraring is that a pediatrician would diagnose a 5 year old BOY with ADD. I am sorry I sound harsh but our private school tried to "diagnose" our first child, a boy, with ADD. That was last year in kindergarten when he was 6. His pediatrician, Dr. Dreiling, said he really isn't comfortable diagnosing any child under second grade with ADD. Well, now, in 1st grade, my son had a rough start, but it was like overnight, he has matured. I really would go with your husband's instincts on this. There are some things to consider too... how many kids are in his class? how many of them are boys? is he easily influenced by other kids and just wants to have fun when they are "acting" up? also, how many of the other kids are getting in trouble too (this would help yoiu gauge how easily your school cries wolf)? Also, Dr. Dreiling told me to let my son veg for a while after school and to let him play before any homework, chores, etc. Diet is a factor as well. Taking away simple carbs (cheerios, goldfish, crackers, etc) and adding fruits, protein and veggies to snack time/meals makes a world of difference. I am sorry for such a long post, I just want you to explore ALL options before meds for a 5 year old. If he was 8 or something, then I wouldn't be so fiesty. Good luck though! Let us know!

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

You have so much great info to sift through here! but I did want to add my two cents. I also have a son who is five (just turned six) and I have been torturing myself wondering what to do with him regarding the whole ADD/ADHD debate. I have met with his counselor, his pedi, and his teachers. My husband and I have been researching ALOT and speaking to as many people as possible. As moms trying to make this decision, I think we have to go with our gut. Every child's circumstances are different so no one can tell you what is best for your child.

I will not resort to medication for this. I agree that you wouldn't feel bad about giving your child medication for an ailment, etc. but this is not an ailment. Medications only treat the symptoms because it is behavioral. For adults suffering from depression, etc. I think they are responsible for going on behavioral meds. But with children, there are so many options. I agree with those who say go the nutritional route, provide different activities, etc.

I actually took a two week period and simply WATCHED my child and took note of everything he was doing without him knowing. I would just observe different things and times, activities, went to lunch with him at school, etc. and tried to objectively look at his issues. And yes, he is active and he does get distracted. But he is also curious and loving, interested and investigative. He is not dangerous, mean, or destructive. If his behavior becomes intolerant towards others, I will seek alternate solutions. But at this point, I owe it to him to do my best to help him naturally. Good luck.

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J.G.

answers from Amarillo on

Please do not let people make you feel bad for medicating your child. If he had something else wrong with him,wouldn't you give him medication to make him better? My daughter,who is eighteen, was diagnosed at the age of 6. Without her medication she was out-of-control and could not focus to do her schoolwork. I think her being labled a problem child did more damage to her self-esteem than anything else. The only downfall I have seen was that it could have stunted her growth a little bit. When she was yoounger she was always one of the taller kids in her class. Now,at 18 she is just 5 foot 4. average I guess. Would I have taken her off of the medication so that she MIGHT grow a couple of more inches? OF COURSE NOT!
The light at the end of the tunnnel? She has out grown a lot of her behavior issues. She is still impulsive and still has trouble focusing but is soo much better now. She stopped taking medication around the age of 15. Good luck to you and your family.

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C.N.

answers from Dallas on

Hello!
I am so sorry ! THis is stressful SOme dieas: some young chidlren are not ready for school environment or sitting down all day. If you think about it, who enjoys this! It may be better to homeschool . I have done it and have enjoyed resutls. There are groups, DE in For Worth, that offer less structured classes. Being active and not wanted to be confined to a chari all day is not always ADD, etc.
You might want to google natural alternatives as all medicines have long term results, some not good.
Blessings to you and Merry Christmas! Hang in there! You sound like a great, caring Mom!
SIncerely,
C. N

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Try doing a food restriction/limitation eating plan. I have a friend whose daughter was acting out. She had erratic behavior, one moment bouncing off the walls the next crying in the corner. They cut out red dye and carmel coloring from her choices of food and now she's a happy girl with no symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Here is a resource - http://www.feingold.org/ I have known many people who have adopted this plan for their children and have had great results.

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S.D.

answers from Dallas on

I, too, was once opposed to medication, but at the second year of problems I finally took him to get medicated. Best decision I ever made. Went from multiple behavioral issues per week to none. Now, two years later and my son is on the honor roll with an excellent conduct rating. He is on Ritalin LA and it is the best. If you get a low enough dosage, there is no drugged feelings or appearances. The only thing you have to watch for is to make sure he eats a good breakfast and dinner because his appetite will be suppressed during lunch time. On this medication, my son is incredibly happy and productive and his teachers think he is great.These first years imprint what school will be like for the next many years, so do your child a favor and help him with meds. There is no shame or stigma, just success.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, S.-
I am the mother of three (2 grown) and have been a teacher, tutor, educator for over thirty years. When I started teaching, there was no diagnosis for ADD/ADHD. The children who couldn't control themselves were just considered "bad"or the parents were blamed (especially moms)for their lack of parenting skills. I think that there are times when children are medicated to placate parents. I also know that there is a real, chemical problem that effects many children and can hamper the child socially and academically. This is tragic for the parents as well as the child when there is effective medication available to help. I would suggest listening to your doctor. If your child was diagnosed with epilepsy, you wouldn't feel as if you were a failure for not being able to "cure" it with a behavior chart. I have had parents try a vast variety of options with no success. I would also suggest keeping your child as physically active as possible. C.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would say that I am a naturalist, I dont have a chemical in my home. From what I clean with to what we shampoo with or brush our teeth with. Anything and everything is chemical free because I know they are NOT good for us.

On that note, my daughter does have ADHD and has been medicated for the last 2 1/2 years. Off medication she is constantly in trouble, she can not control her behavior, her actions, herself. On medication she is the sweetest child you have ever met. She is a writer, at 7 she writes books and dreams of being an author one day. Off medication she can not sit for 10 minutes and she can not get a thought out to even write a sentence, let alone a story.

This is why we medicate, to help her slow down so she can be who she wants to be. So she can have a life that she can enjoy, instead of being miserable and in trouble all the time.

We are also doing nuerofeedback therapy right now, an alternative that will hopefully have her off medication in a year. If you are interested here is there info:

Bullard, Jeff MD - Max Health Family Medicine
###-###-####
5207 Heritage Ave, Colleyville, TX 76034

GL!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

Focalin is strong stuff. Have you considered homeopathy or something natural? Look at www.susanwkennedy.com
She is a homeopath in Plano. There are several other good ones too if you are open to it. We have been doing homeopathy for years. My nephew was ADHD and saw huge success with homeopathy.
L.

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

My ex-husband ws against drugs as well. Kinda the reason we are ex. My son is 13 now and if he wasn't medicated he would of never excelled in math and reading as well as he has! He was diagnosed in preschool with it and put on adderal which i hated cus it doped it up so we went to concerta. now that was a blessing for awhile until he started growing and only bad thing about concerta is the system becomes immune to it so you need a higher dosage. By the time he turned 8 he was at 54 mg so i talked with my psychiatrist about that and he suggested we moved the concerta down and start giving him some new drug called straterra. OMG I love this stuff! It's not addictive so he can take a small amount and we found that together with the concerta it has changed him into a somewhat normal boy. To explain about this problem. One side of the brain is trying to keep the other side awake hence hyperness but also the attention span is pfft! So the concerta works on the hyperness and the straterra( is not that strong as concerta) curves his attention span now too! Omg he excelled in reading 2 grades once he started taking these two together. I have to say if my son wasn't medicated I believe he would of struggled more in school and maybe wouldn't of been so well at what he does now. So if medication is the way for you. That is my experience with it and i hope this helps you and your husband make that hard decision!

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R.H.

answers from Dallas on

My Daughter (& Husband) is ADHD. She is on Adderall XR. What you have to understand if you don't already is that with ADD & ADHD people, they CAN'T control their actions completely. The medicine, helps those brain waves make connections that otherwise they are incapable of making.

With that being said, after 4 days of taking meds, my daughter said,"Mommy that pill makes my hand writing better" that spoke loudly to me that we were doing the right thing. That was when she was in 2nd grade. She is now a 9th grader and wants to take the meds so she can focus in High School.

She has tried Focalin to help "stretch" her morning meds through homework time. But she didn't like it at all. I can't tell you how it would work by itself though.

Being a teacher, I have seen meds works wonders with behavior, self esteme,academically and the list goes on. As I told a mom who wanted to put her son on meds and dad didn't, What will it hurt to just try it?

Good Luck!!!

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

My son took Concerta at first diagnosis and it didn't work at all. He now takes Vyvanse and has been on it for a year. The only side effect is that if he takes it too late in the day, he has a hard time going to sleep at night. Even when he takes it early in the morning he still has some trouble falling asleep. The doctor gave him something to take at night to help with sleeping. In the beginning I gave it to him every night but started cutting back because I don't want him taking lots of pills to function.

Now, he only takes the Vyvanse in the morning and I only give him the other if it is absolutely too hard for him to fall asleep...maybe once or twice a week. I also don't always give him the Vyvanse on the weekends or during school holidays or summer vacation. But all ADD/ADHD kids can't do that and I didn't at first.

I don't want him taking meds forever or to think that meds are the only way to control his behavior. As he gets older I want him to continue the non medication techniques and learn to handle himself without constant medication. Some differ on that but all things are possible.

Hope this helps.

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
It looks like you have tons of advice to work with but I thought I would tell you about Waiora. They are are a company who provides vitamins/nutrients/supplements the natural way. There have been tons of testomies of children that are autistic or have adhd and have had great results using their products. We take their products and love them. The detox (NCD) is the best out there and it is simple to use. You can go to http://www.testimonyinfo.com/ to read testoimonies if you are interested you can to go http://my.waiora.com/home.php?895341 to view all thier products. Dont order the products there, become a member for just $30 and you can order the products at cost. That's what we did. Let me know if you have any questions.
God bless you.
K. ###-###-####

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N.L.

answers from Abilene on

I don't have any advice to offer because I am unfamiliar with the specific medication you mentioned. However, I do have a personal experience to offer.
I am 47 years old.
It seemed like I never fit in anywhere. Couldn't "behave" myself from toddlerhood. Got on people's nerves. Frustrated my mother. Had a hard time learning to keep my hands to myself; my opinions to myself...

I was born at a time when dyslexia, ADD and ADHD were not diagnosed in school children.

Ten years ago a boss sent me to a testing office, rather than firing me. There I learned that I had both ADD and Dyslexia. I just pretty much thought, "Hmm, that explains my difficulties." But I did not do anything medically.
In unrelated circumstances few years later, I was medically diagnosed with: depression, PTSD, paranoia and OCD. My doctor put me on Zoloft. A combination of several years on Zoloft and of counseling got me through the 4 problems listed just above.

BUT the first dose of Zoloft had a wonderful side effect of slowing my racing thoughts down. For the first time in my life I could eat out and not hear every little conversation going on around me! I have never been able to tune other noise out. From the first day on Zoloft, I could. On the medication, I was able to finally have more impulse control. I still had to learn appropriate social behavior. But being on medication gave me ability to slow my world down enough to finally learn!

Your husband doesn't want your son on medication. But for me, that's what gave me the chance at 41, to finally grow up and deal well with the world around me. Six years later, I am now on no prescription meds. And have learned to behave myself in public. lol

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

My sister was diagnosed when she was about 8 and now she's 17. My parents did the normal allergy prick test and she wasn't allergic to anything so they put her on the meds. The meds did work, however, she is insecure and thinks she's stupid because she has to have meds. They have really messed with her metabolism and she's an overweight teen which is hard on a girl. Come to find out they don't do an allergy test to wheat/glutin on the normal test because this is actually a blood test and not a prick test. Wheat/glutin allergies actually have the exact same signs as ADHD. Loss of focus, crave carbohydrates and starches such as corn and macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, could sleep all day or atleast just lay in their bed and watch tv all day. I would have the blood test done to be sure before you mess with their self-esteem and metabolism because that is so hard to change later in life. Whereas if you get in the habit now of not having wheat/glutin they will be used to it by the time they are adults.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

Before doing something drastic with medication, please read this information.http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/children/add.htm Think outside the box and focus on nerve system restoration through natural chiropractic care. As a DC I've seen many children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD get well with a combination of specific upper cervical chiropractic care and nutritional changes. Children respond very well and quickly to care and it doesn't hurt and the upper cervical work is extremely gentle--my youngest patient at the moment is 3 months old and my youngest by far was 2 hours old! There are not many of us around in the DFW area that specialize in the upper cervical work, so if you're not near the North Dallas/Plano area go to www.upcspine.com to find one near you. If you wish to speak to me privately you can email me at [email protected]____.com Bless you on your journey.

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W.V.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
My oldest son is now 11 and in 5th grade. When he started kindergarten, his very sweet teacher told us that she thought he might have ADHD. After the diagnosis, I was completely against medicating him. We tried everything. His teacher gave every effort, bless her, but nothing helped him to sit still during school. We started him on a very low dose of Adderal XR and it was a complete change. He was able to complete his work at school and not disrupt the entire class during the day.
I guess I was in denial for many years. I kept thinking that he would "grow out of it". Every new school year, we would attempt to go without medication. Every teacher tried working with him, but we always ended up on the medication. I can see that he needs the medication. He is happy and healthy, and a straight A student. My advice is to try medication and if it makes a difference, then know that you are helping your son. If it doesn't work, then know that you have explored another avenue. Keep your head up.

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
I sounds like you have tried a lot of behavioral type things...how about some herbal supplements? We are going through something VERY similar in my house and have decicided to try many herbal/natural things before prescription meds. I went to Whole Foods and they recommended a trio of supplements that people swear by. Personally, it did not work for us but everyone is different. We are now trying something called...BrightSpark and Focus. We ordered it on Amazon. We have seen great changes with our son and are very happy with the progress. Please let me know if you need more info on either the stuff from WholeFoods or the BrightSpark. God Bless.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

Have you tried taking your son to a chiropractor? I am a chiropractor and I work with children and adults with ADHD. There are several factors that can be involved. By using eyelights it can help to stimulate the brain to function properly and have a relaxing affect. The eyelights also help us to access the brain to help us test for weaknesses in the brain. Then by using a cold laser we can help stimulate parts of the brain that are not functioning properly or parts of the brain that are not working together. Also, by using Applied Kinesiology, aka muscle testing, we can determine food sensitivities or organ weaknesses that correlate with the condition. I know that is a lot to digest, but it just shows that there are other options rather than medicating your child. If you have any questions, or would like more information, please don't hesitate to call me at ###-###-#### or visit my website at sullivanchiropractic.com. Thanks! Dr. Sandra S.

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

I have heard that alot of children receive help from a change in diet. That alot of the behavioral issues stem from a reaction to their foods. For example foods like, red dyes, preservatives, etc.

B.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.. We went through the same thing with our son... Kindergarten teacher told us and told us and told us. And we didn't want to hear it. Then first grade teacher told us and told us and told us, so we began to think there might be something to it. Our pedi doesn't "see" kids for ADHD and referred us to a psychiatrist, which we took him to and he diagnosed him as definitely having ADHD. We had to try 4-5 different medicines before we found the one that worked for him and now he's been on Focalin XR and has done wonderful. Behavior at school is nearly perfect and he's had straight A's all through second grade. It's amazing. The medicine is great b/c it doesn't "drug" him like some say or some might think. He's still himself, but much more manageable and makes our home a much calmer, more settled and happier place. You can at least try and it and see what you think. You can always take him off if you don't like it or see good results.
Also, can you let me know of your pedi that will give you the meidication for ADHD? I thought that once we had the diagnosis of it, then my pedi would take over prescriptions, but he won't. And our psychiatrist is very expensive and really hard to get ahold of. Ugh.
Thanks so much and I hope this helps a little bit.
~B.
[email protected]____.com

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

I put my child thru Hell trying out different prescription medicines on him. I finally found something that works for us and it's not a prescription. I found heard that Calcium can calm a child down. I buy my powder Calcium thru Market America - a few caps per day or more when needed. My doctor said give it a try - no, it's not a miracle instant cure, but it works. I finally realized that most of my problems were due to pressure from teachers that enjoy the "zombie" affect that prescriptions have on kids. Find a teacher that has more patience and also extra chores in class helped. I bought a workbook with school activities, puzzles and so forth. When he finished his work and was behaving, he got to work in the book. It worked GREAT ! Good luck to you and do NOT let people push you into any hasty decisions.

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V.A.

answers from Amarillo on

I have a son who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in 2nd grade, and like yours, my husband was totally against the meds. Well, I wasn't, and I took our son to the Dr. to discuss our options. I did alot of research on the meds that are out there and we decided on Strattera, it is the ONLY ADHD med out there without the ampetamine, but works the same as all the others. He is now in 6th grade, and doing very well, in fact, I noticed a difference the first day he took it. Strattera is also different from the others because it only works while its in their system. He only takes it on school days, no holidays, no weekends, no summer. I know that it's scary to think of putting your child on something that you know nothing about, but do your research, its easy to find information on any of the drugs online, and you can read up on them all.

I don't like the idea of herbal supplements to an extreme either, just because there is no extensive study or regulation of them. We tried some, never worked for my son. We work on behavior all the time, but most of the time its not really a behavior issue, its a focus issue, these kids can't get their little minds to stop going so fast so they can focus on the task at hand. Anything is better than nothing, its frustrating for you to see your child getting in trouble at school all the time, so imagine how frustrating it is for him to not be able to do anything to control it, because he can't.

Meds are not an "easy" fix, in fact it's probably the hardest decision a parent has to make, but if he had an ear infection or bronchitis, you would give him the antibiotics you doctor would prescribe, right. This IS a medical condition, and needs to be treated. For me it was easy, either sit back and watch him struggle, get in trouble and loose his self-esteem, or put him on something that helps him focus and get the job done, and feel good about himself. IT does not change who he is, it just gives him the ability to look at an assignment and not be so overwhelmed because his mind is moving so fast he doesn't know where to start.

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L.B.

answers from Amarillo on

My daughter has ADD and also has kidney problems making us very leary of trying meds. We opted to try occupational therapy and it has worked wonderfuly! Her new teacher seems indignant when I ask about her focus in class. I will say it did take about three weeks to see any improvement and longer to see lasting change. This is a huge time investment, but if your husband is really opposed to meds this might help.

I have a friend who picked a copy of the cokbook Special Diets for Special Kids and had success just by changing her child's diet, again a long process.

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R.

answers from Dallas on

My son is 7 and we went though the same thing. We put off meds for as long as possible. Currently, we use a variety of therapies (Occupational therapy for sensory integration strategies to help him cope and organize his behavior, and cognitive therapy with Learning Rx to help him increase his processing speed and tune out distractions to increase focus and attention. We also use a behavior therapist (BCBA) to help us create a positive behavior system and use applied behavior analysis to decrease the negative behaviors and replace them with appropriate behaviors. My son has been on ritalin 3xday since June and today his pedi just switched him to Focalin since it's time released. He was having lapses with the 3x day tablets which caused mood swing fluxes. We do have him on a lower dose than his size would accomodate and I think we're able to do this because the other therapies help compensate so I don't have to medicate him so much. You might want to check out dietary intervention options like french maritime bark and fish oil pills too. I think an occupational therapist with sensory integration experience is also very helpful in teaching some great strategies.

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B.G.

answers from Dallas on

Ditt Welch at Oxygen Sciences Wellness Center near Preston & 635 in Dallas ###-###-#### has excellent and effective treatment for ADD/ADHD, no pills, no drugs and it really works! Call and make an appt. ASAP. It will change your child's life and you will be glad you did.
B. G. (mother or 8, grandmother of 4)

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
I have a son with ADHD that we medicate. The first thing you need to know about ADHD meds is they're stimulants, which is why they're a controlled medication (more stringent documentation is required for these prescriptions). If your child does NOT have ADHD, the meds will make them bounce off the walls...that is enough "proof" for me. The reason they work for kids with ADHD is the synapses in their brains are not firing quickly enough, which is why they lose focus, etc. The ADHD meds help their brains work like others do naturally.

Secondly, studies have shown kids with ADHD that are NOT medicated are more likely to use drugs/alcohol when they are teens and exhibit a higher rate of depression. This is because their inability to control their actions/behavior make them a bit of a "misfit" in school, so they are not academically or socially successful. This leads to self-esteem issues, so they often self-medicate to treat their depression.

Thirdly, when people tell you the issue is your parenting style, why is your child exhibiting the behavior no matter where he's at?? Don't all people adjust their behavior to expectations - i.e. loud at rock concerts, quiet in libraries, etc. Are they telling you neither you nor the school ask him to behave? If he does act better when he visits his grandparents, that's because of the "novelty" factor. Let them keep him for a week w/out meds and the behavior you're seeing at home will rear its ugly head around day 3. I know this from personal experience...my in-laws didn't support medication until they took my son on a weeklong vacation by themselves and without his meds! :-)

Kids with ADHD are going to get labeled no matter what...but YOU have the choice of what that label will be. Is he going to be a kid with "ADHD" or the kid that's "Out of Control"? Please review the National Institute of Health's article on ADHD...it has a lot of valuable information.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/adhd/complete....

P.S. It can take awhile to get the right mix of meds for your child, so please be patient!!

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S.G.

answers from Dallas on

I have posted before about ADHD being caused by household cleaners. Remove the chlorine and ammonias from your home and he should be easier to deal with. I have studies I can share that are too long for this format.
Please let me help you with non-toxic cleaners and protein supplements that have been successful calming overactive kids.
www.Shaklee.net/health_revolution/houspro

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hey S.. My 8 yr old daughter is on Folcalin xr. She has been on it since May, and has NO problems at all. Someitmes she isnt real hungry, but she falls asleep pretty good at night, and she lost a little weight at first but has gained it back. Sorry if this is long!!

When she was 5 we were having alot a trouble with her at home and school. We just figured she was adjusting to school. Then came 1st grade and it was a nightmare. She started going to the principals office and were getting notes sent home from the teacher atleast 2 times a week. She started meeting with the councelor at school and got in friendship groups. Second grade was the same, and the councelor tested her and then gave us some paperwork to take to the doctor. We have tried everything before going to meds. She still sees a councelor outside of school. The doctor explained it to us as a disease. They have NO control of their behavior. Alot of times they dont even know what they are doing or how they are acting, and sometimes medicine is the only way to help them. I am NOT against medicine at all. It has changed our daughter for the best. She can actually concentrate, do projects and be creative, listens to us, and stays out of trouble at school. We see a Big difference in the morning and at night before she goes to bed, b/c the medicine is not in her system. She even tells us that she feels better, that she knows whats going on. I just wanted to share our story with you! Because some people really do NEED the meds.

C.

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W.B.

answers from Dallas on

My stepson takes Adderall XR. It wasn't easy making the choice to put him on medication. He has taken it for two years. I read him your request and he wanted me to tell you how much the medication has helped him. He told me that it helps him concentrate at school. It helps him control his behavior.

He was diagnosed at six. At that time he was in the office multiple times a week. Now he rarely gets in trouble. When he does it is something very minor, like fast walking in the hall. He is now an A/B student and enjoys school. We don't have to fight over homework or even going to school. He loves to read and learn.

I would suggest following your own heart. If you do decide to try the medication, remember, he is your son and if you see that it doesn't work, change it. As parents, we can only make the best decisions with what we have. I wish you all the best

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi... I have the same issue with my son who has had SEVERE adhd since as early as we can remember... he has ADHD with aggression and sensory integration disorder... we have tried several meds that did not work because of his age and brain development (many add meds wont work on a young brain it can actually make it worse) but our Neurologist put him on Abilify and trileptol and it works awesome... (for our son these meds work because of his severe adhd with severe aggression)( and he ppossible has early onset Bipolar...)

any way, I know you might not want to do meds but adhd (if not related to food allergies) is a neurological disorder and needs to be treated with meds. if severe enough it cant be controlled with out meds.

its like diabetes... if the adhd is severe enough to cause problems you have to have meds to treat it... I would go to a pediactric neurologist and see what they say. the meds actually help the brain. its very complex.

I know its a touchy subject, but go into it with an open mind.

I was on ritilan for years and though I hated the idea of taking meds, I could not have succeded with out it. If you dont have it you dont understand that most of the time your impulse controll is not there at all and I had trouble doing what I was told. I had trouble thinking clearly especially with school work I could not concentrate and the meds helped my impulse controll and really helped me to concentrate. I hated feeling out of control so I liked the meds for me because it helped me to be more normal and make good choices and I stopped getting in trouble... I am 35 now and since the age of 14 I have been off meds but I am glad I was on them when I was.
people just dont understand how hard it is to have adhd if they dont have it and structure and disipline and all that is great but it cant change the functioning of the brain like the meds can.

Good luck
A. J

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

I highly recommend to keep a structured/disciplined enviornment. No means no. Limit television time or none at all... video games. Enroll him in a particular sport that will provide him structure/discipline/obeying rules. Restrict sweets of all kinds, sodas, yeast products... Bed time is the same time each evening... Read as much as you can on ADD/ADHD.

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

My sister's husband (a chiropractor) recommends _Maximum Solutions for ADD, Learning Disabilities, and Autism: Natural Treatments for ADD, ADHD, and Autism_ by Ted Broer, which can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Maximum-Solutions-Learning-Disabili...
I have had some success using the book for an 8yo ADHD non-medicated child I take care of several days a week, and sharing the info with his parents. The main thing that I noticed a difference with was removing high fructose corn syrup and red an yellow food colorings (think soda, packaged food). There is a *marked* difference in his behavior when he is allowed a soda. Also, the crying fits stopped after we started Cod Liver oil every day. I can't remember how much is in each capsule, because his parents give it to him now, but 2 capsules is all it took for a 50 lb 8 year old. I would ask a naturopathic or chiropractic practitioner for the exact dose to give your child.
Good luck!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

i am only for meds when everything else has been tried. it looks like you have tried all your options! we did the same route when we were told adhd. we did behavior modification first, then went to meds. does he control himself better on meds? yes. but he is reminded that HE is in control, not the meds. i hope someday to take him off of them, but he's not ready for that after 3 years on them.

what bothers me is that they are diagnosing a 5 yr old with this. whatever happened to just being a kid?

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

I can understand the issues your having with ADD/ADHD. As kids, my brothers and i were all diagnosed as ADD or ADHD. Medication never worked for me, including as an adult. However, my brother seems to think this new medication is gold. In fact, he tested his son on it, age 6, just to see if it made a difference in his school work, it did. My Nephew was getting into trouble all the time at school, and driving my brother crazy at home. The medication is called "Vyvance" may be with an S not sure (Vyvanse) but it has changed my brothers world. My nephew is so much more focused and calm, no trouble at school and his work is better. Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

I had a very bad experience with the meds. You can go online and research and you will find similar stories. My son was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD when he was in 3rd grade. To make a long story short, over a 2 year period, we tried 3 different types of ADD/ADHD medication with different levels of each one....from time release to normal release. My son went from a happy boy who always seem to get into trouble at school for talking, to a depressed boy who no longer got into trouble but had no desire in life. He was so social before the meds and on the meds he became depressed and cried all of the time. He was very sensitive and never wanted to go outside and play with his friends. When I would ask him why he was crying or why he was sad, he would tell me that he didn't know. Each time the doctor would suggest changing his dose or changing is meds all together. Finally, after 2 years, we went in for another doctor appt. I told the doctor, in private, that I was concerned that he was going to end up suicidal if we didn't do something quickly, because he had lost his desire in life. She said that depression is a common sign of the meds so she kept him on his meds and wrote him a prescription for anti-depressants. As my son and I were walking to the car, he asked me if we were going to go pick up his new prescriptions before I dropped him off at school. I said, "Do you know what? We aren't taking antidepressants and we aren't taking your ADD meds anymore either." I went on to tell him that his happiness is more important than anything and that together, we will work through this.
His personality was back to normal within a week! He was happy and playing again. I had forgotten over the past two years how happy that little boy was. It was so good to have him back. After a little research, I ended up buying a book about how to control ADHD/ADD with a proper diet. We didn't follow the book's guidelines completely but we did limit his sweets and artifical flavors and colors intake as much as possible. It helped so much! My son grew out of his ADD/ADHD a couple of years later. He is a normal 17 year old boy who is active in sports and happy!
I'm sure that many parents have had success with meds but you should do allot research before making this decision. I found that we were not alone in our experience. I just wish I would have researched before I put him on them so I would have known to take him off sooner.

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know a ton about how to deal wtih ADD and ADHD, but I do know that a man I worked with did a lot to manage his son's symptoms with diet. Mostly focusing on eliminating processed foods, preservatives, dyes, other chemicals. Surely there are books/websites out there with more details on this idea. As an elementary teacher, I know what a struggle it can be, but also what a bummer the meds can be for some kids. Then again, sometimes they're great. It sounds like the school is supportive either way - that's a good start! Now if you can find a pediatrician who's willing to take a more holistic approach... Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

Ok, I just read your request and I had to respond. I am a chiropractor and help with this sort of thing all the time. However, I just graduated this weekend from another degree I have added to my name. It is called "nutrition response testing". You need to research this! It is awesome! I am helping kids with autism, asperger's, add, adhd, dyslexia, etc. with DRAMATIC results! Incredible! You can see results anywhere from 5days-2 weeks. You should bring your son over. I would love to see him! Call us.
Dr. J. ###-###-####

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J.B.

answers from Tyler on

My daughter was diagnosed ADHD at age 2, put on medication. At age 6, I learned about Vision Therapy. We had her evaluated and she had a convergence problem that prevented her from getting meaning from what she was looking at, thus the hyper kenetic symptoms. After Vision Therapy, she was normal. Oh, and today as an adult she has no memories of her preschool years because of the drugs!
Find an optometrist who specializes in Vision Therapy (Google Vision Therapy and look for one in your area)and just have him evaluated. It's worth everything if that's the cause and he can avoid medication.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Courtney, my son who is 8 has ADHD. I noticed things a few years ago. He is really smart but was not doing well in school, could not focus, was getting into trouble all the time & could not (it was impossible) stay still for even seconds. He was bouncing off the walls & couldn't help himself. i had my suspiscions confirmed after having him evaluated by a wonderful psychologist. We then went to an MD for the medication. After much trial & error, he is doing outstanding on Aderall; he was student of the month at his school, is getting straight As, & his teacher loves him. He can now play team sports, has friends.... I was loathe to put him on meds, but as the psychologist said, his case of ADHD is so strong, it would be unfair to not give him the help he needs.
If you want to further discuss this, please feel free to message me. There is lot's of hope!!!
S.

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

below is my daughters answer to another mom who asked questions about her child on meds for adhd. She has done intensive study on this. Hope it helps.
My son is 15 and has been on Adderal for some time. I am not familiar with your medication but probably some of the same guidelines apply. Follow the directions by your doctor and depending on the age of your niece explain to her that this is to help her focus, think through things, and make her feel like she has more control over things. It has made a world of difference to my son. The teachers responses have been overwhelming. He knows it helps him and takes it on his own now. And this... coming from a son whos thoughts jump around so fast through life and his daily activities, he can't even flush the commode at home when he's done with his business! When he's on his medication he immediately will keep his room clean, sit down quietly on his own and do his homework, and remember to flush! It's fabulous! The down side is, he is much quieter and it takes some getting used to. He is so full of fun, you never know what he was going to say or do. As his mom, I used to be distraught over the way he turned somewhat like a zombie when on his Adderal because he is so full of humor and life normally. (Good and Bad ways, :) The great results of his schooling and home life though far outweigh my thoughts of him not having his medication. Most all ADHD medication is flushed out of the system daily, not accumulating for worries of long term affects. My son has struggled with the weight loss too which is common. It makes them not hungry much of the time. His doctor said he could stay off his medication on the weekends to maybe catch up on some eating. This has worked for us. Again, it is my advice that you stay in touch with your doctor about the dosage as this can be adjusted and tweaked to fit the child, as well. My son takes 20mg of Adderal daily. He was on Adderal xr with is Extended Release, taken once per day. The xr just got too expensive and my insurance was not covering it. I dropped my son down to the regular Adderal without the xr and it was much cheaper. He just has to take it 2x a day. Then we decided that his afternoon classes in High School were Theatre Arts and Athletics and he really didn't need the 2nd dose. So he just takes 1 pill each morning to concentrate on his tough classes at school. If you go without the xr the child will have to take another pill at lunch to get the full affects all day. I could go on and on about keeping the child away from processed foods, sugary foods and incorporating lots of vegetables and lean proteins into your nieces diet. This is so important as well!! In a perfect world if we could get children to all eat this way that would be awesome. It is just hard to get children to participate. Some great books that are packed with loads of information are: *Parenting Towards Solutions by Dr. Linda Metcalf, *Healing ADD by Daniel G. Amen, M.D, * Teenagers with ADD A Parents' Guide by Chris A Zeigler Dendy, M.S. I got these just down at Half Price books for very little. There is a world of info on the Internet as I'm sure you've realized too. This all may be of little help as my child is not on the type of medication you listed for ADHD. But I am passionate about staying involved and helping those with children of this special-need. Good Luck! Bless you for taking the time to research and reach out for information and wanting to become educated about it! She is lucky to have you! Once side note: ADHD children in my opinion suffer from corrections so much during the course of their day. This, over time/years wears on their self esteem. I finally had to take my son to counceling and realized that I never lifted him up anymore, just griped at him for not doing this and that. My guidance was directed to find something, anything, during the day to lift up the child and brag on him. They need this so bad! It is very hard though if they are always getting themselves into trouble. But try as hard as you can to give compliments here and there. You will see your relationship grow! Blessings to you, Tasha

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

My bother was against medication when his daughter was diagnoised as well. After trying everything first (counseling, different discipline, etc.) they finally tried medication and the difference is night and day. She used to not have friends because she was so implusive, but now she can control those impulses. Her self esteem was low because she was always "in trouble", and now she's doing better. I would tell your husband that if your son had diabities, would he insist on not using medication? ADD/ADHD is a disease, it can be helped with medication, and truly helps the child cope. Do you think your son WANTS to be "in trouble" - NO, he can't help it! A perfect example, my niece asked if she could put salt on my mom's food. My mom said yes, and then left to go to the bathroom. When she came back, her food was covered in salt, like snow. My neice said "you never told me to stop". Well, while that is true, she KNEW she should have stopped, but since her medicine had wore off, I think she just really COULDN'T stop herself, even though she knew she could...like trying to stop itching when you have an itch! I know this doesn't help with they type of medicine, (I don't know what my niece is on), but I hope it helps your hubby understand that sometimes the medicine is necessary. I know a lot of people over medicate now a days, but if you've tried all that other stuff, you've done your due diligience prior to trying medication. Good luck!

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H.T.

answers from Dallas on

Bless your heart. I still feel guilty about what I put my mom through. I can not imagine being a mom of a child like myself. I had severe ADHD as a child and still do as an adult.I can not tell you the number of different Dr.'s who told me that I have the most severe case they have ever seen. My 1st suggestion to you is RESEARCH!!! Read everything you can on the disorder to help you understand your child and what he/she is going through. I know it is hard on you as a parent, but with someone who has ADHD TRUST me it is so frustrating to have to deal with on a day to day basis so be patient with your kiddo. Also you need to realize there is not a certain medicine that will provide an instant fix. I had to try many many medicines (correction combination of med's) before I found the perfect mix for me. I have tried probably everything out there and although they all helped tremendously most came with side-effects (aggression was the worst). Let me just say this... When I got use to the med. I thought "this is what it feels like T. a normal kid?" It was such a weight off of my shoulders. People think ADD & ADHD is just lack of focus and being hyper, that is FAR from the truth. ADD/ADHD comes with many symptoms. You are in for a long hard ride but once you find what works for your child it will so be worth it for both of you. Try a nutritionist first but the bottom line is your child might have T. medicated to reach his potential. I can suggest cutting out anything with Red dye #5 that greatly exacerbates the problem, feed him tons of bananas as the potassium helps, and give him lots of B vitamins &/or B-12 and B-6 complexes with magnesium. Again if you can afford a nutritionist I would try that 1st and if you think you can keep up with the difficult diet they will prescribe go for it, but for me taking the medicine was just easier and absolutely changed my life. Read read and read some more knowing what your child is going through is the 1st step. Knowledge is power!!

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S.K.

answers from Lubbock on

Let me just share a few things about what I know about ADD/ADHD. My (ex) husband is ADD and my oldest son is ADD, my step daughter is ADD and my beautiful grandaughter is ADHD so I do have some experience with this. From experience if you get the right medication it can make all the difference in the world at school. I resisted(at first) having my son take medication when he was in 1st grade and he just kept getting farther and farther behind in school, he could not stay on task. My doctor encourage me to try the meds and told me"you are his Mom if you do not like what you see when he is on the meds you have the power to stop them". Her saying this made all the difference to me. We never looked back and when he was in High School he wanted to stop the drugs. His wonderful doctor thought this was a reasonable request. She told him " if your Mom sees that your grades are slipping she has permission to start you back." My son agreed. After about 6 weeks my son came to me and told me he was having trouble concentrating in a couple of classes and could he start his medication again. After my son was diagnosed is when my husband realized this is what had troubled him all through school and he too started medication which he still takes. My step daughter struggled in school but I did not realize what her problem was until she was out of school. She is 11 years older than her brother. She takes medication now too. I know there are lots of new meds and other things you can try but my suggestion is to at least try the meds if he is struggling in school. YOU have permission to stop if you don't like how they are affecting him. I hope you have good response to whatever you decide to do.

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A.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi there, You have an option before you go the med route. There is a safe nutritional supplement, developed by a nutrition Scientist that has helped many kids with ADD/ADHD, Autism and many other issues. I will be happy to conectt you with other moms who had great result and got off meds with their doctor advise or avoided meds due to this supplement. The meds come with so many side effects fro a growing child.

Let me know and send me your contact information or you can call me at ###-###-#### or e-mail me at [email protected]____.com a Blessed day!

A.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

I did read in a recent study that they kids exposed to a lot of tv are at increased risk of suffering from ADHD. Although I am sure you argue that study. However, maybe try to limit his tv watching in conjuction with medication to help him learn how to cope and focus. My cousin was on medication for years for ADHD and my Aunt said that it really helped. However, he still never graduated from High School. He had a lot of problems in school. He is now having problems as an adult in his twenties - I am not going to get into the details. However, she now wonders if it is because of the ADHD medicine that he was on for a long period of time. That really is my only experience with the medication. Hopefully, there are some parents that had kids on the medication as a child and these kids grew up being able to cope as an adult. I think you should go with your gut feeling as there are risks and benefits with every decision. If the benefits of taking the meds outway the risks, then do it. If the risks outway the benefits, then maybe seek another professional opinion.

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N.T.

answers from Dallas on

I have to side with your husband, too. Meds usually mask the problem, but don't address the root cause. If you don't want to put your son on meds there are many proven alternatives that can help improve behavior and focus. Diet can play a huge role (Mary also provided some good feedback on this topic).

I highly recommend an incredible book titled Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by Winston and Maimes. From the book "There is a category of herbs called adaptogens that help the human body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic processes, and restore balance. They increase the body's resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function". To watch a 10 minute video on the history of adaptogens and learn how they help the body, go to VitalHealth.TunguskaMist.com

Many parents have had wonderful results using adaptogens to help restore balance in their children and improve their behavior. Teachers often comment that the student's grades go from C's/D's to A's/B's.

Good luck with your son...Hang in there!!!
God Bless:)

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S.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 5 and her teacher called me in and announced that she thinks my D has ADD/ADHD. She recommended that I get her to a dr and get meds. That was her "plan" to help my D. I am pretty angry and frustrated. I am trying to decide whether I want to take her to a dr as I am not too interested in medicating a 5 yr old. Now since that meeting the teacher writes notes in her folder every day "not listening" etc. I feel like the teacher is now going to pick on my D until I go and get some meds.

I have a close friend that had a son with ADHD. They put him in a special school that primarily worked with ADHD issues. No meds. Eventually he was transferred back into the regular public schools, graduated, and received a full scholarship to UTD. Of course, as others noted, each child is different.

I heard from someone about a patch that has very low dosage - a new treatment that has very little side effect and never gets into the digestive system.

I don't know the answer but I feel your pain; I'm struggling with these issues myself right nwo. Good luck.

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