Adhd - Saint Robert, MO

Updated on December 21, 2009
F.D. asks from Saint Robert, MO
24 answers

My Son is 7 years old and has been diagnosed with ADHD. He is currently on medication for it but he is still getting into trouble at school. He just recently was suspended from school due to his behavior. Not really sure what more i can do to help him. I was reading that Omega-3 can help with his behavior. I bought some Omega pills and a liquid vitamin called Super Nu-Thera. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas how i can help improve his behavior at school.

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So What Happened?

First off, I would like to thank everyone who has responded. I really do appreciate all of the advice. So let me start off by saying, I have tried talking to the principal, the counselor, and the teacher. The teacher has my number on speed dial. I dont know if the teacher is just tired of putting up with it or what. Every little thing he does now gets him sent to the principal's office. He is currently on medication, Concerta, and as of yesterday his doctor has put him on a higher dose due to his aggression at school. I havent been to see a psycolgist yet but i will look into it. I also went to the library yesterday and checked-out a couple of books dealing with ADHD.
We have tried taking away things, but that hasnt helped. His birthday is tomorrow and since he is on punishment, he has not earned anything for his birthday. It bothers me. But we dont have any choice. We dont want him to feel like he is being awarded for being suspended. We are going to start working on his diet. I never really thought that the foods he might be eating, might be causing him to act out. Also, he is really smart in school. The teacher has even told me he is one of her top readers in class. Its just his behavior that is causing him problems. Again, I want to say thank you for all of your advice.

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A.D.

answers from Kansas City on

What behaviors in particular is he getting in trouble for at school? I am a teacher, so I will try to help you if I can! :)

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T.H.

answers from Kansas City on

as others mentioned diet is a huge factor! Definitely look into that! Also, you may need a conference with the teacher(s) to help set up some behavior modification ideas that he can work on both at home and school. It's helpful to be doing the same things both places so he learns consistency and how to be responsible for his own actions. Look into the Love and Logic books to give you and the teachers some good ideas! Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I practice a technique that has helped many people with ADD, ADHD, and Dyslexia. It is called the Brain Integration Technique and you can read more about it at www.Crossinology.com. In this therapy we challenge specific neuro-pathways for specific brain functions and then use a highly advanced method of acupressure to gently increase blood flow to that area of the brain. This allows the brain what it needs to integrate brain functions for optimal efficiency of function. In essence, the brain's software reprograms itself and works better. Most often, when the brain functions more efficiently and specific learning processes work better, behaviors improve as well. This technique is completely natural.

All that said, diet and environment also play a key role. I read that someone already mentioned Dr. Doris Rapp's book. It can be a great help. Also, Dr. Peter D'Adamo's book, Live Right 4 Your Type, will help you identify foods that your son can metabolize and use well. It will also tell you which foods are best for him to avoid. Foods most commonly known to be difficult for the ADHD child include wheat, many dairy products, yeast, sugar, and artificial additives (flavoring and coloring). By all means avoid artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. An excellent natural sweetener with a low glycemic index is a product called Agave. It looks like honey, but doesn't have that 'honey' flavor. It is as sweet as sugar, is organic, and is not an artificial chemical.

Many people do not understand the nature of the brain malfunction these children are dealing with. Yes, we must teach them to become self aware to the extent possible and some children with ADHD can learn to recognize their own needs and politely ask for help when they need it. But, people tend to believe that these children always have a choice about how to respond to situations. The fact is that most of us have a brain that is programmed so that sensory input goes first to the part of the brain that allows us to control or inhibit a response. Many of these children are living with a brain that sends sensory input directly to the part of the brain that reacts and then to the part of the brain that can think about it. One discerning teacher I know described the ADHD experience at "Ready? Fire! Aim!". Trying to teach these children to think first is a frustrating exercise that rarely bears much fruit. This is why most of us revert to medications that harness most unwanted reactions. Even when medicated, however, it can be difficult to teach such a child to think before they act. It takes a lot of effort and it is best to learn how specially trained therapists work with these children. Learn to work smarter, not harder.

There are a number of techniques that can be helpful. For example, if such a child thinks they are not being heard, they often start repeating themselves louder and faster. Simply stay calm and ask, "Do you have a question for me?" This assures them that they have been heard and they usually stop to calmly compose a question. This changes the mood of the discussion instead of allowing it to continue to spin out of control. You might want to ask the school counselor about arranging to talk with therapists who work in the First Steps program. You might be able to find a therapist that you can hire to spend a little time with you and your son to learn the tips that will help him.

To best understand nutrition to support brain function, I would most highly recommend Nutrition for the Brain, by Dr. Charles T. Krebs. He is one of the scientists who helped develop the Brain Integration Technique. One of the things you can learn in his book is that most Omega 3 supplements contain more EPA than DHA. This kind of Omega 3 does help to build brain tissue, but is not the best to enhance brain function. He recommends looking for an Omega 3 supplement that has more DHA than EPA at about a 3 to 1 ratio. The best I have been able to find in the St. Louis area is made by Nordic Naturals. Another very important supplement is a good B vitamin mix. It is important to find one that does not smell rancid. (Many B vitamin supplement are rancid. That is why they taste and smell so bad.)

I know how frustrating it can be to try to work with the schools. It is hard enough to teach yourself how to help your child. Our schools are not always prepared to help children with special needs in the most supportive ways, and it is frustrating when you are not there to help solve the problems they are having. My son was not ADHD, but he did have learning difficulties the school was not prepared to help him with. This is why I went to the effort to travel and get the training to help these kids. The Brain Integration Technique is the most effective help I have found for them. My son was out of high school before I found BIT. It has helped him tremendously, but I hope to be able to help other children before their basic education is behind them.

I do hope some of this information is helpful for you. My heart goes out to all parents with special needs children. You are meeting challenges every day that many cannot fathom. You are a hero!

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T.J.

answers from St. Louis on

F.,
I have a daughter that has ADHD. Which is rare for girls. We did not put her on medications. We started watching her diet and made sure she got plenty (alot) of exercise. Routines are a key element and DIET, DIET. Stay away from sugars as much as possible. That means soda, and minimal juice. If you go onto WebMD and look up ADHD they will give you a list of things to help you. Look for alternative medicines as well, just be sure to research them thoroughly. We recently found out that she has a rather severe case of dyslexia. Which really makes is hard for her to read. We have a counselor who is trained in this area working with her. To boot she is an auditory child vs. visual. Which means she comprehends when read to; more so than visually reading a book. We have some what corrected this by telling her to read by mouthing the words while she reads. Above all else, we continue to reassure her of our love for her and continue to work with her. Reality check: you still need to train and prepare him to be able to go out into the world and work. The big bad business world does not care if our children have problems. They want them to function with out having to hold their hands and they do not care if they have a disability or two or three. Remember, to educate yourself as to what you can do to help your son and just continue to love him for the gift that he his. My faith in God has been my biggest help. So, I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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S.B.

answers from Columbia on

I too have a 6 yr. old son that has ADHD tendencies. I went to our local health food store and spoke to the lady working there. She explained to me that when children have ADHD, they lack certain vitamins and require more than most children. She suggested that we put our son on a powder vitamin called All One, DHA (fish oil/Omega-3) and an additional vitamin D softgel capsule. We also decreased his sugar intake. It is so hard to take it away totally. We let him have small amounts on the weekend so that it isn't a matter of him wanting it more because he can't have it. If he asks for something that I think is too high in sugar...I simply say...not today...but you can have it this weekend and usually by the time the weekend gets here...he has forgotten all about it. Anyway...I did not tell his teacher what I was doing and within 2 weeks she had to stop me and ask me what I was doing with our son because he was doing soooo much better in class for her. He was able to sit still and focus on his school work and he was more cooperative and just plain "getting it"!! Let me tell you...that was such a wonderful thing to hear...I hadn't been getting too much positive feedback before these changes and it just proved that the changes we had made were working. In fact she decided to start her own son on the same stuff and suggested it for some other parents of a student in her class! Please feel free to contact me if you would like anymore info. on these vitamins. Good luck...hope you can find a solution that works for your son! It is no fun when there are troubles at school!!

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C.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I understand what you are going through. My son is now an adult but he spent many days in trouble and I did not know what to do.

I finally had the light go off over my head. He knew he had been diagnosed and he knew that he was getting in trouble because of this condition. So did everyone else.

I began to realize that he had a built in excuse for getting into trouble. We did not see it that way, the school did not see it that way, but deep down inside he did.

I finally sat down and explained to him that he was responsible for learning self control, and that he would have to work even harder at it than most kids. I told him I was no longer going to cut him slack and let him use the excuses any more. I was hard on him, constantly watching him and at the least sign that he was losing control I would tell him to use self control and get it under control.

Within a few months he was beginning to make the changes himself. He knew I meant what I said and at home he walked the line, even though he did get overly active and at times I would have to remind him, he tried. At school though, he did not have me there and he would let himself get out of control and then use the same old excuses.

I had a talk with his teacher and explained that I was making him responsible for gaining self control over the urges. I told her that sometimes all he needs is a reminder to get it under control. She began to use the same phrases in the classroom that I used at home.

It was a lot of work but he learned that his behavior was still soemthing he was responsible for regardless of the diagnosis.

He now gets upset when he hears a parent say that a child can not control it because they ADHD. He has no tolerance for it, as an adult. I am not saying it is easy, but I am saying it can be done. The solution is not about finding the righ drug, or the right supplement to make him docile. My son did not take the drugs, although the school was on me about for a while. We opted to let him learn how to live with it, and take control of it. I am glad that we did it the way that we did. I hope this helps. There will be many people with various suggestions. find the one that worlds for you and your son. No one knows him better than you do, no one!!!

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L.M.

answers from Columbia on

Hi all,

I just wanted to jump in this conversation. I have a 6 yr old son who has Adhd tendancies, more the hyperactivity and talking alot. :) He gets into mimimal trouble at school never been to the principle's office or suspended but i am open to suggestions too. This is so frustrating because doctors/teachers are quick to recommend medication..The doctor has given us Risperdal .25 mg and I tried it and it made him so tired so I stopped giving it to him. I am just not a fan/believer of giving him medication. I have eliminated color dye's( which has helped) and try as much to give him organic, healthier foods, I have not done the Omega-3 vitamins. We do take privelages away and give him chores to earn rewards but being a working mom and student things are not always the same.

Am I crazy for not wanting to put him on medication? I want him to be successful in all that he does and when you get him to focus he does well. It seems very hard to change everything from foods, drinks. etc. We are on a schedule and he does well with that but I think there are better ways to teach him than just putting kids on medication?? If some of you would give me your thoughts/feedback I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks,
L.

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

You have already gotten some great advice. This is not advice, just a question...
How much excercise/recess time does he get at school?
Boys are naturally more active than girls and tend to learn better when they DO something. Would it help to let him go outside and run around for a while?

Good luck. I have a feeling I'll be dealing with this soon, too.

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T.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Having a son who is now almost 20, with ADHD, who DID graduate!!! Yeah. (AND is now in the Marine Corps) here are some personal suggestions (we battled ADHD stigma from 1st grade to graduation):

Take him OFF of the medication if he does not need it! Especially Ridalin? Two of my children where on it (for a very short time) and said their stomach hurt. Therefore, they would not eat. The other medication (Adderal?) would make my son emotionally drop after school. He would be quiet, start crying, almost "depressed" and did not know why.

Find a supportive teacher in that grade and switch him to that class.

Put him in the back of the class. That way, if he wants to stand up, he can, without distracting the rest of the class.

Have him tested for special education. This does not mean a lower level, it could in fact mean that he is excelled higher than his classmates and his "ADHD" is because he is bored!!!! The school (public) is required by law to test him if you put it in writing (Good luck). We finally had to have our son tested by Sylvan b/c the school flat out refused. His sophomore year he was "graded" by Sylvan as having a college level or higher status. He got A's on tests and when he did his work, but he would not turn in his homework "because he already knows this stuff, why does he have to prove it."

Turn his desk around so that the "cubbie" hole is facing the other direction. Thus, he will not be distracted with all the objects inside his desk to play with.

Does he like to draw??? Give him a sketch pad to take to school. When he is done with his work, he may sketch. My son LOVES to draw (still does). When it is something he WANTS to do, he can sit and be quiet for hours. Plus, the other kids will think he is still working and he won't be interupting. Make sure the teacher is aware that this WILL occur, or she/he can have him interupting instead :)

And I have heard that a cup of coffee in the morning before school will actually relax your son if he is in fact "ADHD". He should be able to get through the day without acting up much. Doesn't hurt to try. We never tried this one, my son doesn't like coffee.

Do NOT let him get away with behavior that is unacceptable, regardless of his "ADHD". We taught our son that regardless of his "status", HE is responsible for his actions. That he had better stop and think about what the consequences are before continuing/starting any action.

Good luck and God Bless :)

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N.W.

answers from Kansas City on

I have also "HEARD" that wheat products can contribute to the problem as well. Another idea is called a good behavior jar. Actually, you can use it pretty much to change any thing (ie... potty training etc.) all it is..is a med. sized vase (like a rose petal bowl $.50 at Micheals) and some marbles.(enough to fill the vase) ALSO a item, or toy that child really wants, in fact gets to pick it out. Set the vase and the toy in sight of the child at all times, when he gets home from school and has a great day HE gets to add a marble to the vase. Any good behavior at home also gets a marble. Any bad behavior a marble is removed by the child. when the vase is full he gets the toy. I have had friends use this for video game time too. The neat thing about this jar is that WE (as parents) start to recognize good behavior in our child, because we have been so focused on the bad. This jar trains us as well. Good luck... I know it is frustrating when its your own children.

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K.S.

answers from Springfield on

F.-

I don't know if this will help, but given your comments, it sounded like it might be applicable. I am reading a really great book called "Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults" by James T. Webb and others. It's about how gifted children are often given the wrong diagnosis because many people do not understand giftedness and how it can manifest itself (ie. misbehavior due to boredom, aggression due to frustration, hyperactivity due to the mind racing). The kids are then given the wrong treatment because their doctors/teachers/parents are treating the wrong things, and therefore the real issue is never addressed.

I would be happy to talk to you more about it if you are interested.

Best of luck,
K.

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C.W.

answers from Kansas City on

I would start tracking what he eats daily, even down to the ketchup and mustard's... I have a friend who's son could not have any tomato products, as that is when his behavior went crazy.... So by tracking what he takes in and his behavior, maybe you can eliminate things that cause him to be disruptive. You will also want to envoke the help of either the cafeteria or school teacher to help with what he has at lunch if he is eating the school lunch.

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K.B.

answers from Kansas City on

What kind of behavior is he having problems with? What has his teacher done to assist him with his ADHD?

Check with your school about getting a Case Manager. They will work with you, teachers and your child. They are like a 2nd set of eyes and may see something that is being missed.

What about home, what is your discpline like. I have found with my ADHD son, the best route to go was the everything is earned in our house. Even down to the we don't sit down for dinner unless things are completed first.
I had to go a bit extreme at first, may sound harsh but it wasn't long that he realized it was worth it to him to actually put forth the effort.

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C.C.

answers from Columbia on

Hi F.,
You've already received many excellent ideas for helping your son with ADHD. You also might want to check out this correction program which offers a drug-free approach to helping those with focusing issues, www.onpointlearning.org or www.dyslexia.com.
My best,
C.

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T.J.

answers from St. Louis on

There is a book IS THIS YOUR CHILD by Dr. Doris Rapp. It addresses food, and other allergies and how they can effect behavior. Check it out from the library, it is worth a look into.

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L.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I feel your pain sister. I am a mother of three and my oldest is 6 and has ADHD. He gets in trouble often at school and we are ALL working very hard to help him. It seems like the worst times for him are at recess, lunch or gym (times where he is given some freedom to let loose). His issues are primarily impulse control.....seemes to do the act before thinking about the consequences. Here is what has helped us at home AND at school. First, we made a chart at home that provides the family with a routine. I feel this has been the BIGGEST help for us. He needs to know what to expect at all times. We give him daily chores where he earns points and rewards for completing. We also take points away for poor behavior at home and at school. He works towards a WEEKLY reward if he earns a certain number of points. Additionally, we removed food dyes from his diet, which have provided AMAZING results with the impulse control. Another mother mentioned the frequent reminders as well. We do that with our son and so does the school. They will tell him their expectations about keeping his hands to himself and being responsible for his actions. It works MOST of the time. The school has put him on a different set of rewards and consequences where he is rewarded for having a GOOD day just like he is punished for having a bad day. This helps him enjoy school a little more. It's even less fun for a child to sit at school all day when you are getting in trouble all of the time. He and I go to see a therapist once a month to help with discipline ideas and to talk. At times, I think it is more for me than for him....it serves as an outlet for me just to talk to someone about it...this is stressful and painful. We want so badly for our children to succeed and take a lot on our shoulders when we see them struggling. One other thing that we have done is purchased a homeopathic "vitamin" called "FOCUS" and "Brightspark". I have heard that taking them together will provide fabulous results, but, may take up to 3 weeks. I have purchased it but haven't tried it yet. It is at least worth a look. Good luck to you and I truly hope that you and your son find the answers you need together.

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L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi F.

Cher made some excellent points, your son needs to learn and understand what is under his control and not use his ADHD as an excuse for bad behavior.

Our son, now an 18 year old college freshman, was diagnosed between 1st and 2nd grades and was on meds until he was a freshman in high school. We made a family decision to take him off his meds for a variety of reasons. BUT he was old enough and we had talked to him and his teachers for several years that his diagnosis was not to be used as an excuse. He figured out he had to sit in front of the class and is much more of an auditory learner so a lot of heavy reading and essay writing is still difficult for him.
But knowing that he transferred out of one English section at school this semester that was requiring an essay a week to another one and he currently has a B in the class.

I would also ask you to Google, "Miracle in Wisconsin." There is a lot of scientific evidence out there that has shown our food choices do make a difference in behavior and learning. I wish I would have known that then! And when you think about school and all the crappy food they have available to them. Think about it, teachers give candy for rewards, there are always sweet treats for birthday parties, there is Halloween, Christmas, Valentines day and Easter. At least your son is young enough that there probably isn't vending machines available like there are in middle schools and high schools. It's not just the sugar, although that makes a huge difference, but it's the artificial colors and flavors and preservatives in so many things.
I realize you don't know me, but this is what I do and I've developed a whole business to educate others about making better food choices and the benefits to our health. What I tell people is that I'm not so concerned about the carbs or the calories but the chemicals. My website is www.YourKitchenCoach.net

The Omega 3's are a good start because many of these kiddos do lack some essential nutrients, just make sure it is good quality. I would also check the liquid vitamin for artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame and any artificial colors like red dye #40 or yellow #5. Sodium Benzoate is a preservative used in many things that has been linked to behavior issues.

I'm sure you will get a lot of suggestions for supplements which all have their benefits. I also am a Juice Plus distributor (17 fruits and veges in a capsule, chewable or gummy form) that has nothing artificial. It's just a fruit and vege concentrate. As much as I firmly believe in the product and think everyone needs to be eating it because none of us really get enough fresh fruits and veges, my biggest goal is the education as I mention above. I have a ton of resources talking about behavior issues and food additives that have nothing to do with any product. If you want to look at the Juice Plus stuff you can go to www.LoriKrauseRN.com

And lastly, I am NOT insinuating in anyway this is a parenting issue, but you may want to get a little counseling/parenting help. You are doing what you can for your son and you just may need some outside help on how do deal with certain issues like this.

Good Luck and In Good Health!

Lori Krause, RN,BSN
[email protected]____.com

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D.S.

answers from Kansas City on

A recent study indicates that the indoor pollution caused by "outgassing" from the toxic chemicals in your home can cause multiple issues, including ADHD in children and adults. I know that sounds crazy, I thought the same thing, until I got all toxic chemicals out of my home and changed to safer, healthier products. My kids have not been sick one time this winter! Not once! And my son had respiratory issues and had to have breathing treatments constantly. Since "going green" he has ZERO treatments! I thought it was crazy too, but I am a total firm believer now!

Let me know if I can help you switch over to "green" products! It really is the best decision I made for my family!

D. S.
www.livetotalwellness.com/DebbieS

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V.F.

answers from Topeka on

I totally can not believe they suspended your son. Does he have an IEP? If not you should get one for him. My daughter, who is 32, had/has ADHD. I tried many things also. She took Ritalin but quit taking when 15. She said it caused her to feel really wierd. I have heard there are several new and improved meds out now. I tried the No preservative diet which I thought worked pretty well but it is really hard to regulate especially if they eat at school or other places out. I also tried the mega vitamins and did not really notice much difference. I have read recently that Valerian Root is good to stay on track. It comes in pill form. Good luck and be sure to stay in contact with your Principal and teacher.

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K.B.

answers from St. Louis on

You are right on track with Omega 3s - I prefer the brand Nordiac Naturals - Whole foods carries them and if a couple of weeks you should be able to see a difference. My daughter is not medicated just added the omega 3 and saw an improvement. Also, it was suggested to me to have them walk on a balance beam.

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P.T.

answers from Kansas City on

Some of the medications that are used to treat ADHD will also cause compulsive behaviors. This happened with my son as well. He has been on Vyvanse since he was 7, and he is now 9. The psychiatrist also put him on Zyprexa to help with his lack of hunger and compulsive behavior. It works great. He only needs a very small dose, and the problem is gone. He's been on that for a year now. His grades went from low B's to staight A's. Ask your son's psychiatrist if he would recommend this. My son only takes a half pill of Zyprexa now. YOu will have to use a pill cutter since the pills are so small.

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O.V.

answers from San Juan on

Some kids with ADHD, need more help with behavior than others, if they are more hyper than distracted the will need a psycologist, my son takes his medication and goes to therapy regularly.

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B.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I know how hard it is for your son and you. My son was also diagnosed with ADHD when he was little. It took quite a bit of work on my side and the teacher working together to help him. I also found he had really bad allergies and migranies. Everytime the weather borometer would change so would he. Make sure you take him for testing. They might have you give him children sudefed or some kind of medication. I was also on a daily note basies with the teacher. Good notes and constructive notes. This way I was able to talk to my son about the daily behavor and how he could do better. Or I could praise him for a good day. Make sure you understand some of the consistant way these children behave without even realizing it or being able to help themselves. It is very hard on them to have this working against them. I didn't put my son on medication but understand some children need it. It does get better. My son graduated from KU and is holding down a very good job. I feel your pain as any mom would with a child with ADHD.

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L.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Good morning, F.! My heart goes out to you and your son; I hope things will begin on an upward path for both of you!!

No personal experience, but a friend of mine has a daughter that has been recently diagnosed with ADHD as well. Not sure if she is on meds. or what kind. They have implemented a gluten-free diet for her and say that she has responded remarkably well. They are also trying to implement organic foods where they can and watch intake of certain other additives. I'm sure you could probably find a wealth of info. on the internet, too.

I know there are some behavior modification techniques that you guys could try, but I don't know enough to give any specifics. Again, you could probably find some info. on the net. Another resource could be a child psychologist.

Also, is he getting any services at school? Like through an Exceptional Children's Program? That can be a great resource for him, you and his teachers regarding his specific needs. You could inquire about that through his regular classroom teacher or guidance counselor.

Best wishes to you!!

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