ADHD Support

Updated on April 21, 2008
C.H. asks from Omaha, NE
53 answers

I will be going to my sons Ped. tomorrow to discuss the chance that he has ADHD ( i am almost positive that it will be a "he does" answer). I am scared to death. I do not know what to expect and I am afraid I am going to burts into tears. I did some research on the subject and just became overwhelmed. I know this ins't a terminal illness but I have a lump in my stomach just from thinking about it and the fact he may have this the rest of his life and life will always be a struggle for him. He is only 5 almost 6. I guess I am just wanting to know how other moms deal with this and any advice they may have.
Thanks C.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to eveyone who sent a response. I know it is a touchy subject and we will do what is right for our situation. He is trying out some meds and we will be monitoring them closely. We also made an appt. with a specialist in the field (of course we can't get an appt. for 5 months) but better late than never.

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A.G.

answers from Green Bay on

Hello C. ~

If you go to yahoo groups and type in adhd_boys . You will be brought to a group I am a moderator on. We have wonderful supporting paretns there and we would love to have you there.

A.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.F.

answers from Omaha on

My son was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD and as much as it was a scary thing to learn it was a huge relief. Look at it this way what a wonderful gift from you to see this problem and get help. The meds will help him in school with not only his work but with his friendships. I know that without meds my son would struggle and the last thing i want to see is him struggling. I can not even begin to imagine how he must of felt when the teachers at school got fed up with him or his friends just didnt get him because he was always on what i call fastforward. Many parents choose to ignore this problem and just become what i call enablers. Kudos to you for seeing a problem and being open to fixing it.

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S.I.

answers from Minneapolis on

My husband is ADHD. And it's hard. He takes medication every day and when he's been off it for a couple days he really gets on my nerves - he's all over the place in his thinking and conversation and is sort of on high-speed. And I also go into the baby-making knowing that any child we have has a 1/3 chance of having it too. I don't know how his parents managed with him growing up - he didn't do so great in school but I think that hockey and computers gave him some focus. I think the book he liked and had me read was "Driven to Distraction." Good luck to you.

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J.N.

answers from Duluth on

I am begging you, please look to the alternatives before giving your son mind-altering drugs. My daughter has "ADHD" ( I put it in quotes because it is not a disease, it is a pair of symptoms) and I have been taking her to a doctor that doesn't prescribe Ritalin or any other "ADHD" medications. He has explained to me that there are addicts who are addicted to Ritalin because of the effects on the brain - so why would I give that to my child. I have seen drugged ADHD children and that scares me the most. I love my child, I did not want to she her like that, I didn't want to lose HER mentally. I found Dr. Kohls in Duluth MN and he gave me more than hope. Since we started going to him I have built structure into her life, changed her diet and have put her on a regimen of vitamins and supplements, these include a good multivitamin, B-50, 5HTP, L-Glutamine, L-Tyrosine, Ginkgo, and the very important Omega-3. The outcome has been wonderful. Many "ADHD" child just have allergic reactions to white flour, sugar, and processed foods. So when he begs for pizza , make it from whole wheat with real cheese and load it with healthy toppings. I have even found a pizza place in town that offers whole wheat crusts. Incredibly by just removing white flour, processed sugars and eating more organic whole foods even I lost over 20lbs, while my hyperactive and frustrated child is now calmer, more focused, happier and best of all mastering most of her subjects at school. Another part of the change is my acceptance of her and her ways, When I started to notice her poor grades and frustrations I wanted to help her to make things all better, but I have come to understand that I have to let her work things out on her own no matter how painful to watch. I was where you are now, except I was sitting in a conference room at my school with the school psychologist when he passed down the sentence. It hurt to know that my child was not normal, but I was wrong - she is normal and special and she just needed a little nudge with some basic changes. Yes, it is very difficult at times to keep it going but the outcome has been worth it. Watch this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzdGrUcc_bQ&feature=re... I wish you and your child the best.

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W.F.

answers from Duluth on

Dont you worry your son will be okay. My son we adopted has FASE ADHD Sensory Inacration, and is very Hyper active. I read this really good book its called Dont try harder try differently because our children learn different from others. Our son is only 2 1/2 and let me tell you he is a hand full. But I wouldn't change him for the world. You sound like a wonderful mom and you and your family will do great with him.

W.

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K.L.

answers from Lincoln on

I felt the same way you are feeling, it is an awful feeling and I felt helpless and lost. What I found to help was really speaking to my Ped. she was so helpful in explaining the disease. Make sure you ask lots of questions, especially about the medications that are prescribed for ADHD. It may take a few times of trying different meds until you find the right one. We were lucky that the first med our ped. prescribed is the one that changed everything for our son. For three years we struggled with the behaviors our son was exhibiting especially at school. It seemed like he was always in the principles office and we were constantly being called to come to the school. That was 1st thru 3rd grade, he is now in 5th grade, has all A's and the teacher says he is a wonderful student and we have not been called into the school since middle of the 4th grade. So hang in there, with the right med. and couseling things can be much better. Don't give up!

Mother of son with ADHD

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C.G.

answers from Appleton on

I have heard diet plays a big role in ADHD. I have heard of books and websites, not sure what they are, but if you do a search, you will probably find out. Sugar plays a big part, some kids just get too hyper with too much sugar, and I know how hard it is to make a child eat healthy! My brother has ADD, and my parent never put him on medication, they had found some herbs and vitamins that had really helped, and he doesn't have the hyperactivity, but there are herbs to calm children too. I have hear alot of bad things about the long term effects of meds for kids with ADHD, so if at all possible, its best to try the diet and natural vitamins.

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J.N.

answers from Green Bay on

Hi C.!

I too faced the overwhelming fact that my 6 yr old (almost 7) needed to be evaluated. My son is the third of three children, and NOT the first with concerns about behavior. His older brother, who is now 15 yrs, was told he needed evaluation, only to find that he needed extra work at school to keep him busy when he finished his assignments. My 6 yr old was going through the EXACT same situation. He was finishing up his work and then became "disruptive and distractive". I did take him to a clinic for behavioral evaluation only to be told that he needed "cognitive stimulus with positive reinforcement". Since being told this, we have set up a "reward" system. When my son has good days at school for an entire week, we let him pick something out from his favorite store -- of course there are monetary limits, and ONE BAD DAY will start the whole week over; there have to be FIVE good days in a row.
Since starting this system, my son has had three PERFECT weeks and while he could still use improvement -- things are going well!
Maybe changes to his routine will help. Good luck!!

J. -- Mom of 3 in Green Bay

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J.H.

answers from Omaha on

I would suggest reading some nooks by John Rosemond.(he's the guy that has a column in the paper a few times a week) He thinks there is no such thing as ADHD, which could be true, but I am thinking it's some kind of imbalance. Kids act out because of other things in thier lives. I used to work with kids like this at two elementary schools and it seems to me like it is a very drastic response to things around them that just compounds itself(like an over-reaction). The fact that you are so worried may be something that he is picking up on with this and other things he's seen you do. I'm not saying it's all your fault, but it doesn't really do you any good either. Calm down and take charge. You can do it! YOU are the parent, not him! A few things that seemed to help when I worked with diagnosed ADHD kids were limiting sugar intake, keeping them busy (they are usually very bright kids)with something to occupy their hands and their minds. They are so eager to learn and just need to calm down in a calm environment. I would try other things before putting him on some drug. Most of all...YOU have to be calm. You son is very perceptive and can sense if you aren't. Be glad that you have such a bright child!

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

My elder daughter has ADHD. She was diagnosed with it when she was in the 4th grade. There are days when she's a challenge to deal with, but you know what? She's quirky, bright, intelligent and FUN!

The best advice *any* parent of an ADHD kid can have is to make sure that there is good solid stable structure. Kids in general, but kids with ADHD in particular need to know that they can rely on what's going to happen from routines to schedules to discipline. This way when they can't focus, the rest of their lives are focused for them.

For my daughter, figuring out which medication she needed and how much, and when was a challenge. Not every medication is right for every child - and the dosage schedule may need to be adjusted. But once we found that sweet spot, it was like everything clicked - and we were able to keep her dosage level in the lower range of the "effectiveness range" so that we didn't need to clobber her with medication - lessening side effects all around.

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J.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

It will be fine, there are alot of different medications that can help him. My 7 yr old has adhd and the biggest part of it is having extra patience to wait for him to accomplish things he gets off track all the time. Hang in there it will all work out for him. My husband has it also and he is 47 it is hard some days when he can't fine his glasses or can't stay on task, patience, patience, patience!

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W.H.

answers from Omaha on

I understand how you feel. My six-year old is currently being evaluated for this condition as well. I was upset when I finally asked the school to do participate in this - it felt like admitting defeat.

What's happened is his wonderful teachers have taken this possibility into account and have shifted how they deal with him. His behavior has improved and he's starting to catch up to his classmates. He still has a ways to go, but just the last couple of months have been amazing.

The way I'm looking at it is that his brain is wired differently than other kids' and needs to learn other ways to learn and cope with stress. It's not a sentence to a lifetime of underachievement. It's possible he could grow out of it as his brain catches up with the rest of him.

Your pediatrician can't make an instant diagnosis of this condition; he'll need observations from you (and probably some questionnaires as well) and possibly from his teachers. It takes some time.

Meanwhile, here's a little test a friend suggested to me: a true ADHD child will settle down if you give him a stimulant, like a glass of Mt. Dew.

It's better to find this out earlier than later - it's easier for him (and you) to make changes in coping skills now. Don't jump on any bandwagon until you're comfortable with your options - as you can tell, there are a couple of schools of thought concerning ADHD (no meds/meds). YOU know what's best for your son.

Take a deep breath. It'll be ok. :)

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A.H.

answers from Des Moines on

My son had ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder and I would like to reassure you that everything will be okay. There is a questionaire that you, the teacher and his dad can take to see where all the individual questions fall. My son is on risperdal at he is doing much better in school. His teacher praised him from last yr to this year with the difference he has made.
It will all be okay..if you ever want to, you can message me.
Good luck,
A.

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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.. I do not have a child with ADHD, but my 4 year old son has Down Syndrome so I can understand your concerns and fears about a diagnosis. Try to take it one step at a time. Good for you for being on top of the situation enough to get him in and tested/diagnosed. You are obviously a very loving mom. Have you looked into any of the nutritional aspects of this? My son is on a vitamin called Nutri-Spec which has a fascinating study regarding the vitamins and ADHD. I've also read several articles about glutens in the diet effecting focus, behavior, etc. I would also get a blood test done for food allergies and Celiac disease (allergy to glutens). Definitely get a couple of opinions before you put him on medications. Just a few suggestions, but just remember, all kids have special needs and if this is his, it will be alright. You are simply going to go down a different path and you expected. That doesn't mean it isn't a good one.
K.

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B.W.

answers from Sheboygan on

The first thing you can do is look into a Cranial Sacral therapist in your area. This therapy can help leaps and bounds! Look it up on line - the Upledger Institute has a good reputation for education. www.upledger.com If you choose to check it out, make sure you go with a therapist that has at least a few years experience and has taken a few courses in cranial sacral and has worked with children. You can contact Upledger to find a therapist in your area. It works really well on kids that are told they have ADHD or symptoms that match it. Non invasive - really effective and if your kids responds well to it you will know by him wanting to go back for more.

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T.Z.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C. -

I will be thinking of you on this tough day! It can be hard to hear a diagnosis, even if you are expecting it. One thing I would recommend is to look at ALL alternatives for your child - some can react very positively to adjustments in diet, organization/routines, and meds. I chose the route of adjusting foods my child ate (removing sugars, additives, preservatives) - making sure he starts with a high protein breakfast, and we are now trying Chiropratic as well, I also changed the way I reacted to his behavior. I think each thing has made a little difference in him and together they have added up to a HUGE difference (my goal is to keep him off meds if possible). There are still alot of Dr.'s out there that think that meds are the ONLY option - if you run into that and are not OK - definately get a second opinion from other Dr. I give you a lot of credit for being a caring mom to find out what is going on with your child!!!! Best of luck!
T.

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N.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

C.,
Been there, done that. I have a 7 year old who was diagnosed when he was 6 but we started the process when he was 5. I totally understand what you are saying. I too knew that would be the diagnosis but it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking. What I can tell you is there are a lot of options out there. We have found a wonderful specialist who loves these kids like they were his own. He is very supportive and makes it his mission to help these kids as best he can. Also, we went through occupational therapy for a year and that helped too. I look back and I see how far we have come in just a year and I am thrilled. I don't tell anyone about his diagnosis unless necessary but I don't think anyone would guess anymore either. Good luck and hang in there.

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K.W.

answers from Sioux City on

Hi C.. I don't have personal experience with ADHD, but my husband deals with it a lot in his line of work. I just wanted to be a voice of encouragement on a scary day for you.

First of all, you are doing great to even ask the questions instead of ignoring your concerns with his lack of attention. And this is a great age to intervene if indeed it will be necessary. There are some really helpful strategies out there now, great awareness of ADHD's effects if untreated, and even some very useful medications if necessary.

It is scary as we face unknowns, but know you are not walking through it alone. And crying is okay when we're afraid. You love your son and desperately want him to do well in life. That puts you miles ahead. What a gift to have a Mom who loves him so well! Talk to the nurses as well as the doctor. Don't be afraid to ask for support when you feel overwhelmed. Keep asking questions until you are satisfied. And then plunge on ahead.

There are never any guarantees with our children, we just need to be faithful to do the best we are able and, if you believe in God, trust that He will give strength and guidance today and in the days ahead. Parenting is much bigger than ourselves. It is a huge task. Take it one day at a time. You can't shoulder all the what if's and unknowns today. Just be faithful and loving today.

Peace to you.

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L.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.-I know that the Doctors are doing this 'diagnosis' lots more nowadays. Had a friend at work whose son was kicked out of his summer day camp because he was ADHD and they could not handle him. His wife was in tears, and the child was already on Ritalin. (I call this 'KIDDIE VALIUM')
I suggested a few minor changes in his diet. Think back 20-30 years and there weren't the existing behavior problems we have now. I believe that many of the children diagnosed with ADHD could use a diet change FIRST, to see if that will remove some of these issues. He and his wife took my suggestion, removing all soda pop from the child with ADHD, and many of the foods that are loaded with colorings, sugars, preservatives and useless fats. They actually did this for all three of their children-so it would be fair, even though only one had the problem. They noticed IMMEDIATE relief throughout their entire household with all of their children, and they were ALL more relaxed overall-including the parents.
Diet is a BIG factor, and kids nowadays are being infused with colorings, sugars, preservatives and fats. (not to mention the environmental factor-and there's another discussion!)
I went on to another job, but happened to run into him at our State Fair with the ADHD child. The little boy was not on Ritalin anymore, and the problem for them was basically solved.
I know that each case is unique, but I think all parents should try anything possible before "drugging" their child. That seems to be the fix for these times. If it can't be fixed...drug them. Bad fix in my opinion. If we can keep our children off drugs when they're little, they probably won't need anything when they're an adult. Please try it as a last resort before the Ritalin. Worth a shot, don't you think? Good luck and God Bless, L. :-)
(Also less TV and more physical outside/inside play to poop them out!)

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T.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

Pediatricians are not trained to diagnose ADHD. They should only refer you to get a further evaluation from a properly trained professional in the field. Also there is research that is now coming out that states that children are expected to multi-task so much so that they are not able to focus on one thing. This is being connected to the technology advancements that have come out since we were children. It is believe that it is changing the actual wiring of children's neurological brain structure as they grow and develop. And often times this has been led to a diagnosis of ADHD instead.

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L.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in first grade. I didn't want to believe it but after staying a day in school with him and observing I saw what the teachers had to go thru. He was disruptive to other kids in the class and wasn't learning much himself! When he threw a chair across the room it was time to try medication as adjusting his food wasn't working. Now he is in 9th grade and doesn't even need medication any more. They do learn to deal with it in their own way and my son has found what he needs to do that works for him so he can learn. The internet is overwhelming and untill he is tested there is no use looking at it. You will find out what degree he has and if medication is needed. Hang in there, it isn't too bad compared to what else is out there! Good luck and have patience!
L.

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M.K.

answers from Sheboygan on

If your pediatrician thinks it is ADHD, I would NOT let him/her put your son on medication until you have been referred to a child psychologist/psychiatrist. I work in developmental pediatrics and I truly think that too many pediatricians are quick to medicate before other options have been discussed. Yes, many children (and adults!) need these important medications, but it makes me so sad to see children on them before other options have been explored and before a THOROUGH diagnostic process has been completed. Good Luck. Also, possible pediatric Occupational Therapy for Sensory Integration treatment, including "therapeutic listening" may be very helpful--we have seen excellent results with this where I work.

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G.H.

answers from Omaha on

I am at this moment doing a master's degree research paper on children and too many times being diagnosed with probs and being put on meds. If your Ped says yes, i suggest you take your son to get a brain scan. ADHD can be seen in a head scan. If it is true, ritalin is a very helpful drug, tried and true, for true ADHD. I also suggest you don more reseach on the drugs that your son may have to take. There is also a chance that he can "grow out of" this. by the time he is an older teen if it is treated correctly now. I hope this helps. please respond and let me know if you don't mind, [email protected]____.com

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V.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hang in there. Life is complicated, but ADD or ADHD is a manageable condition. My husband and my son both have severe ADD. Medication can help - but there are many, many other ways that children can learn to manage and cope with ADD. There are ADHD support groups. I've recently moved to the area and haven't joined any so I can't say whether they are helpful or not.

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S.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.,

My son has ADHD and was diagnosed when he whas in 2nd grade. Yes, initially this can be very overwhelming. At 5/6 yrs old they can definitely diagnose but always remember you have many choices. Meds aren't your only option, but they do help. They aren't a cure. The best analogy I received was that the meds are like glasses. Your eyes need them to help them see but once you take them off your eyes are still the same. Its the same with the meds for ADHD or ADD. They give the kids time to learn what they need to do in school and at home. What you can do in the meantime is to apply a routine at home with clear expectations and the consequences for not following the rules and the rewards for following the rules. And you MUST follow through. Check out ADDitude.com, its a great magazine and eNewsletter that has great info and tips. Also, there are some good organizations out there, CHADD and PACER are fantastic and can help with school issues and home.
Here is my email address if you ever need to vent, talk or just gab. [email protected]____.com

You can do this, its a challenge but you life will never be boring.

S. H (mom of an 17 1/2 year old)

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M.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.! Hugs to you!

My son who is 6 was just diagnosed last week with Pervasive Developmental Disorder & ADHD. I did burst into tears & have been crying off & on since then. I too am very overwelmed with the amount of different types information I am getting, reading & hearing.

If you need any support, just to rant or cry while typing- drop me an email anytime!!!!

Take Care

M.

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J.M.

answers from Duluth on

As a parent of a 12 year old with ADHD, we met with the pediatrician and decided to try meds when he was five. The difference in his behavior was dramatic and instantaneous. His school behavior improved immediately. He had been in trouble every day for hurting other children. He has continued with medication and has been doing well. He is bright, funny, and can be kind and loving. He has friends, plays sports and loves to read. He still has problems with paying attention long enough to do his homework, and he can only be given one direction at a time. We deal with this just the same way we would deal with any other problem.. one day at a time. The future is never certain!! J.

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A.D.

answers from Des Moines on

C.-

I just came across this study this morning. Maybe this will help.

After reviewing a comprehensive British study "in
which researchers found that food colorings and/or
sodium benzoate increase hyperactive behavior in
children," the American Academy of Pediatrics has now
"acknowledged that dietary intervention is a valid
treatment for children with ADHD."

You can read much more about this here:

http://www.feingold .org/aap. html

If your child is affected by ADHD, you may want to
bring this article to the attention of your
pediatrician or family doctor.

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T.F.

answers from Lincoln on

I think our children are overwhelmed with choices, too many toys, too many books, too much tv. In hind sight I wish I would have put all the toys and books away except for one or two at a time. By the time they get to school their minds can't grasp just one thing. That's my opinion.
My son was put on medication at the second grade level. It helped him for a while. Some kids get better, some kids get worse, some kids have no changes. In hind sight I wish we would have found a real solution to the problem instead of covering it up with drugs. I think it's easier to put kids on drugs than to get parents and teachers to deal with the problems. Maybe we need to go back 100 years, get a child psycology book and see what they did back then, before any one would have even considered putting children on drugs.

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A.M.

answers from Rochester on

I can only offer advice as a special education teacher, not as a parent with a child with ADHD. I cannot imagine what it is like to have a child with ADHD but have a lot of experience working with them in the school setting. Yes, ADHD isn't a terminal illness or death sentence. And there is no cure, but that is not to say it will stay the same throughout his lifetime. As he grows and receives support and instruction at school, it may change quite a bit. As a teacher, I can say the biggest thing that will help will be consistency. It is important to establish routines and expectations with him. When your child enters school, work with the teacher to establish routines and keep open lines of communication.

Please know that yes, it may be difficult to deal with at times. You may essentially go through the grieving process, which is OKAY. But know that you can handle it and there is no shame is getting support. Also, be careful about what you read. Make sure it comes from reputable sources.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

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N.O.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Here is what I have discovered that most pediatricians won't have a clue about. If your son has a yeast over growth (this is caused by having juice and lots of sweet or bread items), chances are he will react to that yeast overgrowth with hyperactivity: won't sit in his chair during meals, excessive amounts of energy, rams his body into furniture and jumps all over it, more aggressive, etc. I also have learned that food colorings (such as in children's tylenol) extremely affect my child, causing extreme reactions. I am also starting to question dairy products as they also lead to hyperactivity. I am going to test that with the elimination diet when we get warmer weather. After eliminating juice, colored medications, and reducing gluten products, by son is a totally different person. He is calmer, gentler, has less excessive energy, sits for meals, etc. Wow! What a difference! Books that helped: Is this My Child? by Dorthy Rapp, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun by Kranowitz, the elimination diet I have used (and will use again) is from Dorothy Rapp too. I didn't use to really believe in the whole food allergy issues, until I tried it, and saw for myself the impact they had on myself and my children. I didn't want my son on medications that can be more harmful in the long run. Food for Thought. I don't ever want to push my opinions on someone else. I just want to share the major impact these changes have made in my life! Our doctors didn't even suggest checking out things like this.

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A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Look into some of the writings of Dr. Leonard Sax, especially Boys Adrift.

Be aware that your doctor may diagnose ADHD if you seem like you want that diagnosis. You will find a good way to deal with it.

Ultimately, you want to do what will make it best for your child. If that means treating for ADHD, so be it. Don't fear the diagnosis if that's really what he has and needs.

Be cautious too, though. Not having seen your son or knowing more about his behavior I can't say, but 5 year old boys are pretty active and interested in a lot of things. Maybe he's just being developmentally appropriate

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J.C.

answers from Madison on

C.,

My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD when she was younger too. But not as early as you are experiencing. My nephew was as young as your boy when he was diagnosed. Keep in mind that ADHD is just like someone who is depressed. It is related to the seritonins in the brain and they don't work at the rate they should. It is a chemical condition and medication will help the situation as well as behavioral modification. Some doctors lean towards behavorial modification only but I personally recommend a combination. It is chemical and the medication will help that end of it. It may take time finding the right one, but when you do, you will be amazed at the difference and in the end, the child is just as relieved because they can focus. Many people are against meds and I am one to avoid taking an aspirin unless I HAVE to...but in this case, it is needed and I was happy with my decision. Good luck, try not to get upset over this, it is not cancer....it is only a chemical imbalance which many people have - and the earlier it is detected the easier it will be to adjust to whatever route you and your doctor decide on.

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Most ADHD issues can be reduced or eliminated through diet. I read a few of the responses and agree with reading Dr. Bock's book. I also would suggest looking into doing the Feingold Program. www.feingold.org is a great way of eating that takes out all artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc. We are doing it with out kids and it's amazing the difference in them. They can eat almost all of the same stuff it's just the certain brands that you have to buy that are more natural. And there is junk food like chips and candy on there too :o)
Actually they both got all candied up today at school and came home completely wired up and into trouble. You will be amazed at the difference in behavior. My son's teachers have noticed, heck even my Mother in law noticed a big difference in him.
I will never medicate my kids because food and environment are doing this to them and I don't need to add more to it.
Best Wishes,
J.
Mom to 4 and soon one more through another adoption.

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K.M.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

I think the main thing for you and your son to know is that it isn't a BAD thing. Lots of kids have it and function just fine.
That was one thing I made sure to let my son know, was that it wasn't something bad (he has ADD), it just meant he has a hard time concentrating/focusing on things. My son is 12 (will be 13 next month) and was diagnosed when he was about 7 and he has been taking ritilan for it. We noticed a BIG difference in him fairly quickly. He even had a teacher (who didn't even know he was on any meds) who called me for a "conference" to tell me how much he had improved over the past 2-3 weeks (first few wks on the meds). His reading improved SOOO much.
My son takes his meds at home in the morning, so most kids don't even know he is taking anything, but I made sure to let him know that even if they did, it's not a big deal. At his old school quite a few of his friends had to take meds for ADD also.

with all the info there is out there, it can be overwhelming, but rest assured, there are lots of kids who are living with this. It may mean that school it a bit harder for him, because he won't be able to concentrate as well as someone without ADD/ADHD, but all in all, he will be fine. Also, talk to his doc about it and get info from him/her.

Best wishes to you!! Hang in there!!

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L.Y.

answers from Minneapolis on

I have a 10 year old son with ADHD who was diagnosed at age 7. It is scary & overwhelming at first, and I had the same fears & anxieties that you are having. I am happy to report that WITH TREATMENT, he has completely turned around and is doing incredibly well in school & with friends. Do not be afraid of medication - it really, really works. It will likely be a lifetime challenge for your son, however, there is tons of help & support out there! My advice: 1. Do not be ashamed of it & try to hide the diagnosis - tell people. You'll be surprised how many other families are dealing with this; 2. Get in a support group - check with your school and with CHADD to find a group near you; 3. Make sure teachers are aware of the diagnosis & how to make appropriate classroom accommodations - this is a disability - get an IEP or a 504 plan in place at school to insure accommodations; 4. Celebrate your son's strengths, ignore bad behavior, and praise the heck out of good behavior & successes! Change your expectations - he may not be able to play team sports & may struggle with homework, but he may be brilliant in math or great at individual sports! Best of luck to you! L.

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H.P.

answers from Sioux City on

Hi, C.
My name is Heatherleigh and I have 3 children that are ADHD and 3 that are not

I waited until the last possible moment to put my oldest son who is 11 today on meds ... but I was told by a teacher one day ... you would not have any reservations about giving your child meds if he had diabetes so why now ? It is always the parents choice of course however as they get older it really begins to effect them in negative ways if they don't have the meds. My oldest has ADHD as well as ODD which is oppositional defiant disorder and without meds he cannot really function in society my 7 year old boy he just needs it as a boost to focus in school other wise he is just a mess and I have learned to accept it and work with them ... dealing with these types of children takes alot of structure and alot of patience both of which it sounds like you have plus a ton of love ... I just want you to be encouraged and the tears are normal cause you care and love your child it is a really hard thing to accept at first but sometimes the medicince works now there is also a chance that it won't work for you and your son so if that happens it may be another trial of different meds or altering the diet I have heard and read it all but always remember you know your child better than anyone else so you are the one who knows if it works or does not work ....
God Bless you and I am sure everything will work out just fine for you and your son.
If nothing else I just want you to be encouraged as the children with ADHD are some of the most talented and gifted children out there ....
My prayers are with you

Heatherleigh P.

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S.H.

answers from Omaha on

sure you are scared and worried,you should be but just remember this is about your son not you. you have to be strong for him. There are wonderful programs at school that deal with ADHD people who are trained to teach children to learn and grow to be very well adjusted people, children can over come this with good teachings he is only 5 he may grow out of it with the right teaching.

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M.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

There is an all natural product that can help you.
A new study reveals that Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, reduces ADHD in children. The study shows Pycnogenol balances stress hormones, which lowers adrenaline and dopamine, resulting in a decrease of ADHD. The results were published in the journal of European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in 2006. The product is called OPC-3 and you can purchase it at www.marketamerica.com/knopp. It is $67.50 for a 3 month supply. It is an isotonix product which means it does not have to digest as it is already broken down as far as it can go so it delivers a higher quality, naturally derived nutrients into your system more efficiently, using your body's own natural absorption system. The result is you get 95-98% absorption of the nutrients into your system. That is why people are having such great results. I know several people taking the product for other things such as Diabetes, Fibromyalgia,Arthritis. I personally take it as it is a great overall blood cleaner. It is mixed with 2 oz. of water ant tastes good. Let me know if you have any questions, but the web portal has all the scientific facts and data on it.
M. K

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C.L.

answers from Davenport on

I work as a family coordinator in Iowa and I am also the coordinator for our local chapter of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder). Please try to locate the chapter nearest you for support. Go to the CHADD website and they will have information for you as well as a locater for the CHADD chapter that is closest to you. When my son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, I was relieved to at least know what I was up against. It is hard to fight the enemy when you do not know what the enemy is. If your son does end up with a diagnosis of ADHD, you will find a lot of help, information and support from CHADD and other parents of kids who have ADHD also. I hope this helps.
C. in Iowa

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S.H.

answers from Green Bay on

Hi C.,
Do your own research, get connected to other families that have children with ADHD, sometimes that particular doctor and school tend to over diagnose ADHD. IMO I think they diagnose ADHA way to much. Look into alternatives to medication. Sometimes it's food allergies, even cleaning products can aggravate symtoms, sometimes a nutritional supplement works. I took these routes with my son and others have and it really helped and he did not need medication. Best of luck with your situation. My son does not have ADHD or at least never labeled as such, might have been if he wasn't homeschooled.
Peace and blessings,
S.
http://www.YesToSuccess.net/S.
Helping families with Health and Wealth

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D.K.

answers from Des Moines on

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6. He is now 11 and doing great. Here are some things that helped me, and a few lessons I learned:

1) Get a complete neurological evaluation.
ADHD is often misdiagnosed. Don't just go by what the school or pediatrician says, or a 20-minute test the psychologist does. Mercy Ruan Nero Clinic in Des Moines did my son's (it took 3 hours) and it was covered by our insurance. IQ can also be a factor with behavior problems at this age. Then get a great psychologist and start behavior therapy.

2) Watch for food allergies or reactions.
My son almost gets "high" off of artificial foods and colors, and acts wild. Especially from RED #40, BHT, BTA and EDTA (preservatives).

www.Feingold.com has a great easy-to-follow 2-week diet you can use to see if food is an issue for your son.

3) Amino Acids did wonders for my son.
ADHD is a neurological disorder, that means something in the brain is off balance. Amino Acids are a natural supplement that helps your body produce and balance hormone and neurotransmitter levels. Medications also produce hormones, but it's much more extreme and they have tons of side effects. (FYI: Medications do NOT have to be FDA approved to be sold in the U.S. and few are approved for children. Do your research) My son takes amino acids and a small dose of Ritalin everyday and is doing GREAT.

Check out https://www.neurogistics.com

4) "Labels" can be a good thing.
I had a hard time with "labeling" my son "ADHD" and an even harder time when the school suggested "special ed". But now looking back, it was one of the best things we did. If your son truly has a disorder, the sooner you get him the help he needs, the sooner he will learn how to manage it. This year in school my son's teacher was shocked to learn he had ADHD. She said "I NEVER would have guess he had behavior issues. He is a pleasure to have in class". I wanted to dance on her desk. : )

5) Don't blame anyone.
This isn't your fault. It's not you son's fault. Or your husbands. It will be hard not to point fingers, but trust me, it's really important you guys band together. You're ALL going to have to work hard to get through this. But you WILL get through this.

6) Trust your gut instinct.
Get tons of opinions, do lots of research, but trust yourself. You are the BEST thing your son has, and deep down you know what's right.

I hope these tips are helpful.
D.

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R.G.

answers from Bismarck on

C., first it is not the end of the world it just seems that way. My son was finally labeled ADHD when he was in the second grade or about 7. He is now 24 and we did survive. Learn all you can but also have him checked for food allergies. My neice was so like my son and they checked her for allergies and that was it. THere are some natural herbs that help but insurance doesn't cover them if you have insurance. My granddaughter is on them and thye help to a point. She is now going to be test by liesenced DR and go from there next week. So my prayers are with you and know you are not alone by any means. ANd there are a lot worse thngs the ADHA.

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N.K.

answers from Wausau on

Oh Honey, I remember those feelings that are running through you right now. My son was also diagnosed at the age of 6. We tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING before trying medication. We did the diet change, herbal medications, behavior modifications. I didn't want to have my son medicated. I remember after have the prescription in my hand bawling all the way to the pharmacy, because I felt like I failed as a parent. Why couldn't I control my child? What did I do wrong as a parent? The only thing that I can suggest, is to have your son diagnosed by a psychologist. As you well know Dr's. tend to not find out what exactly is your child's trouble spot, and spend 30 minutes on a problem that can last a lifetime. If you get him diagnosed by a psychologist you will have a detailed report, that will also help you with getting the appropriate help with the schools. (It helped us so much and still does) My son is now 14 yrs old, and though medication has been a god sent it does not solve the whole problem. As many have said in these posts there is a lot of hard work that may need to be changed at home. A very thorough schedule helps tremedously. One other piece of advice is to really sit down with him and tell him that he is not sick, (usually we only take medication when we are sick) Let him ask you any questions he wants. I can tell by the post you are a caring mother, but remember lots of extra hugs and kisses can't hurt! :) Keep your head up, as hard as it is right now someday you will look back on this moment and possibly be giving some other parent the advice you learned through out the years. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you just need to talk or have other questions, you can email me personally. Good Luck! N. <3

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M.F.

answers from Bismarck on

Take a deep breath & believe that you will all work your way through this. This will be a growing experience for your whole family, & God will not give you more than you can handle with His help.
The school system may have programs to help; see a psychologist/counselor (not only to help him, but to help you deal with him); educate yourself; listen to your doctor's recommendations & then get a 2nd opinion.
On the up side, I've personally known several people who had this diagnosis, but seemed to 'grow out of it' by their 20s. My sister has it, but has a master's degree & is a director of a large health organization (obviously she has learned to deal with/overcome it). One of my childhood friends was very bad all through school (barely made it though school & was basically asked to leave his first college because his grades were so bad), but in his 20s said that martial arts (tae kwon do) really helped him learn to control his racing thoughts & discipline himself; he ended up becoming a doctor. So there is hope!

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T.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.
You may want to talk to your doctor about sensory defensivness also they have alot of the same symptoms.If your doctor is unfamiluar with Sensory defensivness you may ask him to refer you to a occupational theripst. They can evaluate him for both and tell you really what it is. They both are very managable with good resources. I hope this helps Good Luck :) T.

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A.H.

answers from Waterloo on

If you think of ADHD as a different way of thinking or the way the brain works rather than a difficulty or learning disability it will be much more beneficial for you and your son. One of the things that children stuggle with the most is shame. The concentration and behavior issues can be corrected but if he gets the feeling from you that something is "wrong" with him it can affect him deeply. I know this from 1st hand experience as an adult with ADD. This is genetic and many parents find they also have it when they learn more about the traits. I suggest learning all that you can by reading. There are many on raising kids with ADHD. Some good ones I have found just to learn more about ADD/ADHD in general were 'Driven to Distraction' and 'You Mean I'm not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?'. I just heard an adult with ADHD the other day say that she was so happy she had it and wouldn't change that for the world. I feel the same way and know that if my parents would have accepted it as a positive trait when I was your son's age I would be much better off.

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D.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

Both of my children had ADD/ADHD and were on medication for their entire elementry /middle school years. They managed their ADD/ADAH with medication and did very well in school and with their social life. As they got older and into high school they both decided how to manage the uncomfortable times when they were having trouble concentrating and they would ask for their medication to help them during the course of the day. Today both of the kids are 23 yrs/25 yrs. old, the older one is married and is enjoying a sucessful life with His wife in England and the younger one, She is going to college for her degree in Social Services.Neither of them take any type of medication any more, thry just cope with the concentration problems that they have on a day to day basis. Please don't be upset with a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD as it isn't any type of death sentence, it is something that you just have to learn to work with. My recommendation is to find a good doctor that is well versed in this type of medicating your Son and love your Son for who he is not for what he has. Also try to read everything that you can on ADD/ADHD, as the more you know the more you will not be afraid of what you are dealing with.
If you need to talk feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com, God Bless you and your Son.
Dorothy K.

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K.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

C.! I know what you're going through. Your ped won't confirm but should referr you to a child psychologist. I knew my son was different at 6 months. He has very impulsive behavior, can't sit still to even eat a bite of dinner. Always touching everything and moving everything, phone, stuff on counter, mail etc. AHAHHHHHHH! He is 6.5 now and still struggles with good behavior. Yesterday he was spitting in music class. But you know what... he is very smart, most ADD and ADHD kids are very high i.q. I explain to his brother and other classmates that his brain just works differently, it's truly not a bad thing. We as parents along with teachers need to learn how they learn best... there are 7 different ways that people learn, hands on, oral, written etc. My son also has PDD pervasive development disorder, a mild bit of autism on the spectrum, he really gets into what he is interested in and very, very hard to pull him away. He loves science, rockets, planets, math. Boy I think I have an engineer on my hands.

Please don't be discouraged, they are so interesting... My sister has adult ADD, teaches 2 nd grade and loves her ADD, ADHD kids because they are so curious and intuative, she can challenge them. She's given me several web sites. Let me know if you want them.

The psych (we had a lady dr. so great) she gave the diagnosis and helped coach us (me too) through the behavior stuff. She did refer out to Phyciatrist for the medication. We only give it on school days and a very low dose. I can give you more info on that if you want as well. We also give him 2 fish oil pills two times per day, really helps the brain.

Please hang in there... I tell my son I love him just the way he is. He is just a delight and gets so excited at things we love it. It's really odd when he is sick, so low key, just not him. there are a lot of really horrible disease out there, know that this is not one of them. Their brain just works different and we have to figure out how to teach them, because regular discipline and read the worksheet, answer the questions isn't for them. Be patient. I know.
Remember he may have ADHD, he "is" not ADHD
Susie S. mom of wonderful ADHD boy 6, and non-ADHD boy 5, age 42 married 17 years.

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T.B.

answers from St. Cloud on

Good Luck to you. I am a RN that works primarily in the psychiatric field. I do know that structure is a big help in a child with ADHD, along with lots of love and support. The good news is that a majority of children with ADHD do grow out of it and/or learn to manage very well. I"m sure it is all overwhelming for you. Just take it one day at a time and use any support systems in your area, including friends and family that offer to help or give you a break. Good luck to you.

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D.E.

answers from Sioux City on

My daughter had ADHD but she was lucky she grew out of it. If he has ADHD make sure that the teachers/ day care workers know so they can under stand his actions. My daughters teachers did not know I thought they did but the Principal told me they did not because of the privacy act so her teachers pegged her as a trouble maker and did not want to help her at all.

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T.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.,

If during your research you are interested in diet or other non medication approaches there is a good book by Dr. Kenneth Bock MD Titled Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. It goes into great detail about how different behaviors may have a biomedical cause for some children (food allergy, sensitivity, yeast, etc). It is an excellent resource and goes into great detail on helpful treatments and also covers medications for all of the disorders.
I understand your fear and concern, and remember that diagnosis or not, he is the same son today he was yesterday. Give yourself some time to adjust and accept the diagnosis, if that is what happens, and then remember that the diagnosis does not change who your son is or your love for him. It just gives you a place to start to look into understanding or help for him. And remember to care for yourself as well and let go of any guilt or blame.

T.

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A.M.

answers from Tallahassee on

My husband and I adopted two little boys from the Ukraine 3 years ago and the oldest has been diagnosed with ADHD. He's 5. We tried organics, eliminated processed foods and sugar, gave him omegas and a host of supplements. Now we have a very healthy 5 year old with ADHD. It's o.k. We were offered a prescription from a childrens psychiatrist six months ago, but we refused to put him on meds at the time. Recently, we went back to the doctor based on our son's therapist's recommendation. He's now on Tenex and we've seen improvement. You've been given some wonderful advice already. Be your son's biggest advocate and be consistent. A rigid schedule is golden for your son. For you, get a second or third opinion from a professional to put your mind at ease. And go with your heart! Mine is with you and yours. Best of luck, A..

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