Children Diagnosed with ADD

Updated on July 13, 2009
D.M. asks from Los Angeles, CA
56 answers

My son was recently diagnosed with ADD Attention Defecit Disorder and the Dr. has recommended we start him on Concerta I have never heard of this med. witch I have done some research on it and it falls under Methylphenidate, I have read the side effects and it brought me to tears! Even though the good side is that I can really help my son. My son is 11. I feel very scared and would like to know if of you moms are currently going through this any info PLEASE... could really help he is suppose to start Med's on Saturday but I am having second thoughts about it.

This is my first time on here I did not put that my son has had problmes since PRE-K
Focusing, reading comprehension he has short attention span, HE has an Educational therapis witch he meets twice a week. HE has a mentor and he is currently receiving counseling at Kaiser..... for the past 2 years..

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

I don't know an awful lot about ADD, but I do know that my nephew was diagnosed with it and with a learning disability as well. My sister, his mom, was also opposed to medicating him right off the bat and wanted to try other methods first. She put her son (and consequently the family) on the Feingold diet (http://www.feingold.org/) which has had a dramatic effect on him. The "diet" basically avoids all foods that have artificial additives, coloring, etc.

Anyway, might be worth a shot, even might be a good idea to do it in conjunction with his medication if you go down that road. I know it has helped my nephew tremendously.

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T.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., Carni is right on about the diet! I forgot about that. You need to get on the internet and research a Dr. Amen. He has been doing brain research for years. Get his book, because he talks about exactly what a person should eat to help with ADD.
T.

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N.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

NAET.com for allergy elimination. Say Goodbye To Illness by Dr. Devi Nambudripad, she also has books on Autism & ADD. Also books on Indigo & Crystal children.

Be well.

N.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please Please Please do not start with medications in this situation. You are so right to be alarmed as there are SO many things to do first.

Get this book - Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock

Diet - remove ALL dyes, preservatives,wheat/barley/rye (gluten). Start here for any questions on diet http://gfcf-diet.talkaboutcuringautism.org/index.htm

Supplements - Omega 3's /Cod Liver Oil is huge for most. Vitamin B's. Amino Acids (you need to get tested to find out which ones would be most beneficial but GABA, 5-HTP, Tarine have been high on lots of lists.

ADD/ADHD are on the Autism Spectrum, a whole rainbow of diagnosises, conditions, severities and there are so many things now to help support you in making the right decision for your child. Stop all vaccinations for your son at this time. My son received a Tetnus at 12 1/2 and it sent him over the edge into depression, anxiety issues, impulse control problems.

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A.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,
I have 2 grandsons, one is 10 hyperactive (ADHD) and he takes Metadate, for 3 years now; I do not medicate him on weekends and during school breaks. He went from troubled to a GATE program. Like others have suggested, ADD/ADHD kids are likely smart. My boy also attends classes weekly with me in the evening, behaviour modification through a group called CHADD this is quite helpful as he is learning to recognize his response to distractions & stress using biofeedback techniques and self hypnosis to allow him control on his own. Works very well; he asks to continue these classes and practices on his own.
He has always been a terrific kid and I do limit the meds to the lowest effective dose, we watch for side affects and have changed meds to ensure he has a good balance.
Good luck to you; trust your mother instincts and do what works best for you and your child.
God bless

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K.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

D.,

You are not alone. My 10 year old son was just diagnosed with ADHD and we are supposed to go back to the psychiatrist tonight to discuss putting him on Concerta. The first thing she mentioned when I told her I was going to research this medication was that I needed to make sure it was a "medical" website and to not look at the list of side effects! Tylenol will have a list of 1,000 side effects also, it's all for legal reasons. It's the doctors job to pay attention to side effects, it our job to pay attention to our children. I don't know much about your situation but after this past year, we are all (including my son) anxious to try meds. My son was also diagnosed with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) which deals with a lot of the impulse control. These are things we've been struggling with for so long that now that someone has given it a name and a reason and said it's not just my son being difficult, we're literally relieved. Check out this website www.chadd.org. It has a lot of helpful information. Just since the diagnoses 2 weeks ago, I've found a lot of support from other moms dealing with the same thing. One very good friend said her 9 year old son was getting 1's & 2's in school last year. He's been on Concentra for 1 year and now he's moving into the gifted program. Many ADD and ADHD children are extremely intelligent, they simply can't focus long enough to prove it with their grades etc. I hope this helps! Have faith! And please don't let others negative opinions effect yours. ADD/ADHD is a REAL condition. and while there are children being misdiagnosed, there are also children who are truly struggling that do need the meds to help them function. Our children do not have a DISEASE. Their brains are wired a little differently than others, so was Einstein's!!!

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.:
Because you profess to be a hyper,energetic individual yourself,would it be that inconceivable,for your son to have inherited that trait? It saddens me,and angers me,that so many parents, overwhelmed with active children,fall prey to intentional misdiagnosis,for PROFIT. It would seem,that at the rate they are putting our children on meds. these physicians are way past due in reporting ADD and ADHD ,AT EPIDEMIC PROPORTION ! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, five percent of American children have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, prompting thousands of children to take medications like Ritalin and Adderall.Doctors receiving kick backs from the pharmaceutical companies,for each patient they prescribe too. Is little David better?Calmer after the meds? "You bet! "He's meek as a little lamb"."Just sits there,and behaves like a little gentleman,all day long" The parents are happy,the Doctor is happy,and you can be damn sure the pharmaceutical company is happy.I'd watch my sons diet,and find him an activity that will help with his hyperactivity, before I put him on any meds..I wish you and your sons the best. J. M

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R.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hello D.,
Im a mother of twin boys who are 11 and a 9 year boy who is ADHD/Bipolar who has been on Concerta for two years now. This medication has helped my son be succesful in school...I was against medication at first too becasue my son has such a great personality and I didnt want the meds to make him a zombie. It took sevreal differnt types of dosages and medications to get it right.
He is also on Trazadone and Depakote for his night time medication. All three medicines have helped him out temendously. He still has his peronslaity and he can really focus at school and at home. If you have any other questions pelase feel fre to email at [email protected]____.com name is R. and Im 30 years old. Thanks and good luck to you.:):)

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S.Z.

answers from Reno on

First, keep in mind that the listed side effects are worst case scenarios, designed to prevent lawsuits in case someone has a severe reaction. It's like when I got my tonsils out, and they had to warn me that a possible side effect was death. Read all the info, consider it all, but don't panic.

People tend to either think these medications are a lifesaver or they think they're the devil. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

My husband has ADD, and while I like it much better when he's on meds, he doesn't. So, he doesn't take any.

There are natural alternatives, such as grape seed extract. For that matter, any stimulant tends to work much the same as many medications. I know men who drink a Dr. Pepper before a test, presentation or other occasion when they really need to focus, and it helps.

You and your doctor need to make this choice together. And remember, these decisions aren't permanent. If one thing doesn't work, you don't have to stick with it. Good luck!

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D.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

My son was on Concerta from 5th grade through 9th grade. I fought putting him on it because I feel that too many children are diagnosed ADD. When I finally did it I wish I had done it sooner. The advancements he made were remarkable. The biggest problem was he did not eat during the week and lost a lot of weight. I took him off Concerta during the weekends and he did not take it during the summer when he was out of school. That worked best for us. I would try it and see what happens. You can always take him off of it. Good Luck.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity isn't new, only the title and stigma are. The trait is hereditary and was genetically selected as a survival trait. People who truly possess ADHD are often extremely intelligent. The ability to think fast, make split second decisions, move quickly, evaluate situations, and weather, etc, with minimal information were valuable. This intelligence and quick thinking kept people alive, helped them hunt and gather food, helped them find shelter when times were harsh toward human beings.

It isn't that a person has a deficit of ability to pay attention, rather they are programmed to scan horizons, to move fast, to evaluate situations. They can't help it, these traits kept their ancestors alive and led to their birth, thousands of years later. In 2009 the ADHD skill set does not fit in any longer. When adults and children are expected to sit still, to take in vast quantities of information prior to making decisions, when weather is available at the touch of a radio, when there is no longer a need to hunt or gather...these traits annoy the people around them, especially at work and school. And believe it, there are millions of people with the gene for this so-called disorder. Recently I read an article where ADHD was referred to as a mental health issue; that is how misunderstood ADHD is.

Not everyone that is very active or has trouble attending to tasks for periods of time has ADHD or ADD. Many people wrote and mentioned allergies or other health conditions which can and do contribute to the same behaviors. It often takes a good bit of detective work on the part of the doctor, parents, person with symptoms, teachers, bosses, basically all concerned, to determine how to best help them fit into 2009 expectations. Be it medications, diet, chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, exercise, vitamins, self accommodation, or patience, the regime will be different for each person.

All that said...when a psychiatrist recommends a medication trial for a child, that's just what it is, a trial run to see if it helps. If you want to give it a shot, then do so. If you want to try something else, feel free. But do something! Children are harmed by the constant disapproval from everyone around them. They hurt so badly inside. They miss a lot of learning and can fall behind. Most of all, be kind, they didn't ask to be this way and it's not a chosen behavior.

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C.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son was diagnosed about age 11 too. The dr. prescribed medication and after doing research I decided not to put him on it. I changed his diet and his environment. This has helped a lot as he is not hyper as much. He still has fun, but is a lot calmer then before. Think of your child as a hunter instead of a farmer. Farmers need patience, and focus. Whereas a hunter needs to just go out there and get the job done. I would try other things first before you put your child on medication that will honestly turn him into a completely different child. Doctors are quick to medicate in the US, whereas other places this is unheard of. Your child is still growing. Those are drugs that are horrible and do horrible things to the body and mind.

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R.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Add/Adhd is the 'it' disease right now, so it is being over-diagnosed and drugged right now. Get a second opinion and let the doctor know that you would prefer not to turn to drugs first, that you are not comfortable with the side effects of most of the drugs (for add) out there. Your child is most likely starting on summer break now or soon, so now is the time to try other options, and worry about drugs down the road.
Good luck
R.

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Our 6-year-old son was recently diagnosed with ADD, and the professional who diagnosed him suggested meds as well. Like you, I was really hesitant, and finally decided to follow my mother's intuition. We are in the process of cleaning up our son's diet, and adding dietary supplements as best we can. We found a nutritionist who cured her own son's ADHD with nutrition. Personally, I would give the natural route a shot before putting strong meds into my kid's body. They don't really know the long-term effects of those drugs, so personally I think they should be an absolute last resort.

I know it's a challenge because you want your son to get better fast, but truthfully if he is really ADD, he won't ever get better. He'll always have it. Much better to find some natural solution that will not harm him in the long run.

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S.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.-

My daughter was diagnosed with at 11 ADD by the pediatrician in the group she goes to. He specializes in ADD, ADHD, & Asbergers, and we ended up having to medicate. I tried homeopathic remedies first, therapy, which she's still in, and nuerofeedback, but nothing worked. I have read about the diet and the dyes, and it makes sense, but my daughter also has eating issues so they didn't work. Concerta was the second med that she was put on and in our case, it didn't work. She was able to focus but she stopped eating & sleeping and lost a ton of weight. So it didn't work for her, but there is a boy in my son's class who it is really working for. It really depends on your child. My advice would be to really be dilligent with watching for the side effects. And speak up if they are there!

Good Luck!!

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

D.,

My husband has ADHD and he takes Concerta. Which isn't the same as giving it to you kid but I wanted to let you know that for my husband he doesn't have any side effects and it really helps him function. If your son doesn't do well, take him off it or try something else. I was never a believer in medicating ADD or ADHD until I saw the difference it made for my husband. Now I'll tell you it is worth a try. It has helped my husband tremendously and I can REALLY tell when he doesn't take it. My 5 year old has autism and is very hyperactive. We tried him on Adderall about a year ago. It made him manic so we took him off it. It was worth a try. :-)

Also, check out www.feingold.org Feingold is a diet intervention for folks with ADHD. We don't follow it exactly but I will tell you that we avoid most artifical colors and flavors with my 5 year old and it makes a huge difference. If he does something like eat Fruit Loops or Skittles it makes him SUPER HYPER. Personally I like to try things like Feingold because I figure if it doesn't help as least it doesn't hurt anything. I like to try all the low/no risk stuff before I start medicating.

:-)T.

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T.B.

answers from Visalia on

Oh D.,

I am SO glad I read your mssg because I only respond, and rarely, to things that relate to me as an older mother of a four yr old girl, and a 16 yr old girl as well.
But I want you to read your mssg you put on here and read your very LAST sentence.
Honey, your boy takes after YOU. There is nothing wrong with you. ADHD is SO SOOO overrated it's downright scary. I have worked for the YMCA for seven yrs at one time and one yr there were 33 children out of 54 total that were on meds for ADHD. THat is outrageous. These children were also the children that gave me trouble anyway.
The long term affects are also downplayed, because you dont know how each body will react to what. And you are messing with BRAIN CHEMICALS D.. Dont do it. DONT DO IT.
You grew up fine, you hyper little thing, and so will he.

Love and bless both of you, I hope you listen to me(my Dad's a DR and I'm an EMT 1 if that makes a difference).

Wendy

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.:

You may want to research the effect that NAET has on ADD/ADHD. This treatment does not include putting chemicals/drugs in the body. I'm sure my NAET doctor would be happy to do a consultation with you so you can learn more about it and have more information upon which to decide whether this is an avenue you would like to pursue. I go to Dr. David Karaba at the East West Medical Group in Fullerton. There is also a book entitled "Say Good-bye to ADD and ADHD" by Dr. Devi Nambudripad.

Best wishes,

M.

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D.L.

answers from San Diego on

Wow - lots of responses! Just wanted to share our story too. We considered putting our son on an ADHD med when he was younger, but the brochure from McNeil Pharm. said to have the child tested for lead prior to starting on any ADHD meds because often times the symptoms mirror one another. My pediatrician was dismissive about the statement so we went to another physician and my son was diagnosed with lead poisoning! There is a study from Environmental Health Perspectives (A US group) that showed 21% of children with ADHD actually have an underlying lead condition. Lead only stays in the bloodstream for 30-35 days so if it's chronic there are other tests you can do. If you want more information, visit www.bluedominoes.com

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L.H.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.,
I know you will probably get lots of responses from moms saying not to medicate or whatever, but I wanted to give a different perspective. I am a third grade teacher, and I have had several success stories of students who are now on meds and are sooo much more successful in school. Of course, that doesn't mean we want them to zombies or take away their personality, but we want to give them a chance to show what they know without all the distractions in their brain stopping them from doing just that. THis also doesn't mean the first dosage will be perfect- you and the teacher will need to communicate closely to see if he is getting too much or too little.
In addition to academics, I have also seen my students be more successful at "being friends" since they are not quite so off the wall, which is annoying to some. THey are able to have a conversation and be interested in the other person!
Anyway, good luck.....
L.

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L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

From what I understand, there's research out there and parents stating that children's ADD and ADHD symptoms vastly improve after their children start eating a diet that is free of artificial colors and preservatives (sodium nitrate, etc). A good book to pick up about this issue and how to treat ADD and ADHD symptoms naturally is The Autism & ADHD Diet by Barrie Silberberg. Don't let the word "Autism" be offputting to you -- a lot of children with autism also have ADD and ADHD symptoms. I hope you try this more natural, less invasive approach before going the medication route.

Good luck to you and your son.

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L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello D.,

It just so happens that I have two boys, and one of them has ADD. He was diagnosed when he was in 1st grade. Sad but they actually kept him back in kindergarten. Anyway, my son is now 15 and takes Concerta. He does very well on this medication, and shows no signs of the side effects. Side effects are present in some children and not in others. You just have to watch your son after he starts taking the meds and see how he responds to it. If he doesn’t do well, then change the meds. There are so many different kinds of meds for ADD. My doctor told me that in order for it to work; you have to find the right medication and the right dose. So if he starts and the dose is too high, he may not seem "himself". On the other hand, if he is on the right medication, and the dose is correct, then he will be himself, just a little more focused.

It also helped a great deal with him at school, to the point where he can tell the difference. He even tells me to make sure he has his meds so he can study.

Well, I hope this help, and don't worry you're not alone :)

L.

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L.F.

answers from San Diego on

A friend of mine had a son diagnosed with ADD, they decided to put him in karate. There he learned discipline, concentration, respect, self-control. He made such improvements his parents were amazed. If you choose this route however look for a studio where the students are well disciplined and under control. If the students are running around unsupervised then it won't be a good place for your son.

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter is in kindergarten & was diagnosed by the school psychologist as having ADHD & suggested meds. I have decided to hold off b/c we have been dealing with issues with her since 5 mo old & I'm not a fan of medicating her into a stupor. I understand that they have said that it will greatly help her, but like you, I am horrified at the side effects. We have started using alternative treatments such as homeopathy & have changed her diet & have seen significant results. Also, we are having her tested for auditory processing issues, b/c from what I have read it is very commonly misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD. If after we have tried every other means possible & are still not achieving the desired results, then & only then, will we try meds. It sounds as if you are trying everything possible & have been very proactive in your sons treatment, which is great & I applaud you for seeking out other ways to help your son. Go with your gut, you know your son best & truly only have the best intentions for him. Blessings in you journey.

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P.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.,

I don't really have any specific advice, but just wanted you to know that you're not alone in this and I will probably be faced with the same dilemma down the road. I have a 3 year old (will be 4 next month) boy, who was diagnosed with ADHD at age 2 (yes, he's THAT off the chart, that they diagnosed him at such a young age). He faces a few other sensory and impulse issues and is currently in a small group ABA preschool class and we hope the behavioral therapy will enable him to correct his behaviors before anyone suggests that he be put on pharmaceutical Meth.
That's probably my biggest fear... that he will be put on harsh medicines at an early age, while his body is still developing (and perhaps it's unfounded, because I haven't done enough research to know all the facts).
I wish I could offer you some real advice. However, all I can really say is you're doing the right thing by questioning and looking into alternative solutions. The more you know about all sides of this issue, the better equiped you'll be to make the right decision for you and your family and the better you will feel about the decision you make.
On another note... you can always take him off the medication, if it seems that the side effects aren't worth the treatment.
My heart goes out to you and I'll be thinking of you often!!
Best wishes,
-P.

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C.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have read many of the responses that you have received. I just want to let you know that my son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 3. We did not want to medicate that young so we changed his diet and we worked with his preschool teachers. That worked until he was 6. At 6 we had to put him on medication. He does not take Concerta, but has friends who do and don't have side effects. If your son truly has ADD the correct meds will work. If it is an allergy meds will not work. I know it is a hard decision, but your son will be happier on the correct meds.

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

D., I was wondering have you ever thought about researching homeopathic and natural remedies for your son instead of medicating him? Sugar, dyes, different food combinations and even toxins (in the environment and home) can truly make a difference in a child's behavior. But, please also remember that kids are ALIVE and have feelings and spirit and do not deserve to be labeled or medicated. I definitely know from personal experience psych medications do more harm than good and that, in fact, there are many natural solutions that can actually help with what your son is going through.

And, honestly, I'd look into the motivations of whoever is pushing to label and drug your sweet son, when there are other alternatives out there.

Please call the CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (CCHR). Their # is: (323) 467~4242. And, here's their website: http://www.cchr.org/. They can definitely help you!

I also highly recommend contacting Dr. Anita Pepi who is truly an amazing Chiropractor and Nutritionist and would definitely be able to help your son naturally.

Here's her data:

4216 Sunnyslope Ave.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818)808~0884
http://www.drpepi.com

If she is too far for you, please let me know as I may know of an incredible nutritionist that is closer to you.

In addition, I suggest taking your son to H.E.L.P. (The Hollywood Education and Literacy Project) located here in Hollywood. It is a free program, and what is amazing is that I've seen kids come into this program who have been labeled ADD/ ADHD and by learning the study technology they offer and getting their diet in order, magically their ADD/ ADHD symptoms disappear. REALLY! You can definitely call H.E.L.P. for a free tour.

Here's their data:

Hollywood Education Literacy Project International
6336 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood CA 90028
###-###-####
http://www.helplearn.org/index-flash.html

Ask for Amanda or Ann. They definitely will be able to help you and your son!

I'd also recommend checking out 5 organizations validating why going the natural route is best for you and your son:
http://ablechild.org/
http://www.cchr.org/
http://www.fightforkids.org/
http://www.psychsearch.net/teenscreen.html
http://www.labelmesane.com/

You'll also find some amazing data regarding alternatives at: http://www.cchr.org/solutions_and_alternatives/

And, D., please watch:
http://www.psychconflicts.org/
http://www.cchr.org/#/videos/making-a-killing-introduction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhjdbifuNco&feature=ch...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3JQ8OVHVWA&feature=ch...

AND

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xjx0gdL83I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRJN_NfyiH4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgMovNmtRF0&feature=user

AND

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73SRn1gdAdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcvCtxaiOGg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58UZqr3fiZ

Please free to contact me at: (323) 906~2784 or via e~mail me at [email protected]____.com.

I'd love to help you and your son however I can.

With love,
L. (MAMA to 20 month old Dylan Orion.......29 September 2007) : )))

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S.D.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.. My oldest son has been taking concerta for the last three years. He was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and also has high frequency hearing loss and cardiomyopathy from chemotherapy.
He is doing very well. He tested into the GATE program this year. When this happened I took him back to the DR to verify that he actually needed the concerta. They said that they often see a lot of children who are highly intelligent that are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. I personally feel that the standard school setting does not really accomodate all children's learning style and abilities. I do have to admit though that I don't believe he would be doing well academically in the public school setting without the medicine.
Other things you can do is explore controlling some of it through diet. We don't buy snacks and keep a lot of yogurt, fruit and cheese around for snacking. Limiting refined sugar in their diet will help.
You have to weigh the benefits with the costs. Even with my sons medical conditions all of the doctors felt that giving him the medication was important. I also feel that his academic success is important for his future and his self esteem so if the medication helps him I am for it.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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T.A.

answers from Visalia on

D.,

I am so sorry you are having to make a decision like this one. Our children are the most precious people in our lives and we just want to protect them.

Before putting your son on any drug, I would evaluate the types of foods he eats, if you haven't already. Does he eat processed foods, does he drink juices, etc. Processed foods and drinks can contain high levels of food additives, food colorings, monosodium glutamate (MSG), High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and so much more that can affect your childs behavior and concentration.

The chemicals in your home from your cleaning products, etc. can affect your childs behavior, even more so than an adult. There are many products on the market that contain neurotoxins, chemicals that adversely affect the nervous system, reducing emotional wellbeing, mental alertness, and coordination.

Also, getting your son on some high quality childrens vitamins can help tremendously.

My son had concentration issues in school, but I began paying attention to what he was eating. He hated veggies and usually only ate processed foods. Even tho I tried to regulate these things, my husband thought I was being paranoid. Now with all the new findings about MSG, HFCS, etc., it seems I wasn't.

I also have fibromyalgia and had many concentraion issues and suffered from migraines until I changed the types of foods and products that I used in my home. The changes didn't cost me any more than what I was paying for the things I was using before and it helped me.

I wish you and your family the best and I truly recommend making some changes inside your home before resorting to prescription drugs.

If you'd like more info, please feel free to contact me. I purchase our products and nutritional needs from a great company that I trust to have my family's health as a top priority instead of having profits as a top priority.

T.

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P.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D., I know it's scary to have to put your child on this kind of medication, but it truly is better for him in the long run. You can try alternative homeopathic methods, but not sure how well they work. I've worked with many kids with ADD, ADHD and other special needs. Kids and adults who are not on medication and of course under the care of a doctor, end up medicating themselves (drugs, cigaretes, alcohol, etc) and don't function well. The effects of not taking anything is worse than some mild side effects.
A good friend of my cousin's made the choice of not having her child on any ADD medication. The kid ended up getting into so much trouble with the law, she couldn't control him. Finally when he was about 18-19 (which is recently) she told the state she couldn't deal with it anymore. The state actually took him and put him in a facility and there they administered the right med's for him. He is now a well adjusted young adult. This lady told my cousin the biggest mistake she ever made was not to give him the med's earlier. She regrets that so much.
Research the med's and other methods, but just don't do anything. Kids really cannot function well, do horrible in school, bad behavior etc.
Good luck and hope all goes well.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son was diagnosed as ADHD as a kindergartener. I too didn't want to do drugs. For three years we struggled, until finally someone told me that my son was the one suffering - school was difficult, grades were poor, etc. So, I decided to try them. We've tried them all! With varying side effects. We finally ended up on Concerta. It works fabulously! And, he has no side effects from it, other than mornings are a bit of a struggle til the meds kick in because of the high/lo effect of the meds. It takes patience to find right drug, so muster up all you've got. And, don't be afraid to tell the doctor if you think it's too strong, too weak or not working at all. You know best. Good luck and God bless!

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Oh gosh, I would try everything before putting him on meds. There are so many alternative treatments out there. Have you ever been to an osteopath or naturopathic dr for him? See if there is one in your area and go that route if possible. Those drs will get to the root of WHY they are hyper and what in their body needs healing so they can better focus and pay attention. Also, I would give them cod liver oil as a supplement, either liquid or a capsule since they are older. Carlsons brand is a great one and CLO really helps with focus and attention. But, really, if you can, go see an alternative type dr before trying meds.

J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

My 7 year old sister was also diagnosed with ADD and was recommended to start on Concerta. She was having pretty much the same things going on with your son. (By the way I am 33 and my sister is 7 and I live at homw with my prents) I helped my parents and read up on the medicine and the side effects and we were also worried.. so my parents started her on the concerta in the weekend just to see how she would do. It took a couple of days to work but she is now being able to focus in school and is doing much better, her teacher wanted her to repeat the 1st grade my family was against that but with the help of the medicine and the extra help she is getting in school she will be able to move up to the 2nd grade. My sister hasn't had any side effects. From time to time my parents don't give it to her on the weekends which seem to be ok for her. The only down fall I see is that she is able to make it thew the school day but once she gets home she is back to her normal self because the medicine wears off. I hope this helps..

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K.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

**EDIT**
For those of you indicating that to put a child on meds for ADHD will turn them into a zombie, maybe you shouldn't speak about something you obviously know nothing about. I'm on meds and contrary to the picture being painted by several of you I am FAR from being in a zombie like state. I actually feel more able to be myself then I have in my ENTIRE life! I've also suffered from chronic insomnia since I was in 2nd grade and my sleep has DRASTICALLY improved as well because my mind isn't racing, racing, racing, while I'm trying to sleep. The main difference? When I'm on my meds I find I am more able to focus my thoughts and control my impulsivity. In school I always tested off the charts for reading, math, etc. but couldn't translate that knowledge into good grades because of my impulsivity issues and inability to focus in class.

This disorder that can make academic success and social development difficult, painful, depressing and can prevent a child from reaching their full potential.
Do I think medication is the only answer? Absolutely not! Behavior modification must be learned by the parent and child as well. ADHD can resolve itself or become a non-issue later in life if the child is given the means to control the impulsiveness, inability to focus, etc.

While it may take some time to find the right medication and dosage, the results can be amazing. And I have tried the diet modification, no dyes, no refined sugars, etc. and it made NO difference whatsoever.

One thing beyond medication that has helped me tremendously is exercise. I'm at the gym almost every day after work. By that time, my medication has worn off and getting my body moving also helps focus my mind so I can function normally for the rest of the evening.

I'm sorry for the rant but I was extremely offended by some of the responses of people who have not had to suffer being called lazy, getting in trouble for impulsivity issues, always being told you're not reaching my full potential, having a hard time connecting w/people because you're bouncing off the walls. As someone who has gone through it, it can be a very depressing and lonely existence. If a medication can help a child not have to suffer all that then I consider a parent to be wise and loving to have done the research to get the proper diagnosis and treatment for their child.
*****

Hi D.,

As someone with ADHD who has just now gone on meds after 30 years, I wish my parents had done for me what you're doing for your son at age 11! School was painful for me because sitting in one place for so long and I was ALWAYS in trouble for getting up when I shouldn't, being unable to stop talking, inability to focus, unrealized potential...
I think I would be a far more successful person had I been medicated early on- and I might not need to be on meds now had I had treatment early on. Not that I haven't found my coping mechanisms, but they too were sometimes detrimental.
Although I applaud you for researching and being very thorough in your decision making, I do believe that medication can be an amazing thing if used in addition to therepy and educating yourselves on different methods of "coping". The disorder can be channeled to produce some AMAZING things if you and your son are aware of how to channel the energy and redirect focus when necessary.
Since I've gone on my meds, there has been a HUGE and wonderful difference in my production at work, in my home life and my social life. I'm able to better balance things where that was impossible for me before. There is a wonderful book that I don't have to title to right now, but if you want to email me, I can get the info for you. It provides some great insite into the ways ADHD and ADD present itself. You can email me at [email protected]____.com

K.

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.!

Just a note that side effects are actually just plain effects. Some your child may experience or not. They call them side effects as a way of making you think that they are lesser or something else.

Here is a terrific website you should look at that takes a different look at what ADD is and how you can deal with it in other ways.

http://www.resultsproject.net/

Good luck!

S.

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S.W.

answers from San Diego on

My 9 year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD at the early age of 6, although I knew something was different when he was around age 2. At any rate, we tried all sorts of meds for him, but the one that works best for him is Focalin XR. Even though it is a capsule that he cannot swallow, we open it up and sprinkle it on applesauce. He takes it every morning before school and it lasts around 6-7 hours--enough time to keep him focused at school. By the time he gets home, it has completely worn off. Maybe ask the psychiatrist about it and keep it as a thought. I, personally, did not like Ritalin for my son, but that is just me. Hope this helps!

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G.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

Look into Biofeedback (neurofeedback) - same thing....it is non invasive, no meds and permanent help!!!! there should be someone in your area who does this. Look on online.

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M.R.

answers from Honolulu on

Aloha D.,

I can relate to not wanting to give your son those medications. Even when my son was prescribed medication for his little heart, I wanted to make sure I knew all the possible alternatives, especially because of the awful side effects. If you want to read about what other parents are doing to avoid the add medications, my e-mail address is [email protected]____.com and I can forward them directly to you.

Blessings,
Marie-anne

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C.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I was a teacher with this age group for 8 years before I had my son. I vote no meds if your doc will support you, as well as his teachers. I had a 6th grader a while back whose mom didn't want meds... We worked together to give him protein every 45 min and LITTLE to no preservatives in his diet. It took a while, but we saw a huge improvement and he ended up not needing meds. We also did daily email progress reports so that school & home were working together with behavior modification. It can be done, just takes dedication on both parts. The big thing is protein for the brain, low sugar and low perservative diet, diet high in crunchy veg helps as well. I have done extensive brain research while I worked on my GATE certificate... amazing what diet can do!
Send to school: string cheese, low sugar or plain yogurt w/fresh fruit, peanutbutter, nuts...
You can do it, hang in there.

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J.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

My nephew has ADD and has been on meds for 10 years now. All of his issues stopped with the medication as far as school is concerned, but he is still impulsive. My brother tried everything to not put him on meds: homeopathy, biorhythm, diet, talk therapy. Only the therapy and meds have helped. Now he is almost 16 and is a wonderful boy.

It used to be that these kids would flunk out of school or be your average pothead or criminal. So many people (myself included and my mother especially) gave my bro and SIL grief for finally giving in and medicating him. Then I met my college philosophy professor. He let the class debate this for an hour before a student made the comment similar to the one below about medicating a child into oblivion. This is SO rude and judgmental! NO parent wants to take the easy way out or put their kids on drugs, but when you see that your child is sufferring and can't seem to control himself, that he has no friends or just can't grasp what they are teaching in school, that he is so bright yet is failing tests and being called "dummy", you HAVE to help him!

Yes, get him tested for food allergies (especially corn and corn syrup), yes, get him off as much sugar as you can, but please give him the medicaltion he needs to learn what he needs to learn to make something of himself in this life! Do NOT let ANYONE make you feel like a bad mom for "drugging" your son. Once he is 18 and has learned enough of what he needs to do what he wants, then he can make the decision on his own whether or not to continue the meds.

BTW, my professor's remark to that student was that he, himself, had ADD and that if it wasn't for Ritalin he would never have made it through high school, let alone finish his PhD!!! He was so articulate about how he feels off and on the drug, he was obviously NOT in a stupor, and had made a success of himself. Take that, Haters! (yes, I did apologize to my bro:)

Have hope, D.. God bless you and your boy!

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J.W.

answers from Reno on

There are other medications out there for ADD. You have to be an advicate for your child. If you don't want him on it, then tell the doctor to try something else. I did with my child and he is on meds that work well for him.

The doctor will take your request and find something else. You may have to try multiple medications before you find the one that works for your son though.

J.

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.:

I have a son we adopted with learning disabilities & he is ADHD. My son took concerta for years & it worked very well. We limited the sugars & watched carbs. Another thing that helped is to put him in sports & putting things together, busy things. I have found that he likes to figure things out. Let him be creative. My son is now 18 & we have found that he is a great helper. Good Luck.
D. H.

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T.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi my name is T. I am a licensed pharmacy technician I have seen children on this medication and I my self would not recommend this medication at all....It may take alot of work for you but I could not see myself giving meds to my kids for being hyper and not focusing I have a 6 year old that is a little hyper and dont really focus on his work either..maybe Im wrong but that is just my opinion on that particular medication....just need a whole lot of patients..

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Here is what my moms are saying:

Kim, Mom of Amber, 6, Garret, 10, & Shelby, 15
“After struggling in school for two years with not being able to focus and regulate his behaviour, my son, Garret, after 8 weeks on the Isagenix nutritional shakes, is a new boy. Normally, he would have at least one incident a day and sometimes multiple! His school said I should put him on a popular “doctor recommended medicinal program” to help maintain his focus. I chose Isagenix instead. He is able to focus and moderate his own energy so he can get the most out of his studies and relationships at school. We have noticed the change at home also. Our WHOLE FAMILY now has an Isagenix shake in the morning as our step toward our optimal health!”

Angela, Mom of Jared age 6 and Nyah, age 2.
My son was heading down a very BAD road in school. He was RARELY focused, always "fidgety," becoming increasingly defiant and a behavior problem, and he HATED THE ALPHABET!!! By the bizillionth time his teacher reported a bad day with him, I decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! That was a Friday. I decided to give him an Isagenix shake every day for a week and see what happened. By Monday morning, he'd had three shakes. Off to school he went. THAT DAY, his teacher reported an EXCELLENT day with him! Tuesday = AWESOME DAY. Wednesday = amazed look on her face = GREAT DAY!!! By the end of the week, he had had the best week in school he'd ever had! I have known for months that I needed to get these shakes into my kids, but my son refused. I TRIED forever, but he's a stubborn little cuss!!! Anyway, we are finishing up our second week of shakes, and school has become an awesome experience for him rather than a drudgery.

My little girl was born with special needs and has always been pretty much "in her own world." She rarely paid attention to anyone around her. She would never interact with others. She would tire easily and constantly take "cat naps." Once I started giving her a shake every day (starting end of September), the difference was night and day. Her aide reports that she pays attention to the other kids at school and even LAUGHS at them!! She's focused on the activities (NEVER BEFORE!!), and she's engaging in activities that I never thought she'd be able to do. AND she can go all afternoon WITHOUT A NAP!! In other words, she's wonderful!

Let me help your family.

B.

S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

my best friend was diagnosed with adhd and bipolar disorder when we were kids. she went off her meds late in high school and graduated then went on to college and got her veterinarians license. all without meds!

its up to you, use your best judgment, if you dont feel right about your child taking this drug then dont put him on it!

people have been living for thousands of years without medications like this, and we dont really need them now!

if you just talk with your son and let him know you are proud of him and love him no matter what, he will be able to control himself better knowing that you believe in him! confidence is EVERYTHING.
maybe set up a behavior rewards chart. every time he does a good job at school that day he gets a sticker on the chart and then he earns a reward at the end of the week. like an extra privilege or something similar?

good luck! i have a hyper kid in first grade and two little hyper ones at home and im pregnant with my fourth, so i can really empathize with you!

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K.M.

answers from Reno on

D. M

If you are not comfortable with the medication check with your son's pediatrician/Doctor and your son's psychologist if you have doubts. You can also check out webmd.com and there is a great deal of information. If you don't like the side effects then there are other medications that your son can take. All of the ADD medications have side effects, you can always make your choice from these with the help of your son's doctor and psychologist. It is important that you speak with the treating doctors (i.e. doctor and psychologist).

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K.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have a friend who thought her son had ADHD, however, it turned out that he had severe food allergies. I suggest before putting your son on any medication, that you have your son completely tested for any possible allergies. It is possible that you are feeding him something like yeast or something that is coming out in behavior problems.
My grandmother was allergic to dogs for most of her life, then she found out that she was allergic to yeast. Now that she cut it out, she is no longer allergic to dogs. Go figure. It is just one avenue to try before putting possibly un-needed drugs into him. Good luck.

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi Darleen, I have never been in your suituation, but as a mom for 25 years, I got to tell, hyper does not mean ADD, now I am not a doctor, but to put a child on medication, to me is the last resort, don't just go by the side effects, ask them how long are we looking at, because after 7 years, that medication will probably no longer work. I was recently in the hospital and over heard a Doctor telling my room mate that after 7 years, medications can take thir toll and no longer work, so they have to be givien something stronger. I would go on line and research natural cures for ADD if in fact you do believe this is what he has. In our family we only use natural cures, and we have had great sucess with natural products that we have used. I don't blame you for having second thoughts, side effects are side effects, and their not good. Good Luck J. L.

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M.F.

answers from Reno on

i was diagnosed with add and have refused meds since about one week in to trying them initially my parents put me on them when i was 13 and i remember feeling nothing and i would rather feel too much than nothing. i learned with the help of a therapist when i was younger to drive my add to help me i recommend trying this first it has worked for me. I feel the side effects are not worth the risk. here are some sites i found with some great information

http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/child-add-symptoms-...

http://borntoexplore.org/alternatives.htm

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

You, the Parent, does NOT "have to" start Meds if you don't want to. YOU are the one that authorizes, or not, the Meds.
The Doctor can't force you. Just tell him you reconsidered.

See what else your Doctor recommends.... like support groups, counseling... learning coping skills, diet, etc.

All the best,
Susan

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have an 8 yr old stepdaughter who is on Concerta. She has been on it for about 6 months. I was worried too and did my research too. The only side effect we have noticed is her appetite has changed and she is a little more emotional. She is hungrier at nighttime and doesnt eat as much lunch. She is more emotional with tantrums. We dont see much change in her behavior and the teachers dont see a change either, as her grades are the same as when she wasnt on it. She has been going to therapy at Kaiser too for the past few years, and that too I didnt see much difference. We tend to feel at this point that it is more the choices she makes that hurts her grades and attitude. She too has a short attention span and trouble with all reading aspects. I dont like medicine being the answer for everything. All I can suggest is to try it for a while and see if it works for your son. Do you believe he is being challenged in school or maybe the work is too easy for him and feels why bother? We wondered that too, since she just doesnt seem interested in school/homework at all! Putting her on the meds was a hard choice, but my husband and I were out voted by the school, her biological mom, and the therapist. We are going to skip the pills for the summer and see if things improve with her making better choices. I wish you the best if you try the meds, just keep good communication with everyone he comes in contact with to see if they see a difference. Again I personally feel, in our case, its a matter of making better choices.

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M.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi D.,

I don't know your financial situation, but if at all possible it would be incredibly benficial for your son to have more time with you. You mentioned that you work and go to school, so he probably get very little time with you. A friend of mine was in a similar situation and she decided that she didn't want to put her child on the meds suggested, rather she quit working full time and worked with her boy with outstanding results. I have read of other similar stories, so maybe you might try that if you have the freedom to do so.

Good luck to you and I wish your boy peace and happiness.

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have personal experience with ADD, but I've heard that special yoga designed for kids with ADD can do wonders. The owner /yoga instructor of Alive and Well in Hermosa Beach once talked to me about her experience and how yoga helped her daughter. If you have time, give them a call-- ask to talk to Wayne's wife.. they are super nice.
###-###-####.

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D.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI! I have two kids with ADHD. One is completely off the med the 17th yr old. But the 15 yr old still needs it. You can do what we did. We started him with ridtlin and worked our way to concerta. We like you were concerned but he needs it to concentrate in school. So our plan was to give it to him only and only on school days! We didn't give it to him on long weekends or weekends. Didn't give it to him on Vacations and so forth. Good luck and always let him know that the medicine is there to help him but he and only he can control himself and he is strong.
good luck:)
D.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

There is a chiropractor out here in Glendora who treats children naturally for ADD and ADHD. Give Dr. Richards a call ###-###-####. She's expensive, but very worth it.

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 6 and on meds. I am a stay at home mom so I tend not to think that spending more time with my son will make his diagnoses any better. I don't think it is right to suggest that quitting you job is going to make his need for medication less. i can tell you the first medication we used was awful!! It made my son so anxious he wouldn't ride his bike he was so scared he was going to fall and he started crying at nothing for no reason. he took it once and never again.
thankfully my husband took him back to the doctor immediately (he also has ADD and meds have been a miracle for him)and my son was given a new medication with a much lower dose and it has made all the difference.My son is very little and i was concerned about the loss of appetite so I give him the meds after breakfast and use one that wears off in 6 hours so it works for school but he can eat a large dinner. Amazingly he started reading he has more friends and is much happier overall so just because this is the first medication you are trying doesn't mean it is the only one or it is the right fit. weight the pros and cons and talk to your son about how it makes him feel. if it makes him feel wired or yucky it is not the correct medication for him.
Good luck and awesome job for sticking with it and doing what is right for your boys.

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