Seeking Information from Experience

Updated on October 05, 2009
B.Z. asks from Huntington Beach, CA
39 answers

ADD medicine alternatives

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V.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

i would not have any talks of any docs and the meds. it is normal child behavior. it's the school that has to change, not the child! in an ideal situation, you would want to go to the split grade or Montessori school. i held my child back one year after the 1st grade and it made all the difference.
Good Luck
V.

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C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

First, so proud of you that you are seeking medicine alternatives before you take that step. Dr. William Sears just came out with a new book on ADD. I also LOVE the advice in his book called "The Healthiest Kid in the Neigborhood". It's all nutrition based. You can listen to him speak about kids nutrition and the positive effects on the 800 number ###-###-####. I have an excellent whole food nutritional supplement you would be interested in trying as well to help you toward this end. He talks about it. If you'd like more information, just let me know! Good luck!

Oh and I wanted to add that my son has an immediate reaction to things with dyes and sodas - it's almost as if he was drugged! Avoid them :-)

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

2 weeks in and she's already telling you this? Did you have problems in Kindergarten? Or in preschool (if he went)? Do you have problems with him at home?

Google ADD and see what the symptoms are and see how YOU feel. And, if you agree, then speak with the doctor. But, I don't know how she could possibly be telling you this already. I don't even know that I agree with her telling you this at all. Seems like teachers just want a bunch of medicated zombies to make their jobs easier.

And, just so you know, my son has ADHD and takes meds. So, I'm not totally opposed, I just can't believe she told you this.

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L.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow, it really makes me sad to see all the ADHD-phobic replies you've received.

ADHD is not something to be afraid of, nor is it a diagnosis to avoid.
Your son might just be going through an adjustment period, he may just be energetic, or he might be "ADHD." "Energetic" is a label, "just a phase" is a label, and "ADHD" is just another label. None of those labels changes who he is.

First I would suggest meeting with his teacher and come up with an incentive/reward plan. Most teachers (who have worked with unfocused children before) will have a system or two that they can start to implement. Something as simple as using a timer to get his homework done can work great. Give him X amount of time to finish, if he finished before time is up, he gets the rest of the time "banked" and he gets to spend that time doing something really fun at the end of the week, etc.. Try to avoid punitive systems; the goal is to encourage good behavior, not punish behavior he may not be able to control.

A child CAN be a straight A student and still have ADHD (just like my son and several of his G.A.T.E. classmates). They CAN focus intently on some things (with my son it's video games), yet be unable to stay on task when it comes to school work. They can fidget and play with things like pencils and erasers or even just strips of paper in class, but if you ask them what is being discussed, they will know exactly what's going on. They can excel in sports (our son has a black belt in tae kwon do), yet struggle for hours to get 15 minutes worth of homework done. They can sit still for hours reading a book, but need to stand or pace while eating dinner. They can be perfect eaters, avoid processed foods, eat veggies and whole grains, and still be bouncing off the walls. Your sons teacher is only trying to help you, and herself and the rest of the class, find an answer to why your son is having trouble focusing, etc...

We held our son back in kindergarten, thinking his fidgetiness and lack of focus might be because he was immature and one of the youngest in class. His 2nd grade teacher suggested we think about having him assessed for ADHD. We never got around to it that year, besides, he was getting good grades. His 3rd grade teacher wanted him tested for GATE (gifted and talented) and he passed in the 99th percentile. We thought that was the answer to why he was fidgety, unfocused, disruptive, etc; he was bored. In 4th grade we thought that would all go away because he would be in a GATE class where he would be challenged and more engaged. Wrong! The only thing to change was the type and amount of work he had. We struggled for another 2 years, thankfully with very supportive and understanding teacher who were willing to adjust his workload, before his 6th grade teacher mentioned the possibility of ADHD. This time we had him assessed and concluded that he was probably on the ADHD spectrum (he is not hyperactive, just unfocused). Eventually we started him on Adarall XR and the difference was literally night and day. His first day of school on the meds was truly amazing; he was focused, on task, and got his homework done in just 2 hours, as opposed to the 4-6 hours it usually took him. His younger brother and I were able to have a conversation next to him, which "normally" he would have joined, but was able to stay focused on his work without interjecting at all. That is when we both knew this was the answer we had been looking for for 5 years! He was SO happy, I cried. All the YEARS we struggled....what a waste. All the tears we both cried trying to get him through his assignments, homework, unfinished classwork, etc....things our family couldn't do because he had to spend weekends finishing assignments. I WISH he had been assessed when he was younger, but am so thankful for the diagnosis now and the tiny blue capsule that has changed not only his life, but our whole family's.

Good luck to you and your son, and don't be afraid to explore every possibility.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

First of all, you should request a meeting with the school district psychologist and have THEM test him for ADD or ADHD and also for some possible learning disorders. There is a difference. Also, how did your son behave in Kindergarten? Boys mature slower than girls and sometimes it is better to hold them back a year. AFTER you have had your son tested, I would suggest that you have your son in ANOTHER class with a more tolerant teacher. I am going to guess that the current teacher can't stand boys. Boys are a different species from girls. They are more energetic and physical. IF the testing shows that he is ADD or ADHD, THEN take him to a doctor who specializes in this disorder to confirm the diagnosis and possible treatment options that DON"T include drugs, including behavior modification and biofeedback. Don't just settle for the drug option. THAT IS THE LAST RESORT. My son had ADD in addition to a learning disorder. He did not want to take medication and used music to help him focus. For him, this was his alternative to drugs. He is a bright young man and is in his last year of college. You just have to ask yourself, is your son ADD or just a normal boy with an intolerant teacher? She should have referred your son for testing and not mentioned ADD but your son's inability to sit still and focus. Not being able to sit still for a six year old is NORMAL. Focusing is another issue. You might ask the principal how many students this teacher refers for ADD and how many are boys. Just a thought.

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S.F.

answers from Reno on

Hi B.,

Another idea for you to consider is to spend some time in your son's classroom and see for yourself what's going on. Plan on staying for at least 30-60 minutes at different times of the day. Go in with no preconceived notions as to what's ok or not, just observe, maybe take some notes. Then, ask the teacher what she saw as disruptive and unfocused. It could be you and your son's teacher have different ideas as to what those words look like.

My son was "labeled" as ADHD by his 2nd grade teacher. After hours of observation, I learned that my son had a great teacher, but one that just DID NOT work for him. Her classroom rules, atmosphere, everything, was the complete opposite of what my son needed to learn. (If you want the full and complete list, to compare notes, feel free to respond to this post). My husband and I should've switched classes, but instead we opted to try to work things out with the teacher. That didn't work out very well...for the teacher. She wasn't willing to change any of her policies and our pedi laughed himself silly when asked about an ADHD diagnosis. He said that as long as my son was earning good grades (he had all As and Bs) and was well-adjusted in all other areas (he was), then the problem was the teacher not being able to keep up with my son. Our solution that year was that she would send all incomplete work home and I'd supervise his learning. The scary thing was that he finished 7.5 hours worth of education in 45 minutes after school.

A big reason we knew our son wasn't ADHD was because we had him enrolled in a variety of other classes and we were careful to observe his actions during these classes and at home. A kid who can spend 3 hours at age 6 analyzing Pokemon cards IS NOT ADHD. A kid who can learn 64 step karate "forms" IS NOT ADHD. A kid who can spend two hours each weekend learning another language IS NOT ADHD. Sadly, our educational system, in a quest to correct thousands of years of injustice towards little girls' education, has created a system that completely leaves little boys out. When we don't have an hour of PE each day for little boys to bleed off energy, when we don't give them proper nutrition or proper amounts of sleep, we run into problems.

My purported "ADHD" son is now in the 6th grade, has no trouble sitting through his 6 classes a day and is earning fine grades. He was just slow to mature, very energetic and incredibly bored with the average elementary classroom environment. The flip side...his parents make sure he gets plenty of sleep, excellent nutrition and runs 2 hours a day to bleed off energy.

This is a tough situation. Observe, plan on supplementing your son's education at home, and be honest with yourself about your son's capabilities. Do not jump to any conclusions! It's hard--we're so protective of our children--but now is not the time for knee-jerk, emotional responses.

Good luck.

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would totally agree about observing in the classroom. Last year our school said our son had ADD, but when doing homework with him at home I did not see the same distractibility. I noticed a pattern of distraction -- it was worse when it was noisy (and his classroom was on the main playground for the school, and the teacher taught with the doors open). Turns out my son has auditory processing disorder (read http://capdsupport.org for info). It looks identical to ADD, but it's a hearing issue, not a biochemical issue. I would research thoroughly and follow your mom's intuition before accepting an ADD diagnosis. They give that label out too much these days (in my opinion). You know your child best!

Take care,
B.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Why don't you go and visit his classroom? Sit in the back, well away from your child, not with him and not helping him, because you won't see his normal classroom behaviors if you are next to him. Tell him you are busy if he approaches you. Bring some paper, and if you see him looking at you, start writing. You want him to behave naturally instead of being focused on your presence. Plan on staying all day, back at a distance, observe him during lessons, and in other school settings like recess, library, lunch. Then you can decide what you think, if the teacher's assertions are valid, and if anything may or may not need to be done.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

B., first of all HE IS 6! Anyone in their right mind who would say a 6 year old "has difficulty staying focused and disrupts the class" should be reminded CONSISTENTLY HE IS 6!!!

I am a retired special needs school teacher, SO I have a bit of experience on this subject. I now work with families of special needs kids out side of the school system to truly help. Schools and the medical industry push to medicate children so they will "fit in the system". I teach parents how to "feed their family" so that they family "fits into life".

Did you know some of the most famous people on the planet are/were ADD?
Ansel Adams, photographer; Alexander Graham Bell, inventor or the telephone; Hans Christian Anderson, author; Beethoven; Terry Bradshaw, foot ball quarterback; Jim Carrey, Actor; Prince Charles; Cher; Agatha Christie; Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci; Walt Disney; Henry Ford; Magic Johnson, JFK; John D Rockefeller; even Albert Einstein…I could go on…

Can you imagine what may have happened to them if their parents decided to medicate them? Would they be who they are today?

PLEASE EDUCATE DON'T MEDICATE!!

Here is what some moms who are working with me 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 10 year old son, Garret, after 8 weeks on Barbilee’s nutritional program, 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 food 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 is part of program designed by B. and we are well on our way toward our optimal health!”

Angela, Mom of Jared age 6 and Nyah, age 2.
My son (6) 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 lisen to Barbile and JUST FEED HIM RIGHT...for a week and see what happened. Monday 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 feed my kids better but I just didn't know how. B. made it simple. Anyway, we are finishing up our second week of our family nutritional program, and school has become an awesome experience for him rather than a drudgery. I LOVE asking him how his day was!

Also, 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 feeding her differently, every day 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.
Family Wellness Coach
EDUCATE NOT MEDICATE

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

The teacher should not be making a dx like this. Do not accept medication as a first resort, anytime anywhere. Try some other things like diet modification to see how that works.

Diet - remove ALL dyes and preservatives from the food that your son is eating. Read the labels. Gluten and Dairy are usually a cause of increased behaviors (unwanted ones) in most kids so think about removing one or the other for a month and then introduce again to see what happens. Get an IgG blood test for foods to see which ones cause inflammation INSIDE the body and remove those foods. These changes make a difference (in our case, a HUGE difference). Also check to see how the amino acids levels are = easy to fix.

This is not the end of the world. Boys need to be boys and schools don't like it because of so many reasons. Don't let anyone bully you into shots, medication, until you do the research and know that that will be the best for your child at that time.

If you need any help on diet or sups, send me a request and I'll forward you more information.

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

Well...you asked for experience, and unfortunately there's just not enough space.

The highlights:

- I'm ADHD, and my son *probably* is.

- It's an absolutely FABULOUS, amazing, fantastic "disorder" to have. It actually has more gifts than downfalls...but the downfalls are particularly annoying, so many people without ADHD never bother to look any further.

- Most people DON'T have it.

- If it can be "fixed" with nutrition/ sleep/ parenting/ removing allergens/etc...it's NOT ADHD. It's malnutrition or digestive disorder/ sleep dep or disorder/ a parenting problem/ an allergic reaction/ etc. ADHD is just like autism or genius...it's the way our BRAIN's work. You can work around the way that your brain works (coping mechanisms), you can make sure you aren't contributing to the problem, but you can't out and out change the brain without drugs/surgery/or trauma.

- NEVER get diagnosed by a family doc or a teacher... BUT take recommendations about the POSSIBILITY of adhd from them quite seriously. People who work with "normal" kids tend to spot the ones who aren't fairly easily. Whether they're not "normal" because they're gifted, adhd, a natural athlete, suffering from lack of sleep, dysgraphic, dyslexic, synesthestic, etc....REALLY needs a professional in that field...or you'll just get the "pop" diagnosis.

- See a psychologist or social worker specializing in ADHD for an ADHD diagnosis or rule out. Typically avoid behavioral psychologists. (The way that psychology is broken up is by the way that they veiw treatments, not what they're treating. A cognitive-behavioral psychologist will treat a patient WAY different than either a cognitive psychologist OR a behavioral psychologist. I know, confusing, what? And there are about 20 different branches. Developmental Psychologists and Physiological Psycologists are my personal favs...but to each their own flavor.)

- Expect the testing to last for a minimum of an hour, and more commonly 3-4 hours. If you're in and out in 5 minutes...no go.

- You do NOT have to medicate ADHD...although most non-adhd parents seem to...and most ADHD adults have at least *tried* several of the meds that are out there. A great psychologist (note psychologists tend to be the counselors, but psychiatrists are the docs who dispense meds. A psychologist appt typically lasts an hour, a psychiatrist appt typically lasts 15 minutes.) can be INVALUABLE in learning medication-free coping mechanisms. And in sorting out what's regular old development, and what's adhd.

- Read up. "You mean I'm not lazy, stupid, or crazy?!?" by peggy ramundo, and kate kelly is a good one. There are also yahoo groups that are specifically adhd, that can give you a lot of info/experience from people who are being there/doing that...or been there/done that. Avoid anything or anyone who purports to cure or fix adhd. Like I said, if you can fix it, it wasn't adhd to begin with.

Good luck! And if it DOES turn out to be adhd, congratulations :)

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V.C.

answers from San Diego on

Wow, responses are all over the map...As an Adult w/ADHD, daughter of an Adult w/ADHD, sister of 2 adults w/ADHD & a mom of 2 ADHD daughters--see a pattern here? Yes, it runs in families... Try the alternates: diet, supplements, exerise, reward charts but don't wait to try meds...my oldest daughter had 100% more behavior problems because I wouldn't try meds for her...live & learn.

Educate yourself about ADHD. ADHD is an issue of how the brain functions...not how smart or not a person is. And just like all of life, one size does NOT fit all. There are many great books out there, one my family has especially liked is called "Healing ADD" by Dr. Daniel G. Amen. He recommends all of the various alternatives & yes, sometimes meds are needed. If your boy needed glasses, would you hesitate to get them for him?

Please don't discount the teacher just because it's been 2 weeks...she's seeing him in a setting that is stressful for him (new room, teacher, classmates, work load) & she is just trying to help HIM be a better student. Look into the other things that could be causing focus problems, like whether or not his hearing or sight is 100%, reading or processing disorders..the school psychologist & your doctor can help you figure it out. Good Luck!!

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K.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

Wow! I never thought I would see so much bashing of teachers on this site. I'm very disappointed. Experienced teachers can spot a child with "control" issues very early in the school year...yes even 2 weeks. I don't understand why people are so negative about a teacher suggesting that a medical doctor look at a child that shows signs of ADHD. I really like Lani's story and suggestions.
My suggestion would be to follow your instincts, look at how your child behaves at home (without making excuses) and observe how other 6 year old children behave. A teacher is a child advocate.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

A diagnosis of ADD or ADHD should be looked at over a much longer time frame than 2 weeks. Also look back and see if you can recall other inattentive, distractable, hyper (if that is a possibility) that you didn't previously pass off as something boys do- or that he would grow out of. Talk with he teacher about classroom strategies with behavior- and services the school can provite (ask for an SST meeting at the school to strategize and make a behavior plan- see if behavioral interventions work- then consult with your pediatrician, or mental health professional... Feel empowered to become educated and help your child to succeed!

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A.P.

answers from San Diego on

While it's difficult to accept that your child may need to be medicated, and ADD/ADHD are highly overdiagnosed, a great teacher instantly knows the difference between a squirrely kid & one who sincerely needs help.

Ask around to verify that this teacher knows his/her stuff.

Be cautious, but take it seriously. If your child really has this disorder, meds make a world of difference. One of my best friends didn't find out until grad school that she was ADHD. She spent her entire life struggling through school. She was thrilled to be placed on meds & was able to complete her degree much more successfully.

Best of luck!!! (I have my Master's in Education & have taught for 6 yrs.)

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P.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

Nobody told me I had ADD until I started college. I am also dyslexic (or however you spell it..I can't spell it cause I have it!!) I was fortunate to have two incredible ladies in my life that were able to give me the perfect solutions without ever handicapping me with negative labels. My grandmother was a remedial reading teacher and realized that all my words were backwards before I even started school. She taught me to read differently. I couldn't understand phonix to save my life but I could read as fast as the teacher. In 3rd grade I had a teacher that didn't approve of medication so when she spoke with my parents about my discipline problems she approached it very differently. Instead of telling them that I was awful and wouldn't behave she told them that we needed to work together to help me learn to behave in spite of myself. I was allowed to read quietly durning class or do homework assignments as long as I was getting the lesson she was teaching at the time. I picked up things really fast and so as soon as it made sense I was ready to move on to the next thing! She would test me all the time to see if I was keeping up by calling on me for a science question while I was doing my multiplication homework. I'd give her the right answer. It was almost a game we played even though none of the other kids even knew what was going on. ADD or whatever anybody wants to call it is not a thing to be controlled but a thing to be molded. As an adult I still type every other word backwards...my backspace is the most used key on my keyboard! But I can also do two or three things at one time successfully. It is a true asset if you can as I say use it for good and not evil! I was a 'bad' kid always stirring things up but I was also always considered one of the 'smart kids' and teachers began to see me as a fun challenge. I'm not anti-medication but I do think that meds should be reserved for kids with extreme trouble. One of my step sons fit that category and the meds do help. My warning to parents is that you are making a decision for your child that won't 'go away'. Many adults who were on medication for a long time and stop taking them when they are no longer in school really struggle to learn to adapt without medication. You have to be prepared as a parent to make sure as your son gets older to help him make informed decisions about his longterm medication choices. ADD is real and it can be a wonderful thing if you can teach your son how to fine tune it as a skill not a handicap. Check into some books about alternative solutions. Diet plays a large role also. There are many things you can do before you go the med route. No matter what you do follow what your inner mommy voice says. If the teacher is closed minded get a new one!!! First grade seems like no big deal but it really shapes the way your son looks at the learning process. If you want to find some real superstar teachers who will work VERY hard with your son's personality check into montessori. It is by far the most amazing educational experience your kids can have. Lord I talk a lot! I hope my story is helpful to you. It's more important to consider what you want for your son in the long term. As parents we are responsible for the adults they become not how well behaved they are at school.

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T.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 9 yr old son and last year (3rd grade) the teacher suggested to me he might have ADHD. (I don't.) A friend (teacher) told me this was illegal for her to suggest such a thing. I knew what the teacher was thinking and just asked "do you think X?'

I was told by my friend that a regular pediatrician (who the teacher suggested I see) was not even qualified to evaluate the child for ADHD. Point being, most teachers are wrong when they suggest this and don't know what the heck they are talking about.

Read the book DISCOVER YOUR CHILD'S LEARNING STYLE
http://www.learningsuccessinstitute.com/

The authors have workshops in Ventura and I took 2 over the past year.

For boys, who are generally very active and love to move, school can sometimes be difficult. My son was born in March, so I let him go to K when he was 5. But other friends whose son's were born in June or July held their son's back a year to give them extra time. Some boys really need it. Even I wonder maybe I should have waited.

Frankly, too much is being asked of them at age 6... sitting at a desk most of the day in a traditional classroom. Bodies need to get up to move. The brain and spinal cord needs movement. Yet in school, it's not allowed without asking "permission."

http://www.michaelgurian.com/

Check out the book BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY by Michael Gurian. Take a good look at the cover page. A girl reading a book and 2 boys together, both talking/discussing, holding something, exploring it with their hands AND standing. Is that allowed in a traditional, cookie-cutter, treat-everyone-the-same classroom?

Nope. My son has been on the wait list for a hands-on, local magnet school for the past 4 years. A school where they understand and incorporate LEARNING STYLES into learning.

I don't think there is anything wrong with your son. (Unless you do and you have noticed something "off" for years.) But I do think there is something off with the expectations of students in average schools.

Don't medicate your son. Please research WHY your son is acting up. Is he developmentally normal? Is the SCHOOL wrong for placing such strict expectations on a 6 yr old child?????

Schools in the US are far more academic (even in Kindergarten) and frankly, kids may not be quite ready for it. But that doesn't stop politicians and school administrators from demanding more performance from the youngest students.

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

get his eyes checked too. sometimes vision problems can cause the same symptoms as ADD

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi B.,

I work with families raising children with special needs, like ADD and have some resources that can be of help to you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at 866-287-8030 or [email protected]____.com anytime. You can visit our website at www.hamercaz.org for more information about our program.

Best wishes and talk to you soon.

S.

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K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

we went through this last year with my 6yr old. he was in kindergarten because we gave him an extra year to "mature" while it was a great idea to wait to start him because of the late birthday he still struggled. we had him diagnosed in the spring after i watched and worked in his classroom all year.
the doctor suggested like others have to set up a very strong rewards based program to motivate him. this has worked to a certain degree but not nearly enough to function in a school environment. my husband also has ADD and it was very detrimental until he started taking medication.Medication for him has been a miracle!! we decided to go that route for my son but knew it would take a little time to find the right fit of meds and dosage. We decided to try during the summer so we could watch for the side effect.

we tried 3 different medications before we gave up on conventional medicine to help with this problem. growing bodies can not handle the very strong drugs contained in those medications. we had the usual side effects like not sleeping and eating but the anxiety and lack of creativity were the things i was unable to justify in a child. I was told later by a doctor these meds turn off the part of the brain that cant concentrate. this can not be a good thing in a developing child whose brain is still growing! perhaps it is OK in older children and like we have experienced wonderful in adults but small children i am not so sure.

This has created quite a delema with back to school. I feel (just my personal opinion only) this teacher has a room full of kids she is brave enough to teach and be responsible for & it was not her choice to have a class this size- so I am working on an open line of communication with her, while i would love to put my son in a private school that can better anticipate his needs it just is not possible for our family right now. I have already volunteered to work in the classroom and told her he had some trouble last year but we are choosing not to medicate him and work on some other alternatives. She was thrilled to hear this and was glad to help any way she could. Yea!
we have changed his diet significantly like others have suggested, we already ate very well but now have refined it even more- this is not an easy task take it slow so you don't freak your little one out. going from potato chips to broccoli over night is an adjustment for everyone. we found by substituting things he liked for healthier choices at first made it much easier to phase some of those foods out completely.
the other thing we did and it was a huge jump for us was take him to a kenesiologyst to have muscle testing done for allergies and supplements. this was weird i thought coming from a very traditional background but it was 1.cheap-compared to ADD meds- 2.not evasive -like the blood testing ordeal we went through this summer- and 3.more effective than anything we have tried! In a half hour we found out a lot of my sons particular problem is his body is not effectively getting the minerals it needs and keeping his blood sugar even. with these two pieces of the puzzle he is doing so much better.
it seems to me ADD is a blanket diagnoses to cure a symptom not a problem. most of these kids who show ADD symptoms have different reasons for it whether it is a learning challenge, a health challenge or a discipline challenge. as parents it is the hardest but most loving thing we can do to put in the time and effort to become detectives to find out what our own child is struggling with.

recently I have been looking into a program for brain development to help heal children with problems like leaning disabilities, autism , ADD etc. the link is
http://www.parentswithpurpose.com/index.htm

Donna the founder is COMING HERE in November for a seminar. this is a program to teach parents how to help their children with their own INDIVIDUAL challenges. she can asses you child and help you develop a program to help heal their specific brain. I have many friends who heard her speak last year- 3 were nurses, 1 a special education teacher, all were mothers! They said this was awesome! Her approach is very medically based and backed up with great research. I am so glad she is coming back to southern cal to do another one. if you are interested i can get the info. just send me a note.

Good luck and you are a great mom for getting educated and being your sons advocate!

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have experience with alternatives but I have experience with dealing with students with ADD. I do agree a teacher should not say your child may have ADD but what we are supposed to say is maybe you should go to a doctor because he is having attention issues. It is the same thing without giving the diagnosis. I have to really agree with this previous response:

Wow! I never thought I would see so much bashing of teachers on this site. I'm very disappointed. Experienced teachers can spot a child with "control" issues very early in the school year...yes even 2 weeks. I don't understand why people are so negative about a teacher suggesting that a medical doctor look at a child that shows signs of ADD.
My suggestion would be to follow your instincts, look at how your child behaves at home and observe how other 6 year old children behave. A teacher is a child advocate.

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L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would be very careful... little boys are VERY different than little girls and it is common for them to have trouble sitting still, etc. I've heard Dr. Laura (AM RADIO) talk about this a lot and it was the case with my step-son who by 2nd grade was a lot better.

If your case is more severe, there are dietary changes you can make through alternative medicine too that are very successful.

Good luck and don't let them just through around that term!!

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J.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

B.

DON'T buy into that suggestion!!! That is all I hear and heard the same for my son as well. TEACHERS can't be bothered with the disruption. A GOOD teacher would find alternitves to help your son stay focused! There are many factors that can contribute to his day! Is he BORED? Could he just be imature? Is he having a hard time with his work? How is eye sight. If he can't see or understand the work he will be un focused. The teacher does not even have the right to diagnose him! You can have him tested by the school physcologists.

Good Luck

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B.M.

answers from San Diego on

Have you checked diet? I bought a book called The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet. It is worth the effort to see if it works.

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B.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

B.,
It's quite possible that he simply has a vitamin deficency..
I have heard quite a few cases of children simply not getting enough vitamins and in return not able to focus. Sounds strange I'm sure, but before everyone jumps to conclusions at least give it a shot. It would be better than medicating him, no?!
My daughter takes Vemma Next. We get it from www.vemmabuff.com ... it is by far the absolute best liquid vitamin on the market and she asks for it everyday!
Hope this helps!
B. : )

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree, spend a day in the classroom so you know exactly what the teacher is talking about. I don't have personal experience with ADD alternatives but my kids are fed a healthy diet - very little processed food (what they do get here is as healthy as I can find), no dyes, white flours/sugars, soda, etc.. they eat a protein,carb and healthy fat at each meal (they always have breakfast). My kids are 4 and almost 7 and I credit a lot of their good behaivor to their diet, good nights sleep and vitamins/fish oil (Omega 3's). That all being said, I know of two people who have been told the same and have changed their kids diet and made sure they were getting enough omega 3's - they didn't take any meds and their behaivor completely turned around.

My daughter's first day of 1st grade was yesterday. She told me of a boy that was acting "crazy" all day - to her that probably just means a lot of talking/hyper behaivor. When she told me about his snack and lunch I wasn't surprised at all. What we fuel our body with can have a huge impact on our behaivor and how we feel, even as adults. I'm currently eating very clean, so when I decide to have something like a cookie or bowl of ice cream, I can really tell what it does to my body - for me it makes me irratable - kind of good I guess if it will keep me away from that stuff! LOL!!

I know I'm not a huge help but this is where I would start if you haven't already.
Best wishes,
M.

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C.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try Omega-3. Dr. Sears makes a good one that you can buy from his website.

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M.M.

answers from Honolulu on

You should try Mila. It is a combination of chia seeds that has the safest highest delivery system of Omega 3's and antioxidants. Higher than any plant or marine source. Even more than salmon gram for gram. Do some research on Omega 3's and you will see that it is very good for clarity along with a whole list of other benefits for kids, babies and adults. Check out my website.
www.M..lifemax.net
[email protected]____.com
This is a certified whole food by the FDA.
Good luck. Hopefully this works.

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T.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good for you, looking at other options!

For starters, it's so hard for young kids to sit still! Also, there are many additives in food nowadays that cause undesirable behavior. My daughter goes crazy when she consumes anything with red dye in it.

If he is nervous, maybe something like Bach Rescue Remedy would help him.

My mom is a therapist and found this (free) short, informative booklet online:
http://www.fightforkids.org/Psychiatric_Drugs_and_Your_Ch...

Beyond that you may want to find a more compatible teacher, or even school.

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M.C.

answers from Las Vegas on

I would suggest this product: go to website: http://www.homeopathiclaboratories.com/children.php

Calms Forté 4 Kids™

Quick Search

Key Attributes:
nervous tension
sleeplessness
restlessness
night terrors
growing pains
sleeplessness from vacation travel

Formula:
Aconitum Nap. 6X, Calc. Phos. 12X, Chamomilla 6X, Cina 6X, Lycopodium 6X, Nat. Mur. 6X, Pulsatilla 6X, Sulphur 6X
Hyland's Calms Forté 4 Kids™ combines 8 botanical remedies to meet the needs of children suffering from symptoms related to nervous tension, sleeplessness, and restlessness. This homeopathic medicine for children aged 2 years and older also relieves other symptoms that can inhibit children from sleeping well, including night terrors, growing pains and sleeplessness from vacation travel. A calmative solution to restlessness, Hyland's Calms Forté 4 Kids™ comes in easy-to-administer tablets that dissolve almost instantly in the mouth. Plus, its unique formulation works without side effects and won't interact with other medications.
$ 6.49

Hylands have some great natural products that do work- I also use Calms for adults when I have a lot on my mind and need to sleep and not wake up several times at night- great products! The allergy relief for kids is great as well!

Good luck!!

Melissa

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J.M.

answers from Reno on

Hi there, my daughter is 7 and has had the same issues. The school usually can do an evaluation if they are requesting it. Then it is their expense and not yours. The school nurse and psychologist will run a series of tests, mostly asking him questions etc. My daughter sees a psychologist and has had therapy and takes medication, she is diagnosed ADHD and Asperger's syndrome. One of the main questions is that it affects them in more than one area of life. If you notice having to repeat yourself more often, he gets distracted often or seems "random" jumping from subject to subject it might be worth it. There are lots of things to do besides medication also.
It may also just be getting used to the school environment!
J.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on
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M.T.

answers from San Diego on

Without knowing much about your son or his previous experiences, I believe that I would give him a bit longer than TWO WEEKS to settle into 1st grade. ADD and ADHD are so quickly diagnosed these days its surprising any of our kids make it through school without someone wanting to medicate them for something.

Kids are meant to be rambunctious and are definitely NOT used to being quiet, raising their hand to speak, sitting in their chair for long periods of time, etc.

If his teacher is not receptive to helping your son learn in a positive way how to behave while in school, then get him into another class, another school, something.

I feel for you and for your little one. Its tough to have to learn all of those new things at once.

All of that being said, if he has a history of not focusing on anything (either at home or preschool/kindergarten) and getting so wound up that he can't slow down even when he wants to, then maybe look further into his behavior.

If its only been since he's started 1st grade though, I would definitely give it more time before jumping to ADD.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

you could try accupuncyure and herbs. CHOC has a woman on staff-Ruth McCarty. Or you could ask for a less structured classroom.

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

B., it's wonderful to hear that you are looking for natural alternatives for your son. I highly suggest researching homeopathic and natural remedies for your 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.

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

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

Here's his data:

1279 North Berendo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 663~1066

http://spearmanbetterhealth.com/

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/

And B., please watch:

Psych Conflicts:
http://www.psychconflicts.org/

Making A Killing:
http://www.cchr.org/#/videos/making-a-killing-introduction

CCHR: Depression Mental Health Screening Test Puts Kids' Health at Risk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDgBSSSVtrU

CCHR Says Top APA Psychiatrist Needs Lesson in Disease vs. Disorder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhjdbifuNco

CCHR: The Difference Between Medical Disease & Psychiatric Disorder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3JQ8OVHVWA

CCHR Antidepressant Drug Spoof: Tripolar disorder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8eS8BZdC1o

'GENERATION RX' Extended Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xehHwkPpevk

The Psycho Pharmaceutical Industry with Former Pharma Scientist, Shane Ellison
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOT5DSIUTOY&eurl

Dr John Rengen Virapen, Whistleblower of the Psychopathic Pharmaceutical Industry, Speaks Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QMYFgC_YSo

Psychiatric Drugs & the Brave New World: featuring Jim Marrs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nGZ1T42lk8&eurl

Whistleblower Allen Jones/Mental health screening of kids
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GhBfDMW2Fo&eurl

Fight For Kids: The Candace Downing Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xjx0gdL83I

CCHR PSA: Psychiatric Drugs and Violence
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRJN_NfyiH4

CCHR PSA Warning on Antidepressants/Child Suicides
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgMovNmtRF0&feature=user

AND

Too many kids on psych meds? Parts 1, 2 & 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73SRn1gdAdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcvCtxaiOGg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58UZqr3fiZI

It's vital you watch: "The Drugging of Our Children"
http://tinyurl.com/nrrpw5

I also truly recommend reading "Doped Up and Duped – nearly impossible to find independent studies of psych drugs with no Pharma ties." http://tinyurl.com/mj9494

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 23 month old Dylan Orion.......29 September 2007) : )))

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G.Y.

answers from San Diego on

My step son was diagnosed with ADD. He came out to live with us during the summers. What I found was he was allergic to so much. Perservatives, the food coloring in foods, so many others. I put him on the Goldfind diet and it worked. It is hard to follow, but very rewarding. He needs to eat basic foods. All food has to be specially made for him. Even the color added to red meat was bad for him. I could tell the difference immediately if he had something he wasn't suppose to. Give this a try.

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K.R.

answers from San Diego on

My son who is now 8 yrs old has ADHD. I tried everything from a soda in the morning with breakfast( this one made him burp in class which was not good) but it calmed him then I moved from that to fish oil gell caps and a soda , then green tea caps and soda then just strait caffine pills this worked for 3 hours. Never has caused him any issues. Now he is on "Stratera"Here is the link incase you would like to read about it.

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/adhd/a/msp_stratera.htm

Hope it helps Krissy

S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

ADD is a bunch of bullcrap, pardon my french. please dont medicate your child because the teacher is too impatient to deal and talk with him like hes a human being!
i mean its wrong to medicate animals, why do it to your own child?!!?!
i would go to the principal and demand to switch teachers. at least that way you will get a second opinion, if everyone independently thinks he may have a problem, then go to the school psychologist and ask about some ways you can help your son learn to control himself at school.

This is what I did with my son when he was in first grade (teacher never said he had add, she was to detached to care or notice, but he had every textbook symptom) I had a behavior chart set up with him in kindergarten, only then i had the teachers help with it so it was easier to do and continue at home. every day that he filled his chart with stickers at school he would get a sticker at home and if he filled his sticker chart at home for the whole week then he would get to go somewhere fun with mom and dad (like the one dollar theater, or go to the dollar store to pick out a cheap toy or snack) so anyway, we continued this tradition at home in first grade, we also made sure that he did his homework every night (he showed much improvement in class when he understood what they were learning about) we didnt sit with him to do it, but checked on him every couple of minutes and had him show it to us so we can check it. when he finished his homework he got a sticker, etc.
with these fun little charts he improved tenfold in his behavior at home and school!

just another piece of advice, video games have been proven in a study to promote ADD in children. the reason for this is because its so immediately exciting and all the fast images from here to there flashing all over the screen. also those quick paced action cartoons that boys love do the same thing.
i dont recommend taking him off video or computer games all together but i do recommend using video games as a reward. dont let him play them until all his homework for the whole week is done, make it time limited like ten minutes a day, or something similar (whatever you think will work for your little guy!)

please let me know if any of this advice has helped you!

good luck!

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