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Joined: 2/16/2010
Msg: 2
Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHDPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
My brother had ADHD. The doctor had prescribed Ritalyn. (spelling?) It was absolutely ridiculous. The pills made him even more hyper-active. He ended up noticing the changes in himself and stopped taking them without my parents/doctor knowing. He was better off without them. I've seen that happen with a couple different people while I was growing up and through high school. I would definitely read those links posted above.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 3
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 2/28/2010 9:41:44 PM
If Ritalin made your brother hyperactive he was misdiagnosed.

There is a great deal of information out there about changing diet and other things that people have indicated helps with ADD/ADHD. As a spectrum disorder, I would expect that for some people changing their chemical balance by other means could correct the condition in the same way the meds do.

Check out Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I haven't gotten into it yet but as one of my kids has ADD and we are suspecting that my youngest may as well, I want to do more research on the subject. Whether someone opts for the other coping mechanisms that are out there or the meds or a combination is going to depend largely on how much their child is struggling.

My daughter at the end of 2nd grade could not read. She was prescribed ritalin and miraculously within a couple of weeks was reading beautifully. This was after two solid years of crying and miserable frustration on both our parts because despite her obvious intelligence, without the meds, there were things she could not do.

Fast forward to now. She is a senior in high school in honors and AP classes. She can function without her meds and chooses to do so much of the time because she said that she doesn't feel well when she takes them and doesn't want to on a daily basis. But everything is much harder for her without the meds. She takes them when she has important tests, including the SAT. How she manages her condition is her choice and we will be researching whether changes in her diet or other things may help.

I am currently in the process of speaking with my youngest son's teacher to determine whether she sees signs of ADD in the classroom as she spends more time with my son in a structured environment as I do. He has needed teachers to keep him on task throughout school. In 5th grade, he is really struggling and without us planting ideas in his head said he has trouble doing his work because of the things that other students are doing in the room. He does better when he is at a desk that is more isolated. After speaking with the teacher and our doctor and proper screening I will not hesitate to put him on concerta, which is a 12-hour medication that my daughter has done much better with than Ritalin.

I haven't OP, seen alternative treatments work because I have not been privy to a family that tried this but I have seen with my own child and a roommate's son years ago, what happens with a kid that is medicated versus not. In my roommate's son's case, he was ADHD out the kazoo and was so disruptive in kindergarten that they wanted to kick him out of the private school he attended. It was night and day after he was put on Ritalin. He was doing great in school, the illogical arguing was rare.

My daughter similarly seemed like a problem child before she was diagnosed, like she didn't want to do the schoolwork, but with the medication, she has done beautifully in school. She has still had to work much harder than her brothers to do well but in our case, medication was the right decision at the time. I can't imagine what her self-esteem and academic performance would have been like if she had been forced to endure that level of struggling and frustration, something that would have gotten worse with each year of school, if I had made different decisions. Whether it continues to be the right decision will unfold in the next couple of years.
Joined: 3/28/2009
Msg: 5
Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 2/28/2010 11:52:12 PM
The most important thing is to make sure of a correct diagnosis. Some kids are being drugged into submission and compliance because their parents and teachers just don't seem to want to put in the time and effort to teach the child self-control.

Then there are the children who are truly ADD/ADHD. As another poster mentioned, the medications can work wonders for them. Think of it along the lines of diabetes. Would you deny your child medical care for that condition? Same concept.

For the record, I am a teacher. When a parent sends a student to school without administering the prescribed medication, we usually know about it within the first hour or so. The poor child (can be anywhere from a kindie to a senior) frequently goes into a tail spin and often ends up in so much trouble. And it isn't even the child's fault.

So, my advice....get second and third opinions. Don't settle for one. Then, LISTEN to the medical professionals. They do have a bit of education and are usually trying to do what is best for the child.

Best of luck.
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 7
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/1/2010 6:00:51 AM
There a lots of sites on drug free treatments for ADHD.
Here is a good one for you on how spanking works better then ritalin. Just spank the ADHD right of of them.
Joined: 7/21/2005
Msg: 9
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/1/2010 7:08:29 AM
I have an adult child who is ADHD and also could not tolerate blue food dye, it would put him into a state that was just horrible! He became the child from hell. The oddest thing to me was that he seemed to crave the things which contained blue dye..
He was on some of the older meds for some time, before stopping them on his own, he simply hated the way he felt.
But, even as an adult, he would still benefit from some type of treatment. The same ADHD issues that made his life difficult as a child, make coping in the workplace, relationships and so on very hard for him still.
One medication that is being used for this now is called Intuniv. My pedi doc has talked to me about this drug because,, I also have a 14 year old who is ADHD.. OMG!
He had been on Adderall, but began having problems with his stomach, so we have stopped it now.
He says he is using it with other patients and seeing good results. The thing that I find to be a real plus is that it is not an amphetamine, I just can not feel good about children taking amphetmines!!
Another thing I've been checking out is nutritional treatment to adjust the chemicals in the brain to the proper level.
One phamacy where I live has a section for natural alternative treatments, as well as filling the normal kinds of Rx.
They have available testing to learn exactly which chemicals need to be adjusted, it came as a surprise to me when I learned most health insurance companies will pay for the tests.
Then, specific suppliments are given to achieve chemical balance in the brain. One that comes to mind is fish oils ~ for the Omegas it contains. Somehow, I can feel much better about giving my kid fish oil than speed.
I haven't tried this form of treatment yet. I'm still reading what I can find, to understand the whole idea a little better, before I make a choice.

Joined: 11/14/2007
Msg: 10
Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/1/2010 10:45:41 AM
My daughter (by age 3) was ultra hyper. Some days were worse than others. I was at my wits end. My doctor was prepared to prescribe Ritalin for my oldest daughter - I asked if there was another way - he suggested I read up on the Feingold diet. I emptied my cabinets and refridgerator of anything with artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The following day, I baked a chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday - au naturale- she had a slice of cake (before a cookie would have had her spinning on the floor like Curly on the Three Stooges) - that afternoon, she took a nap! It was like a light switch! I gleaned (because she was never officially tested) that she was allergic to vanillin and orange or red dyes. After a year or so, I would attempt to introduce foods, and only a few things triggered her - like orange soda, or anything with vanillin.
She's 22, and never been medicated.
Joined: 11/11/2009
Msg: 11
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/1/2010 11:59:46 AM
I wanted to make a couple points.

No medication will fix ADHD! Medication is used to control a behavior that is typically a symptom of ADHD.

If the medication given results in increased hyperactivity or a zombie like state, it is either the wrong medication or the child is not truly ADHD.

You can teach the child strategies that will help them control their own behavior, but it requires a great deal of effort by everyone in the child's environment, including the school. Most teachers do not have this kind of time, unfortunately. And this does not fix the ADHD, only teaches the child how to cope with it in a more socially acceptable way.

If you can "punish" ADHD out of child, they are misdiagnosed. True ADHD is not about behavior, it's about brain stimulation and ability to sustain attention. The hyperactivity is an attempt by the child to increase the central nervous stimulation through behavior.
Joined: 11/11/2009
Msg: 14
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/1/2010 1:27:15 PM
I'm happy to help/offer suggestions if you would like. Feel free to email me. Lots of parents only give the meds to the kids during the school week, weekends and summers off.
 glamazon girl
Joined: 10/6/2009
Msg: 15
Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/1/2010 4:28:59 PM
As another poster said, there is no "fix" for it. My oldest is ADHD/ODD. This diagnosis was originally confirmed when he was four years old - much too young for any medication. I began by adjusting his diet which did help for a while. When he was a little older, I added vitamins, fish oil & omega 3's. This also helped a bit. By the time he reached 3rd grade though it was interfering with every aspect of his life, not just school. I did put him on medication. This was after consulting five different doctors, offering different tests, a combination of medical and psychiatric doctors. Even with the medication, I've maintained the diet changes and, combined, it has worked wonders for him. He is still the same sweet, smart, wonderful child WITHOUT the craziness that comes along with his disorder. He is on the lowest dosage possible and we go to therapy so we both can learn ways to deal with these issues so he can come off the medication.

The right doctors and medication can be extremely beneficial for the child but as the parent, you have to do your homework and make sure to ask TONS of questions. Also, don't rely on the meds to do all the work. Both the parent and child must learn different ways to cope and understand the triggers that can set a child with this problem off. I've also found that a regimented schedule really helps. We're not slaves to a schedule but he functions much better when he follows a pattern, ie: homework and bedtime routines, etc.
Joined: 5/3/2006
Msg: 16
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/2/2010 5:08:19 AM

However, I would care to wager that 97% of all children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in the US, need to learn how to sit still and be quiet. And they need parents that are willing to use a belt on them to make them sit still and be quiet. What 8 year old boy can sit down and be quiet for 2 hours straight? Very few. However, with proper parenting, somehow theyll learn to concentrate and focus... or else.

Where were all the kids with ADHD 40 years ago? Even 20 years ago, you barely heard anything about ADD. Now every other kid in America is on Ritalin! Its beyond idiotic. Assert control over your children. Stop trying to reason with them and be their friends. Tell them to shut up and be quiet, and if they they dont, youll go get a belt!

Yes, I know that is tragically politically incorrect to yell at your kids and threaten them. It will ruin their self esteem and make them serial killers, yet somehow, for some reason, it has worked for thousands of years, in every culture around the world to raise children.

I guess psychologist and modern pharmaceutical companies have trumped internationally incontrovertible ways of controlling children.

You, sir, are an ass. For someone who has NO children, you seem to have it ALL figured out. Good luck with that.

Part of the reason no one heard about ADD 40 and 50 yrs ago (and yes, it's been around at least that long and recognised by the medical community) is that 40 and 50 yrs ago we lived completely different lives. There was little tv. There weren't any home computers. Video games were unheard of. *Busy* kids were pushed outside to run off some of their excess energies. Many families still lived in more rural settings, so there were always chores to be done. Yes, nutritionally speaking there were fewer processed foods, more whole foods and people ate a whole lot healthier.

I'd gladly loan you both of my kids for a week or two so you get an idea of what it's like to live with children who have ADD/ADHD. So help me God... if you so much as lay ONE finger on them, I will have your guts for garters. Hitting a child is NEVER the answer. It is not the *cure* either. All it does is make physically agressive people who think it's ok to solve all their problems with their fists. Hello... domestic violence???

When people tell me that they are having their children assessed for ADD/ADHD I tell them to have bloodwork done as well. Low iron and low protein levels can mimic the same symptoms as ADD/ADHD. In *some* cases what appears to be a child with ADD/ADHD is really a child who is anemic, or isn't getting enough protein (or the right kind, or has an issue metabolizing what they ARE getting). A round or two of iron supplements, or changing the kind or amount of protein can make a world of difference without having to resort to long-term medications... for *some* people that is.

Absolutely artificial colors, flavours and preservatives can impact highly on some. For mine it's food coloring. They can have it... but if they have it more than 2 days in a row, they are maniacs. Did you know that the frozen concentrate for most orange juices is the biggest culprit?

Oddly enough sugar does not seem to have much impact on them at all.

Mine eat far too much processed foods. I know this. So does their doctor. When you have a child who will flat out refuse to eat something, you become grateful to find something, anything they will eat. My #1 used to eat a lot more fruits and veggies. He won't now. It's a texture thing... and I'm hoping he will outgrow it eventually. In the mean time I don't sweat it... and neither do his doctors. Because he has a ridiculously high metabolism as a result of his diagnosis, he metabolizes everything so freakin' fast it's insane.

I've had him evaluated for suicidal tendancies twice since he was about 9 yrs old... primarily due to how his FATHER treats him. He yells, hits, calls him names, and generally does what you are suggesting. Funny thing is.. CAS has been involved as a result and *OMG GASP!* they agree with ME that those things are... wait for it.... detrimental to the mental and physical well-being of a child.

Like anything else tho.. each of us is an individual and sometimes what works for one, won't work for another. Diet *can* work. We tried it and saw no appreciable effects. We tried metabolic/nutritional supplements. The only thing that did was create a huge dent in our bank account. We've tried just about every homeopathic and alternative treatment we could find. We did all that BEFORE going the direction of medications. It took us about 4 yrs to find the right combination of meds that help #1 to be able to focus. Now puberty is looming and we are facing a whole other set of issues.

My #2 was diagnosed a year ago (after me ignoring the signs for nearly 2 yrs) as well... and thankfully his is a much more simple issue as he only has the single diagnosis (#1 has a dual diagnosis - ADHD and Aspergers). He (#2) is responding well to the meds he is on, and I see no reason to change that.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 17
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/2/2010 8:38:01 AM
OP, I did not think about this because when I discovered what the family went through, it wasn't really related to ADD/ADHD but their challenge is finding things this girl can eat.

When my friend had her bloodwork analyzed, they discovered that the girl is allergic food wise to almost everything and that the reaction to certain foods can be from minimal to making her totally whacko. She really shouldn't even eat a burger at McDonald's because of both the bread and the meat. I don't think she can eat cheese, the number of things she can eat because there were even vegetables on the list is pretty small.

So yes, if you have the insurance coverage, get a blood workup but not what they normally do, get the extensive type of blood workup that would be required by CSI or something. My friend will check when she gets home from work and if I have anymore info on that I'll post it later.
Joined: 12/30/2008
Msg: 18
Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/2/2010 10:58:41 AM
My son's pediatrician is amazing and we tried all sorts of non-med approaches before we resorted to meds. And now it has been determined that he reacts badly to meds so we are again searching out alternative therapies.
There are some people I have spoken to that have seen amazing results from special diets, herbs, even just therapy from a trained psychiatrist. It's always suggested to start off with the safer non-med options when possible.
Try some googling, you'll find all sorts of things to try.
Joined: 5/3/2006
Msg: 20
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/3/2010 1:35:39 PM

So you readily admit, that children used to be treated for ADHD by playing outside and releasing "excess energy"? Amazing.

No. What I said is 40-50 yrs ago it was a different way of life. Ritalin has been used to treat ADD for about 50 yrs (according to my pediatrician who specializes in ADD/ADHD kids for the last 25 yrs).

And Im sorry, violence can be the answer. The idea that spanking your child will lead them to be a rapist or murder is absurd. Furthermore, just look at the overwhelming anecdotal evidence of millions of adults who were spanked as children who have never committed acts of domestic violence or engaged or commited any other pathological behavior.

I bet you were beat as a child. This is very typical for someone with the "this is how I was raised and if it was good enough for me, it's good enough for my children" attitude. My ex is like that. He's an ex for many reasons, one of them being he left his handprint on the face of our oldest child when that child was 7 yo.

I know from first hand experience that striking a child is not the solution. I spanked my kids. I smacked hands and bottoms. All it got me was hit in return. Hitting, at least in my house, only begot more hitting. Vicious cycle.

I was spanked as a child. I've had belts used on me. Last time my dad hit me with a belt I was about 12/13 yrs old and I told him that if he hit me, I was leaving. He hit. My mother had to block the doorway to keep me from leaving the house. That was the LAST time anyone has ever hit me.

You go on and keep thinking that striking someone is the answer and solution to the whole world's problems. Keep doing it when you have children. At some point, someone is going to report your abusive ass to CPS and your children will be removed from your home. But you aren't doing anything wrong. Not at all. Keep thinking that way.

I'll continue to parent the way I am because what you say to me isn't important, nor is it likely to change how I view things. I'm old and set in my ways. And you are too young and inexperienced to know what you are talking about.
Joined: 3/19/2008
Msg: 21
Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/4/2010 4:10:05 PM
I would venture to guess that most who say ADD/ADHD is purely made up has never worked with kids for more than a half hour at a time. Yes, it is over-diagnosed.

Watch a child who has it and has parents that are bound and determined "they could just do it if they tried", "he's just being stubborn" and yes even "If we put her on it, she'll gain weight" (horrors, and false many ADHD meds reduce appetitie and the newer ones have fewer side effects) These kids struggle on a daily basis or give up. They think they're "bad" kids. It takes a toll. Watch a truly ADD/ADHD on the right meds/right diet or behavoir modification program (or combination) and they become totally different kids. Their intelligence has a chance to shine through and they blossom.

Many (not all) ADD/ADHD kids who are not taught how to handle how they learn or not medicated become teens who self medicate. The kids do it because they feel crappy about themselves or to try to be able to focus. It's usually not a good thing.

Why make a child go through all this? If he/she was blind would you scream at them til they could see? If diabetic, feed them sugar and say "Gee if we just spanked them more, they'd be able to handle their sugar!"

There's no one answer. Parents need to keep working with the medical and educational people in their kids' lives until they find what works.

*My eye doctor works with kids on visual training for ADD/ADHD... may be one more avenue.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 22
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Non Medical Fix for ADD/ADHD
Posted: 3/5/2010 4:37:22 AM
ADD/ADHD is much more complicated and varied than the common descriptions of it allow for. There's more MISinformation about it than not.
One of my sons has significant learning problems which have been CLASSIFIED as a form of ADD. HE struggled a GREAT deal, and had huge problems until we found a medicine that worked for him. We tried vitamins, dietary changes, exercise, and Ritalin, with no improvement, or actual worsening (in the case of Ritalin). Now he is on another drug, Adderal, I think, and his problems are VASTLY improved.
The most important thing I've learned about all of the challenges my sons have faced (another suffers from mental retardation, seizures, and an inability to sleep without pharmaceutical help), is that a HUGE number of modern labeled afflictions are actually CATEGORIES; grouping of various symptoms, which have a wide variety of both causes and of solutions. Each individual must have a unique solution applied, and often experiments are required, because there IS no blood test, or brain scan yet available that can objectively diagnose any of these things.
I take GREAT umbrage with those who angrily demand that these afflictions do not really exist. They are like the born-into-riches people who think that homelessness is a conscious choice that people who like to "camp" on the streets make of their own volition. Those who energetically say that it's all a matter of good parenting, or nutrition, or whatever, are ALSO among those who think that because THEIR life got better with vitamin C, that vitamin C will fix EVERYBODY.
Whether your particular child can have their difficulties alleviated without pharmaceuticals depends entirely on why they have those difficulties. Two children, nearly identical in behavioral troubles, can have two entirely unrelated causes to solve. ADD in particular can be due to the person needing either a BOOST of energy, or a REDUCTION of it (as well as a bunch of other possibilities).
Go ahead and try the possible fixes that don't include drugs. Make sure with any such, that you can stop that trial, and switch to another. Keep trying things until you DO find the solution.
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