View Full Version : Attention/Behavior problem ADHD??
09-09-2009, 12:02 PM
My son is in 1st grade and he has had some problems with staying focused in class and a lot of movment (fidgeting in seat, playing in desk). His teacher has recommended that I get him checked for ADHD. I am going to see our pediatrician, but I really really really do not want to medicate him. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was told about various different diets that get some results. I will medicate if it is trully the only choice I have, but would like to know what has worked for other people. Has anyone medicated and trully gotten a good result? If so, from which medication?
09-11-2009, 09:28 AM
If you really, really don't want to medicate him, I would use that as a last option. I'm not against medication,if a child really needs it but sometimes it shouldn't be the first thing teachers suggest. There are other ways to get him focused, and our school division has used a lot of research and spent a lot of money to help kids learn. You may want to check out some different diets, these maybe helpful. If he fidgets there are special seats that make no noise and allow the kids to move quietly in their desk and still get the movement he requires. You can tie an exercise band to the bottom of his desk to allow him to move his feet. He may need something to fidget with his hands. The biggest misunderstanding we have is that if a kid is moving, he isn't focusing, but some kids need to move to focus. I doodle, which helps me focus on the speaker. I could go on and on abut other things, but I would try some other things before going to a DR for meds.
09-11-2009, 02:20 PM
Along with the change in diet, look at the amount of exercise he is getting. Many schools have shortened recess time and cut out PE, requiring students to sit still longer with fewer opportunities to expel that restless energy.
Also, talk with his teacher about some more hands on techniques your son can use will working with the rest of the class on the same subject. For instance, while in college many of my professors encouraged us to type our notes on our laptop (if there were any notes at all); to stay focused I had to write out notes using pen and paper. That simply activity helped with restless energy, kept me focused on the speaker, and I always had a great set of notes to review later. Note taking is probably a bit young for a 1st grader, but are there other hands-on activities he can do?
09-12-2009, 09:14 AM
The first thing you need to do is find a holistic health care professional that will help you develop a step-by-step natural plan. A medical doctor trained in nutrition or functional medicine is great. A naturopath also. Another great option is a holistic chiropractor, especially one trained in chiropractic neurology. (check out this site for studies on chiropractic and ADHD http://www.jvsr.com/abstracts/abstracts_volume.asp?vol=ADHD)
Here are some things you can start on your own:
1. Trial of gluten-free, casein-free diet for at least one month
2. Removing/reducing simple sugars and food additives
3. Supplement with vitamin B6 and magnesium
4. Supplement with omega 3 fatty acids (high EPA to DHA ratio)
5. Have your child evaluate for iron and zinc deficiencies as those have been linked to symptoms severity.
There are many other things you can do, but this will give you a good start.
If I might a shameless plug (appropriate?), check out my youtube channel (www.youtube.com/dryannickpauli), there are 20 free videos that will answer a lot of your questions about ADHD and natural management
Dr. Yannick Pauli
09-12-2009, 06:51 PM
Did you ever think that it's not ADHD? Sometimes teachers are quick to "diagnose" a child with an ailment that they never had. They are teachers, not doctors. So go to your ped and get their opinion.
My oldest son was "diagnosed" with autism by his first grade teacher and with OCD by his principal. He has none of the above and after extensive doctor visits and more tests than I care to think about, he only has anxiety. Don't we all?
Boys are way more active than girls, so your son just may be having a hard time sitting still. School is long for little boys who are used to being constantly on the move.
09-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Read this book: Parenting Children With ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach, by vincent Monastra.
I'm one year into an ADHD diagnosis for my 1st grader, and here's what I did. Went to the pediatrician and requested a referral to a psychologist that specializes in ADHD. Pediatricians are not experts in ADHD, they haven't received enough training (in my opinion). Go to someone who has. While there is no test that can confirm 100% that your child has ADHD, you can obtain tests (they're surveys, really) that you and the teacher can complete. This information is very helpful in reaching a diagnosis AND in ruling out other disorders. Once we obtained enough feedback from my son's teacher, the psych was then able to suggest further testing for ADHD. In this case, we opted to have a Qeeg test performed. It sounds weird but it's the same test they give people who've had strokes and it helps to determine how their brain is functioning. The test was expensive, but it's optional. The results were examined by a neurologist, confirmed certain issues AND ruled out other issues. We continued behavioral therapy so that my husband and I could better parent our son. The teacher was fantastic and just kept reinforcing the rules at school. We made sure we were consistent with rules at home and at school. We also opted for neurofeedback, which is very expensive and not yet endorsed by the medical field as an official treatment, but our psych had seen positive results with his daughter and many patients. The diagnosis we received was for continued behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, and a ritalin-based medication. We have not pursued the meds. The psychiatrist we've seen recommended that as long as our son is performing well academically, we can hold off on meds. So we're taking it day by day. In summary, I'd advise you to not rush into anything, keep a balance between treatments that are scientifically proven and those that are not. Rule out other health problems (celiac desease, lead poisoning, thyroid issues, etc.) And anyone who tells you that they can "cure ADHD" is misleading you. There is no cure; it must be managed. Adopting a healthy diet is a positive for all kids, not just those with ADHD. And understand that supplements can be very dangerous when not monitored properly by a physician. Best of Luck.
09-27-2009, 01:05 AM
As a parent of a child that was diagnosed with ADHD when he started kindergarten, I believe every mother knows their child best. If you truly believe he is not ADHD, then do not have him tested because you are probably not going to agree with any outcome that is not what you have already decided is right. If you just do not want to medicate your child talk to someone that is ADD. My child will tell you that the can not listen or pay attention if they do not take their medication. Without medication he writes 4 words, with he writes 4-5 sentences (now in 2nd grade). If your child's teacher is suggesting your child be tested...listen. She doesn't just want to medicate to medicate but has probably seen alot of children already struggle and does not want to see your child fall into the same pitfalls as others. Most doctors start the child off on such a low dosage you will imediatly be able to decide if they need it or not.
10-07-2009, 10:47 AM
As a school counselor and licensed child therapist this is something that is very common for me to see. I too am very cautious when it comes to medication for a child and feel that an accurate diagnosis of a problem is paramount to treatment. I also do not think that a pediatrician should be diagnosing an issue and frankly, many of them either dismiss the issue or jump directly to medication. To be accurate there are several observational tests that should preclude a diagnosis that many pediatricians and schools fail to complete. If you have significant concerns I would recommend having the pediatrician refer you to a licensed psychologist who specializes in diagnosing children or specializes in attention or spectrum disorders. If your child is diagnosed with a problem and you want to try alternative interventions your next step is to present the diagosis from the doctor to the school in order to have a 504 plan put in place that will allow him to have some accomodations in the classroom. Some of the suggestions mentioned above are great and can be mandated to occur through a 504 plan. If all else fails then medication is an option however no psychotropic medication is completely effective on its own. Children should learn adaptive skills to effectively cope with the symptoms of ADHD or any other psychological disorder. Doing this will enable them to function more effectively as they progress through school.
10-08-2009, 08:43 PM
My son has ADHD, autism, Sensory Disorder, and epilepsy. I have lots of experience with medication and other treatments...
By what you say it seems the teacher is not trained on how to teach active children. Even if he gets the dx, she still has to teach him!
I think you should also request an OT evaluation or have the development ped also check for sensory disorder. This disorder is often confused with ADHD since it makes children wiggle and figet excessively.
My quick quiz I give to teachers for ADHD is can the child focus on anything ever?? If so then its probably not ADHD. Watch him doing his favorite activity, is he 100% engaged and not distracted?
Now there is lots of literature on how to create hands on physical activities for active learners...
Medication... I like strattera. My son did great on this and on a low dose. It is not a stimulate so its not like the addictive meds that also cause eating issues. We are doing adderal now since my son can not do pills anymore. Its not been long enough to have an unbias opinion on this drug.
I think taking processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other fake foods out of diet is great for all kids-especially active ones who need natural sugar.
10-17-2009, 11:51 AM
Please check out the book: The Myth of the ADD Child by Thomas Armstrong. Hope that helps!
10-18-2009, 02:54 PM
I have been a teacher for over twenty years and have a degree in special education. I don't know your son's teacher, but I do know that there are some teachers who do want a quick fix for boys who fidgit. You do, however, know your son and together with your sons teacher's info you should have an idea about whether you should pursue professional intervention at this point. It is better to be safe then sorry. You don't want to wake up years from now and regret that you didn't have him tested and so lost years of his life that he could have been paying attention and learning. Children with add or adhd will tell you, if you give them proper medication, that they feel better able to learn. That may take a few trys, however. There are so many meds out there and so you may have to try a few in order to find the one that works for your son. Also, he doesn't have to take them all the time. If he doesn't need to consentrate on anything and it is the weekend, he doesn't need to be medicated. At least find out what the cause of the fidgeting is. You may learn that it is just that he is a boy and boys do that. Put something in his hand to play with and it may help. The woman who wrote that she found out that her son was just depressed, made me sad. Depression is pretty serious and I hope that she took it seriously. You owe it to your son to find out what it is.
10-20-2009, 11:18 AM
My 11 year old step-son was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD 3 years ago. Up to that point, he was a living nightmare. At school, he would hit teachers and students, throw furniture, destroy textbooks and get suspended on a daily basis. At home, he would hit myself, my husband and his sister. He would scream and yell at us for any reason and wouldn't listen at all. We went looking for help and my husband and i were sent to parenting classes for a few months. We got him some counselling but finally we sought out a pediatrician who did recommend medication. We started him on low doses and worked are way up and his medication hasn't been increased in over a year. He still has issues but is able to control and calm himself better. The problem now it seems is that he doesn't want to listen to things being said to him.. for example, he doesn't wear his shoes properly and the backs of them are pushed right down so he just slides them on. This drives my husband crazy and we finally told him last week that if he keeps wearing his shoes that way, he was paying for the next pair as we can't afford to keep buying him new ones for him to destroy in a few months. He's refusing to wear his coat outside and it's a battle to get him to wear it. It's little things like this that are driving my crazy. Is this really the ADHD or is it just laziness?... please, any comments or help would be greatly appreciate.... thanks
10-20-2009, 12:16 PM
The "bad parent" thinks that it is just normal tween laziness. I have a nephew who is 11 and he wears his shoes the same way and also refuses to wear a coat, wears shorts when it is really cold, refuses to take off his hat, etc. I think it's just a struggle for independance and all part of growing up.
PS If the person referring to the child with depression was referring to me, my son has ANXIETY NOT DEPRESSION, and he is seeing a therapist. I was meaning that just because a teacher diagnoses your child with a condition it doesn't mean that they truely have that problem. You need to do research on your own and take care of your own child as you see fit. Medication doesn't solve every problem.
10-27-2009, 03:47 PM
One other thing you could try is switching to more natural products in your home. This is in addition to diet...I'm not saying this cures ADD or autism or any other disorder, but I've talked to many women who have seen symptoms of these conditions greatly alleviated when they started using more natural products in their homes (personal care, vitamins, cleaners, etc.) There's an easy and economical way to do it, too. Sometimes kids will even react to an environment that has been cleaned with harsh chemicals, but will be fine elsewhere. Just a suggestion if you're looking for other things to try. I've shopped with a company that makes this easy and affordable since last year. If you want any more info, just shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
10-27-2009, 09:03 PM
Try giving him a little bit of coffee. I know it may sound odd but I learned in my BIOPSYCH class at the University of Washington that the receptors activated by certain medications for ADHD are also activated by caffine. That's because in the lock and key mechanism used by neurons, both caffine and certain ADHD medicines have a similar "key" shape and fit the same "locks". A doctor recomended meds for my best friends sister but her mom refused. Instead whenever my friends sister became hyperactive, her mom would give her a sip of coffee and it would actually wind her down.
10-28-2009, 03:16 PM
I'm with the group that says make sure it's ADHD before you do any medicating. My sister's kids may end up with it since their father has it, but they have been OK so far, no meds. They are both antsy and need to be challenged if they're going to give you their attention, and under no circumstances are they ever quiet or sedentary, which has gotten the older one in trouble many times since he started school this year. My sister is thinking that maybe they just need to be challenged more in school, something she dealt with at their age, and she sees that when she makes stuff hard for them they behave better. Our parents must have seen this as well in her because they got her moved up a grade so she could be more challenged. Another reason her kids may end up tagged as ADHD is that she is a very creative person, which means she does not run her household in the standard manner, is prone to messiness, and is not always consistent with rules. One of the results of this is that her kids are more comfortable (and therefore less compliant) with adults. They see themselves more as equals instead of subordinates and I think they honestly don't understand why and when it's important to be compliant. I'm not saying you should make your kid's life as difficult as possible, or that you're a slob, but if my description of my sister sounds like you, maybe that can help you (and others) understand what's going on. Even if I'm way off, good luck!
03-18-2010, 03:54 PM
For your child's anxiety or adhd, whatever the diagnosis turns out to be, a good thing to try is neurofeedback, also known as eeg biofeedback. This treatment is non-invasive and can often be used instead of medication or to reduce the dosage. You can see a neurofeedback video and read more about it at mftherapy.com or on the eeg info youtube page. They have case studies and videos about different treatments and the results. Good luck!
11-28-2010, 10:14 AM
For what it's worth...my daughter was diagnosed with severe ADHD. We were seriously considering keeping her back a year. We got her The Ultimate Fidget. She went from really struggling to excelling in school and at home doing homework. She is now at the top of her class and going into a Gifted and Talented Program.
My son is 6 and has been going to behavioral therapy for 5 months now. I just had him evaluated for adhd and they perscribed him ritalin. I was reading in one of the other posts that if your child can focus on something its not adhd? I have been trying to do research on this so I am confused?? He can focus on things for a short period of time. He is very forgetful. He talks non-stop. He is always moving. I had his thyroid checked and that is normal. I don't know what to think.
02-23-2011, 03:47 AM
If your child is really diagnosed with ADHD, One alternative treatment for ADHD that is often considered by parents is sending their children to therapeutic boarding schools (http://www.troubledteens.com/boarding-schools.html). It could be a difficult decision to make because it's not easy for parents to be physically separated with their child, however the benefits often far outweigh the anxiety of separation. Placing your child in a therapeutic boarding school as an alternative treatment for ADHD not only helps them but can literally save their lives
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