Behavior Modification Therapy??

Jennessee - posted on 05/28/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi there! My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD and we have chosen to not go the medication route for now (he's in pre-k and only 5). We wanted to try out other options and the doctor recommended Behavior Modification Therapy. Has anyone heard of it or tried it? We aren't familiar with it and I can't find much reading on it. Has it helped your child? Also what are some informative books on ADHD that you can recommend? I'm trying to buff up my knowledge on ADHD so I know what is going on and other stuff. Have you tried the GFCF diet? I'm wondering if we should just do low gluten/cassien diet not completely free. We've already stopped bringing anything that has artificial dyes in them into the house or high fructose corn syrup and limit juice intake. Anything else that can help out?

Thank you!

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Angie - posted on 06/22/2010

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Wow... sounds like you are ready! Trust me in 5 yrs you will be a pro at this... and that is absolutely beneficial to your child's success!
I have a son who was diagnosed almost 10 yrs ago with Adhd with ocd. And I tell you... I wouldn't change a thing. First, you are totally on the right track... arm yourself with all the information you can because with adhd no one thing works forever... When our son was first diagnosed I was adamantly against medication. So we tried the Behavior Modification.. for us it was a joke. Just my opinion. I remember telling the doctor that I felt that it was something that doctors told us to do until we got so worn down that we decided to do the meds. Kind of like placebo pills, you think you're doing something but your nooOOOooot. :) But that was just my experience, all adhd kids are different. I really struggled over medication for two years. Finally one day I sat crying in my doctors office and said fine... we have no choice because I was about to jump off a bridge. So he said, well here... try three days and see what you think. So, I did. I got Ritilin. That was pretty much all they had at the time. No extended release yet, so he had to take it three times a day. So... I gave him his first dose and we went into the store and I stopped as I always do at the books, looking for some highly spiritual book to tell me this is God's doing and it will work out... usually my son would run up and down the aisle touching each and every book, disrupting most of them while twirling up and down the aisle. About 20 minutes had lapsed by the time we got to the book aisle and I took a deep breathe preparing to block him out for 2 minutes of peace inside my head when I realized that he was standing next to me holding a blues clues book, flipping page for page slowly as though he had never seen a book in his life. I stood not making a sound with tears running down my face... this woman stopped and asked me if I was ok and all I could say was 'he is looking at it' and she kind of looked at me funny and walked away... I must have looked like a fool, but I was in such awe of my lil boy... There he was, eyes beaming, blonde hair not in a tizzy, and he said 'look!' and showed it to me... I still have that book in his keepsake box. He has been on medication, thank goodness they have come out with better ones, for 10 yrs and he is very intelligent, straight A's in school, very easy to get along with... well, as long as you aren't his brother... Center for his football team...Still a lil hyper and way way talkative... still HIM... but focused. We have tried taking him off of it several times and he gets really frustrated and really shuts down because he can't focus to do anything. But... again, that is just him... I am only telling you this in case the Behavior mods don't work.... I felt guilty for years and years about putting him on meds, but in hindsight I really think for our son that was the best thing we could have done for him.
Now.. that story aside... we do other things as well. We don't have him on any special diet... but we all keep artificial sweeteners out of our diets (my hubby is fatally allergic to them, so that really had nothing to do with our son), we keep the processed food to the bare minimum... keep sugar down. One thing that we were told we could do whether on or off meds is to give him caffeine... caffeine acts the same way meds do for them... not as well, but they help... you could let him have a cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning, no sugar... but you can put milk in it. The caffeine might help him calm down a lil.
A lot of people don't realize that the meat you buy at the store has red dye in it to make it appear more appetizing, so we wash our meat before cooking it... there really isn't much else you can do on that one accept to not buy red meat. Also if you go to a health food store (ours here is called Whole Foods, if you have one there they are great) then you can get treats and such that are organic and usually will have little to no 'bad stuff' in them. Another big thing that we do is give our son omega 3 pills.... for the longest time, because they are huge pills, we would break them open and put the gel on his food, like his eggs or toast. I suggest putting it in one glop and not spreading it around cause it has a fishy taste and they won't eat their food if the whole thing tastes like that, but most boys will get one yucky bite but keep eating as long as the rest doesn't taste like that, lol. If he gets a lot of fish in his diet then he probably wouldn't need the omega 3's.

All these things I picked up in my research over the years.. lots of super interesting stuff I might add, lol... email me if you ever want to hear some of it. I really do hope this helps out a lil, if anything I hope it gives you hope. It is really really trying sometimes... but keep telling yourself that this is not a disability, this is not a curse... this really is a gift. Because if you can get your son to focus properly... not just behave, because focus is really what you want... behavior is a side effect, but if you can get him to focus... these kids are seriously intelligent... blow your mind intelligent... awesomely intelligent. They just need to focus and they will bloom! My son - although I am dealing with the lovely teen attitudes - is the sweetest, most thoughtful, precious young man... Out of all three of my boys, I am still in awe of that fact that he.. the one with adhd, is the one that I have no worries about him succeeding in life... my second son on the other hand, bless his heart... I think I will be peeling the girls off and locking him in his room bribing him to take any college courses... aahhhhh ... gotta love boys, lol.
I really hope this helped - and I really hope the behavior modification works. It really was apparent to us when ours got into 1st grade that there was no way he could focus to do any work and learn without some medical help. But for your own sake and for his, you always do what YOU deem is right for your son... don't let doctors bully you, don't let other people bully you... whatever decision you make will be the right one :) Sounds like you are off to a great start!

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Jo-Ann - posted on 07/28/2010

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We went to behavior modification. We do not give out almost 7 yo any meds. He is doing GREAT. His last report card was all satisfactory and we look forward to first grade. We had an amazing Behavior modification doctor who specialized in ADHD kids solely at the Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. OT for sensory integration issues and fine motor delay also helped a ton.

Good Luck

Joline - posted on 06/23/2010

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I agree with the no medication route. My Dr. even told us he waits til they turn around 10. My Dr. has also suggested even with medication that we consider behavior modification. All I know is that it is aa way to teach your child how to live, and act and react properly despite his ADHD. I would say it couldnt hurt to try. Again I do agree with waiting on the medication, once you start you really wont ever stop it from what I have heard

Jill - posted on 06/22/2010

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Rent the video from the library Magic 1-2-3. It also comes in a book, but the video you can watch in 2 half hour sessions. Watch it with your family. It is simple and easy to implement. No yelling involved. It was a life saver. It still works for me ( gong on 7 years).

Anitta - posted on 06/21/2010

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keep a diary of everything he eats and record the reaction he has with the food or drink. certain fruit, meat and veg dont mix well with adhd. you have to find the ones that work for your child. fish oil is also a fairly good alternative to medication but talk to your doctor about that first because it is a dietry suppliment. my son can eat certain brands of potato chips, lollies and iceblocks and drink juice,1 brand of cordial and 1 brand of soda. as he got older he was reintroduced to the foods that didnt go well with him and can tolerated them a little better. if you do decided to medicate in the future, the medications are more effective with the diet control.

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