i do not want my son on meds

Jacinda - posted on 02/14/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

2

37

0

can anyone give me some pointers on how to help my 10 year old son focus better in school without him being on meds? would giving him a cup of coffee in the morning help at all?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jane - posted on 02/16/2011

2,390

262

484

When we have been in an emergency situation we have found that letting my son drink a Coke will help him focus. All you are doing there is substituting a non-prescription stimulant (caffeine) for a prescription stimulant. You are still medicating your child to help increase his ability to focus.

What you really need to do is help him learn behavioral methods to compensate for his lack of focus. My daughter used sports to help her. She was varsity in five sports since her freshman year and was required to run before school every day. After running her allotted five miles daily she was able to focus well in her morning classes.

A coworker of mine who was severely ADHD learned to make lists that broke her daily tasks down to many 15-minute increments. She would skip up and down the list doing her various tasks and crossing the entries off as she did them until the list was done and the work day was over. She actually got more done than anyone else at the job.

You might also consider writing behavior plans for home and school, with a list of positive statements of how to act, such as "Do walk in the classroom" or "Brush your teeth before you go to bed." Make sure he has a copy with him and post copies in his room.

ADHD kids not only do well with structure and with clear and simple rules, they also need help in re-visualizing themselves. Most learn from a very young age that there is something "wrong" with them. Instead, you need to help your son see his strengths and learn how to use them effectively. http://add.about.com/od/adhdthebasics/a/... has some tips on how this works.

Folks who are ADHD do very well in certain jobs. Coaches and people who play professional sports are often ADHD. Car salesmen are, too. Many pilots are mildly ADHD as are musicians, actors, and folks in high-risk professions. The skill set that makes it hard to sit in a classroom is the same one that makes it easy to react quickly and decisively in high risk situations. Help him see his talents and capitalize on them.

Stephani - posted on 02/16/2011

54

32

7

We use dietary changes and good nutrition for our son, also 10. It's important to eliminate all artificial chemicals like colorings, flavorings, and preservatives as well as artificial sugar and MSG. These all stimulate the nervous system and can worsen ADHD symptoms. Other issues like food allergies/sensitivities can be a problem and when you work to with an elimination diet to find out what your child shouldn't eat, you can see amazing changes. Using coffee or sodas as a stimulant similar to meds doesn't actually help get rid of the underlying problem even though it can help for a short time.

I write a newsletter with helpful information on this topic if you're interested. I also have a free report that discusses the important steps to take if you want to explore this option more.

Stephani
http://www.nourishingjourney.com

Dawn - posted on 02/24/2011

8

19

1

I agree with everything that's been said here. We tried it all. My son refused to eat most of the foods on the feingold diet, but it worked wonders for friends who's kids would eat it. We tried therapy, behavior modification techniques, etc. We tried homeopathic medications and after struggling for a longtime over the choice, we finally have him on meds.



That being said, each child is different with vary degrees of ADHD and from the info I've found and comments I've gotten from other ADHD parents you need to do what works best for your child and that may or may not be prescription meds. My son's ADHD really required them and now at 16 he does so much better. But we also had to experiment with different meds & dosage amounts.



I totally empathize with your position of not wanting your child on meds because I struggled with that too. I was afraid of all the horrible side effects and what I'd heard about all the kids at school that were on ritalin. But over the last 9 years I've learned that the new meds don't have noticeable side effects, in fact, I'm on the same med he's on at a lower does for my chronic fatigue and the only side effect I have is that I'm thirsty all the time.



You are your child's advocate and you know your child's needs more than anyone else, but if you find that the "natural" remedies are not working, don't be afraid to explore other options. We got connected with a group here locally that not only provided information about homeopathic treatments but also traditional medicine as well. They were recommended by my son's ped who, herself admitted, while she knew somethings about ADHD she was by no means an expert.



I also want to caution you to some of the herbal remedies that get recommended. My parents owned a health food store when I was growing up so I'm pretty familiar with a lot of herbal and homeopathic treatments. But even herbs & homeopathic treatments are medicinal and can have as many if not more side effects than traditional meds when not used properly. So even though you say you don't want your child on meds, you really are if you use these types of remedies. And while I don't feel the FDA does a good job at all, herbs & homeopathic treatments are completely unregulated. Just make sure you are using good name brands. I also understand your choice of not using meds, especially if it's related to cost because they are quite pricey.



I don't envy the choices you have to make at this point because I spent many sleepless nights struggling with this. I just wanted to give you options and personal experience. And, btw, my son is doing much better socially and in school. After our decision to use traditional meds, I let him be the loudest spokesman for their use. He would tell me he didn't like how one med made him feel or if his dose wasn't strong enough, etc. He feels so much better on them, it's the one thing he doesn't forget and he takes them twice a day. All my best to you and your family.

[deleted account]

ok, first a multivitamin every day makes an incredible amount of difference!
I am really suprised that no one on here has mentioned bach flower remedies!??!! These remedies take an old homeopathic approach to ADHD and many other issues. They steam the essessences of flowers. Just as herbs were used in so are the flowers. They are even FDA approved. :) Below are some links!

http://www.bachflower.com/ or http://www.bachfloweradvice.com/bach-flo... For specific advice on ADHD children/adults. There is a consultant on the last web page that you can email directly to ask questions.

Stephani - posted on 02/22/2011

54

32

7

Yes, Rachel and Marguerite you are so right about finding the full reason why your child is struggling! It might not just be ADHD. So many kids have coexisting conditions. My son has ADHD, SPD, is on the autism spectrum AND is gifted...that's a lot to manage!

On the same issue that we need to get to the bottom of the real diagnoses (yes, that's plural!), we also shouldn't just slap some meds on the table and expect them to cure all the problems. I'm not anti-meds, because every child is unique as is every family situation, but it's important to use all resources to help your child.

The suggestion for a neurodevelopmental pediatrician is a great one! I would also add to that a naturopath or DAN doctor who is familiar with dietary methods to help these issues. Don't stop there. Therapy for things like sensory integration, ensuring that your child gets the help they need in school by implementing an IEP, etc are all important.

I don't think there is ever a point we can say we've "done all we could" for our kids, with our without a diagnosis! :) You just need to dive in with what you can do now. Sometimes the process of using natural methods to help our kids with ADHD can be quite overwhelming. I'd stop trying to do it all right now and just do one thing. Then, do one more. Is it add a supplement first? Eliminate artificial ingredients? Get checked for food sensitivities? Find a therapist? Experiment with a simple elimination diet on your own or work with someone to help you? These are all possible next steps. It's what you are ready to try that matters. When there is no risk of side effects, it is kind of freeing. You can try new things without the worry of doing some kind of harm in the process!

My first recommendation is to get rid of the artificial ingredients first. This is really important. It is quite simple to find food brands without those things and keep eating like "normal." If you want to look into further dietary changes and healthy improvements, that's great! First, get rid of the junky additives that don't belong. The changes in your child will be way more than worth the effort!

Stephani
http://www.nourishingjourney.com

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

28 Comments

View replies by

Alice - posted on 04/13/2011

80

29

10

I am going to post the same thing here I did earlier.

If your child had diabetes would you not want to give him insulin? Or a faulty Thyroid would you not want to give him what he needs? Your child's brain chemistry does not give him what he needs to be able to function the way most children function. The med's are not perfect but there are many things that can make things better. Exercise, proper nutrition. I find it interesting you do not want to give your child the medication that will help him function and fell better. Most 10 year olds with ADHD know they don't act like the other kids and they desperately want to fit in. This is when they make friends and bonds that will last years but it is hard for someone with ADHD to do that. Why would you not want to give your child inner peace? That is what the medications do.

Enjoy the fact that you are able to help your child feel good about who he is because you love him enough to give him what he needs to be successful. He nor you should ever feel guilty about doing what is best for your son.

I also take ADD medication and I am a better parent because I take my meds daily. I am a poor example of a parent when I forget to take it. I can tell you first hand that the meds help more than they harm. Just monitor him closely if you see a change that concerns you get him into the doctor to see if a change needs to be made.

I hope you find this helpful and not as judgmental as it may come off. You obviously love your child and want what is best. I just think you might have a misunderstanding of exactly how they help.

All this being said, my nephew after his meds wore off during the day would go into the teachers lounge and have a cup of coffee to get him through the day. It can help, but it is not the real answer.

Kelli - posted on 04/13/2011

11

0

1

I recommend the Feingold diet. Our family has been on it for almost 2 months and we are seeing a difference in our son's behavior. He's calmer and his attention is getting better, no drugs needed, just real food, no chemicals.

Lika - posted on 02/23/2011

159

19

0

My son is almost 11 and has ADD. I make a special cup of "chocolate coffee", which is basically home made mocha... About 1.5 Tbs cocoa mix, fill with hot coffee while stirring. Top off with milk or cream, and let your son enjoy. The special feeling he gets will be just as good as the "kick" it offers. I also like the Lipton tea, in the bags... it's not sweetened, so it's all natural. You can add your own special touch like the lemon slice or strawberry on the end... I use 4 tea bags to make a big glass pitcher full, stick it in the fridge, and you have iced tea.

A melatonin at night can help your child sleep better, and it's natural. With the more solid sleep, the focus is better in the morning. The fish oils such as the Omega 3 or the Cod liver is a good one for memory, and there are a few other natural vitamins too. But, my son gets bloody noses from the fish oil pills, so... I just stick with the melatonin at night, and then the mocha in the morning, as well as the iced teas during the day. Stay away from the sugary drinks, that seems to make kids with ADD squirrelly rather than focused.

Rose - posted on 02/22/2011

5

1

0

Before I got the diagnosis of PDD-NOS, the doctors thought my son was ADHD with sensory integration dysfunction. I finally had to put him on meds, but before that I taught him a trick that seemed to work pretty well for him. First of all I would give him a cup of coffee before he went to school. Then at school if he realized of if the teachers noticed it (his teachers were great at helping him with this), I taught him to purposefully run his fingers through his hair until he felt himself calming down. This worked pretty well for him for quite awhile. I did, however, end up having to put him on medication.
I hope this helps you.

Marguerite - posted on 02/22/2011

3

11

0

Wow, I just checked out your website and I love it! I did not mention that my daughter also has some sensory integration issues (socks with seams, tags, had to wear 100% cotton clothes, certain food textures, etc). The experience has left me wanting to go back to school so I could help other people who are trying to find answers. Thank you for spreading the word through your website and helping others!!!

Carmen - posted on 02/21/2011

6

24

0

Get a Tangle. Works great, helps them focus, and is amazing for children and adults. I discovered one at a conference. Now my son uses them and I share them with everyone.

[deleted account]

Yes! Marguerite makes a valid point! My son has aspergers as well as ADHD and for years they only wanted to diagnose him with ADHD. He was very late in getting his diagnosis, and so late in getting his services. My point is just that you never really know until you explore all the angles! :) Good Luck!

Marguerite - posted on 02/21/2011

3

11

0

One more thing - Protien is very, very important. I give my daughter a Protien shake everyday and I keep cheese and nuts on hand for when she starts losing control.

Marguerite - posted on 02/21/2011

3

11

0

Although there are many natural alternatives, please be aware that there may be additional underlying problems. I was completely against meds until it became apparent that our daughter truly needed them. She has anxiety secondary to ADHD and being on medication has improved her life significantly. Before you complete rule out medications please do your child a favor and find a Neuro-developmental Pediatritian to have your child evaluated. Our first mistake was just taking her to a psychologist who did not test for anything other than ADHD - it was after several months of hell on stimulants that we finally took her off meds until we found the Neuro Ped who identified her anxiety. Not telling you to put your child on meds, just want to make sure you understand that there could be more than just ADHD at work. Also, my daughter's doctor told us to look at the DHA amount in the Omega 3. We give her a Super DHA with 500 my of DHA in it every day. We also make sure that she eats natural, unprocessed food and we especially keep her away frOm red dye!!! The Feingold diet is very good if you can stick to it.

Crystal - posted on 02/20/2011

10

94

0

Thanks I'll talk to my husband last Friday the doc just upped his folcain to 15 mg from 10 mg to focus issues, plus he takes risperdal four times and now we have to buy sleeping pills.....i give him fish oil and he has to start concealing. Love input though thanks for it all!!

Shannon - posted on 02/20/2011

16

3

0

Hello! Has your son been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD? We have been dealing with this in our son for the past 5 yrs. (He is 9 now) I would not recommend giving him coffee, that will just make him jittery and crash later. The biggest thing that helped my son was changing his diet. We switched to a gluten-free diet, and his ability to focus changed dramatically. But I don't know how serious your son's inattention is - our son was borderline autistic with his lack of focus. He takes fish oil every day, and we are seeing a nutritionist who has had us try different supplements to help increase focus, that I have been very happy with. If you are not wanting to try a nutritionist, there are great products available at health food stores to help increase focus -Calm Child, Focus, Attention! are a few. We had tried the meds route with our son yrs ago, and we were very unhappy with the side-effects. Since starting a more natural approach, we are very happy with the results. Just remember that going the non-meds way will take more time, it will not be an immediate cure, but it is worth it in the end when you have a happier, healthier kid! Best of luck!!

Linda - posted on 02/18/2011

152

47

18

Hi Jacinda,
My son does well on an Omega capsule and a highly Nutritional shake. (all Natural, organic stuff) I found a great one and signed up with the company so I could get it wholesale. Message me if you want info and I can help. Good luck to you and your son!
Linda

Crystal - posted on 02/17/2011

10

94

0

My son is seven and I have done the off and on meds since he was two! Same with and with out meds, Good luck to those who can help their kids with natural and herbal things! i wish it worked for mine!! I myself went herbal and natural for most of my health issues, and I feel great!!

Sally - posted on 02/16/2011

3

2

0

I have been down this avenue and trust me when I say the sooner you put him on meds the better school and homework will be. Don't believe that they can get through high school with out them. My son is now 15 and in year 10 and he know that with out his meds in the morning, he will be in trouble by lunch time because he can't concentrate in class. Your son will thank you later when his school is so much easier and all the issues that he has at school disapate

Jane - posted on 02/16/2011

2,390

262

484

Lack of sleep and lack of the right types of sleep can make ADD symptoms worse and in some instances cause apparent ADD. Have your child evaluated for any sleep disturbances, especially if he snores, sleep walks, or never seems to get enough sleep. Sleep apnea can occur in kids and when treated sometimes the ADD symptoms vanish. Other problems can include enlarged tonsils, or a soft palate that is too long.

Jennifer - posted on 02/16/2011

32

37

3

I have also put my 5 year old on the homeopathic route. All natural so it does not interfere with anything else and no side effects. I get my stuff from a company call Native Remedies.
My sons pediatric psychologist did suggest hot tea or a bit of coffee as well because she said with children (or adults) with ADHD/ADD it has the reverse reaction for the non-ADHD person. She told me about 1/4 cup to half a cup in the morning. Since your son is 10 (compared to my 5 year old) I would do the half cup.
Good luck!

Carrie-Lynn - posted on 02/14/2011

7

2

0

There is an omega 3 Vitamin as well as one specially formulated for add / adhd you can buy. I tried a vitamin for my son who is 8 years old, it made a difference for him. A little tip though, when choosing a vitamin, look at the DHA and EPA facts on the vitamin. The EPA Number needs to be higher than the DHA Number and of course that vitamin can be given to children or is just for kids.

Hope that helps, I know meds r a big factor for a lot of parents, vitamins never have lasting effects.

Cheers! :)

Patricia - posted on 02/14/2011

21

15

4

I have also wondered the same thing my son is 11. I'm sorry I know thats not any help best of luck. Anxious 2 see what ppl suggest also

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms