Does anyone have any good recipes for children with ADHD? I am trying to adjust my daughters diet instead of meds and having a hard time figuring out foods she can eat.

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Sarah - posted on 10/26/2008

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I found a recipe book for those of you dealing with this issue or know someone who is it is called
The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook. I found it on ebay and I am sure there are other places as well hope this help. I haven't received the book yet so I am not sure if and how well it works.

Kimberly - posted on 10/26/2008

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I don't have any specific recipes, but I wish I did. Caffeine did seem to help in the mornings, but I think it's run it's course. My biggest suggestion is just structure. We tried meds last year and while it helped some at school, when she got to her evening activities, she was bouncing off the walls. Like the meds had worn off and all the energy it suppressed during the day was making it's way out in the evening (however I do know that's not the case with every child and every med). We opted to go w/out meds this year and focus on structure. While the doctor said sugar isn't a huge issue, we try to focus on proteins and limit the sugars as much as possible. Mine won't eat any fruits or veggies, so we focus mostly on meat and some breads. She's still very unorganized and spacey to a point, but her grades are good and she's getting all her worked turned in. Best of luck to you!

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User - posted on 05/30/2011

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I went to a person who did senitivity testing. We found out it was basically all cows dairy, some of us even goats. cane sugar, corn syrup anything in the sugar that is modified heavily. We can use honey -raw is best, maple syrup and agave which is the best. I am trying palm sugar at the moment and not sure yet. Also white flour, dyes, baiscally anything that is not naturally from the ground. It is hard and pretty much everything has to be made from scratch. Bread is our one thing that they do have that has sugar 1 gram. I can not find enough without it. Also using oils and other vitiams. Making sure there brains is getting enough. I have a 15 and 4 year old. I have stuck to the diet and never used meds. I was on one site and she talked aobut canditia and it having the same sort of symptoms as ADHD. So the diets seem to be the same.

Stephanie - posted on 02/15/2009

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I wanted to comment on a few posts...



Sensory Issues: Yes, sometimes children are misdiagnosed as having ADHD/ADD when they really have (or also have) Sensory Processing Disorder. If you read Out of Sync Child (mentioned in previous post) you will be able to get an idea if your child has SPD (and then you can have an evaluation done by an Occupational Therapist who is certified in Sensory Integration (very important...not all OT's are certified...do your research, ask around). SPD is not an official diagnosis in the DSM-IV, so your doctor/psychologist will most-likely not discuss this disorder. There is a possibility that it will be placed in the DSM-V as an official diagnosis.



Environmental Physician: I have never heard of an Env. Physician, however, that sounds a lot like the D.A.N. (Defeat Autism Now) certified physician I am taking my son to next week. He is located in Miami, Dr. Andrew Levenson (he is respected world-wide and he does telephone consultations for those who do not have a good DAN doctor in their area). He follows the DAN protocol for ADHD, autism and SPD kids. This protocol helps to eliminate the biomedical issues going on inside the body and is supposed to be highly effective. It does more than just mask the symptoms by using meds, it gets to the bottom of the toxic build-up, food sensitivities, yeast over-load, etc. which are causing behavioral and developmental problems.  The first thing he does is put all of these children on a gf/cf diet (gluten-free, casein-free), which needs to be followed to a "t" to work properly (the science behind this diet is that some people make antibodies to fight off the gluten protein, and those antibodies actually act as "opiates" in the brain. you can' t just cut out some gluten, you have to cut out every trace of it for your body to stop creating these antibodies). 



Weighted vest: a weighted vest supplies DTPS (deep touch pressure stimulation) which helps to calm and focus the children. I got mine from otvest.com and it calms my child within 15 minutes of putting it on. The ONLY time it has not worked is when he has been on Orapred (steroid).



 



With all of that said, I am still trying to get to the bottom of my son's issues. He has been diagnosed with SPD by an occupational therapist. We have not started OT b/c I have a lot going on with my kids right now and I have to prioritize, but my friend has her son in OT for SPD and she swears by it. She says it works like a drug. The two things I have found so far to have a real impact on my son is taking him off of all of his asthma/allergy meds (which meant doing a lot of research and finding alternative natural supplements), and the weighted vest.  My next step is the DAN doctor (gfcf diet, etc...). I would like to get him to a point where he doesn't have a need for the vest...

Tracey - posted on 01/23/2009

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hi i have a six year old son with adhd odd anxiaty disorder and suspected autisum and ocd as well as having severe exzma and a dairy allergiy if you want to go down the diet route then natural all the way the more you cook yourself the better also the reason coffee work is be cause the caffine speeds up a certain part of the brain this is under active in children with adhd and its this bit of the brain which controls concentration so speed up that part of the brain and improve concentration and over all you have a calmer child mad but it works also if your going to try and control it with diet its a good idea to inclue plenty of omega 3 and 6 as this also help improve concentation hope this helps and sorry about the spelling

[deleted account]

Thanks so much for the link for Unforgettables. Just curious if anyone else has given them a try????

Geneviève - posted on 01/19/2009

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My sezures were from nicotine withdrawl. But my daughter never had any ear infections and did not have seizures. So I am still wondering.



The seizures could be related because I have read that when epilepsy causes damage, it can lead to some form of ADD

Crystal - posted on 01/18/2009

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My son had febril seizures, it started around 1 and he had his last one around 3 years old. He also was a sick baby and had ear tubes and all the other things. Febril Seizures happen when someone under the age of 5 goes from one extream to the other in tempature. It's a childs body way of defending it's self from the fever. I brother use to get them to. Fevers are more sever than one thinks when it comes to babies. My son had them when his fever was only around 100 or higher. These things have nothing to do with smoking it's all fevers. My son is now 7 and had adhd, now that you bring it up I wonder if these are connected in any way.

[deleted account]

My son never experienced seizures but had horrible ear infections from age 4 months to 14 months. Even went as far as becoming mastioditis at 11 months and he had to be hospitalized with IV antibiotics. He was on antibiotics non-stop during this time and was clinically deaf until about age 17 months because his entire head (inner ears, mastoids, sinuses) was full of pus and fluid. He also was growing a particular bacteria in his nose and throat that was so harmful that the only two antibiotics that could kill it were not approved for children. I do believe that the over-exposure to antibiotics also played a part in his digestive/behavior issues. Of course, now the doctors have realized that over-exposing infants and children to antibiotics can be quite harmful, but it was children like my son who went through hell before they knew fully what they were doing that they came to acquire this information. My son was never exposed to cigarette smoke at any time as I am incredibly sensitive to it but this is because I was exposed to high doses of second-hand smoke growing up. My husband is as well for the same reason so we made it perfectly clear to any family members that smoked that it was not to be done around me while I was pregnant and never around my kids after they were born. Good for you that you stopped smoking when you found out you were pregnant.... I don't think that your daughter would have been exposed to enough nicotine to make a difference as it sounds as if you stopped it pretty early on.

Geneviève - posted on 01/15/2009

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I also wondered if any of your childen had seizures when they were very young?



I had some form of seizures when I was 0 to 9 months old. After that it stopped. Doctors did not find much and did not know a lot back then but said I was in nicotine withdrawl. My mother smoked up to two packs a day when she was pregnant.



Any of you where in a smokers environnement while pregnant?



I stopped smoking as soon as I knew I was pregnant but I wonder if it still was in my system? Enough to affect my daughter?



Anyway. If any of you want to ask questions about being an adult in which ADD has not resorbed. I can answer your questions. Not all children keep their ADD as an adult but if I can be of any "preventative" help to your children..



Gen

Geneviève - posted on 01/15/2009

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One of my reading materal has been:

Attention Deficit Disorder: Practical Coping Methods



It is very "medical" and I dont take every thing into concideration but it seems logic when I compare to my experience



For exemple: the genetic factors I read seems logic to me. (Someting about different effects of the same genetics that create chemical imbalances for exemple: dislexia (my cousin) or even manic depression (one of my aunt) have been related to the same "gene pool" PS: I have a good genetic pool to look into since I have 15 aunts and oncles (my grand-father was a french canadian catholic and a little bit unrealistic about its application in real life ;-) )



4 of my cousins have ADD too and I suspect 3 of my oncles too.



Do any one have any info on genetics?

Geneviève - posted on 01/15/2009

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Well to tell you I only started to have a real stable life once I took medications. I took omega 3 but I still had to many problems. I had my first full length 8 hour night of sleep in a couple of years after a month of taking concerta. My head stops spining in every direction and I can sleep. (Even if concerta is a stimulant)



From what I have read, chemical imbalances in the brain make the "ADD" symptoms. But it also brings on physical symptoms because the brain is what organises every fonction. From this same theorie (all we have to go on are theories...). The physical after-effects can be alergies food intolerance, and other related problems like asthma, eating problems, stomach upset, diarrea, headaches, hypoglycemia.



Some have iregular heart beats. Cannot stand to have a tight collar on their shirts..(found that one weird a bit thought..)



ADD has been seen to co-exist with epilexy and seizures. (ADD being more as an after-effect or symptom? I dont know)



My first concern is not to debate what is the cause and what is the effect. I do believe that there is some form of intolerance to environnement because I experience it frequently. I get impatient and week around certain perfumes and I have alergies



All that said, I think that a solution is a solution. If removing anything that agravates the symptoms works... I dont need to know if it removes the actual cause of the condition or its effect....



I will be looking into that because for me even concerta is not enought for me to keep a stable job or to fonction 100%.

[deleted account]

Here is the website of the physician we used to treat my son's behavior problems. He explains in detail about Environmental Medicine, and you might find something useful on there. During our initial visit he explained to me that any issues with our digestive tract, either lack of enzymes or an undiagnosed food allergy for example, can cause many symptoms that people would not think of as a typical food allergy response. Things such as behavior problems, insomnia, exzema, fatigue....the list goes on and on. The website is http://www.drbuscher.com/environmental-m... He is located in Redmond, Washington, but perhaps you could get online and find a doctor with similar training in your area. I really hope that this works for you and your daughter as I truly believe those medications often do more harm than good. If you need any more help in finding out information let me know...I would love for you to have a happy ending as well!

Geneviève - posted on 01/14/2009

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what is an environmental physician? I am very interested. My daughter and I both have ADD. I wasn't treated and it has brought me a lot of "comorbidities" (problems that are a result of the add or problems associated with the same chemical imbalances like generalised anxiety desorder and chronic insomnia as well as borderline personality). I am trying to prevent similar things with my daughter. I would greatly appreciate any detail you could provide me with.

[deleted account]

My son was having behavior issues at school from age 4 up until the beginning of third grade. I had ADHD and ODD disorders mentioned to me more than once by child psychologists and the school wanted to place him into Special Education, even though he as above average in intelligence. Medication has never been an option so I found an environmental physician in our area to test my son. In doing lab tests on his stool and saliva it was found that he was not producing a specific digesve enzyme crucial for proper food digestion and absorption. Allergy testing found he reacted negatively to gluten. My son takes digestive enzyme supplements before each meal (found at any health food or supplements store) and I have eliminated gluten from his diet. The difference is EXTRAORDINARY! He is now one of the best-behaved children in class. I receive no phone calls or e-mails from his teachers concerning his behavior. His self-esteem has risen dramatically now that he is not in trouble at school all of the time. My suggestion is to get online, find an environmental physician near you, and have your child tested. I am so glad I did not follow the advice of the regular medical community and put him on medication!

Fran - posted on 01/12/2009

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My eight year old daughter has A.D.D. and after advice took all red, yellow and blue out of her diet. Along with homeschooling, she is gradually becoming a different child. Would recommend a try.

Shari - posted on 01/12/2009

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I will definitely look into the Omega 3's..I tried the Frappaccino during winter break and so far it is working wonderfully.  No meds..  yahoo!!!

Geneviève - posted on 01/11/2009

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Quoting Tabatha:

Hello. I also have a son (9 years old) who has ADHD and ADD. He was on meds last year because he was acting out in school. His desk was moved into the corner of the classroom with his back to the other kids, and he could not take part in any class plays or any thing like taht because of his acting out. I hated him on the meds. He was not even my little out going boy any more. I took him off the meds. Now the only thing that I can do is cut his suger in take, and lots of structur. He has a set bedtime, snack time, eating time, play time, every min of his day is planed. Everyday I print off a check list for him. After he has done something he checks it off. At the end of the week he gets to pick a treat. It is harder this way because Iam always after him reminding him to look at his check list and make sure everything is done. It realy has helped him both at home and school. Hope this helps.



I do not think the school reacted properly. You should never make the child feel different. You should use different methods with him.  You are doing the right thing with structure. He needs tools he can rely on for when he cannot rely on himself.  You are helping him lurn how to do things in a way that fits how he is.  He will be able to rely on the structure and organisational skills you are teaching him in the future. Good thing to do. Did you try EPA omega 3 fatty acids? Natural and very helpful from my experance.

Geneviève - posted on 01/11/2009

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To add to my post. all food that are rich in the omega 3 acids (salmon, makerel, linseeds) are good. Maybe think of magnesium rich foods I have eared that they have a calming effect.

Geneviève - posted on 01/11/2009

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Try omega fatty acids. There is a specific formulation for ADHD and it is the only natural remedy that has been scientificaly prooven to help with "brain problems"



Coffee does help because it stimulates the brain. ADHD is caused by a low amount a certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are like messengers between brain cells. Since the "messengers" are less constant, the child's (Or adult... it happens) reflections are difficult to keep constant. He gets up when he should'nt, interupts conversations etc. If you give him a stimulant (cafeine, ritalin) his brain fonctions on a higher level, he is therefore capable of keeping focus for a longer time. He will not "need" to change is activity to stay interested. He is less distracted by others or.. by his own thoughts. Omega fatty acids help the brain fonction so they help the child maintain his focus longer on one thing. If you do not want to give medicines. I would give the omega 3 supplement. (be carefull of the proportions between EPA and DHA , the EPA Omega-3 must be in the highest proportion) I do not think I would give coffee to my child because it is addictive (might as well give ritalin, it is formulated for that at least)



I have tried ritalin and omega 3 myself (I still have my ADHD) I really fonction better with omega 3 but found I couldn't work without ritalin. My daughter fonctions good on omega 3 only so I dont give her ritalin.



It is a question of choosing between the effects of each situation and seeing where is the accepted limit between the symtoms and the effects of medication.

Jennifer - posted on 12/13/2008

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I'll give you a little hint... No caffiene or sweets It is very hard to do .But, my son had ADHD and was horrrible til I read a book on it and found out that the main reason was sweets!!! I changed his whole diet to no sweets mainly fruit and veggies and he was a whole different person all together! Try this see if it works... It will take a few weeks! Good Luck God Bless

Bobbi - posted on 12/13/2008

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no she is not on any meds for asthma. She takes vyvanse 50mg and a multi vitamin as she seems to be prone to all the viruses and colds that go around. what do you mean by a weighted vest? We have found that the vyvanse is so much better for her cause it is more of a natural drug than like ridilin, ect. her ticks aren't as bad on this, where as the first medicine was horrible she couldn't do anything but tick. thanks for the advice.

Stephanie - posted on 12/12/2008

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Also, have you tried a weighted vest? Lastly, she is not on asthma/allergy meds, is she? If so, maybe try going off those to see what happens...

Stephanie - posted on 12/12/2008

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make sure they get fish (or fish oil capsules - Nordic Naturals has a good brand).

Shari - posted on 12/12/2008

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I have been advised by a friend to try coffee also. He's been wanting a sip of my frapp, but I thought it wasn't good for kids to drink coffee.. But I will definitely give it a try..If it's better than meds

Tabatha - posted on 12/08/2008

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Hello. I also have a son (9 years old) who has ADHD and ADD. He was on meds last year because he was acting out in school. His desk was moved into the corner of the classroom with his back to the other kids, and he could not take part in any class plays or any thing like taht because of his acting out. I hated him on the meds. He was not even my little out going boy any more. I took him off the meds. Now the only thing that I can do is cut his suger in take, and lots of structur. He has a set bedtime, snack time, eating time, play time, every min of his day is planed. Everyday I print off a check list for him. After he has done something he checks it off. At the end of the week he gets to pick a treat. It is harder this way because Iam always after him reminding him to look at his check list and make sure everything is done. It realy has helped him both at home and school. Hope this helps.

Beth - posted on 12/04/2008

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I don't know if you were told that children with ADD/ADHD are sometimes sensitive to the the preservative Red # 40. Unfortunately, its in A LOT of foods. After we started reading labels and cutting out the red #40,our daughters behavior seemed more manageable. Good Luck.

Bobbi - posted on 12/04/2008

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Hi Amber, could you tell me a little more about this sensory issue? what are some of the symptoms and where could I research it a little more? If you wouldn't mind sharing some more with me on this issue. I am always wanting to make sure my child is getting the right diagnosis and treatment and if she has some of these types of symptoms, I would like to bring it to my Dr.'s attention. Thank you.

Connie - posted on 12/04/2008

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I have a book called The kid-friendly ADHD & Autism cookbook that is good but my son has PDD-NOS but it is used for both, it says that is is the ultimate guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diet, we have not used it much yet because there is a down side to using it, you have to buy specialty foods to make some of this stuff and it is quite pricey but it does have some great sounding recipes in it. Hope this helps some Connie.

[deleted account]

My eldest son is ADD & his dr said to give him mt dew, or coffee, their metabolism is backwards so what should speed them up slows them down, same for benadryl, a definte no no in our home. foods i dont know but coffee knocks him out! BUT my youngest son is ADHD and absolutely no sugar or cafene near bed time, each kid is different but coffee works for one of mine

Amber - posted on 12/04/2008

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I don't have any recipes or know much about ADHD diets or meds, but thought I would share my experience with my daughter. My 7 yr.old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, acid reflux, a learning disability in math, and sensory issues in March 2008. She was having difficulty in school (1st grade) and it came out in huge behavior issues at home. She had a very poor and negative attitude and was throwing fits over just about anything. She would get very upset doing homework and it got to the point where she was screaming, scratching herself and pulling her hair out. She would scream for an hour and throw things in her room. She was just out of control. We felt pressured by the school and the developmental pyschologist that diagnosed her to put her on meds for the ADHD. While she definitely had ADHD symptoms, my husband and I were not convinced it was in fact ADHD especially considering her other issues and did not feel comfortable putting her on meds. We did lots of other research and found a place called the Sensory Learning Center (sensorylearning.com) with a location about a mile from our house. I was very skeptical as the whole thing sounded a little bizarre to me and I couldn't see how the whole process could do anything to make a difference. But, in talking to friends about it I found several local people that had gone there and had great success with the program and it made a huge difference for their kids. We decided to put our daughter in the program in April 2008. In the meantime, we got her set up with the special ed. dept. at school for help in math. We did not put her on any meds and decided to see how things went. After just the first two days in the program her regular teacher told me that Chloe was a totally different child! She was able to sit quietly by herself without bothering anyone else and she wrote a little book. We saw huge improvements in her behavior at home and she was just more relaxed, happier and more focused. Her handwriting was more legible, her reading became more fluent and her thought processing became clearer. I was nervous starting the school year, not knowing how things would go. At conferences in Nov. her teacher said she is doing great! She still gets distracted, but she said not any more than other kids her age do. She does her homework with minimal help from us and without complaining. Her special ed. teacher (who is a sub that wasn't there last year) said Chloe was doing very well in math and wasn't sure why she was even in her class. I wouldn't say that the Sensory Learning Center "cured" her, she can still be fidgety and get pretty hyper at times, but it is much easier to re-direct her and settle her down. I really think she has more sensory issues than ADHD. I had never even heard of sensory disorders before all this came up! The occupational therapist at the school recommended a book called "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz that was very eye opening. My husband and I borrowed the DVD from the library (he is not a big reader) so we could watch it together. Anyway, I know this isn't totally related to the original post, but we have been so encouraged by our daughter's progress that I wanted to share our story in the hopes that it might help someone else dealing with similar issues!

[deleted account]

Does anyone know where I can purchase the supplements "unforgettables"? I have not been able to locate them anywhere.

Nicole - posted on 11/23/2008

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Bobbi it is very clear that you love and care for your daughter greatly and it shows by all that you are doing for her. kids can be cruel and there will always be difficult times but you are strong and FULL of love for her. keep staying strong

Bobbi - posted on 11/23/2008

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Thank you for the input yet again. I think maybe it is time to go back to see our child therapist, maybe he has more information on how to deal with things now that she is older. It is so hard with her not only having ADHD, but with the Obedient Defiant Disorder, and her OCD, it is really hard. I know how much she has to deal with at such a young age. All of these disorders and she has to know she isn't like the other kids cause they don't take medicine, they don't have to have these structured rules, ect. and I hate that it almost could make her feel like she is being punished for having these disorders. I don't think it is fair for her and I know life isn't fair, it just hurts a parent so much to see all she has to deal with at such a young age. On top of all those things she has been diagnosed with torets, and has terrible ticks by not being able to talk a whole sentence out without like clearing her throat a million times or rolling her eyes. I just hope I am doin all that I can for her, it hurts me so bad to see her at school playing by herself and the kids telling her that she needs to get away from them cause she can't talk right, ect. and this is in 2nd grade. It is so sad. But thank you everyone for the good advice! and for listening.

Nicole - posted on 11/23/2008

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Shennen...my 9 year old has had some of the same behavior and when she would start to cry over what seemed to be nothing to me would give me the answer "i don't know why?" when asked. What I did was got her into a councelor/therapist who specialized with kids she has been great. She plays games with her to get her to start talking about what she is keeping in and when my daughter sees her it is her time I do not go in with her unless my daughter wants me there. It has helped her talk about issues with someone who is not emotionally invested and give her open honest feed back. Her councelor only talks to me about things that I should really watch out for. I decided to do this for her because if she can't talk to me I would rather have a trusted adult she can talk to instead of turning to other things (drugs ect.) plus our relationship has improved there are things she now talks to me about that she didn't before.

Nicole - posted on 11/23/2008

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I am wondering how old everyones kids are? I myself grew up with ADHD and never was on any meds until I was 18. This last year I brought my 9 year old into the doctor because she started not wanting to do her usual (i.e. tae kwon do) the doctor did ask if I thought she was ADHD. I hadn't thought about it because it didn't jump out to me. Anyways the doctor said that in most cases the ADHD symptoms don't really show themselves until middle school/junior high when they really start to switch classes, he also said that especially girls they are still able to do well in school (get work done well and on time). So we decided to wait and see what happens when she gets to middle school.

Shennen - posted on 11/23/2008

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Bobbi... I have an 8 year old who has ADHD... yes, I experience the same things with her... she goes through 'spells' of becoming borderline disrespectful... she'll begin to pee on herself, when we know there are no medical issues causing it... and sometimes she is just on... it seems to come out of the blue and it seems to go just the same... We never know when it's coming and we never know how long it will last... She goes through emotional stages too... lately she has been crying over what seems to be nothing - you'll ask her to stop something and she'll break down... It's a process for us... We get through it the best we can... My husband and I go to a counselor for guidance, advice, support - it really helps me get my head situated an focused on what I feel is most important - my daughters happiness, spirit, and success (which also means her own personal level of success)... We have really worked on, and continue working on realizing that she has her own set of goals, standards, boundaries and successes... We aren't able to compare her to our other children, and we aren't able to hold her to the same expectations... That doesn't mean she gets a pass, it just means that we recognize some limitations, and we build on her strengths... It's all new to me too... Sounds like you are doing the right things... You are reaching out, looking for knowledge and information... Nothing can be better... Good Luck!... Keep up the good work :)

Bobbi - posted on 11/23/2008

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thank you for all the good advice. I just have one more question. Those of you who have children with ADHD, do you find that it can be going really well for awhile and then a for a spell everything is just chaotic? I mean for like a week or so, and then everything goes back to being tolerable again? I find that weird as we don't change her schedule, we don't miss any medication, we don't really change her eating habits. I have had the doctor check the dosage of medication during these times and he has said she is on the highest dose she can be on being 7 years old. I just find it weird that there are these times that she just seems to be extremely forgetful of her school work, won't listen at school or home, has to bring every subject home with a note saying Rachel couldn't concentrate today therefore she didn't get any of her work completed. Is this normal for a child to have these really off task moments while on medication? This is all so new to me as we adopted Rachel when she was 2, and with our other two biological children we never had these issues, so it is all foreign to me and I am trying to do everything possible for her to help her, but it is so hard when you don't understand it yourself. Thank you for your advice....this is an awesome group. Thanks!

Raphaella - posted on 11/22/2008

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Hi, my son has ADHD and I'd like to comment to Bobb Riesen who posted the question about caffiene and ADHD. Most medications for ADD/ADHD are stimulants. Its crazy how a stimulant could help a child with ADHD calm down, but I'm not a doctor so I dont' question it. All I know is that my child takes Daytrana (a patch) and its a stimulant and it works wonderfully. My doctor even told me if we were ever in a pinch to try and give him Mountain Dew. I don't let my kids drink soda and NEVER let them drink Mt. Dew but we did give it a try. I saw a tiny difference, but not enough to really work. If its serious enough that a child needs medication it is more serious than a Mt. Dew can handle. But, for some reason caffeine and stimulants work wonders on ADHD children. Personally I don't really allow my son to have it, since it doesn't really work anyway he certainly doesn't need the extra sugar for his teeth or his health. We stick with the medication the doctor prescribes and it has worked wonders. Its a health condition and it needs to be treated like it.

Laura - posted on 11/04/2008

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Hi. I am brand new to this group, but this is an area I know a bit about. I have ADHD, did my graduate research in it, and now am dealing with an 8 year old daughter who is a chip off the old block.



Some people have success in controlling ADHD symptoms with diet, while for others it is ineffective. I suppose it depends on the severity of the symptoms. My own story is that when I was young they believed that "hyperactivity" was outgrown, so at puberty I went off meds. In graduate school I stumbled upon an article about adults with ADD, as it was then known. I was smoking (nicotine is a stimulant) and addicted to caffeine and asked my physician if a prescription in a controlled amount might be perhaps more healthy for me than the harmful quantities of coffee and cigarettes that I was using.



What someone who doesn't live in this ADHD world can not grasp is the difference that meds make for me COGNITIVELY. As parents we want our children to behave, but as a researcher and as one who has this unique type of brain, I will say that just because they are behaving doesn't mean that they are thinking. I have tried to manage my ADHD without meds while I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding, but it never helped with focus quite as much as medication.



That said, I tried grape seed extract with my daughter and it helped . . . but not quite enough for her to get her work finished at school. She would still spend the entire day sharpening every pencil in her desk instead of doing her work. LOL For her, a combination of meds and grape seed extract works well.



We also discovered a product that was actually formulated for brain health and to avoid Alzheimers. It has Omega 3 fatty acids, blueberry, ginko biloba, and several other things in it. It is called "Unforgettables" and is made by Melaleuca. When my friend gives an Unforgettable to her 10 year old daughter it is all she needs -- no meds. For mine, she takes it with her Concerta and it is a noticeable difference.



This has been long, but I wanted to comment on the diet thing. At the time of my grad study, diet control was controversial and not enough research supported its successful management of ADHD symptoms. Some diets avoid salicylates, which are found in many things including food coloring (but also almonds and apples!). Others recommend avoiding anything refined. All recommend skipping sugar. I would say that if it works, go for it.



Since autism was also mentioned, exposure to household chemicals is one major thing that aggravates many syndromes -- including autism and ADHD. Getting the chemicals out of my home eliminated my husband's asthma and my son's eczema, and I know others with similar stories about their child's autism improving when they got the chemicals out of their house.



Lastly, coffee in the morning. Yes, it works but is short acting. When I was teaching overseas and had students who could not get medical diagnoses of ADHD, I would suggest to their mothers to give them 1/2 cup of coffee before school. It would take the edge off, but they would be bouncing off the walls before lunch. LOL Mountain Dew works, too. ;-)



I am really excited to find this group . . . and hope this hadn't been too long. I hope you find something that works well for you!



Laura

Stephanie - posted on 11/04/2008

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There is an ADHD diet that you can search for. My son (8 yrs old) has been on it for almost 2 years and is not medicated. We avoid milk, high fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, artifical colors, flavors, additives, yellow foods (corn) and a few more. His big reaction (gets VERY hyper) is milk and yellow foods. Each child is different. This may or may not work for yours but it is worth the try.



He is old enough now that he always asks before eating something if it has cow milk. He has adjusted well.



If you have any question, feel free to ask and I will try to respond quickly.

Mary - posted on 10/31/2008

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Hi. I have a friend who's son has ADHD and as a diabetic we compared his diet to mine and they are very simmilar, she found that the diet helped so he didn't have to go on meds!! Basicly only 25 g of total carbs per meal/ snack and more meat and fresh veg than anything else. hope this helps.

Carrie - posted on 10/31/2008

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Have you looked into the Feingold Program at all? It was WONDERFULLY helpful when we had our family on it a few years ago. (We had some circumstances in life that led us away from it, but it was truly wonderful. The behavior changes in my son (autism spectrum) were phenomenal!!!! http://www.feingold.org/

Lauren - posted on 10/31/2008

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Why don't you try a Gluten and Wheat free diet. It seems to work for one of my friends!

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There is also some literature out there that giving your child Vitamin E and Omega-3 supplements show some improvement in behavior in children with disorders. You can look up what the recommended daily allowance for your child would be according to age. I am trying this with my son who has been struggling with behavior issues at school and I am not ready to jump on the medication bandwagon just yet.

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I was told by my doctor to limit the amount of aluminum the child with ADD/ADHD comes in contact with.... it is really hard because everything seems to have some aluminum... even deoderant!!!! But definitely no soda's out of cans or veggies in cans.... try not to cook in aluminum pots.... children who have add/adhd usually have a high amount of aluminum in their systems....

Bobbi - posted on 10/25/2008

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Thank you for that. I am going to start right away and try it. She is on meds for her disorders, but we are still dealing with the issues at school as I think there are so many distractions for her to stay focused and settled down. I actually ended up homeschooling her last year just to see her abilities and to add a structered environment for her and boy that was fantastic. when we went back to the public school to just see if she was staying current with her 1st grade at school, they actually said she was at a third grade level for all her subjects. So we let her go back to public school this year as I want her to learn socialism, but I am afraid for her as she has regressed to almost a first grade level in reading, math, and even her social skills. None of the girls at school want to even be her friend and it is so sad she plays by herself at recess, eats by herself at lunch, my heart just aches for her. I think wow she has all these things she has to deal with at such a young age and then to not even have a friend at school, how harsh is that?! And why, she is such a sweetie and super caring. I don't get societies cruelty sometimes! But, thank you so much. I am going to try it TODAY!!!

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