Anyone have any successful treatment options for children with inattentive ADD?

Sheila - posted on 09/13/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son, who is now in 2nd grade, was diagnosed last year with inattentive ADD. He has difficulty focusing at school and at home, on any tasks that are not of interest to him (like homework). Last year, his teachers did some mild interventions in the classroom (establishing a sticker reward system for completing work neatly and on time) and we carried over with similar rewards systems at home. It just doesn't seem to work anymore! He doesn't care about doing poorly at things-he just wants to get through them. It almost seems painful when I try to get him to focus-he resists looking at the page, yells out, changes the subject, closes his eyes, etc.



His psychiatrist prescribed a low dose of a drug called Focalin, but I have been reluctant to try it. Anyone familiar with it?



Any advice for dealing with inattentive ADD?



Thanks!:)

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Fit2BMe - posted on 10/09/2012

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With regards to medication.... I am by no means anti-medication. I would hate to think of anyone feeling guilt over needing to go this route. Having said that, I STRONGLY encourage you to take every natural measure first, starting with dietary changes.

Here in Toronto, it had recently been published that some ADD/ADHD medications have lead to greater mental health problems in children, including but not limited to suicide. I worked on a team of professionals in a clinic that specialized in ADHD, and while I am not a doctor and this was over 7 years ago, the understanding is that ADD was not something to medicate, whereas ADHD could be considered for medication.

A LOT of research has come out on the effects of nutrition and television/screen time/video games on ADHD, Porn addiction, and even reading difficulties and dyslexia. Unfortunately it's not easy to come by.

The fight is just too much for most parents, and who can fault them, really.

If you follow strict nutritional guidelines with supplementation, however, and cut out screen time (TV and video games), those two things alone will make a dramatic difference. DRAMATIC.

Really recommend the book Optimum Nutrition for your child as a realistic starting point for the nutritional front, and can't urge parents enough to really limit screen time. We currently allow, for our house, weekends only, for 1/2 and hour to an hour tops.

Looking at books such as I-Spy will help develop and improve your child's visual attention. A parent's involvement is necessary to help the child stay with it and to make it fun for them. Games such as memory can help also.

Sherri - posted on 09/13/2011

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My son was diagnosed this past December. My husband and I did everything except medicate for the last yr and a half, then we realized the only one we were punishing was our son.

So we decided to try the low dose medication and it was like the heavens opened up. He finally started to be able to concentrate and started doing better in school and is once again the happy kid once again instead of thinking he was stupid.

My son is on 18mg of concerta. I figured if we hated the medication we could pull him off, just make sure you give it a good 8wks for his body to get used to it before you make a decision.

Fit2BMe - posted on 09/13/2011

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There is a FANTASTIC book called Optimum Nutrition For Your Child (I'm sorry, I can't recall the author just now), and they speak of science-based, proven natural treatments for children with ADHD/ADD, as well as other struggles. I HIGHLY recommend it as a starting place for your family.
Further to that, if needed/desired, I would consult a pediatrician to be sure ADD/ADHD is actually what's going on. Sometimes children present this way and it's actually a result of food allergies/sensitivities (my husband had this as a child and when those issues were dealt with he calmed right down and focussed like a star). Othertimes it can be if a child is not getting enough sunlight and active play (children need 2-3 hours of activity per day), or even not enough sleep (12 hours approximately).
A non-recommended but somewhat easy home way to test if medications would be effective (tho I recommend them only as a last resort), is to give your child a sugar-FREE caffeinated drink (like a diet soda) and see if the caffeine exasperates his issues or helps. Medications for ADHD are stimulants, and act essentially the same way as caffeine. Having said that, I worked with a pediatrician specializing in children with ADHD and other challenges. One thing we reminded parents was that medication should only be used for the ADHD (the hyper-activity component), NOT for ADD.
Hope this helps!

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