My 6-Year-Old Was Diagnosed With ADHD

Serina - posted on 01/07/2014 ( 99 moms have responded )

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I just found out my son was diagnosed with ADHD. The thought of him taking medication everyday scares me but he's having a hard time concentrating in school. His teacher told me I should ask his doctor about conserta?? (Im in the process of switching doctors)Any suggestion would help :)I also heard certain foods affect ADHD??

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Elizabeth - posted on 01/13/2014

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I was the undiagnosed little girl with ADD. I went to Catholic schools for elementary and high school. The rigid structure guided me. By age 11, I thought they would put on my tombstone what they put on every report card, "She could have done better if only she'd applied herself." I struggled to make female friends. Kids with ADD/ADHD, have a maturity level about 2/3 their chronological age. I was tiny but played like a bull in a chinashop. My desk, my locker, my backpack, my bedroom were a hopeless mess. I considered homework to be of no value and boring so I didn't do most of mine. I always caught hell for this. The homework I did do, I lost or misplaced or forgot to turn in. I could never "keep a notebook", or maintain a librarycard without amassing fines. I was bright and and had no fear of tests so I passed each year with A, B,& C grades. My mom put me in multiple activities as a child; swimming, dance, horsebackriding, voice lessons, etc. The more after school activities I did, the happier I was. I knew I heard "a different drummer", but I did not know why. I went to college and got mono the first semester and pregnant the second. The rigid structure and parents were not there to keep me on track. With a maturity level 2/3 my chronological age, I was making life decisions like a 12 year old. I didn't get diagnosed until I was in my 40's. How I wish I had been diagnosed at age 6 and treated with medicine. Diet & activity & helped about 4%. Medication helped dramatically. I just thought you might like to know what it is like to have ADD. We can't take the suggestions of well-meaning type A and OCDers. Our brains are hardwired differently. We lose every list. We have our own methods. I write on my hand. There are positive things to being bright and having ADD/ADHD, we don't tend to worry and sweat the small stuff. Things that we are passionate about, we excell in. We are risk takers. Without us, we would have fewer explorers, scientists, inventors. Think outside the box? ADDers never get in the box. This is a glimpse of ADD/ADHD from the inside.

Kinsey - posted on 01/07/2014

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My personal advice would be to treat medication as a LAST resort. I am married to a molecular and cellular biologist. He and I have spent the last 18+ months revamping my diet to resolve a myriad of health problems - brain fog/trouble concentrating being one of them. The drugs that are used for ADHD are dependance forming. Any kind of pharmaceutical that affects the neurotransmitters and their receptors, and hormonal balance can interfere with the body's own ability to find balance to a point where it will need the drugs forever. There is a lot of misconception about what a healthy diet is and what good health is - and to a huge extent it depends on a person's individual constitution.

Rules of thumb: (1) inflammation/agitation of the immune system=dysfunction of any and all body systems, the brain/nervous system being the first to suffer; (2) unbalanced gut flora/dysfunctional digestion can often be found at the root of chronic inflammation for any part of the body - it is our first line of defense for our immune systems (besides the flora on our skin). (3) a low inflammatory diet can go leaps and bounds beyond pharmaceuticals in providing long term health improvement for brain and the rest of the body.

What is the best low inflammatory diet? The diet that reduces inflammation best for you (or your son). I'm my research and personal experience with myself and friends this generally means a diet very low in carbohydrates (starches and sugar, even fruit) - preferably no gluten, high in healthy fats (flax, coconut oil, avocado, soaked nuts and seeds), very little animal product (usually only eating eggs and clarified butter), lots of fresh/raw vegetables and moderate amounts of vegetarian proteins such as lentils and other easily digested legumes (no soy or TVP), and a probiotic regimen that works for you. Some probiotic strains are histamine producing (inflammatory) and others are neutral or histamine degrading (anti-imflammatory). Current research has shown a lot of benefit from soil based probiotics and bifido- strains of bacteria.

This takes time, tenacity, and patience to listen to the signals and symptoms your son's body/brain are giving back to find the diet best suited to him. Food journaling is a great tool. It is a very individual thing. For example: I function best with little to no carbohydrates (3 peices of bread and 2.5 servings of fruit MAX on any given day), but my husband functions very well on a primarily carbohydrate diet with little protein. If I were to eat his diet for more than one day I'd hardly be able to function without loads of various prescriptions (anti-depressants, drugs for concentration, sleep, skin problems, etc.).

My biggest piece of advice, based on my knowledge of how these pharmaceuticals work, and the long term effect they have on our body's own ability to create, use, and balance neurotransmitter hormones, is to steer clear of prescriptions as much/long as possible. Also, if there is a yoga studio around that offers yoga for kids that is a great way for both dispel energy and learn how to focus his mind!

If you'd like more information from me/to talk about it more, respond here with an email addy and I can message you. :-) Good luck!

Kimberly - posted on 01/07/2014

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I have been going through this for years with my child. I did try everything else before Meds but eventually did have to try them because I wanted my child to have every opportunity that other children had to be in a classroom environment.

That said I do suggest first doing a behavior and diet journal. Every food or drink that your child has document with a time. Also document behaviors. If there is focus issues, hyperactivity, aggressive, whatever types of issues you are seeing. Also demand that the teacher does this also. Then take all of this information to the doctor with you. I had a friend that thought her son was ADHD to try this. She found out that her son's blood sugar was low. He was only acting out a certain times of day when he needed protein.

I do suggest not doing any drastic changes to the diet until doing a food journal to see what is effecting your child because changes will also cause differences until the child gets used to them.

I have just started something new with my son. He is now 11 and with the high cost of meds and the fact that I would rather he not have to take them. When he is not in school I am giving him an energy drink in the mornings instead of his meds. For anyone who knows anything about actual ADHD Stimulants effect our children differently. Stimulants actually calm them down. Things that calm most people down actually make them hyper. So far in a home environment the energy drink works great. I am going to speak to his principle about trying it at school since it is more structured and there are a lot of other elements to consider.

Being a parent whether it is diet change or meds we have to do whatever is necessary to help them to have the best chance at being all they can be.It is not about what everyone else thinks it is about the child. I have been ridiculed and talked about because I finally gave into meds but they will get over it. I also have had to put my foot down to my family and friends about junk food. Everyone thinks they know what is best but you have to be your own child's advocate. Do what they actually need not what everyone else thinks they should need.

Kristen - posted on 01/14/2014

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you - posted 1 second ago
Physical activity helps to control symptoms of ADHD really well. Big body or whole body movements helps calm the brain and help little ones gain mastery over their bodies. Things like dancing, walking, climbing or deep knee bends before going to school or doing homework can help calm them. Using music to remember information and cue the mind to remember information.



Check out the products from Heidi Songs www.heidisongs.com for DVDs and CDs he can do to help with reading, learning sight words and understanding math concepts.

As far as diet goes, protein every few hours helps keep tummies full and minds focused.

Good luck mama!

Desiree - posted on 01/08/2014

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While no parent wants to HAVE to medicate their child, sometime there is no other option. My son is 9 and after struggling with school from kindergarten to 1st into 2nd grade, his father and I decided that we could not continue to let him struggle. We tried him on a few medicines. I believe Tenex was mentioned in a previous comment and I agree that it made him like a zombie. He had no energy to do anything. He is now on strattera and it's working wonders for him. He failed last year in second grade before we got him the medicine and help he needed. This year his has almost all A's and B's. He is able to concentrate better and there is a definite difference when he skips meds. There was two days recently when I thought my aunt was giving him the meds before school and she thought I was giving him the meds before school so he was actually not taking the meds before school and the teachers actually mentioned the difference for our parent teacher conference last week. They said on the two days that he went without medicine, his concentration just wasn't there.

So while I don't think there is a right or wrong way to treat YOUR child (he is your child, you do what you think is right), I dislike when people who have never dealt with a child with ADHD comes up with the "OMG I can't believe you have your child on medication".

If you have a good doctor (we do) my child is closely montiored while on these medicines. Weight, blood pressure....those types of things are monitored and if it isn't exactly where she wants it, she isn't scared to switch his meds.

There are side effects of meds, not just ADHD meds, but all meds that may suck but the good that these meds do for the child far outway the side effects. The worse side effect that my son is experiencing on Strattera is he isn't very hungry most of the time...but he was always a picky eater even before the meds.

I don't know if this is everywhere but if a child is struggling in school and is diagnosed with ADHD and on medication, there are special programs (iep, special education) that can help these children. Such things as extra time on tests or smaller classroom groups made a big difference for my son.

What works for one family, which could be figuring out how to treat it without medicine, may not work for another family.

Good luck!!!

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Lesley - posted on 07/24/2014

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I arrived at this same crossroad when my son was diagnosed when he was in kindergarten. He would raise his hand several times to go to the bathroom in one class. He was a great kid and did not have behavior problems. He just would not sit still. The sound of the word "ritalin" caused an immediate allergic reaction to me. My husband and I just could not process it. We chose to immediately put our son on an intense natural regimen instead, which included not only his diet but his clothing, the lighting at home, the color of the walls, the sounds in the house and the color of his linen. No foods with food coloring, fish oil tablets, blue bed sheets, changed the lightbulbs to softer lights, classical music playing in his sleep, and most of all, words of praise for every little sign of progress he made on anything, i.e., schoolwork, chores. Math was not and still is not his favorite subject. But he received math tutoring all of his schooling, combined with intense classical music for brain development. Fast forward ... By the time he gets to middle school he wins his first science fair project, has interest in learning foreign languages, the piano and violin. In less than 12 month he went from beginning to advanced piano, violin and Chinese. He is now 22 years old and is fluent in 4 foreign languages, graduated from American University, was American University's concertmaster in his Freshman year (1st violin) and has competed in the first of many piano competitions. He recognized his own disability and dealt with it head on; When he was in high school he would carry every single book with him in his backpack so that he would never forget assignments; He didn't need all those books, but as long as he had them with him, he reassured himself that he had all of his resources around him. He makes it a point to stay focused. So my answer to ritalin is still "no".

Dalila - posted on 02/04/2014

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There are many studies that suggest gluten and simple sugars highly contribute to ADHD. Through the years I have seen several moms have their child get off their medication because of success with these restrictions of the child's diet! Please research it :)

Jennifer - posted on 01/22/2014

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my son was diagnosed by a psychologist with ADHD, ODD, and possible Bi-polar. this was last may when he was 5. he is now 6 and we have tried the medicines and they didn't seem to make a difference in his behavior at all. he also Is gifted, his IQ is 137. In my research I have found that the symptoms of all of these diagnoses are very similar and overlap. He was tested once without meds and then at a later time with meds and the test results were unchanged. Even gifted children I have found, have heightened emotions. We are currently not doing any meds. He is however taking Occupational therapy once a week for an hour for sensory issues. I have found that as long as I keep him with options to use his energy, he is much easier to deal with. When we spend lots of time outdoors, he is much calmer inside. I also have 3 other boys and the next one down in age is showing similar behaviors. His pediatrician told me that if the meds are going to work, then I would see a difference right away.

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Lisa- don't forget to mention complex carbs. to avoid swinging blood sugar which can REALLY affect mood. (Protein of course is critical to this as well.)
Whenever my daughter's blood sugar was low, she'd be OUT of control. I'd literally FORCE her to eat something even small (a few crackers, nuts, whatever) and you could watch her facial expression change, her behavior change, her body relax. Anger, tension and rushed behavior would change. We both did blood testing for hypoglycemia and both came back negative, but yet we'd both go nuts without food for even 2 hours, our behavior changes, eyebrown furrow, etc.
So- it's good to determine if there is low blood sugar as well as ADHD. It's easy enough as a mom to recognize if your kids behavior is more extreme compared to other children after only 2 hours (or a bit more) without food.

Lisa - posted on 01/19/2014

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Have you guys gone to psychologist for behavioral management prior to medication? If you're in between Peds, this is usually what I see prior to medicating a child. But, if you guys have been there/done that:
-foods to avoid within reason: refined sugary/very processed foods as you can, red dye 40, fried foods
-foods to increase: proteins
-structure to the max (make it visual if possible too, like have the day planned out even free time has it's time)- majorly comforting
Best wishes to your family on your journey!

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Gladys -Wow, good idea. I'm going to try the Omega. I Have just started the Melatonin - it's a prescription (amino-acid). Do you just use the Melatonin (yours is probably over the counter) just at bedtime?

Gladys - posted on 01/17/2014

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My 6 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD and also Aspergers which is a form of autism just this year. Omega-3 has been a godsend for us it is a natural supplement which aids him to focus his energy. And then at night we share melatonin with him which get him a nice natural calming effect. Just those two natural supplements have helped him so much this year. Maybe it could help your child also!

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My oldest son was diagnosed at 7 although I saw traits since 3. It's hard to take the decision to medicate your child. But I did and he is taking concerta he is almost ten now. Aside from a little insomnia here and there he is fine he functions normally and focuses more I can tell the difference. He also goes to day treatment and sees a counselor.

Abby - posted on 01/16/2014

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Sandy, sorry for jumping on your posts. I apologize for my tone and accusations. I got defensive because I feel a bit paralyzed by my situation. I sincerely apologize. Not to mention this is a place for support not judgement.
Abby

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Mandy- My husband was given Ritalin as a child and became addicted as a child. He was never an adult drug addict. I suppose you could say that he was a child drug addict- with the drugs being pushed on him by his family Dr. and his mother. Thank God he got off of them. But thank you for your concern.
I'm glad you have a biology degree. I have a psychology degree......so....what?
I've done more research than I can shake a stick at. Do you know how adult ADHD varies greatly from child ADHD? It's very interesting. Lots to learn about.
As educated as you are, even you would learn from the documentary. You would be surprised and less disrespecful.
I DO believe each parent needs to make their own decision about treatments to help their child.
I also firmly believe that parents should become informed as possible prior to any treatments.
Dear Mandy- I mentioned psychologists BECAUSE they cannot prescribe. This is a good thing, and it's a great thing because you're getting a second opinion from someone highly skilled, who can teach many coping skills- for both child and parent. (AKA- alone or accompanied with chemicals). A psychologist is a great place to start.
My thing is- that I've seen so many uninformed parents like sheep, who just automatically will take prescriptions without prior to research on their own. You know yourself that there are sooooooo many parents like this. That- is what I hate to see.
Parents should be armed with information. You will no where see me instructing someone not to drug their child. That is not my job.
I give my opinion, just as we all do.
I do wish the best for Serena.

Mandy - posted on 01/15/2014

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Sorry that your husband was a drug addict, Sandy. And honestly, I find it quite sad that you feel the need to continue to flood this thread with your opinion. It has been noted - REPEATEDLY. I get it - your are against drugs and you think everyone who doesn't agree with you is an under-educated parent who just blindly follows whatever the doctor says.

I, however, have a college degree (in biology) and have spent a lot of time researching many different avenues for my son. He has more specialists than an 80 year old man should have, and I am very intune to the myriad of things going on with him. At this time, the medicine is working, and I am thrilled that he is doing better in school. Everyone should do what is best for their own situation, and it's not anyone else's job to tell them all the reasons they are wrong or why you disagree with them.

And by the way, a psychologist is not "all about drugs" because they cannot prescribe drugs.

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Bryan- my husband was sooo addicted to Ritalin. I wonder if some of these moms have even seen an adult withdrawal from an amphetamine, and sadly watch a child go through withdrawal. My kid and I both have ADHD. Our Dr. has know us since she was born and there's no chance he would even suggest Ritalin or otherwise. There are two other drugs that are not amphetamines, but still- you're drugging a kid. I suppose there may be some kids that need to be drugged (that's so sad to say) and most health care professionals will downplay the whole idea of drugging kids.
I find that mom's will trust health care workers (psychiatrists, family dr's) without doing research which is sad. Talking to a psychologist is different- they're not all about drugs.
Exercising a kid till they're pooped out is an awesome idea. I agree.

Mandy - posted on 01/15/2014

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Serina,

My son was just diagnosed with ADHD (he'll be 6 in February) and just started taking Ritalin. I was worried about adding another medication - he is already on seizure medicine, and don't love the idea of him being on medication so young. But it is a pretty low dose and fast acting, so if we saw nothing we could take him off it pretty quickly. I was convinced that it was a waste, because I have not seen a difference in him really at all, but his teachers are raving! I get almost daily e-mails from them saying how great he is doing. He's able to stay in his seat, concentrate and work independently. We had adjusted his IEP to give him more one on one help because he was so not focused during group work, but he is doing great so far. You've got to do what works best for your son and family, but if you go the medicine route, know that it doesn't mean he'll be a drugged up zombie :) Good luck!

Amy - posted on 01/15/2014

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HI, I am a special educator (previously for elementary and now for college age kids is disabilities) and mom and I think there is something really important that can get lost is that your son needs to learn appropriate behaviors / boundaries / coping skills not just have the symptoms from ADHD suppressed.

I have seen many go on medication and many not but what seems to be most important is that you work with doctor and behaviorist or the his teacher to figure out what skills he needs to learn so he can best sit and attend to learning. He may need accommodations like more breaks, fidget toys, ability to sit on a physio-ball etc.. You should all collaborate to see what to teach him, how to teach him and how to reinforce him for trying and working at it.

Medication doesn't teach him to be classroom ready / work ready, it just sets the occasion for it to happen. If he does go on medication don't forget to teach the skills on how to cope with ADHD so that as he gets older the medication isn't the reason he can focus and attend he has the skills to do so.

Good luck!

Bryan - posted on 01/15/2014

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www.mercola.com. He is a family practitioner. When kids are being medicated at alarming rates these days you better believe we are gonna poo PPP meds. ADHD meds are amphetamines. It's much more serious than the person who uses the eyeglasses analogy if the child can't see. Glasses aren't drugs! My family dr will not prescribe the ADHD drugs to kids. Is he an idiot too? Parents, there are so many proven studies. Try the alternatives. I was drugged as a kid. I thank God my parents stopped the meds and put me in martial arts and golf where I excelled in both.

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Abby my dear-

I think you need to re-read my post.
I said in my post MORE than once- that some kids may need extra help.
Let me quote what I posted-

'I am NOT saying that NO kids should be on meds.' (it was capitalized in my post)

'Maybe your kid should be on meds, some do.'

Also Abby- I stated that those were my experiences, my opinions- NOT facts.

So every single thing you said about me is untrue. You said I stated my opinions as facts (untrue) you are saying that I am totally bashing medication. (untrue).
You learn how to read before you start putting me down. I'm not an advocate for medicating children like some people are, but I do believe (as I stated in my post) that some kids do need medication.

I definitely think that you need to watch that documentary to become more open-minded- about ALL options, not just meds.

Serina - posted on 01/14/2014

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Thank you everyone!!! Im going to change his diet first and take it from there. One step at a time! Medication will be my last option...

Luisadamiano - posted on 01/14/2014

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Hi, my son has ADHD , mood disorder and a sensory disorder . I cut out gluten and dairy for two years. When he would eat those foods he would b off the wall the next day. He just started eating gluten n dairy again because he got sick of eating the bread . The meds that he's on evens him out now. We tried different medications . U find what works n what doesn't. My son takes concerta n tenex for ADHD . It took over a year to figure out what works for him. Just keep plugging along it will work out. We do talk therapy n that helps.

Abby - posted on 01/14/2014

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Sandy please stop stating your opinions as facts. Parents need to figure out what is best for their family and child. And medication is one of many reasonable options, just like diet change.

Vanessa - posted on 01/14/2014

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There is an natural alternative thru essential oils for EVERY sickness/disease/diagnosis, along with healthy eating/lifestyle! I dont do meds, I do oils and all natural supplements. Flu outbreak in your area? Not in my house!

Annush - posted on 01/14/2014

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Hi. I tried fish oil and no hep. My friend said "if he needed glasses would you not get him glasses?" One sentence and it changed my kid's life. please don't poo poo meds. I am anti meds but this is a life saver. Thank you

Vanessa - posted on 01/14/2014

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One of the most effective approaches to treating ADD and ADHD - without drugs - is the use of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils per a study conducted in 2001 by Dr. Terry Friedman that compared the effects of lavender, vetiver, and cedarwood essential oils in improving focus and learning in ADD and ADHD kids.
Magnesium deficiency is also a problem. Magnesium relaxes the mind. The body uses magnesium to facilitate sending messages throughout our nervous system. Magnesium is also used to calm the nervous system, which is doubly important in children with hyperactivity disorders. With the right amount of magnesium present in the body, children can think clearer and concentrate better. Magnesium is also a key factor in the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that provides a feeling of calm and well-being. Low levels of serotonin area associated with irritability, moodiness and depression.

Magnesium relaxes the body. Magnesium is essential for the relaxation of muscle fibers. Without this essential mineral, spasms and twitches are a common problem. Magnesium helps muscles in the body relax and function properly without disturbances. When the body feels calm, it is easier for hyperactive children to behave calmly.
If you want more info on these solutions, please contact me! ~Vanessa

Brenda - posted on 01/14/2014

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HI My name I Brenda I to have a son that was diagnosed at 7. I was very scared of medications but after not being able to afford the alternate things I resorted to the perscription meds. After several years his blood pressure began to go up and on top of that his social skills were terrible. In March of 2013 I was introduced to the most awesome multi vitamin ever and I began a regimine of my own. I doubled the dose in the morning along with a double scoop of protein shake I took dairy milk away and replaced it with Almond milk. I am happy to report that he is thriving in school and he is way more social than ever. If you want to know more feel free to contact me anytime. bbzealforlife@netzero.net
Good luck.

Abby - posted on 01/14/2014

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Sandy, I took Ritilan starting in 2nd grade, and currently began taking it again. I was never "drugged", in fact its the opposite, it helps my brain fatigue making me more attentive to tasks. As well, when I went off of medication in 7th gradeI had no withdrawal issues. I also never took it in the summer or on weekends.

I also have a 6-year-old who has trouble sustaining attention and calming his body. I am reluctant to give him any diagnosis yet. I think he needs to mature. he has extra support teachers and a behavioral plan. So far, he is thriving. I do not want to put him on meds but, will if necessary. We have also consider a private school that can better meet his needs if the current environment no longer does (we are fortunate to have the means of doing so).

I do think some diet change can help. For our family my son had failure to thrive (as did I). He is very under weight. He does not eat sugary sweets but does of chocolate milk in the morning (I would love for him to stop but, its needed calories). He drinks water the rest of the day. there is very little sugar in his diet and he eats very healthy foods.

Sorry, this is so long!!! Bottom line, work with your doctors; teachers; other moms in the same position and decide what is right for your child! Do not get swooped up in the slipstream of Dogma.

Katy - posted on 01/14/2014

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Our family experienced the same thing with a nephew and what we did was to change his diet stopped giving him too much proccessed foods and started to give him more cooked vegetables. I mean fresh produce and we cooked it ourselves. Believe me it was hard. But it was worth the effort. He is now a healthy, rugby playing, water polo, Eagle Scout, business college student!

[deleted account]

You sound like a good mom and you're doing the best that you (or any mom) can do.
As enlightened as you are- it would still be a good thing for you to see the Documentary called "Generation RX'. You've got nothing to lose, only to gain.

*I am NOT saying that NO kids should be on meds., but all mothers should see that Documentary BEFORE medicating.

Are you kidding me about the diet? Even what adults eat- affect the way they feel. My daughter and I both have ADHD and low blood sugar. You should see us bounce off the walls when we've eaten the wrong thing or not enough of the right thing. You don't think diet has anything to do with behavior? Oh my goodness.

Now I'm just being the devil's advocate here- what if you found out that changing your kids diet would vastly improve everything, and he wouldn't need medication?
What about a naturopath for diet ideas?
All the crappy snacks these days- all the little packaged things - granola bars, gummy treats, 'drink' boxes or ' juice cocktail's' in boxes that we send to school in our kids lunches....boy.

Have you done major allergy testing? Even a wheat allergy or things can make kids climb the walls.

Maybe your kid really does need to be on meds. Some do.
It's so much easier giving pills than it is to change grocery shopping, diet and cooking.
I'm just saying- be informed and I believe all avenues should be exhausted before medicating their little brains.

*You do know that people build a tolerance for Ritalin and a person ends of needing more and more, at higher doses?

*My husband was extremely addicted to ritalin in the 60's, was prescribed it as a kid. He made me vow that I would NEVER put my daughter on it. He went through withdrawal like a dog. You'd never want to watch your kid go through painful withdrawal. And you know what they do when they are going through major painful withdrawal? Then you're getting into a mess of sedatives.

Withdrawal is torture.

Anyways- those are my experiences with this. Do the best you can like we all do.
Watch the movie. You just may change your mind and be very glad for it.

Karen - posted on 01/13/2014

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Have his blood tested for strep titers. PANDAS is a strep infection somewhere in the body and can cause neurological issues. The treatment is antibiotics, sometimes for a very long time, until the titer level recedes. If the infection is impacting the brain, it can cause sleep changes and commonly causes ocd symptoms, tics and others that are normally considered psychiatric. Just saying it is something to look into. Sometimes strep is much more than a throat thing, and can cause serious lifetime issues if not addressed early. Best of luck with your child.

Bryan - posted on 01/13/2014

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I disagree because I have seen too many including our daughter go alternative routes with great success. Is it worth setting your child up to be a drug addict? The risk is real. Is it a life ending deal because your child may fall behind one year? Why do we think this way? Very sad.

Bryan - posted on 01/13/2014

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Curious? Does your kid drink sodas? Lots of sugar? Processed foods? U wonder why u attack one responder about not being a medical professional yet u say u won't change his diet because it won't do any good. I think all anyone was doing is trying to encourage you to try alternatives first. We are all parents who love our kids. I'm not judging you. We all have to do what we feel is right. There is no test however to absolutely determine ADHD and that is a fact. To many educators think if a kid is bouncing off the wall that something is wrong. I had a friend who's kid would have. Mt Dew and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast every morning with a dose of Ritalin.

Bryan - posted on 01/13/2014

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I certainly respect your right. I'm just sharing my experience as a victim of this and as a teacher of youth. My daughter was also having same kind of issues. Teachers concerned and I appreciate that. I am a cheerleader for teachers but not the system. We did not go the drug route. We made changes in other areas. She is doing fine this year. Grades are super. We live on an over prescribed world today. If you ask for input then surely you understand that not everyone is going to agree. I still think it only treats the symptoms and doesn't address the problems completely. You may want to check out Mercola.com. Wish you the best. Really.

Kerre - posted on 01/13/2014

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Sandy - are you a medical professional that knows about the brain? No? Then stop promoting whatever you're promoting over and over. Thank you.

Kerre - posted on 01/13/2014

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My kid is not a zombie because he takes Ritalin. He's a bright, smart, kid who needs medication just to balance himself. I'm sorry, medication, as much as everyone wants to think, is not the enemy. For my son - it's not foods, or lack of activity, or anything else that "gave" him ADHD. It's just something he has and medication is the right answer for him.

Bryan and those that comment about school systems - give these educators a break. If they notice something about your kids be thankful they give a damn. Don't do nothing, do something to help not only your kid but their classmates since their disruptions interrupt the whole class. My son has so many people to help him - from his teacher, speech teacher, the social therapist and so on. Don't even think for one second that my kid's school is failing him because it's doing more with less resources. Educators are not medical doctors but I trust my son's teacher when she said there were issues with him that needed to be addressed.

I will not change my kid's diet since I don't believe that would do him any good. He's doing just fine now in school with the medication and the help that he receives.

[deleted account]

I don't know.
My daughter would just go at full speed from the SECOND she woke up.
I'm sure your son is calmer, because he is drugged.
I just don't know about a kid that young being sedated or using other brain altering drugs. Their brains are so different when they are little.
I URGE you as a mother- to see that show.
Sincerely- the best of luck to you.

Bryan - posted on 01/13/2014

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No no no no! That us answer to meds for ADHD. Make diet changes. Get rid if processed foods. Get raw leafy greens in the diet. Focus on nutrition. Enroll him in a karate class or some kind of activity he loves and is rewarding. I speak from experience as a child that struggled with this. The drugs turned me into a drug addict. I overcame it with help and nutrition. Not meds I nearly died from a cocaine overdose because I always felt I needed a drug to accomplish anything. That's the short of it. Please try everything you can before putting your kids on drugs for this over and misdiagnosed condition. I worked later in the martial arts industry professionally for a very well known celebrity. I saw many kids go off the medications for ADHD. Grades went up to. It has to be the right kind of set up and good instructors . Good luck. Fight for your kid. Don't let a failing public school system tell you there is a diagnosis for this because there isn't. They are guessing.

Karen - posted on 01/13/2014

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Respectfully disagree with Candy, foods can have everything to do with adhd. My 3rd grader had 'the diagnosis' toward the end of 2nd grade. Meds are absolutely last so we pushed and asked and chased alternatives. We came to a couple of alternative conclusions. He has inflammatory reactions to the top known allergens: gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts & nearly all legumes, and a couple others. Food diaries are tricky since this inflammation, and the resulting behavioral changes, can take anywhere up 36 hours to surface and another day or so to recede. So think about the standard diet of an American kiddo fed to my son, and a large number of kids like him, it is made up of pizza, mac n cheese, pb&j, lots of sandwiches, scrambled eggs, toast, bacon. Other than bacon and jelly, each of those foods will contribute to making my boy anxious, fidgety, verbally noisy, foggy-headed, nearly unable to read or spell, socially awkward, unable to follow directions, physically clumsy...and male, so a nearly perfect candidate for habit-forming stimulant meds. A.one week elimination diet was eye opening. We have resolved 85% of.symptoms, and have identified that, for him, wheat and eggs are the worst, and cause the most troubling symptoms. We avoid those like it was law. We plan around periodic treat-type servings of the others. I feel as though our boy is being liberated from the shackles of his personal reactivity. It is hard, and expensive, to feed him, but it is way cheaper that him being unable to function in a school setting and all the fallout that would follow. I highly recommend the elimination diet as a starting place, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Give it at least 4 days, like start on a friday and stick with it into the school week and check in with his teacher. If you decide to do this, please update this thread. Wish you all the best!

Also suggest you look up PANDAS online. My boy is also being treated for this. It's been a busy year...

Latoya - posted on 01/13/2014

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My son is 4 and to tell u the truth I knew he was adhd wen he was smaller. Bt he wasn't able to get meds untill he was 4 an it truly help him n school before he cldnt sit still during story time or lunch he cldnt wrk on any task for longer then three mins.I hated the ideal of putting him on meds to bt it help him out nw he's sitting at story time he eatd lunch with the other kids and he can focus on task until its done.I thsnk god I put him on it becase he has changed for the better.

Tina - posted on 01/13/2014

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Hi. I have a almost 8 year old that was diagnosed a little more then a year ago. Personally I didn't want to immediately medicate him. I heard so many things about kids turning into zombies and losing their personality to the medications. My son though impulsive and aggressive and behind in 1st grade, was one the most kind hearted boys I have ever seen, and he loved life and his friends and playing sports and I wanted him to know that it was ok that was "different" and we were going to try somethings and see if they worked before we went on medications. So I immediately started researching foods linked to ADHD and found that artificial colors (especially red) are linked and known to cause a lot of the behavior issues we had. So ok, lets eliminate that. A couple weeks later, we could see a change, so I took it one step further and eliminated all artificial colors and natural colors and flavors. And on his 7th birthday we had a different kid. His teachers, counselor, family and friends were amazed. I knew he could still use a little more help, so I started eliminating preservatives, such as BHT and BHA. From there I pretty much followed the Feingold Diet and we slowly transitioned into an organic household.

About 4 months into our new lifestyle, I sat at the kitchen table one day comparing grocery bills from old lifestyle to a new one and he came in by me and asked what I was doing, so I told him and his response was "Mom, thank you for not giving up on me, thank you for taking the bad food away from me, do you think that is why my head and belly don't hurt anymore?" I looked at him and said "you never told me that your head and belly always hurt" and his response was" Well I guess I just got used to it always hurting and know when I have those foods they hurt again, but otherwise they don't?
Were a year into this new life, and there are times where we still allow him ot have a friends birthday cake, a can of regular rootbeer or a candy cane. But when he does he have - he turns into a disaster and is uncontrollable again. And for the most part he chooses to not engage in any of them because HE doesn't like how he acts or feels on them.

Again this may not work for everyone and it may not work for your child. I was apprehensive at first too, but now I have other friends that are trying it and it is working for them. And we are one year later and just finished conferences at school and he teacher now is amazed on him and his first grade teacher often checks in on him too. I had a conversation with both of them last week and they had said it is a complete 180 for him, he is a new kid and such a pleasure to have in class. He hasn't been sent home yet this year with any "notes" from the teacher, no trips to the principle office for him or I and most important he is excelling in school, still behind in reading, but understands that he is going to get better at that, and again.. everyone is different and learns different.

I have never been so proud to be his mom and to see that just changing some food habits could bring out a more loving and caring little boy.

Best of luck to you in whatever road you choose. It isn't easy either way, and no one should judge you on how you chose to parent you child!

Michelle - posted on 01/13/2014

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As a special education teacher, I have seen LOTS of different things. What works for one child doesn't work for another. If you are leery of meds, you DO NOT have to. It is your right as a parent to say no. You can try a whole foods diet, I have seen it work. You can try one caffeinated drink a day (this works for my ADHD). You can go gluten free or red dye free. None of these things may work.

The BEST thing that I have seen work for a student is stimulation and getting breaks. See if your son can get a sensory cushion for his seat in class. Also see if he can get breaks to wiggle. These suggestions work 99% of the time.... the diets and meds... they don't always work. I am a teacher saying this.

[deleted account]

The medications are mostly stimulants except for two of them I think.

Because your children are young- PLEASE see the documentary GENERATION RX. It is about children's brains and medications. Input in the documentary from NEUROLOGISTS- of what it does to children's brains.

Just be informed. That's the greatest thing you can do, then go from there.

Robin And Mike St - posted on 01/12/2014

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Medicine helps. If you don't give medicine then your child will fall behind in school due to lack of attention.

Brittany - posted on 01/12/2014

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I have just been introduce to a natural alternative that has helped with ADHD. It has been clinically proven, has a 17 year track record, been published in 21 medical journals. My son that is 7 does not have ADHD but is very emotional and has a hard time controlling himself. He has been able to calm himself and control his emotions. The supplement is called EMPowerless Q96. It has helped people also with depression, bipolar, insomnia, lack do focus and anxiety. You can research it by going to Qsciencesinfo.com also if you want to order a bottle to try it out you can go to https://healthylife.myqxlife.com
They also have a money back guarenntee if you think it is not helping. I think that this is definitely worth a try. I have heard so many testimonials that have been inspiring and I want to share this with everyone I know.
Brittany Monson

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