ODD/ ADHD?

Sami - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 287 moms have responded )

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My six year old is showing definete signs of ADHD and/or ODD. There is so much info out there, but I was was wondering if any of you moms out there have a child with one of these two? I am making an apt with the dr and all, I just want to hear personal experiences and stories, if that makes since. How did your children act- how did you know it was time to evaluate? Was there a trigger that you can think of? How are you handling the situations at home? etc. Anything you can tell me would help. I know I am not alone, but I think I need to hear from people who are in similar boats... thanks

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Wow there have been a lot of posts on this topic. I don't usually post, but I feel a need...



I am a child psychologist. I have ADHD myself. I have 3 children one of whom has it as well.



What a wonderful resource to exchange concerns and support with other moms. But I also want to caution the readers. There is misinformation that gets swapped out there. Particularly when it comes to meds and other expensive treatment. A few I have noticed while browsing all of these posts...

Concerta and ritalin are the same medication...concerta just has a certain type of capsule that delivers a little bit of ritalin over time. Focalin is ritalin w/ a certain isomer removed from it. Many think that makes no difference, but some feel that it minimizes the side effects from the meds (like less emotional reactivity when the med is wearing off). Zombie-like reactions are not common if you are using the right med on the right dose...furthermore, zombie like reactions may be from different meds (like an atypical antipsychotic) rather than a stimulant. People often exchange stories but aren't the best "historians"...that after they talk to their friend or meet a kid on a med they do not remember which med had which side effect and tend to say the were on "meds" for XYZ and it made them feel this way. But there are so many different meds and responses to the different types of meds varry. Be cautious when overgeneralizing.



Two all stimulants are out of the child's system every day...the only med for ADHD that doesn't exit the system is Strattera and it is not a stimulant. In my experience and in the research strattera doesn't work as well for ADHD as we had hoped. For some kids it is the only option but generally speaking stimulants should be tried first.



Three, many of you are relying solely on your pediatrician to manage this. That may be appropriate as some pediatricians are fantastically competent. But as a group, research shows that when these disorders are managed solely in the pediatric practice kids do not show as much progress. I work one day a week at a pediatric practice (as well as my own private practice) so that I can provide integrated care with the pediatrician. The PCP is not the only place to treat this.



Fourth, there are many disorders that co-occurr together. For example, approximately 1/3 of kids w/ ADHD will have anxiety, 1/3 depression, 1/3 ODD, and 1/3 a learning disability (some kids may have more than 1). Treating these co-occurring disorders is of primary importance and often meds that address these issues is important and where the greatest success occurs



Fifth, Be cautious about costly "programs" to treat these disorders. There is little evidence about nutracueticals, brain integration training, eye movement training or other interventions. THere is evidence of bennefit from sensory integration training, but that should be covered by insurance w/ a good occupational therapist. My experience is that parents desperately want an alternative to medication that they will pay lots of money and believe that options are effective when really there is no basis. When I work with parents in my office we consider the risk/bennefits of using medication with the risk/bennefits of not using medication. Meds can make a world of difference and the stigma parents carry about it can be unfortunate.



This is just my two cents. Best to all of you as you love your children through there challenges and find their best path in life.

Fran - posted on 11/08/2009

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Having a child with ADHD is very difficult and takes a lot of work on the parents part. Their are Drs. out there that specialize in that disorder. Also support groups and state laws to protect them. My son who is now 29 has it and even though they improve with age if you don't have a good solid support system when they are young and teach them how to manage this disorder it carries over into Adulthood. I never had the support of his Father & my son ended up not graduating from HS & then got in trouble with the law. I am not saying that all children will do that but as I Mom I know that it's a struggle. I now have 2 grandsons that have it and 1 is now in college and the other is in Jr High and their Fathers [he's not one of them] are very supportive and help to set ground rules and do outside activities with them. It helps them refocus & direct their energy. Basically it's a matter of teaching them how to learn things the way that their brain will comprehend it. And it gives them something to work for. Yes their are drugs that help, you just need to find the right one that works for your child and monitor them very closely. Get a good solid support system in place. You have a long road ahead.

Kathy - posted on 11/08/2009

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I know there is an herb they can take and I don't have the name anymore. Herbs are the answer for all that goes wrong for me and my family. They are natural and safe. Natures Sunshine herbs are the best as far as I am concerned. I have an herb store by me and they do a simple test with your hand and the herb and can tell you what you need, it is awsome.

Penny - posted on 11/08/2009

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Hi, Sami. I have ADD. My four daughters all have either ADD or ADHD. My oldest has ODD. What my girls have taught me is that they are extremely intelligent. They want to please, just like any other child. Since they are not able to sit still, they don't understand how other children are able to sit still. Go to www.CHADD.org. Find a group that meets in your area and go to the meetings. Also, listen to your child. Make sure that your child feels like you have listened to what he/she has to say. This sounds simple, but frustration seems to be the biggest trigger. Also, a healthy diet will help. Avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners as well as red food coloring and over processed foods.

Kristy - posted on 11/08/2009

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Coming from a teacher's perspective, most children I encounter loss of appetite when medications are started. Like any medication given, it takes time for the body to get used to. Most parents give up on the meds within a week. I have a child that was diagnosed with ADHD. He was the child that could do cartwheels in the back of the classroom while the teacher was teaching and still make a 100 on his paper. He was disruptive to other students and very careless with his work. I began medication and saw a difference in him within three weeks. I know that most parents shy away from using medication, but again, from a teacher's perspective it makes the world of a difference.

Sabrina - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son has ADHD with some definite ODD. The neurologist diagnosed him with ADHD last fall and said we would watch the ODD but, he may need to go to therapy for it. My son has always had more energy than most and when he was in 1st grade his behavior became quite obvious. The teacher he had was the most laid back, flexible teacher on the staff and he still got sent to in school suspension three times. Luckily the guidance counselor had a son with ADHD and helped watch him without him knowing. She is the one that recommended the Dr. we go to. The medicine we are on is a very low dose that helps him get thru the school day and we try to deal with him after school so, that he doesn't have to be drugged up all the time. It is really hard and the school system is not very understanding. There are days I wish I could just give up. The biggest problem for us is that he doesn't ever get to be on any extracurricular activities and he never wins any awards - this kills him. He cries a lot. Also, he doesn't have any friends that he gets to go play with or that are allowed to spend the night with him. He has a heart of gold and these things make him very sad. I read all the books I can find on the subject.

Gina - posted on 11/08/2009

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my six year old is ADHD and I notice it before anybody did because I have been around kids all my life with this. I took him to the dr and they constantly kept telling me that there was nothing wrong but I knew because of the way he was acting. When we go out he has to make a scene either crying or showing his but and I was getting to the pount where it was get to the point that I just wanted to punch the devil out of him. But this past summer they finally give me a Rx for him that helps a lot. It doesn't make him to zoned out but calms him down to where he can stay focused in school and at home. He has improved at school and I don't have to fuss at him as much anymore. The med is called Focalin. It is timed released too.

Trisha - posted on 11/08/2009

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hi there i have a son who's 11yrs old who was 3 when he was diagnosed with ADHD/OCD & ASPERGERS...my world came crushing down being a teen aged mum,but there was light at the end of the tunnel...with good support,focus,speech therapy, a lot of attention,it helps to be creative with what ever there interests are,behavioral therapy, a lot of out door activeness to get rid of that energy(sport)and routines...its all about routines & structure...7am-8:30pm days,concentration,attention overstimulation,understimulation,disipline,creativeness,focus,difficulties insocial interactions,restricted & repetitive patterns of behaviors & interest,communication skills are limited,limited empathy for others & peers,physically clumsy,obsessive/routines..some being hoarders some being neat freaks...i have a neat freak hoarder who is obsessive with trains & dinosaurs...he may have a repetitive behavior but he sticks to himself will watch a dvd over & over again...has had big problems concertrating & focusing on school work tends to get distracted very easy but motorvated when of interest,is a very bright boy who i was told would never talk..what he lacks in concertration he makes up for in maths,english,italian,science & histroy..there maybe some weird things of interests like reptiles & insects & steam trains & give you a listing of they above in alphabetical order..my son has never been on meds never thought of doing so...diet has never been restricted either though somefoods are better off as treats only due to high sugar or non natural sugar...being adha they tend to try & get high sugar contends knowing they make them even more highpo so you tend to have to be on your guard...sleeping never had a problem.....though water can be an issue..due to moving constantly they need more then the average 2litres due to being over dehighdrated...once they figure out whats good for them they tend to go with the flow of things but the lazy ones tend to need that push...boredem & lack of creativeness tends to be a major problem due to constantly thinking...being a child of adhd/ocd then having 1myself you tend tobe allabout routines...1 thing i did learn was its rare for females to have ADHD & with it normaly comes a few other diagnoses but most of these disorders have been known to be or are genetically linked

Kara - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son has been diagnosed with both, as well as prominent developmental delays. We knew something was wrong started at about 2 1/2 years. He threw tantrums that were out of control, was aggressive, violent, angry. We began treatment with Concerta this spring. In many ways the medication has made a world of difference. He listens better, he rarely exhibits violence or aggressive behavior, he is doing better in school, and he can actually speak so that others understand him (most of the time). It isn't easy. There are still days that I want to cry because he's so 'different'. There are always going to be struggles but it's getting better. My best advice would be to take it a day at a time and remember that kids with these kinds of needs don't respond to most forms of punishment. The best way to know what works is to try out several. My son does ok with time outs but anything else just sends him over the edge. Good luck!

Renae - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son Darrien has ADHD/ODD. He was dianoised at the age of eight. I had heard so many bad things about Ritalin that I was afraid to have him put on it. The Dr understood my concerns and perscribed Strattera. Darrien has been taking it for 4 years now and has showen a vast inprovement. He stays focused and can comprehend his school work alot better. We went through a period when I thought it wasn't working, but then I found he wasn't taking the pill and was just hiding it. I got him back on track and he himself has noticed how it helps him. Good Luck

Lisa - posted on 11/08/2009

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Quoting Sami:

ODD/ ADHD?

My six year old is showing definete signs of ADHD and/or ODD. There is so much info out there, but I was was wondering if any of you moms out there have a child with one of these two? I am making an apt with the dr and all, I just want to hear personal experiences and stories, if that makes since. How did your children act- how did you know it was time to evaluate? Was there a trigger that you can think of? How are you handling the situations at home? etc. Anything you can tell me would help. I know I am not alone, but I think I need to hear from people who are in similar boats... thanks


I have a six year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD also my 16 yrs was also diagnosed at 5 yrs old, The 16 yrs didnot have ADHD he suffers with Anxiety which both have the same syptoms make sure you have a Doc. who really can tell the difference. With Jordan my 6 yr old the key for me is consistency in everything I do with him. I always prepare my son with things that we are doing ahead of doing them because he doesn't do well with change. I talk with him or we also do visual like if its reading time I place the book on the table or place homework out so he can see it and he knows and that he has things to accomplish and when he does them we always praise and sometimes rewards. It's not easy dealing with jordan when he has his moments, But like I stated before constencty is the key and sometimes I can fall short but you have to keep going, He is a bright boy smart and loving. We never use the word bad we use the phrase "That behavior was not acceptable or inappropriate. We also give him consquences for his behavior and really try hard not to use ADHD as an excuse. Praise your child for even the smallest little thing good that he does and try not to focus on the negative believe sometime it can get over whelming. I sometimes let jordan know mommy needs a time out. There are alot of great books to read on ADHD. I hope that I helped you in some way please respond back and let me know how the Doc visit went. He will be fine just one step at a time. Jordan has temper tantroms at school sometimes he refuses to do his work, sometimes you have to let them have their moments so they can release the built up stuff. Jordan likes the outdoors so after school and on weekends we let him run and play in the park or the pool we live in Fl. Please feel free to write me any time and if I can help in any way let me know, I know how it can be. But mom your gonna be ok and so will your child. Best of luck Lisa.

Dawn - posted on 11/08/2009

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Hi! My son is now 18. He was diagnosed with AD/HD. This became very apparent in 2nd grade. He became mad and violent for no apparent reason. He couldn't sit lond enough to play games or watch television shows. I was at a loss and had no clue what to do. I sought the help of a trusted doctor. It was hard. We had our good days and our bad days. He was put on medication. The problem with medication is they build up a tolerance to it and you start all over with something new. All the progress you thought you made and its like you never made any.



It is a long and drawn out process. One of the things that i found to help was the diet that i fed my child. No sweets or at least minimize sweets. Nothing with caffeine. The doctors have lists that you can get by requesting them.



There is testing the schools do in with conjunction with a doctor to diagnose. I wish you luck.

Che Teh - posted on 11/08/2009

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Hi Sami,I have 3 boys and a girl. They are now 18, 17, 14 and 12. The first, second boy and the girl were ADHD, I manage to treat/control them by not giving them sweets with colouring. I do not know about others but it did help.

Debbie - posted on 11/08/2009

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My son who is 14 now started showing signs at 3. I had to wait before he was older to have him evaluated for ADHD. He began taking Adderall at age 6 and it was like night and day. He could concentrate and focus. When puberty set in, it was as if he had never been on any meds.His physician switched him to Vyvanase (very similar to Adderall). I have to say I was skeptical at first but I can see and he can see that he needs the medication. If he were not on anything life would be horrific. There are some horrible days because the medication does not generally take care of the behavior issues. Counseling is a good road to take and as you have already been doing, reading. Be creative with the punishments, time out will not help. Keep your head up and pray, ADHD is something to deal with and friends and family may be of help but alot of them think that you should use other types of punishment. The ADHD child will not back down to you so the punishment will have to get them where it hurts, something that they really care about. Good Luck. P.S. Both of those medications are generally once a day and you can administer them yourself before they leave for school and not have anyone else be responsible for giving additional doses.

Gayle - posted on 11/08/2009

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I knew it was time when my sons second grade teacher said "Mom your son cant read you need to do something". That was a huge eye opener for me. We had to try so many meds to find the right one for him. Rit made him sleep all of the time and he couldnt eat. It was tough until we found the right one. My son is now 19. He still battles his inability to focus. But no longer takes any meds I think you alway have to go with your gut instinct when evaluating a suggestion the school makes. Sometimes they may be right, but there are many times they are wrong. They tend to think our children are all the same and every adhd child learns the same way. This is not true. Just always be creative.

Carolyn - posted on 11/08/2009

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My 14 year old son has ADHD and OCD. In addition I am a therapist working with kids with these diagnosis or symptoms each day. While a diagnoisis can help "label" what is going on with your child, it is important to realize that there is nothing different about your child after the daignosis. They are still the same wonderful person they were before. While medications can help the symptoms of ADHD (and I do believe in meds) there is not a science to perscription/dosage. There are many drugs, some will hlep, some will make things worse, some will have no impact. Same thing with dosage, it is not an exact science. When contemplating meds, know what symptom you are tyring to change and monitor that. You also have to be willing to try different meds, differnt doses and even different delivry schedules. It is doubtful you will hit the hole the first time. And even if you do , as your child grows the dosage will need to be changed. And sometimes a combination of meds are needed.

Consistency in parenting, in rules at school etc are the key to managing our families life and sanity. I highly recommned MAGIC 1,2,3. It is an easy read. Not so easy to implement....but doable. If you aren't a structured person with a structured family schedule, move that way. If the kids know what to expect and when to expect it they function MUCH better.

With meds, consistency in expectations and a support system for both you and your child, you family unit can be strong and your child can be successful

Jessica - posted on 11/08/2009

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Hello,



I am a mother of 2 girls and I am a 6th grade math teacher. My 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade. I suspected something because she could never sit still to concentrate and she ran all over the place when she couldn't go outside. My thoughts were confirmed when the teacher told me that she should be in a learning program that wasn't really first grade and that she should repeat first grade the following year. I knew my daughter was much more capable then it appeared. We immediately had her tested for adhd before I had her tested for developmental reasons. She couldn't sit still in front of the dr and all the evidence was there. It took 3 months to get the right dose and a lot of work on my part working with her on her reading skills at home. We worked hard!! She went from the lowest reader in the class to reading chapter books. She was the mot improved student in her class. I had taken her off her medicine during the summer to see what she is like. I tried to work with her schooling and I could not get her to focus worth a darn. And I am a teacher. I then took her back to a cicillian dr this time to make sure the diagonoses was accurate and it just wasn't our hard work that helped her. She went up the table, down the table in the office and he felt based on her report card with and without the medicine, she was indeed ADHD. There are 504 plans that can be put in place that the teadcher must follow, such as extra time to complete assignments, small group testing, having the child read the directions back to you. All good teachers do these things anyway and you wouldn't need a 504 plan. You also want to work on skills that will make your child independent of help. It takes a lot of practice and work on your part. Now, the medicine wears off by dinner time, so make sure they get their homework done right away. Put in reward systems for getting things done. AND make sure they get lots of outside time!!!



Hope this helps

Colleen - posted on 11/08/2009

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my 10 yr old has ADHD/ODD and was recently diagnosed with Bipolar disorder ... i knew he was adhd early on, he has always had a very low attention span ... he was always extremely hyper ... he would get frustrated easily and he would have fits 1-3 hours long just for asking him to wait for something ... his father, uncle and grandmother (all on his fathers side) all have adhd and his grandfather (also his fathers side) is bipolar and manic depressive ... my son was on ritlin for the adhd but when it wasn't working i took him to a mental health specialist where he was diagnosed with the bipolar ... the dr. says in some cases of adhd the ritlin can send a child into early bipolar which is what happened to my son ... so beware! ... i wish i had gotten a 2nd opinion earlier ... now my son is on 4 different meds ... he is doing very well ... but had i taken him earlier he might not be bipolar ... good luck ... and RESEARCH ... the best thing you can do for your child is know everything about their conditions! ...

Lynne - posted on 11/08/2009

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Great advice! But, don't forget every child is different! Make sure you see a professional therapist also!

Lynne - posted on 11/08/2009

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No, you are definitely not alone! My son was diagnosed with ADD when he was in the second grade. This was after he had to repeat the first grade and still struggled to pay attention in school. I took him to several psychologists before his pediatrician recommended that he be put on ritalin. It took me a long time to make the decision because I had read about side effects of the drug. I finally read something that changed my mind. It said that ADD or ADHD was an illness of the brain and that taking medication for it was comparable to a diabetic taking insulin and no one would deny that to a person with diabetes. So, with that in mind, I decided to give it a try. He imediately started to perform better in class and was much more attentive. He still had to be put on a IEP program, but there was an improvement. The side effects never happened to him. He still ate and never had any problem with the tics they talked about. The only drawback as he got older, he got teased about being pulled out of class for special ed and called stupid. That really bothered him and he started feeling as if the pills he took were "smart" pills. I never gave him medication during the summer months, since he was not in school. I just wanted to help him be able to concentrate, which was his biggest problem. When he got to high school, he started to refuse to take the medication. I really think he should have stayed on it. He managed to get through high school, with alot of difficulty. I think he would have done much better if he had stayed on the meds. He is 20 now, and he didn't go to college. He just was not the type of kid who liked school. He is good with working with his hands, but doesn't want to be told how to do something. He ends up quitting every job he gets because he doesn't like what the boss said to him or how he feels he is being treated. I myself do not know what to do. I feel he still needs to be medicated, because it might stop him from being too spontaneous, which is a trait of ADHD. They seem to do things that are off the wall and make no sense. I see that type of behavior in him still to this day. Do not hesitate to get help, ask to have your child evaluated by the school psychologist, it is free! Get involved in his education and insist on periodic meetings with school staff. Guidance counselors in the upper grades can be a big help as well as the IEP teachers. Good luck to you! Hope you have support from your husband and family. I did not have support from my ex-husband. I think he convinced my son to go off the meds.

Cara - posted on 11/08/2009

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A friend of mine Steph had her spn diagnosed with ADHD and she found that NRG tablets from Herbalife helped to level out her son's "energy" to the point where it could be managed without Ritolin

Shelly - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son was 3 when he was kicked out of daycare, and diagnosed with ODD. I did the counciling, and behavior therapy. Disapline, and reward charts, chore charts. Used the time outs, taking toys away, and taking away tv time, or play dates. Rewarded with little toys in a basket for good behavior, reward charts, after so many stars he got a special thing (movie rental, mcdonalds, sleepover etc.) when he started school, he still had problems, and started to have trouble completing home/schoolwork, paying attention in class, getting aggravated and frustrated easily. My family doctor send evaluation papers to his teachers and gave me one to fill out about his home time. He was then diagnosed with the ADHD and is currently on Adderal which is helping him. He is on an IEP in school, and recieves extra help. So far the only side effect with the medication is that it has suppressed his appetite . He is not losing weight and staying where he should be. Just doesnt get hungry like he used to. He is currently 8 years old and in the 3rd grade, still struggles at times, and has good days and worse days. The meds help him with the ADHD, but then at times his ODD still kicks in. He knows when he gets in trouble at home or school, He loses his PS2 (his most sacred toy!) and if it continues he sits in a chair, placed away from the tv or anything else, he is alone and can not play with anything. He has to take his time out. His time out does not begin until he is sitting quietly and not yelling or crying. then his time starts. Again sometimes his ODD kicks in and he has problems, but is getting better.

Leeann - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son is 5yrs old and the Dr's said the same thing about him. I had him evaluated and they put him on ritilan but i didn't like it cause he seemed the same but he had lost his appietite he also seemed to withdrawn. After talking to his teachers to see how he acts there andcompaired it to home I have relized he is more ODD than ADHD and there is no meds for ODD. Thats something you just have to work with and change things to help your child deal with it. My sonis very hyper and is always moving but he is able to sit still and pay attention when need be. Since school has started he has calmed down alot plus we had him join a karate school to help deal with his frustration. So we have taken him off the meds and he is doing very well. Just try the meds and if you dont like them then you can stop them on your own. Just try getting your child inother activites and let him/her be involved more. Try a point system too. We are working with our son still. if you would like to talk more please email me. salerno2004@msn.com

Kiri - posted on 11/07/2009

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Quoting Lynda:

I have a 7 yr old who was diagnosed when he was 5. I didn't have a choice, I could handle him and re-direct hos attention, but his teacher could not. He has been on Focalin ever since. I like this particular medicine, because it does not build up in your system. Once it's out, it's out. I can handle him and redirect situations, but he still has the meds when he needs it the most, at school. When he does comee down from the meds though, he chews on his shirts, he cannot sit still fro 2 seconds he cannot focus at all. His homework usually gets done in the morning before school so that he has the meds in him.


Hi there my son usually has his "Come down' after school. This is not as diffcult now has he has changed medication. He has ADHD/ODD. How do you manage to redirect situations? My son often answers back and often refuses to listen resulting in a "Show Down' between myself and my son. I am tired of  having constant battles of wills and trying to divert certain situations only to find it is'nt working! Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Betsy - posted on 11/07/2009

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Hi there I have a 9 yr. old boy that has "ADHD" and was diagnosed since he was about the same age as your son/daughter but the school system is very promising that with medication it helps. I did try it he was on Ritalin but didn't notice anything then the Dr, switched to Adderal but when he started with that medication he wasn't himself anymore always tired and that was very painful watching him go through that even if his grades were going up, his self esteem was improving but that wasn't my child anymore so I stopped it's been in my kitchen cabinet about 2 1/2 years now and haven't given to him since...I'm not saying it's easy it's not...he always has been very active very hyper boy but slowly now he's starting to show signs of improvement he's paying more attention to his work, teachers I really think it's because he's getting older, his peers are there watching, listening. He's attention span and focusing is improving...It's really what your "Mom" heart tells you...But I give you this to think about medication to me is you take for a few days like antibiotic not for an indefinite time... and what is this medication it's pretty much a stimulant legal cocaine that slows your system down. Is that really life? Like I told the school system who's going to be here in 10 years from now by my side when he's hooked on a this drug and goes to other drugs and all for what to make the life easier for the school teacher, now it's our problem later it will be your problem only. When we were growing up How come this was unheard of? I watch his diet a lot no candy, or pop very very small amount of juice, I also try not give him any type of food that was not made at home so I can watch for salt, preservatives...well I hoped I help a bit...good luck on your decisions...and Remember it's about your child the one that you will have to deal with forever not just the next elementary school years.

Sunata Lazzari - posted on 11/07/2009

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My daughter was assessed at school last march and we were told possible ODD, Major depressive disorder and ADD. The school was quick to suggest meds. I, of course, was devestated. After careful consideration, we decided to work with a registered psychologist for a period of time before trying meds. I am so glad we have done that. She really is a different child. She still has her moments, but she is so much happier. She has friends. There is a really great book called The Exposive Child. You can read about it at thinkkids.org. We have been using strategies suggested in the book at home. I know it is a hard road and as a mom I just want to make it better - now. Trust your instincts. Trust your kid. At six, he/she may not have the words to tell you all that they want and working with a therapist really helps in that area.

Michelle - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son Sam is all above he was four when told he had ADHD. He is now sixteen and yes he was on the meds. Mainly for school because the school did not know how to handel him When there was school holidays we gave him a break from his meds Witch didnt hurt him. All I can say is love them for who they are becouse love is the best medicen My son is the most loving caring boy I know at is age. He is fall on but I would not have it any other way

Virginia - posted on 11/07/2009

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Quoting Sami:

ODD/ ADHD?

My six year old is showing definete signs of ADHD and/or ODD. There is so much info out there, but I was was wondering if any of you moms out there have a child with one of these two? I am making an apt with the dr and all, I just want to hear personal experiences and stories, if that makes since. How did your children act- how did you know it was time to evaluate? Was there a trigger that you can think of? How are you handling the situations at home? etc. Anything you can tell me would help. I know I am not alone, but I think I need to hear from people who are in similar boats... thanks


 

Meghan - posted on 11/07/2009

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Quoting Liz:  Liz you are absolutely correct!  I commend your strength!!

One of the first thing I had to learn once my daughter was diagnosed with ADD and Dyslexia during her 3rd year of elementary school was that she had a disability and as such she fell under federal guidelines that govern what a school is required to do to accommodate her. I asked for formal evaluations and testings and waited around a year hearing that they would be getting around to it at the school. The someone told me that if I put my request into writing the public school would then have only a limited amount of time to respond and finish evaluating my daughter. That was the beginning of the learning process for me as far as public schools go. I learned never to assume anything was going to be done just because someone told me it would be done. I learned that everything must be in writing. I talked with other parents and found out some of the Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that they had in place for their ADD or Dyslexic child and learned what to request for my child. You can request frequent understanding checks, more time for assignments, small or isolated testing groups to minimize distractions and anything else you think will help your child to succeed in the classroom. Once a teacher or special educator agrees to your request then put it into writing because they do forget and it's amazing what power the written word has as you appeal for your child's rights. My daughter is 19 now and into her 2nd year of college. She is doing fair and has been ADD medically free since junior high school because of some serious side effects she was having to those sort of medicines. She attended an alternative public high school with smaller teacher to student ratios that was a perfect fit for her after failing in the big public high school. I hope I'm not coming across as negative about the public school system it's just that I realize it's all part of a big system and my child is a small pea in the pond, we all MUST advocate for our children every step of the way least they get lost in sea of students.


 

Meghan - posted on 11/07/2009

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Debra thanks your suggestions are right on!!! More people need help understanding the information you provided, please continue to share

Meghan - posted on 11/07/2009

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Shelly, I believe your child needs more stimulation and challenges. My son acted like this at this age, really he was asking for attention and something to do. Most ADHD children need high activity and if they do not get it, the result bad behaviors.

April - posted on 11/07/2009

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i think the school and the doctors are to fast on given the childern drug i was told that my son had adhd and i was a young mom and that the doctors where there to help boy was i worng they put him on the drugs it made him worse beause they feed him speed to a chid that didn't have it so he reacted more vilant so i don't beleve in them .my daughter the teacher said she was adhd and they kept on about it so i took her to the docter he gave her meds when the teachers though she was takeing the meds she went from this dival child to a angle child but when they found out that she wasn't takeing the drugs they put her back to the dival child how funny was that alot of times they don't want to take the time with a child that need a little extra help and a little extra love they only want to work with zombes that go around saying i'm i being a good boy or girl so please what ever you do get other oppinions the drug also can cause other side affects with there kidneys and there liver when there older the doctors in madison side there are other ways to treat adhd then drungs good luck my prays are with you

Meghan - posted on 11/07/2009

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I really hope you look for behaviors he does well to help him focus on the right things. Can you imagine the frustration going through him, he needs more calmness in his life and less frustration. I bet he thinks others are always beating up on him emotionally and he doesn't know what to do. My heart hears his troubles, show him more love and compassion, more phyical touch (have pillow fights with him and jump on a trampoline, have him take care of a pet to walk and love) There is more going on in his mind then you think, please continue to reach him...don't give up on him

Meghan - posted on 11/07/2009

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My advice would be to be very careful if you plan to medicate your child. My son is 9 yrs old and the school has put pressure on us to medicate him from kindergarden. He has been seen by the Dr and recommended us to let him grow out of his behaviors and redirect his behaviors on going daily. Since we have followed the Dr's recommendation, our son has slowly made progress to his own self control. Behaviors are a learned behavior and for some children it takes them a little longer for them to learn it for themselves. For our son, situations triggered different behaviors and we had to identify those situations for him and explain and teach him how to deal with those situations. Our son is very active, perceives to be distrubtive (in his mind he is expressing his point of view and needs to be heard), is very focused on things that are important to him on the other hand if he has no interest he turns off focus entirely, if someone yells at him or makes him feel bad he protects his feeling by treating the other person the same way he feels he is being treated regardless if that person is an adult or child, he likes to compare other kids behaviors to his own to find faults in them (he gets really angry when others act inappropriately and never get introuble, and if it was him he would get introuble without question and this makes him very angry ( voices his frustration when he sees this take place). He is very perceptive and thinks deeper into a situation then necessary. He is very very friendly, almost overly friendly and the other kids are intimidated and reject him. His high energy also intimates other kids to the point they step back cautiously and try to stay away(we have been told that others think of him as a bully). He plays hard and has no fear to what life throws his way.



At home we continiously redirect his behaviors and focus on the behaviors we want. When he plays outside, we allow him to play hard to vent his energy. We speak slowly and clearly when giving direction and instruction. He has daily chores around the home to help him with self control. We allow him to have his own space when he reaches a point of frustration for a quiet time or time out period. We do not put him in situations that trigger the bad behaviors, we choose wisely on sports and even teachers, coaches belief levels/core values (because some people have no clue on how to handle an over active child) It is very important to know what you say around them because they listen to things when you don't think they are listening. He needs continuous praise and affermations on good behaviors, especially when chores are completed without being told. When he shows good behavior it makes him feel good when we notice, we say thank you to him to show him that we see he is doing the right thing. It is all about the samethings that seem important to him. (picking up trash, opening the door for others, showing respectfullness, having patience during a time of test, speaking appropriately, keeping hands to self are some examples.



Don't ever give up when times get tough because the schools today do not understand how to handle over active children. Unfortunetly they are too busy trying to achieve standardized test scores they forgot how to reach children emotionally. And some kids need more stimulation then others to be successful. And I promise you they do not get it. I recommend to stay close to your child and reaffirm her self worth because at school, if she is hyper active, her self worth is being scolded and not redirected correctly. This is my experience with the school system and other parents who are completely ignorate and unwilling to understand the needs of children who required more specialized attention. Most of it is very basic, it is unfortunate that our education system can not see this or is unwilling to provide the correct attention to children who require more. I can go on and on, I hope this help you with your decisions...good luck..

a good book to read is 5 languages of Love for Children, it is excellent.

Lesa - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son is 6 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten. I had him tested by the school, unlike one of the replies listed the school did numerous tests as well as had my husband and I do a home test as well. He was placed on a medication from his Dr, but not Ritalin. The medication he is on is used for while he is in school. It helps him to concentrate without the "zombie" effect, my son is now to the point that he will remind us of his medication before school. My recommendation is to look at all things he exhibits and when. My son could not sit still, listen or keep his hands to himself. Have him tested and then speak with his doctor. Every child is different as far was what will work and what won't.

Valerie - posted on 11/07/2009

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I wanted to reply to the "teacher" but was bounced up to the top. Thank you to the teacher for understanding!! I wish you were my son's teacher!! He is in the 3rd grade. All of his teachers have begged me to put him on meds. I don't like the side effects. He has ADHD. That's the easy way out for them. Last year his teacher told me that I had ONLY 2 options. Option 1: Put him on meds. Option2: Send him to an ADHD camp.

The camp cost $6,000 for the summer (insurance doesn't cover it). I don't have that kind of money. Anyways...It's been difficult but manageable. One day at a time. Good luck to everyone! Love, Valerie @ Valm66@sbcglobal.net

Beckie - posted on 11/07/2009

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Ok, I have a 13 year old with ADHD. There are a couple of books to read. DR AMEN's "Healing ADD" and "The Explosive Child" by Dr Ross Greene. Both have great strategies for working on behaviors. The best advice I can give you from a parent standpoint is don't believe everything you hear(from other parents who tell you they just need a good spanking) you know your child best, don't try meds as the first line of defense, DO NOT play into their behavior. Stay calm...I KNOW how hard it is, I've been there....The calmer you stay, the calmer they stay. Get a diagnosis from a neuropsychologist if at all possible. REMEMBER teachers cannot diagnose they can be helpful though with knowing what they see vs what you see. Work with your doctor, accept your child and love them for who they are. These children are the most amazing kids EVER!! Some kids have worse symptoms than others, and I'm no expert on your little guy but, really people generally do want to help, they may not know how always but, there are good people out there to help you.

Shelley - posted on 11/07/2009

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My daughter is 10 and was diagnosed around 5 and they gave her a test on a computor and also asked me alot of questions as to how she acted at home. If there are certain people she would act out for but not others. She was eventually diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. She has been thru therapy and now only goes about once every three months but she is on 3 different medications. It gets flustrating until you get the right combination of medication to make things easier. I dont really like her on the medication so I basically just have it for when she is in school and then in the evenings I just deal with her terrible mood swings and being bored and everything is always our fault.. I know that is kinda all the bad things but if you know what is coming it is a little easier to control and not stress you out so much especially when you know you are not the only one that have a child that really has outbursts like that. If you have any questions just ask.

Karen - posted on 11/07/2009

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That is an excellent medicine. I've known several children it has helped so much. Follow the DR orders. VIP KEEP A HISTORY of the child's reaction or non-reaction. Include food, activities, mood, etc This helps you and your DR know your child better and how much or less medication is needed. God bless and good luck with your wonderful child. Hang in there. It does get better. Have faith in your yourself and child. Go to a Support Group. That is very, very important for you and your family!

Debra - posted on 11/07/2009

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There are a number of natural things you can do for kids with add/adhd. supplements include Fish oils now more tasty than ever. 1/2-1tsp in a shot of protien based drink eg rice,almond,hemp milk or juice is great. Stay away from sugary cereals for breakfast. Try a smoothy with a vegan protien, not soy, and if you have to, whey. Every morning I make a smoothy with almond milk, vegan protien, lecithin(rich brain food), a defrosted berry eg blueberrys, Essential fatty acids(EFA) such as flax oil, hemp oil and mineral drops about 8. Both my boys love it. Try and stay away from dairy and wheat,msg and food coloring. Other supplement include L Theanine an amino acid from green tea used succesfully in Europe as an alternative for Ritalin. Also read some books about boys, eg, The wonder of boys, in talking book and printed .Its an excelent book that will hopefully put your mind at rest.as you will probably find that your son is normal and that schools are set up for girls not boys. Most boys cannot robotically just sit and write this down. They are natural explorerers. There brains are wired to touch and interact with objects. Girls have more connective neurons between the two brain hemispheres, they can sit draw/write and listen much easier than boys who tend to function more on a one channel at a time, in other words he can't have two or three channels on the way a girl can. If a boy is distracted from one channel it is difficult to go back. That is why when he is playing intently with something and you call his name he probably won't hear you till you are yelling right at him. Boys do much better in a small class with 10 or so kids with very few distractions, and a teacher who knows how to keep there attention and a teachers assistant is a must. Boys also need lots of oportunitys to be physical, bike riding,swimming sports etc. I have had many problems with one son in particular. Every grade has been chalenging (two separate grade teachers thought he should be medicated or homeschooled) He is 10 now and is actually writing and reading alot better than last year. Next year he will be going into middle school. I am going to put Danny in an alternative school with smaller class sizes, more field trips more choices and better opportunitys for self direction. I want him to thrive in school not shrink. Hang in there

Melissa - posted on 11/07/2009

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Quoting Lynda:

I have a 7 yr old who was diagnosed when he was 5. I didn't have a choice, I could handle him and re-direct hos attention, but his teacher could not. He has been on Focalin ever since. I like this particular medicine, because it does not build up in your system. Once it's out, it's out. I can handle him and redirect situations, but he still has the meds when he needs it the most, at school. When he does comee down from the meds though, he chews on his shirts, he cannot sit still fro 2 seconds he cannot focus at all. His homework usually gets done in the morning before school so that he has the meds in him.



My son is 10 and was diagnosed at 5......he was getting in trouble at school, but as a parent I didn't medicate at 1st because I felt like it was my responsibility to "be a parent", I think alot of it was denial......then I was getting the phone calls at work about him doing things in class, being disruptive....and when I would "talk" to him, he didn't know why he did it or even remeber doing it.  So the question that I asked him......"what can mommy do to help you"  he started crying yes at 5, and sd I don't know mommy I just want some help.  So I called the dr, because if a 5 yr old is asking for help, he obviously knew there was a problem.  Broke my heart!  But he is on Focalin XR which is out of his system in 6-8 hrs, I can deal with it at home, but I just wanted enough to get him thru the school day.  As he told me that he felt like he couldn't do nothing right or felt hounded all the time at school, because of the trouble he was getting into.  And he is not "zombied" he is completely the same kid, with the same characteristics, just helps his brain focus so that he is not in a million places and thinking a million different things!  Hope this helps! And he is a straight A student in 4th grade now, with no missing assignments and his teacher told me at parent teacher conferences that he is an advocate for her class. Does not ever have homework because he gets it done in class!

Patti - posted on 11/07/2009

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First of all, let me tell you how I know (or believe) what I do. My sons are 23 and 22 and neither one has ADHD. BUT, I was a sub-teacher for 14 years at the same grade school, most of those years I was at school ever day, either as a teacher or a classroom aid. I believe that most kids get lumped together and started on ritalin. I have had students in the 1st or 2nd grades that were truely helped my the drug. If they missed their pill that morning, you could tell and it frusterated them because they couldn't concerntrate. On the other hand, I had one little boy that would act up and then use the excuse, "I must have forgot my pill this morning"....a 1st grader! I told him if he KNEW to use the pill as an excuse for his bad behavior then he didn't need the pill he needed punished! He did fine the rest of the day and finished all his work for me. I said all that to say this....YOU know your child better than anyone. Try the medication, give it a chance to "help" your child, because as frusterating as it for you it's worse for your child. YOU can then make an educated decision based on what YOU have seen from your own child.

Juehlleigh - posted on 11/07/2009

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Before you consider putting your child on Dr.-Meds try taking caffeine out of his/er diet first. Visit Dr.Oz's website to get his take on ADHD & ODD and suggestions for treatment. I trust Dr. Oz. try that first

Liz - posted on 11/07/2009

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One of the first thing I had to learn once my daughter was diagnosed with ADD and Dyslexia during her 3rd year of elementary school was that she had a disability and as such she fell under federal guidelines that govern what a school is required to do to accommodate her. I asked for formal evaluations and testings and waited around a year hearing that they would be getting around to it at the school. The someone told me that if I put my request into writing the public school would then have only a limited amount of time to respond and finish evaluating my daughter. That was the beginning of the learning process for me as far as public schools go. I learned never to assume anything was going to be done just because someone told me it would be done. I learned that everything must be in writing. I talked with other parents and found out some of the Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that they had in place for their ADD or Dyslexic child and learned what to request for my child. You can request frequent understanding checks, more time for assignments, small or isolated testing groups to minimize distractions and anything else you think will help your child to succeed in the classroom. Once a teacher or special educator agrees to your request then put it into writing because they do forget and it's amazing what power the written word has as you appeal for your child's rights. My daughter is 19 now and into her 2nd year of college. She is doing fair and has been ADD medically free since junior high school because of some serious side effects she was having to those sort of medicines. She attended an alternative public high school with smaller teacher to student ratios that was a perfect fit for her after failing in the big public high school. I hope I'm not coming across as negative about the public school system it's just that I realize it's all part of a big system and my child is a small pea in the pond, we all MUST advocate for our children every step of the way least they get lost in sea of students.

Alicia - posted on 11/07/2009

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I have 2 children with ADHD, ODD, and possibly Bi-polar. Kailey is 11 and Kyle is 9. We knew early on that something was wrong. We went to several specialists, a neurologist, and a behavioral specialist, and a few counselors, psychiatrist to name a few. They confirmed their diagnoses, although I had done enough research to already know it was ADHD and ODD.. They many times go hand in hand. Children with ODD do not respond to regular discipline like other kids. Most of the therapists recommended 123 Magic, I don't know if you have tried that or not. We now are on a waiting list to attend an eight week session on ODD. If this doesn't help, I don't know what we will do. I can't even take my kids out with me because they won't obey anything I say. It would be good for you to call around for a psychologist who has a program for ODD kids. They will evaluate your child first to confirm the diagnosis, They will also have you complete some forms to give them more information in making the diagosis. It is good you are investigating this now, because it gets worse as they grow older unless there is an intervention. If you see this doctor and they don't feel there's a problem, go somewhere else. Go with your gut feeling. You are a good mom because you are in tune with your child. Moms know, so find someone who takes you seriously. I remember the neurologist said it was a discipline problem which really hurt me because I knew something was wrong. So I kept looking for someone who really listened to me. A good idea is to start journaling. You may start to see a pattern of behavior. Take it with you to your appointment to show the psychologist.



I'm sorry I've been rambling. I especially want you to know this is not your fault. You are doing the best you know how, and I applaud you that you are seeking help now instead of later.

Carmen - posted on 11/07/2009

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I was told by my son's councelor the one the child is with th most of the time they thing they think they can be mean to us and it doesn't matter because we are their safe place. But if they did it to other people they know they will get into troule.

I have been through this with my son and his son we adopted. I diagnosed Loggan my 9yr old now when he was 2yrs old because I was through all of it with his real father.

Carmen - posted on 11/07/2009

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Yes my son has been diagnosed with both ODD,ADHD and BIPOLAR,. It sure is fun some nights with him, he has outbursts because we ask him to do things and other times he can be the nicest boy in the world. We had if on a medicine that really worked and we had to change insurance and this one will not pay for it.

Kristine - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 11. We tried medication for about 6 months at that time. It didn't seem to make that much of a difference so we took him off of it. For the next 5 years he struggled with school. It was hard on him and us. We again took him to a doctor and again he was diagnosed ADHD. We tried several different medications over a course of about 3 months and we finally got the medication and dosage right. He is 18 years old and doing very well. Don't expect a quick fix with medication. Alot of these medications do not make them feel well with all of the side effects. If you can do it without medication that would be best...but

Rhonda - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son will be 17 yrs. old next week and was diagnosed with A.D.H.D. when he was 5 yrs. old. It has definitely been a battle. Not only was he dealing with A.D.H.D. but also dealing with the fact that his father was never been around since he was 18 mos. old. He was, and still is having trouble with behavior and schoolwork. He has been on just about every medication out there, he is now on Vyvanse and it seems to help somewhat. He still gets angry over the smallest things, he's very disorganized and can only keep his mind on things he can do "hands-on". Bookwork is a nightmare! He's a good kid, he just can't concentrate while sitting still. When he was first evaluated, he was a livewire ALL of the time, always breaking his toys, yelling at his brother for no reason at all, being mean to animals and his brother, punching his stuffed animals, walls, his bed, just out of anger over the simplest things. Now that he is older, he is slowly getting better but the doctor's say that sometimes they won't grow out of it until his 20's or maybe never but it might become easier for him to control himself without the medication as he continues to mature. Like I said, he is almost 17 yrs. old but sometimes acts like he is 12 or 13 yrs. old. I take things away from him still, and he doesn't comprehend why or what he's done to lose certain priveleges. I hope things go well for you and your 6 yr.old. I will try to help in any way possible, just let me know.

Sallly - posted on 11/07/2009

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NUTRITION! I have a 20 yr old with anxiety, OCD and ADD and depression. after going through years of meds and therapy and not trying to do much with nutrition, because she fought me on it, we are now focusing on nutrition because the meds and therapy have gotten us nowhere. Although she does have a good understanding of herself and acceptance of her challenges, a good thing, just not how to get past them. No processed foods....if God doesn't recognize it as food don't let him/her eat it. (hard to do) Organice foods, don't need extra chemicals to deal with ,same with household cleaners, extra chemicals just add to the problem. Find a good food based supplement program, not stuff you get in the drug store or health food store, fatty acids and B-complex are particullarly important.

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