Our 9year old has ADHD. We don't want to put him on DRUGS!

Jennifer - posted on 08/06/2009 ( 80 moms have responded )




I've heard that you can regulate children with ADHD through Diet and behavioral techniques, But what kind of diet and techniques? Please help!


Jocelyn - posted on 04/17/2013




Im sorry but from reading these comments have any of you ever considering asking your child and other people who have ADHD/ODD how they feel about it? I was diagnosed when i was 16, i knew myself and that something wasnt right, i talked to my parents, went to doctors and started taking medication for it. Without The medication i didnt feel like myself, it was extremely difficult to focus, i would just cry at night because i couldnt do my school work. I am a smart person, i knew what i had to do but i was failing my classes because i couldnt focus.
After i started taking medication for it i went back to being an A student and felt normal again.
I have now been off my medication for 2 years, it has taken a lot of self discipline & control & some times i think i may need my meds again, but i push through. Bottom line- talk to people who have adhd, talk to your kids, meds are NOT a bad thing! Diet & nutrition doesnt help. I tried those too.

Katie - posted on 11/25/2012




I completely feel your pain. My son is 13z he has struggled in school since 2nd grade. I've moved him to several different schools these past years to try smaller classrooms different teaching styles and so in and he's still constantly in trouble. In second grade I placed my son in a christian school with only 10 kids in 2nd grade. He did awful there. They didn't understand him and his personality (which in my eyes is truly amazing) they treated him terribly and said we should try med's so I place him on a ADHD patch. He withdrew, was very sleepy and said he felt funny and his heartfelt funny. I freaked out and took the patch off and said never again will I do that to my child!!

Well here I'am again not sure what to do because 5 years later he's in ISS and the teachers are feed up (he's now in public school)! They again are saying he needs med's! I'm so so sick of this! He's not hyperactive ADHD he has a hard time focusing and so he talks and stays in the bathroom to long because he gets bored because the focusing issues. But he got a 95 on the hardest test the teacher has given because he was very interested in the topic!! So he can do it!

I'm just discussed by our society! They wanna throw all these children on drugs because they don't learn the "normal" way! They almost need specialized schools for these children! It's simply a learning difference. Let them be who God intended them to be! I love who my son is and am at my wits end with all this! So my sons doctor wants him on med's he wants us to try them. So he's prescibed a non stimulant stratara and (with much regret) we will start him on it within the week if I can bring myself to do so. I'm so so so hurt by all this and I'm simply heartbroken. :-(

Cynthia - posted on 08/06/2009




My son is a bit younger, and we are not opposed to medication if he needs it later on, The biggest thing that has helped my son is to cut out food dyes from his diet. Specifically red #40 and yellow #5. There is some research that has been done in Great Britain that has shown a possible connection between these food additives and ADHD. Let me tell you, the difference is night at day with my son! He doesn't just have a reaction that day, it stays in his system for over a week, longer if he has had a lot of it over a period of time. It helps greatly with his impulsivity. He is better able to control himself, also.

I was very sceptical when it was suggested to me by the nurse practitioner I brought my son to for diagnosis, but at that point I was willing to do anything! He was only 4, but he was out of control. I couldn't take him into a store for 10 minutes without him grabbing, running away, etc. Now we can make a trip for an hour, and even though he still struggles it isn't as bad, and is more manageable.

I can also tell when he has had food dyes. There have been a few things that I would not have suspected had dyes in them, but after having them and being a major spaz for a few days I will look into what he's been eating, and sure enough there was food dyes in what he's been eating... Pickles, yogurt - who'd have thought! I actually put it to the test last October, after he'd been off food dyes for around 2 months. I let him go to a halloween party and eat and drink whatever he wanted. He went berserk! He took a rock to my husband's car and scratched up the whole passenger side! That was all the test I needed.

My suggestion to you would be to take him to a behavioral therapist who can help you learn to deal with the behaviors at home (ask your doctor for a referral), and to cut out food dyes for a month. It will take him at least a week to get it out of his system, and then after that week you will start to notice the difference. If you don't, then fine, but if you do then great! I may eventually have to medicate my son, I am not against it, but I want to try everything else out first.

Jennifer - posted on 08/06/2009




I can not stress positive renforcement enough. Our 9 year old has a big colorful chart that she puts stickers on that she earns for doing her morning chores and her evening chores, that's two stickers a day. She then can earn "extra" stickers by not lying, or admiting that she did something wrong right away, if we see her "not" do something we've discussed in the past, etc. Each day she has two or more stickers she picks out of a prize bag. Then at the end of the week she has a chart that has small, medium, and large prizes based on the amount of tickets she had for that week. We have seen great improvement.

Gail - posted on 10/16/2012




Hello Jennifer,

Nutrition is the key! Sugar from natural sources like fruit. No fast foods/junk food/ soda etc. I give my daughter a protein shake in the morning that has 24 grams of protein, and 242 nutrients. It's a great way to start the day. Hope this helps.


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Jean - posted on 01/15/2014




Hopefully I am replying to Paula Fulghum! Your hubby was exactly right. Do you know how many brilliant people had/have ADHD? Albert Einstein for one. Once I accepted my daughters "different nature" I never called it a disease or disability it made the entire journey so much easier. This is a partial repost of what I have written in the past and you will understand why as you read. I (being a single mom) took her off the medication and turned to a program called play attention. The program is based on brainwave technology. These people are basically the Godfather's of the technology. It was developed by a teacher that knew that there had to be a better way then the medications. He saw the side effects every single day in his classroom kids. I just cannot say enough about them. They did not let me fail when I thought I could not go on (breast cancer and divorce at once). I just didn't have the energy to help her but couldn't stand to see her suffer when she came off the medications (Ritalin). What I could do is lay with her and use this program and together we came through it. I am just so darn happy to see that doctors and the scientific community have come together to research this technology. I am a true believer that we can change the brain through these methods. My daughter is living proof and so am I. This was our journey together and guess what? We are great and have gone on to new journeys together. She has friends (especially me which I never thought would happen), performs at her age level (and is doing excellent in school) and is having a great 9 yr. old life. We did it and we did it together. Have faith in yourself and remember you and your spouse are your child's biggest advocates!

Paula - posted on 01/13/2014




Our family has been going through the same journey over the past year. I agree with no meds and focus on nutrition and i have seen positive results- My husband said something to me one day which gave me much comfort and I wanted to share it with you. The best minds of our time had learning disorders - our school systems whether public or private focus on the general population and not the 20 percent that is unique, creative and looks at the world in a different way. Embrace your children's differences rather than trying to change them. It is who they are. Allow and trust them to fall, learn to cope, and realize their own unique potential in their own way. It is ok that they are different. They can and will find a way out of the storm they are in. Maybe at 10 or maybe at 20. I believe I am ADHD although I was never diagnosed with it. I struggled terrible in school- I was a C student all of my life. I had supportive parents who told me I could do anything at all times and never allowed anyone to label me. I couldn't focus and didn't really learn organization until my first job out of college. Finally I had to find a way to cope. And I did. I made lists, I read a lot about my trade because I was interested in it and used my creatvity that i fear would have been stifled by meds to set myself apart from the general population who has been trained to think alike and and focus on the same appraoch all of their lives---and i later became very successful and now own 2 very successful companies. Our teachers wanted us to put our daughter on medication and we aren't going to do it. She is who she is. And we are excited to see who she will become- on her own. We will work with her and support her and help her with the best diet we can give her because that is healthy living and we should all be on those diets for general health reasons. I have seen too many friends railroaded by their teachers and school system to put their children on medication only to see them feeding their kids a sugary diet with processed foods. It isn't this group because your are writing in and researching but look around and you will see what I mean. It is very disappointing to me. Give your kids a chance to be who they are and tell them they can do anything as they are. They will find a way and being an A student isn't everything.

Eievie - posted on 11/22/2013




I just got diagonalized at 14. We always sort of knew, but now it's official. Mine isn't as bad some, but before I took the test to get diagonalized, I made my mom promise she wouldn't make me take medicine. I don't care what the cost, I'm not taking medicine to make my brain different. As soon as I got diagonalized, she tried trying to make me take them. Moral of the story: Never trust your parents or their promises.

Annu - posted on 12/21/2012




I have tried fish oil, snacks and foods with no artifical flavours or colours. Try giving them fresh food as much as possible and also high protien breakfast when possible.
include a lot of protein in their daily food.
some days this works and some days it doesnt. i wonder from time to time if I am doing right by not giving medication - all the docs say - if your child had diabetes wouldnt you give medication.
i am still on behaviour modification - schedules - points system etc. I just cannot bring myself to say yes to medication and just the other day I got a report from my son's teacher that he is improving in his focus and impulsivity.
let me know how your journey goes........

Loraine - posted on 12/21/2012




my 21yr old was diagnosed severe adhd at 7. We tried every diet, went through 9 pyshcologist's (if she didnt like them, she wouldn't co-operate) & 2 pyschiatrists. In the end we were presured by school to put her on meds or they would have to expell her.
I have to say meds were a mirical cure for about 12 months. Once she reached puperty however it all went wrong again & the only education we could get her in residential school. This too only lasted from 12-13. They couldn't cope with her either she kept running away)
Hopefully there have been advances in recent years so you can benifit.
The best advice I can give is get as much profesional help as you can. Health visitor, G.P, psycholgist, education psychologist & best of all a local support group. Local groups are great for knowing whats available in your area & how to get the best support & help with your child.

good luck xx

Gail - posted on 12/19/2012




I would like to send you a call about nutrition and ADHD. Private message me at gracanelli@rogers.com.

Devin - posted on 12/19/2012




I would like to know this answer myself. I'm a mother of a 9yr old child that has been on medication since he was 4 and in some way it has helped and some ways it is hurting him. It helps him to focus and pay somewhat attention in school, he's able to have some friends, he's making somewhat good grades and his overall social life is ok. It hurts him because he hardly eats, he hardly shows any emotion he doesn't really care about anything or anybody but himself. I'm so lost with words on this situation because I want what's best for him, but the question what is best for him???? Without his medication he is silly, always smiling, happy, lovable and just full of life BUT hes careless, don't think about the concequences about things, very impulsive, energetic, can't sleep, can't sit still and disruptive. So there's no in between with him. IM REALLY CONFUSED and HURT because idk what to do myself?????

Gail - posted on 10/22/2012




I'd be happy to tell you about the nutritional program Taylor follows. email me at gracanelli@rogers.com.

Susan - posted on 10/22/2012




just avoid food like milk they make the child hyper and extremely active, wheat also does the same u know they tend to act as though they ferment then they make the child go weird like a drunkard and also sugars mydear anything sugary unless pure sugar substitutelike honey would do jus try this n amke if juice naturaly bleden this would hel[p then use food like potatoes bananas raw actyualy n no spices for the food jus naturaly cooked with liquid oil vegtable oil i prefer then ul c a change plis dont give drughs to the kid this would worsen

Amy - posted on 10/09/2012




Wow, Catherine,

I sure wish I had the answers! We have also tried meds and no meds. Both are horrible. I wish I had answers too.


Catherine - posted on 10/09/2012




We have tried everything from diet, to suppliments, to therapy to medication for many, many years now. Here is what I know about how this works in our family. (I don't pretend to have the slightest idea what would work on the genetic package and lifestyle you have going on there.) I am a vigilant, mom who runs a structured home. I do my research and there is nothing I won't do to help my kids, but ADHD is a tough diagnosis. My kids have inattentive type which means they are more dreamy and less hyper. Without medication they simply cannot attend. They test gifted, but and completely nonfunctional in the school environment. Now that being said, at this point in our lives I can fully appreciate the consquences of medication. We have had side effects which, while reversable, have cost us a great deal. Would I do it again? I don't know. While on medication my children were able to mature and develop habits which they now benefit from enormously.

There is an excellent study on the NIMH website that spells it out clearly. Medication is the only treatment for ADHD that treats the symptoms in a meanfull way. You have to decide. Do you want your kids to be successful in school, have quality relationships, and be generally approved of, all things which are often achieved through medication, or be a wreck, looked down on, rejected, scolded constanly, and feeling like a failure. I thought this was an easy questions. I put my kids on meds. We experienced side effects after several years that casued my kids to be unhappy. One became phobic and OCD which went away when we came off the meds. The other was wound tight, holding himself and everyone else to impossible standards and making everyone miserable. So now we are back to no meds. We are in the highest testing district in the state and my beautiful gifted kids went from A's to D's. They feel like garbage. They are hopeless about thier future. Tell me what the right thing to do is. When someone has that all figured out I would love to know. What is the answer for our children?

Amy - posted on 08/01/2012




I really know your frustration, Jennifer!

We went the stimulant route for over a year and the benefits definitely did not outweigh the nasty side effects. I know they work for some kids, I have just read too many studies showing their negative long term side effects.

In fact, I took my 7yr old off his stimulant at the end of April. I took him to the Pediatrician yesterday for his check up. In 3 months, he gained 6lbs and grew an inch! I was so thrilled!! Is his behavior good? NO! But he's healthy, so I can take comfort in that :) But I have to admit, I am dreading school starting in a few days. School is so hard for him. He gets in trouble a lot. I talk to him every day about his choices, and he sees a play therapist once a week. I really do believe that he will become less impulsive as he matures and understands consequences...at least, I HOPE! Ha!

We also do not feed him processed foods, preservatives, food dyes, etc. Basically follow Feingold. It helps. Google Feingold diet. There are those that say it's bogus, but it's not. It really does help. Also, we try to get him vigorous exercise every day. That really helps too! Swimming especially! My son's Pediatric Neuropsychologist says swimming or running for at least 30min/day has been proven to decrease ADHD symptoms by as much as 50-75%. I find it's closer to the 75% for my son. But you have to be vigilant and do it at least 5 days a week. I am thinking of signing my son up for year-round swimming. It's 5 days a week for an hour a day. When my son was on our neighborhood swim team back in the spring for 2 months, he was swimming 4-5 days a week for 45 minutes a day non-stop and he was a different kid!! It was AMAZING.

Also, if you do decide to try the exercise thing, give it about 10 days-2 weeks to start seeing a difference. That's about how long it takes.

Also, we have TRIED and TRIED to go the "no medication" route. It is so hard, not just for you as a family, but for your child too. My son does not take a stimulant but he does take Intuniv. Doesn't help a LOT, but definitely helps calm him down and help him behave better in school. Not perfect, but better than off meds.

Good luck -


Rob - posted on 07/30/2012




I am ADHD I am 48 but only found out at 45
I have degree and run a successful company.
If truth be told ADHD may well be an evolutionary mechanism… I think outside the box …. I make + $100,000 so maybe just go with it...

Melissa - posted on 08/23/2009




My son is ADD/ADHD, and we struggled with behavioral techniques and diet. With diet, we limited his sugar intake and got him on a good, patented vitamin. With behavior, we increased his exercise in the a.m. and after school. We tried medications, but he reacted with delusions and anemia. Now, he's on an all-natural supplement that GREATLY helps with his ADHD, and there are no side effects! I would love to help you!

Susan - posted on 08/23/2009




When I think of everything that my children went though before they got help it is very emotional to me because, the last thing any parent wants to know that their child has something wrong with them or that they need medication to be able to advance with out behavioral problems. What opened my eyes and was that my 4 year old boy was ready to start kindergarten and from taking child development classes I know that he had ADHD but didn't what to admit it and surely didn't want him on meds zombied out 24 7. Then I took him to be evaluated and wanted to make sure that he had it before school so that maybe I could just help him at home and that no one would need to know because I had seen the labeling that people did and didn't want that for my child. Then I took him he was diagnosed with ADHD by the doctor and then she wanted to place him on meds I told her no I didn't want my child on meds and having him life pass him by while he was meded out. She came out and told me that we can do just the counseling but that she hadn't seen any child suceed with just counseling with out meds. I told I want to try any ways I wanted to do what ever I could to keep him off meds. That week in kindergarten he ended up in in school suspension for 3 days straight. I then went back to the doctor and said ok I'm ready I don't want my child to have to go though this. The doctor placed him on meds and I could not believe the change in my son. He was the most well behaved child please and thank you with out being told straight A's even since. When Lewis brings home a report card I never have to pay attention to the grades just the behavior. My son was always being told that he was doing wrong so much that he was never being told GOOD JOB that has to hurt not only a parent to constantly having to do that but with children they want pats on the back and to be able to please and not to get a finger pointed at them telling them that's not what we should being doing all the time. After a while of that they just give up and face the fact that maybe I'm a bad boy and cant do right even if I try so why try. I just hope that maybe you can help your child see the potential in himself or herself and that he or she deserves the chance to SHINE.

Susan - posted on 08/23/2009




The big thing isn't the appointments. It is making sure that children learn that regardless of what you have you still know right from wrong and that there are rules because if parents keep using "It's there ADD or their ADHD that is why they did it" the children will never lear that their actions have consequences and in the future as an adult this will hurt and may send them into trouble with the law or their work place. I have seen that over and over working in child care centers that parents use that as a cop out instead of stepping up educating themself's so that their children can lead normal lives as adults.

Natalie - posted on 08/22/2009




actually even though I was sooo optimistic about using drugs, I did do it. I did find a good cookbook that is for ADHD/AUTISM . It is called the Kid-friendly cookbook. It is also used by Jenny McCarthy the actress. I ordered it from the Lakeside Collection. It has many fun recipes and focuses on gluten-free and casein-free foods which do contribute to ADHD. I have tried a couple but have a hard time finding some items at my store. Hope this can help for your alternative for using medication. :)

Carrie - posted on 08/22/2009




We do an ADD diet www.feingold.org and It has changed our lives! My daughter 13 had very severe mood swings that we noticed increased when she ate red food dyes but hadnt really looked into it much. But when I found this web site I just figured you know its not gonna hurt anything to try it first as I was planning on medicating. But as long as we stay on this diet -no more mood swings. I cant say enough about it. Even my family has made comments about how nice it is to be around my kids now. I dont know weather to be offended or not though! :)

Tina - posted on 08/20/2009




I have 5 children. Our oldest is almost 15 and I couldn't admit to myself that he was ADHD until he was in second grade. He was on Adderal XL. He could focus and it did calm him down without being zombie-like. He also wasn't hungry until 4:00 pm then he wanted to eat everything and he said that he had a hard time sleeping at night. Last year he took Concerta and he liked it a whole lot. It helped him stay focused and did not interrupt his sleep or cut his appetite. I want to say that he was on Adderall for like 2 years then off of any meds until last year. When he's on he wants to be off and when he's off he wants to be on. I don't like the idea that you have to bring them in for check-ups so they can check their heart and I don't them being on meds everyday, everyday, everyday. I have also wanted to look into the special diets and behavioral techniques. I HAVE found that keeping him off of excessive sugar and any caffeine is helpful. I didn't notice until he got older that sugar makes him gets really, really hyper and then crash to the point of sometimes taking a nap. Because he's older I can help him make his choices wisely when he's away from me. I don't know about you, but the drumming on everything, making constant noise, and moodiness has been really difficult to deal with. When I started making myself deal with him calmly and talking to him calmly instead of showing my frustration, it really helped. I mean, instead of saying, "Zachary. Stop." I would say, "Zachary, please stop, sweetie." Sometimes I just look at him and shake my head no. It's funny, but kindly and sweetly telling him to stop went a lot further than giving him a direct command. I don't want to sound like one of these moms who is all sugary and asks her children to stop doing things. I am loving, but firm. I just found that when dealing with Zachary it helps to choke down my natural instincts and gently tell him what I expect from him. I also have to say that a lot of it has calmed down with age. It hasn't gone away, but I have tried to train him how to control himself. I hope this is helpful even if only a little bit. My 6 year old is most definitely showing signs now and I'm like, "Oh goodness. Not again." I do feel a little better prepared in how to handle it.

Lindsay - posted on 08/20/2009




Hi Jennifer,
One thing that might be beneficial for your child would be a nutrition consult. I'm a nutrition major and I can tell you all though somethings that may work for some kids might not work for yours every kid is different and everyone has a different metabolism. General things that may help are limiting sugar and artificial food coloring and possibly adding an omega3 supplement. If you speak to your childs pediatrician I'm sure they would be able to help you out with a referral to someone and most insurances cover it. In the mean time just keep the meals as healthy as possible Foodnetwork.com has a lot of healthy kid recipes in fact they have a whole thing right now on back to school foods. Also Jerry Seinfelds wife came out with a healthy cooking book for kids last year that has a lot of good tips in it.
As far as behavior techniques go you should check out a book called the "ADHD Parenting Handbook: Advice to parents from parents" It has a lot of good sugestions about changing behaviors and positive reinforcement. Hope this helps and best of luck!

Carrie - posted on 08/14/2009




I have an 8 yr old that is ADHD and didn't want to put him on any medication either, but i gave in & decided to try it for a month & see if it worked. We never told the school he was starting the medication & after about a week & a half they told us that he was more attentive & able to listen in class. I told them he had started taking medication & they agreed it was very helpful. He takes Adorall twice a day. Once in the morning before the bus comes and then again about 4:30pm when he gets home from school. He was taking Adorall XR which is the same medication, only extended release, but it is very expensive. We have not noticed any side effects. He has been on the same medication for over 2 yrs now. He acts like a normal kid & is alert. What a difference it has made with him in school also. He loves to learn now compared to the struggles we had before.

Angela - posted on 08/12/2009




I am a mom of 5 kids, 4 boys all with ADD or ADHA. I have used meds at times in there life. I started with the idea that meds were okay only for the short term fix. I am a pharmacy tech, and hated the idea of my kids being depentant on a drug for their entire life. I had them on the meds during the school year but took them off during the summer months. We were luck enough to have a large enough yard with garden spot and I grew my own veggies so we had fresh from the garden items to eat without having to pay tto much for them. I did see a hugh difference in their ability to focus when I watched their diet. Red and yellow food dye, preservatives and additives seem to add to the hyper activity. The behavior techniques are a bit more difficult to pin down. My kids responded better by 1. have them look at you when you ask them to do something, then repeat what you said. this helps with the recall, 2. touch as you talk to them. Put your hand on their had or make some kind of contact as you talk to them, the more sences ingaged the easier it is to recall and focus. A specialist once discribed it to me like this, we all have 5 sences. if all is working as it should we can read these and respond immdiately. But, with adhd or add you can only read one at a time,and the same as respond. They will eventually connect only if we can train or make a different connection. Meds are great as a starting point, but don't make the mistake of having your child stay on meds forever, or they use this as a crutch. "I act this way because of my ADHA" or "I can't sit still because of ADHD". If your child knows this, it is time for them to find how to correct it without the meds. They are very smart and can learn many coping skills to help themselves. My youngest can't sit long enough to read the required books for school, so we would go to our local library and get books on tape, I would listen to the books along side of them and together would discuss what we heard. Again, I have delt with this for many years. At the time I was beginging this journey, it was over 20 years ago. The only drug on the market was ritlan. Each of my boys only stayed on the meds for 2 to 3 years. By then, they themselves say the difference in the way they acted. When they could see it, they were ready for behavior techniques. It does get better, my eldest is now 25, married, with a beautiful daughter. My second , is 23, married with 4 kids. And my youngest two are 18 and 16 in high school and doing wonderful. They do still get over active at times, but when they need to they can be still. good luck, and hope this has helped some.

Rabecca - posted on 08/12/2009




It is so right what works for one kid may not or may be better for another you just never know .

I can tell you I was way to the extreem of I would not drug my baby at home he always was hyper but good he could get himself into trouble faster than I could turn around but he was my only and I guess I just though hes a boy eventhough at times I would cry becaus ehe overwhelmed me sometimes at daycare then school though he was a totally different kind if kid he would not listen stay in his seat and coudl be very agressive with other kids of even teachers I tried everything from beghavoiral therepy herbal meds diet restrictions removing red dyes did help just not enough to others .

My son has always been good to me though I did and sometimes still do have to tell himeverything like 100 times before he will do it and I can nevr esay put your cloths on brush your teeth then feed the dog or guess what nothing happens and it's like I just wasted my breathe on thing at a time for us

if it was just me and him I may not have ever medicated him but he has to deal with situations everyday that are very difficult if not impossible for him teachers and school has very little tolerence for misbehavior even when they are dx'd with ADHD he would spend more time in the office than in his classroom which of course upset embaresssed him and just makes things altogether worse with his behavior and also with his self asteem kids know he 's the kid that gets into trouble or said something really terrible to their teacher or pushed so and so on recess it hurt his heart alot to be labeled that kid and he would cry and say he was stupid or bad or has no friends it broke my heart plus acedemically he was missing out and falling behind mind you he has placed above average intellegence to gifted I could no longer stand by and let that happen we went with meds an dI vcan tell you I am pi##ed off at my self for standing by waltching him have trama really inflicted upon him and not having the full life and school experience he is now hes happy much more confident doing amazing in school and he no longer tells he he hates school that no body likes him there he may not be sprinting out the door but he still has a few issues with not believing that kids like him because of things that have happened in the past but I think he will come to realize that is all behind him here soon enough .

Meds are not for all kids or needed for all ADHD kids but some do need them like mine we have never seen any ill side effects except for my gulit of making him wait so long but of course you can only do whats right for your child and what you feel okay withyou will make the right choice and possotive reenforcement will help so much but here the thing to I give him so much of it and build him up so big he didnt get so much from school which you would think they would but they get overwhelmed too and have alot of kids to deal with they just dont give the kids that extra inch they need sometimes

User - posted on 08/12/2009




hi there, omega 3is supposed to help although it made my son have a poorly tummy, you just have to remember that what is good for 1 child may not work for another, my son is now on medication..... hope this helps sarah x

Amanda - posted on 08/12/2009




here is what I was given when I started my daughter on her diet...it has a detox start...I also included recipes and research I did based on the diets requirements....Every child reacts to certain food products differently but I notice a 3 to 4 day trial of specific foods after detox really does work.

ADD Diet

ADD in many cases has been linked to diet, which includes food allergies and nutritional deficiencies…simply eliminating certain foods or adding others may reduce symptoms or eliminate them altogether. ADD children typically have difficulty focusing which is even more apparent if they have sugar and other stimulants coursing through their bodies. We believe it is worth attempting to address the ‘root' of the problem first, if it is indeed nutritional, before ingesting the potentially toxin pharmaceutical alternatives that merely mask the symptoms. Making healthy food choices for you and your child is NOT difficult. There is NO downside to adopting a healthy eating program and huge benefits for everyone, whether dealing with a current health issue or preventing future ones.

Another suggestion for a healthy diet may be to consider buying certified organic products…these are foods which are grown without the use of potentially harmful long-lasting pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Since organic foods are also grown without genetically modified seeds, sewage sludge or irradiation, some people feel that this is a more wholesome choice. If you choose to adopt the strategy to “cleanse” the body first to reduce symptoms of ADD, this may be an option you would like to consider. Imagine if we put dirty fuel in our cars and never changed the oil…how efficiently do you think they would run?

Below is a copy of an ADD diet eating program for ADD kids and adults. It is not a very strict program unless you are a regular at fast food restaurants. This is a “back to the basics” program and is recommended for every member of the family…not just someone with ADD.

First, what NOT to eat for TWO WEEKS:

1) NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow's milk. This is the single most important restriction. Instead try Almond milk, Rice milk, or Better Than Milk. Drink water instead of milk. In fact, drink lots of water. The brain is about 80% water, and increasing your water intake to 7 to 10 glasses per day might be helpful all by itself. Sodas, Gatorade, teas, icees, etc., do not count as water. Water counts as water.

2) NO YELLOW FOODS. Especially Corn or Squash. Bananas are white. Don't eat the peel.

3) NO JUNK FOODS. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don't eat it.

4) NO FRUIT JUICES. Too much sugar content. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. Later on you can have juice, but dilute it with water 50/50.

5) CUT SUGAR INTAKE BY 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but give it a try. Do your best without going crazy.

6) CUT CHOCOLATE BY 90%. No more than a single piece, once a week.

7) NO NUTRASWEET. None. Period.

8) NO PROCESSED MEATS and NO MSG. Only get meats with labels that say, “Turkey and Water,” etc. If the meat has chemicals listed that you can't pronounce, don't buy it.


10) AVOID FOOD COLORINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. See if your child is sensitive to any particular colors, such as Reds, Yellows, etc. For now, though, avoid all if possible. SUMMARY: Just eat foods that God made for a while. Eat like people did in the 1940's. Go to a used book store and get a Betty Crocker's Cook Book for recipe ideas. There really are about 10,000 meals that you CAN eat. Just not much in the way of “fast foods” or “convenience” foods.

AFTER TWO WEEKS begin adding these foods back into your diet, one food every other day. Eat A LOT of that food every day for four days. If you have a problem with one of the foods, you will see some kind of a “reaction” within four days. The reaction can vary from big red splotches on the body to ears turning bright red to explosive temper outbursts. If there's a problem, you'll know. If there's no problem, enjoy the food.


1) FOR BREAKFAST SERVE HIGH PROTEIN, LOW CARBOHYDRATE MEALS. Say, “Good-bye,” to Breakfast cereals and milk. Serve 60% Protein and 40% Carbohydrates for Breakfast. Other meals should be 50% / 50%.

2) PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS might be needed to get the added protein for Breakfast. They are often very helpful in the afternoon as well.

Instead of starting the day with sugared cereals, pancakes covered in syrup, sweet rolls, doughnuts or danishes, try these brain-boosting breakfast ideas;

_ Scrambled eggs, toast and fruit.

_ Whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

_ Fruit and yogurt smoothie with flax oil.

_ Protein shake.

_ Bacon and eggs with toast and milk.

_ Egg and sausage patty on English muffin.

_ Yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of flax oil.

Here is our favorite recipe for a Protein Shake: a) Make a cup of coffee, using one of General Mills' International Coffees, or something like that, with a flavor that you or your child will like (yes, I know I'm breaking my own rules here, as these coffees have dried milk and some sugar, but I'm trying to get your kid to actually drink the thing, and also get some caffeine mixed with the protein.). Pour the hot coffee into a blender with about 6 oz of ice. Turn on the blender for a bit.

b) Add a good quality protein powder. There are many good ones available. If you can't find one that you like, ask at your local health food store. Get protein powders that are mostly protein and very little carbohydrate. Add between 15 and 20 grams of protein to the cold coffee in the blender.

c) Turn on the blender again.

d) Drink it up.

This protein shake is helpful for a lot of people. For many small kids, and many adults, this recipe works about as well as a small dose of Ritalin (100 mg of caffeine is roughly the same as 5 mg of Ritalin). So many who might just take a small dose of Ritalin might get away with just doing this.

Don't forget, though, that even caffeine can have some side effects. Every once in a while we find someone that has problems with the caffeine in the coffee. Usually, though, the caffeine in the coffee helps the person to focus better. The protein helps to feed the brain. If you find this helpful, have one with Breakfast, and one around 3 pm. If it is not helpful, then don't bother with it.

ADD Friendly Recipes

Instant Breakfast Shake

- 3 ounces low-fat milk

- 3 ounces plain yogurt

- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

- 3 tablespoons soy or rice protein isolate

- 1/2 cup blueberries, strawberries, or peach slices, fresh or frozen

Process all ingredients in blender on high until smooth. Serve immediately. If your child doesn’t find the shake sweet enough, add a teaspoon of sugar or half a packet of artificial sweetener.

Homemade Sausage Patties

- 2 pounds coarsely ground lean pork, beef, or turkey

- 4 teaspoons sage

- 1/2 teaspoon thyme

- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram

- 1/2 teaspoon basil

- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

- 2/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Shape into 8 patties. Fry in a non-stick skillet until fully cooked and slightly browned, or package for freezing and use patties as needed.

Killer Hummus


· 4 cups (approx. 3 cans) garbanzo beans. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup liquid.

· 1 cup ground sesame seeds

· 6-8 cloves garlic-minced

· ¾ cup lemon juice

· 3 tablespoons Tamari

· 2 tablespoons ground cumin

· ¼ teaspoon red pepper

· 1 teaspoon chili powder

· ¼ cup dried parsley

Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add additional liquid from garbanzo beans as desired to arrive at a spreading consistency. Best when chilled and covered overnight.

Excellent on crackers, tortilla chips, and even toast!

Comments: Can be made in advance and frozen for later use.

Truestar Kids' Creamsicle Smoothie

· 15 grams of Designer Whey French vanilla protein powder

· 6 fl oz vanilla soymilk

· 3 fl oz orange juice

· ½ medium banana

· 1 tsp flaxseed oil

Most can be eaten in the car on the way to school.

· Natural peanut butter on whole-grain bread, with a dab of all-fruit jam.

· Eggs; glass of orange juice. To save time, make hard-boiled or deviled eggs the night before.

· Slice of whole-grain bread with a little whipped butter or margarine and a dab of all-fruit jam; low-fat milk.

· Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk; lean meat from last night’s dinner (pork chop, chicken); orange sections.

· Plain yogurt with fresh fruit.

· Grilled-cheese sandwich made with whole-grain bread and two-percent cheese; glass of orange juice.

· Homemade instant breakfast shake or sausage patties (see recipes, left sidebar).

· Mixed nuts; fruit; glass of low-fat milk.


· Peanut butter and jelly

· Peanut butter and apple or banana slices

· Peanut butter and grated carrots

· Nut butter sandwiches on small crackers

· Nut butter and jelly on a whole grain bagel

· Almond butter and bananas

· Peanut butter with sliced bananas rolled up inside a flour tortilla

· Hummus, shredded carrots and celery rolled up inside a flour tortilla

· Hummus on whole wheat bread

· Hummus or baba ghanouj instead of mayo

· Hummus with tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce

· Hummus with sliced grapes

· Hummus with grated carrot

· Hummus with sliced & sautéed mushrooms

· Leftover pasta or grain dishes in a wrap

· Cucumbers or tomatoes and soy cream cheese with sprouts in a wrap

· Tofu mayonnaise mixed with nut butters, celery and peppers

· Vegan cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, cut up into quarters or fingers

· Avocado mashed on crackers

· Roasted red pepper with tomato and soy cream cheese

· Tofu egg salad in a pita pocket with lettuce

· Mock chicken salad

3) MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS may be helpful. Colloidal Minerals or fully chelated minerals are the best. We like the MinPac from VAXA, but there are several good choices. Don't buy minerals in the grocery store. Get good minerals.

4) ATTEND, EXTRESS, or MEMORIN from VAXA. We recommend the "Attend" product for everyone. "Extress" is recommended in addition for those with problems with hyperactivity and temper, and "Memorin," in addition to the "Attend," for those with poor concentration or memory. These are strongly recommended. Here is more information on ATTEND, the amino acid based, homeopathic medicine that is a great alternative to ritalin.

5) FLAX SEED or PRIMROSE OIL. High sources of Omega oils. Borage oils and some fish oils are good as well. Very important. Mix about a spoonful a day into foods as you prepare them, or add to salad dressings, etc.

Here are some great ways to sneak flax oil into the daily diet;

_ Mix 1 tablespoon of flax oil in flavored yogurt.

_ 1 tablespoon of flax oil in fruit smoothies is virtually undetectable.

_ Mix 1 tablespoon of flax oil with one tablespoon maple syrup or honey as a sweetener instead of granulated sugar.

_ Use 1-2 tablespoons of flax oil when making tuna salad or egg salad while proportionably decreasing the amount of Miracle Whip or mayonnaise used.

_ Flax Butter: Melt one stick organic butter and mix with 4 ounces flax oil when cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate until the flax butter solidifies and use in place of margarine.

_ Omega-3 “Ice Cream”: Mix 2 cups yogurt with 1 tablespoon flax oil and fresh or frozen fruit. Serve when frozen.

Flax Oil Dressing

Mix ½ cup flax oil, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 Tbsp water, 2-3 garlic cloves, ½ tsp sugar (or other sweetener), 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp light miso (optional), 5 ml Bragg's Aminos or tamari sauce and 2 Tbsp fresh herbs (or 1 tsp dried). Place everything in a blender. Puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate up to one week.


Shakes and smoothies: It's especially nice to use the cinnamon-flavored oil by Spectrum, however, avoid their cherry flavor as it is not vegan (contains fish oil).

Nut Butters: Pour off the separated oil when you open a new jar of nut butter (save the oil for Asian dishes), and replace it measure for measure with flaxseed oil.

Hot cereals: Add oil to slightly cooled cereal.

Vegetables: Use as you would 'butter.' Pour a small amount over raw or cooked-and-cooled veggies; stir to coat. If the flavor is too strong, use less and combine with vegan spread or seasonings.

Fruits: Purees such as applesauce can get the flaxseed oil treatment. Fruits served with soy yogurt can be lightly coated in oil. Some kids will happily dip apple slices in the oil.

Juices: Add appropriate amount to your child's favorite juice - it's unlikely they'll notice. If they do, cut back on the amount.

Sauces, dressings and dips: Add oil once the sauce has cooled to serving temperature. Add to salad dressings (your favorite brand, or make your own). Works well in gravies, tomato sauce, pesto, veggie dips, hummus, ketchup

Most studies conducted on the affects of essential fatty acids found that at least 10 weeks of supplementation is needed to adequately raised fatty acid levels in brain cells. Follow a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids for at least 10 weeks, and preferably 12 weeks, before judging the effectiveness of nutrition on Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD symptoms.

Important points about flax oil:

_ Flax oil is highly perishable and should be kept refrigerated at all time.

_ Heat destroys the health-giving flax oil properties. Use flax oil only with cold foods, cold proteins are best.

_ When buying flax oil, use only high quality, cold-pressed flax oil. The date pressed and a freshness date of four months or less from the pressed date should be on the label. If not, don’t buy it!

_ Do not use flax seed oil beyond its expiration date since the oil will turn rancid.


The general dose recommendation is 1000 mg per 100 lb body weight. One tablespoon of the oil provides roughly 1000 mg. When adding oil to your diet, consider how much you already get from other sources, such as walnuts and olive oil. If you often eat other omega-3 rich foods, adjust downward. Too much oil is laxative, but otherwise it's not considered harmful to take too much.

Babies, toddlers 20-30 lbs: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

Children 30-50 lbs: 1 teaspoon

Children 50-75 lbs: 2 teaspoons

Kids 75-100 lbs: 1 Tablespoon

Over 100 lbs, adjust up

One of the most exciting uses for ground flax is as an egg replacer. One tablespoon of ground flax plus 3 tablespoons of liquid replaces one egg in baking. This works especially well in muffins, pancakes, cookies and cakes (where eggs are not an essential ingredient!).

Flax Egg

1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water (or other liquid) = 1 egg


1 cup yogurt cheese

5-6 tablespoons cold-pressed safflower or flaxseed oil

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. Pour into a clean jar with a tight lid. Refrigerate and use as needed.

Flaxseed oil, if available, is best because it is the richest source of the Omega-3 essential fatty acids that play such a vital role in maintaining good health.

Low-Carb Breakfast Recipe

from Hannelore Volkman, Fillmore, New York

· Mix in blender: 1/2 cup soy milk (milk or juice)

· 1 apple or any fruit

· 1 small handful nuts

· 1 small handful dates

· Blend well on high and add 3 tablespoons BioSan Vita Flax

Orange-Sesame Seed Dressing

· 3/4 cup orange juice

· 1/4 cup BioSan flax oil

· 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

· Blend all ingredients together vigorously in a mixing bowl, shaker bottle or blender. Delicious over salad or fresh cut-up fruit.

Pineapple-Strawberry Smoothie

· 1 1/2 cups chilled pineapple juice

· 2 tablespoons BioSan flax oil

· 4 tablespoons nonfat yogurt

· 10 frozen strawberries

· ice cubes

· In a blender, combine ingredients in the order listed and puree to a smooth consistency, adding ice cubes as needed. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Pancake Breakfast Sandwiches

Use leftover pancakes from Sunday brunch for breakfast another day. Simply spread one pancake with your favorite nut butter and/or jam, then top with another pancake for a quick and delicious breakfast. These light and foolproof pancakes are great with berries, apples, pears, or bananas. Unlike most vegan versions, they provide a good amount of protein on their own, due to the protein powder added to the batter.

· 1-3/4 cups soy or rice milk

· 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds or 1/2 cup silken tofu

· 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

· 3 tablespoons sunflower or other mild tasting oil

· 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup

· 1-3/4 cups whole spelt flour

· 2 tablespoons unflavored protein powder (rice or soy are ideal); you may substitute soy or chickpea flour, sifted

· 1 tablespoon baking powder

· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

· 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

· 1 cup berries or chopped apple, pear or banana

Measure the soy milk into a measuring cup and add the flax, vinegar, oil and agave, stirring well. Set aside while measuring remaining ingredients, or at least 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea saltablespoon Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix just to blend (there should still be a few lumps here and there). Gently fold in the fruitablespoon

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat (spray the pan with olive oil spray if desired). Using an ice-cream scoop or large spoon, measure out about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and spread slightly in the pan.

Cook about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown and puffed up. Serve immediately. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers for later use (may be defrosted in the toaster). Makes 10-12 pancakes.

6) EAT LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. Avoid Aluminum exposure. Eat in a healthy manner.

Try it out and let us know what you think. Oh, before you email back and ask, “Well, what can we eat?” please look through your Betty Crocker Cook Book and you'll find hundreds of recipes that will fit. It's the convenience foods that are most of the problem. Re-discover the lost art of cooking!

Fruits Lowest in Sugar

· Small Amounts of Lemon or Lime

· Rhubarb

· Raspberries (more about berries on low carb diets)

· Blackberries

· Cranberries

Fruits Low to Medium in Sugar

· Strawberries

· Casaba Melon

· Papaya

· Watermelon

· Peaches

· Nectarines

· Blueberries

· Cantaloupes

· Honeydew Melons

· Apples

· Guavas - Pineapple Guavas (Feijoa) and Strawberry Guavas are probably similar, but information that directly compares them is not available

· Apricots

· Grapefruit

Fruits Fairly High in Sugar

· Plums

· Oranges

· Kiwifruit

· Pears

· Pineapple

Fruits Very High in Sugar

· Tangerines

· Cherries

· Grapes

· Pomegranates

· Mangos

· Figs

· Bananas

· Dried Fruit, such as

o Dates

o Raisins

o Dried Apricots

o Prunes

Fig and Cherry Bars

These chewy, not-too-sweet and incredibly easy bars provide excellent nutrition in a small, portable package. Besides the whopping 140 grams of calcium per bar, these yummy treats also provide 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein (most kids need between 20 and 50 grams per day) in each square!

· 2 cups raw natural almonds (with skin)

· 1/4 cup finely ground flax seeds (or flax meal)

· Finely grated peel of 2 lemons

· 1-1/4 cups quartered dried figs (quarter before measuring)

· 1/4 cup agave nectar

· 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

· 1 cup dried organic cherries (I use unsweetened)

Lightly grease a 9x9" pan, or line with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the nuts and flaxseeds, and process until you have a fine meal that begins to rise up the sides of the processor bowl. (Do not overprocess, or you'll end up with nut butter!) Using a spatula, scrape the meal down the sides of the bowl before proceeding.

Add the lemon peel, figs, agave and tahini, and process until mixture forms a moist "dough" (it will form a ball). Pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers to test the consistency. If it sticks together and feels slightly moist, it's ready. Add the cherries and pulse just to chop and distribute them throughout the "dough."

Turn the mixture into the pan and press down very firmly with your fist or the back of a metal spatula. The mixture should be compact and solid. Cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until firm, about an hour, or at least 20 minutes. Cut into 12 bars and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or wrap individually in plastic wrap. Mixture will keep refrigerated for up to 10 days.

Mystery Smoothie

Use this smoothie as a full breakfastablespoon When you include blueberries, the kids won't know that the drink is also brimming with healthy minerals and extra protein from the greens that have "mysteriously" made their way into it! The carob powder contributes extra calcium, and the nutritional yeast extra B-vitamins and proteins, to this nutrient-dense drink.

· 1-1/2 to 2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or juice

· 1/2 cup blueberries or mixed berries, fresh or frozen

· 1/2 banana, fresh or frozen

· 1/2 cup chopped mango, peaches or apricots, fresh or frozen

· 1-2 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup

· 1 teaspoon carob powder (optional)

· 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)

· 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2-1 cup packed fresh spinach or swiss chard leaves, washed and well-drained

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and no specks of the greens remain. Pour into glasses immediately and enjoy! Makes 4-6 servings.

Debra - posted on 08/11/2009




yes that is true but dosent work on all.... i had to medicate my son at 5 and worked with him to get him off... took 3 yrs but he is off now.... and im getting ready to do that with my youngest son ...

[deleted account]

I know this diet technique worked for my adult aged cousin, however this has not worked for any of the adults or children in my family. I know that "drugs" carry such a heavy burden when given to children, however my son would be an under achieving, frustrated, angry and depressed boy if he didn't have the help of the medication. I just encourage you not to rule it out just because it's a drug. Some kids absolutley need it to succeed.

Wendy - posted on 08/11/2009




When my children were diagnosed with ADHD, I did not want to put them on medication, I fought the school and everything, finally, they told me, either I get them help or they could not stay in school. I found a Dr that suggested using Focolin. It is a drug that helps the children focus and pay better attention. My children have improved in school and social settings. They are not zombies or slowed down in any way other than they are able to concentrate on their task at hand. They started out on the lowest dose possible and still are on low doses. I have not had any luck with behaivoral techniques because they cannot help that they cannot pay attention, I do make sure they know the difference between the choices they make and the attention span they have. I do not allow them to use the ADHD as an excuse to act out. As far as diet goes, one of mine has a good appetite and the other does not. I dont see how diet will help since I have always provided well ballanced meals for them from first table foods. The medicine is not to keep them down, only to help them focus. As much as I dont like to admit it, it has made a difference that I could not make in my children. Good luck.

Gretchen - posted on 08/11/2009




Been there done that girl! My 9 year old was diagnose with adhd in 1st grade. He would wake up in the morning crying about how much he hated school and how stupid he was because he always got in trouble and was already being labeled a problem child. It is sad but true. I was personally depressed for several months feeling helpless and trying to find answers for what was best for my child. I went to a holistic doctor and a developmental pediatrician to better understand my options. Because there are several subtypes, you only know your child and what his challenges are. I didnt want to medicate but felt there was no other way. My husband was extremely against meds. What I realized is as they grow, they learn coping skills and it gets easier. Meds for add/adhd are no different that glasses for a child who cant see. You arent gonna make you kid go to school blind if you can give them what they need to help them. With that being said. I tried the diet over the summer 2 years ago. It was difficult because it was a family lifestyle change! Everyone has to be on board. My son is a carboholic as I call him. He loves the processed foods. I now make most things from scratch so i can control the ingredients. After a year in a wonderful school for children with adhd and medication, he has been put back in the main stream classroom and is no longer on meds. He has learned how to cope. Certainly challenges arise but he recognizes them and so do we! EDUCATION is the most important thing you can do for your child!

Hope this helps



A behavior therapist is who will help to identify the behavior and teach you as the parent and also his teachers how to respond without snowballing worse behavior! My son did therapy for a year and a half!

[deleted account]

My husband and I were totally against medication, but that was before we met with a neurologist. The neurologist explained to us that our youngest does not have enough neurotransmitters "firing" in his brain to allow him to do what he knows is the right thing. He understands that he shouldn't do something but the compulsion is too great because his brain isn't getting what it needs to change his behavior.

This was especially enlightening to me because I have a similar problem with depression. I don't have enough neurotransmitters firing in my brain to basically "make me feel good" and there is nothing I can do (believe me I've tried) to make it any different. I have to take medication to create more neurotransmitters to help the "emotional" part of my brain get what it needs. I SO TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHY MY YOUNGEST CANNOT CONTROL HIMSELF - WITHOUT MEDICATION HIS BRAIN ISN'T GETTING WHAT IT NEEDS. It really is this simple.

Oh, by the way, don't fall for the line "if he/she can focus on one thing he/she can focus on anything..." WRONG! Anything that is challenging or boring for an ADHD child is going to give them focus problems.

Of course, you need to follow what you believe is best. We started off with a small dose of Ritalin and it didn't work. We changed to Concerta and it works so well! We haven't noticed any changes in his personality at all. He is very much more calm but believe me, when he wants to "bust a move" he still can! LOL

God bless and best wishes for your child!!

[deleted account]

my son was younger then that when he was diagnosed and he was put on concerta... it made a world of difference.. i was against it at first but u have to think of whats best for him and his learning being hindered by the adhd. concerta is the best adhd medication i think so far and my son has not been put on anything else and he is now in 7th grade. he was 2nd grade when we found out

Nanci - posted on 08/11/2009




Gaming The Brain

I was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when I was in 5th grade. I have all the symptoms - inability to concentrate, restlessness, hyperactivity. I've followed and researched different types of treatments ranging from behavioral therapy to medication. One of the more promising therapies is neurofeedback, which involves continually monitoring patients' brainwaves. Subjects attempt to change their brainwaves to a set pattern and receive an auditory signal that tells them whether they were successful. With enough repetition, neurofeedback can rewire a person's brain. A study published in 2005 examines how patients diagnosed with ADHD can learn to better maintain their concentration through neurofeedback. Depending on how individuals respond to this type of treatment, it can even be used as a replacement for medication.


One manufacturer of neurofeedback devices stands out: SmartBrain Technologies uses videogames. Called the SMART system, it works as a modified PlayStation 2 or Xbox controller. A visor on the patient's head reads his or her brainwaves and sends the information to a processing unit. The unit decides how well the patient's brainwaves match up to a specified profile and adjusts the sensitivity of the controller accordingly - the more closely the patient can match the profile, the more responsive the game becomes to the patient's input. The controller sensitivity is not handled like an on/off switch; it's more like dimmer, able to provide a wide range of feedback.

http://www.smartbraintech.com/news/view.... go here for more info

Kacie - posted on 08/10/2009




Quoting Amy:

Quoting Jennifer:

Our 9year old has ADHD. We don't want to put him on DRUGS!

I've heard that you can regulate children with ADHD through Diet and behavioral techniques, But what kind of diet and techniques? Please help!

My son is also 9 and has ADHD.  He has been on several different meds and I am tired of it.  They keep causing side effects.  I have most recently heard of the all natural drug L-Theanine.  It is suppose to be as good or better than drugs and work within 30 min.  Anyone tried this?


I tried all those techinques too, but when you have a 10 yr old with adhd w/ severe aggression and he is beating the crap out of you. I chose to put my son on meds adderal, you still have to watch their diet, but kids with adhd the meds sent the right singals to the brain to help them try to make the right choices.


Cindy - posted on 08/10/2009




Cynthia~ Thank you for the information about how long the dyes stay in their systems. That helps a lot. I thought it stayed in the system for maybe a week or two. So I took her off the red dye for a week and I didn't see a difference. Then I took her off for two weeks and I didn't see a big difference. I will try for a month now.

Leslie - posted on 08/10/2009




Yeah I will say please do not be opposed to meds. I was one that did not want to put my son on them. We tried the diet, failed, tried the behavorial, failed. Was going through this for a while. Finally after talking to the teacher and hearing he needed to be held back in Kindergarten did we decide meds it was. Dr started him on Aderal and I will say that is the one we have stuck to since it has worked so well with him. He started Kindergarten last year again and with the same teacher. They were afraid he was going to be Zombie state and when they saw how he was they were in complete shock. He was a totally different child, going from one that could not sit still at all, crawling under table during learning, running around in class, talking constantly and just flat out could not concentrate, to a child that would sit still in class, listened and even participated in answering questions. I am just happy with his Dr and that the first Meds were the one that worked perfect with him.

Amy - posted on 08/10/2009




Quoting Jennifer:

Our 9year old has ADHD. We don't want to put him on DRUGS!

I've heard that you can regulate children with ADHD through Diet and behavioral techniques, But what kind of diet and techniques? Please help!

My son is also 9 and has ADHD.  He has been on several different meds and I am tired of it.  They keep causing side effects.  I have most recently heard of the all natural drug L-Theanine.  It is suppose to be as good or better than drugs and work within 30 min.  Anyone tried this?

Amy - posted on 08/10/2009




Quoting Jennifer:

Our 9year old has ADHD. We don't want to put him on DRUGS!

I've heard that you can regulate children with ADHD through Diet and behavioral techniques, But what kind of diet and techniques? Please help!

My son is also 9 and has ADHD.  He has been on several different meds and I am tired of it.  They keep causing side effects.  I have most recently heard of the all natural drug L-Theanine.  It is suppose to be as good or better than drugs and work within 30 min.  Anyone tried this?

Jessica - posted on 08/10/2009




I was first contacted by my son's school system when he was 5 years old. They said that they believed that he was austistic, and wanted me to get him evaluated for it. I couldn't get to a specialist without first getting a consultation from our family doctor and he disagreed with the teachers. He believed that my son was hyper-active. We had already changed most of his diet and tried behavior modifications and everything else. His teacher was PUSHING for us to do something, convinced that autisim was the only answer. It was awful. The doctor and I talked and since nothing else had worked, i agreed to try my son on the lowest possible dosage of medication. And he blossomed. My son got more confident, excelled in every subject and rocked the socks off his soccer team. I'm sure things are different for you and yours, but my son is better for it. He is now 7 years old and doing so well. I'm a single mom, and I made the decision by talking to my child, he was trying so hard to be good and was willing to try almost anything if everyone would just stop picking on him. In our case, it's been a great thing. So please, don't be hasty, whatever your decision. Best of luck.

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I have 2 with ADHD. I was against meds also and I regret not medicating one son. Now at his age it is harder to control the impulse behavior, the lack of the ability to concentrate and focus, everything that the meds would have had under control by now. But I didn't hesitate to medicate my other son, and his is pretty much more under control. You just have to weigh your pros and cons for your own situation before making that decision. It doesn't have much to do with a diet or therapy, it's a chemical imbalance of the mind. The one son was in therapy for 6 yrs and it didn't do much but show him excuses for his behavior, he is not a child that eats alot of candy and sweets, so changing the diet won't do much either. I would stay away from ritalin, but, meds that are extended release work better for the child.

Shelly - posted on 08/09/2009




I have two boys with ADHD and felt the same as you do about the meds, but sometimes you just have to give in and give it to them. My youngest is 7 and was diagnosed at age 4 I di dnot give him meds in Kindergarten and he had a very hard time in school, I was trying behavior modification, but when he started 1st grade I started him on Stratera which is not a stimulant and he is now reading at a 3rd grade level and doing math at the same level. you really have to look at what is best for them. I take my kids to a chiropracter as well and theat really helps, when youre out of line it affects every part of your system. Hope this helps some in your decision.

Cynthia - posted on 08/09/2009




Quoting Cindy:

When you take them off of the red 40 how long does it take to get it out of their system? I tried that for my 8 year old daughter because people told me that she could be allergic to the red 40. Because she's really aggressive, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to take it out of her life. But I really didn't see a difference. So I'm wondering if I didn't take it out long enough. I have been dealing with this since she was 4 years old and the doctor keep saying it's her age. I took her to the doctor's in April and he said that she has adhd and bipolar. She has such a hard time staying focused in school and at home I am trying to find ways to help her.

When I took my son off food dyes, it took at least a month before it was out of his system.  I noticed improvement in a week or two, though.  Now, anytime he consumes anything with food dyes in it it takes between 3 and 10 days to get him back to normal.  The ones I have cut out so far are red #40, and yellow #5.  I am thinking about trying to cut others out, too.

You need to make sure to read all the labels.  And I am not kidding when I say all.  Food dyes are in everything, from chips to pickles to vanilla ice cream.  Even mac and cheese.  I read everything I buy.

Another thing I have been told to watch out for is Sodium Benzoate, which is a preservative.  I haven't looked into this one yet, but I do plan to.  It was also suggested that I try adding Omega 3 fatty acids, but I didn't see a change in my son with those.

Some kids with ADHD don't have a reaction to food dyes, and like I said before I was really skeptical when I first started.  I had heard about a lot of "cure all" diets that in my opinion didn't work.  But, like you said, it was worth a try since it didn't cost much and didn't seem too difficult at the time.  The difference is AMAZING!  I can tell when he gets food dyes.  He literally turns into the Tazmanian Devil.  Now, his ADHD is far from cured, but it is made better enough that we can work on it.  I homeschool, though, so we are in a unique situation where he doesn't need sustained attention for very long and we can take breaks whenever he needs it. 

Rachel - posted on 08/09/2009




Do your research, get second opinions, have an IEP for you child in school. My 11 yr old was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6. Did not want to put my son on meds. We did the whole diet removed sugars, pocessed food, B12 vitamins, Bcompelx. He was failing and was getting suspended constantly. Finally we decided to put him meds and I do not regret it. He has much happier and is doing excellant in school very smart. He is now socializing more and we are proud of him. Keep an open mind, contact your county mental health, get the school to do an IEP he may be eligible for mental health service or accomadations to help him in school. Mine is in special ed and He loves it and we do too.

Remenber every child is not the same and not every med/treatment will work the same way either. Like any other illness meds alone are just a part. therapy either group or individual and monthly med appointments are a must.

I'm very passionate about this, cause I am a mom that has a child with ADHD also a mom who works with families and childen with mental illness. Good luck and let me know how things work out. God Bless You!!!!

Autum - posted on 08/09/2009




Hun i have an ADHD child take out the foods that have red die orange die in them no RED MEATS I don't let My son have any kind of pop but sprite no juice with red die or orange die you will see some what of a diff if you take the red die and orange die out of the diet even red meat feed her chicken fish sticks tuna turkey stuff like that, My son has it so bad that meds don't even work for him I love him very much though. Ask her how her day went play a game with her.

June - posted on 08/09/2009




My son has many disablities one being ADHD, the only food I found that makes any difference is milk. If I limit it he is a little better. That is even with him on meds.

Cindy - posted on 08/09/2009




When you take them off of the red 40 how long does it take to get it out of their system? I tried that for my 8 year old daughter because people told me that she could be allergic to the red 40. Because she's really aggressive, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to take it out of her life. But I really didn't see a difference. So I'm wondering if I didn't take it out long enough. I have been dealing with this since she was 4 years old and the doctor keep saying it's her age. I took her to the doctor's in April and he said that she has adhd and bipolar. She has such a hard time staying focused in school and at home I am trying to find ways to help her.

IESHA - posted on 08/09/2009




Please do not put him on drugs my son is 7 an i refuse. He is perfecty fine without it, he may ask an ocassional extra question or two an want to talk alot but that doesnt mean the kid needs to be drugged. Please dont do. Just try different things with him. Watch what he eats an you be the judge you kno your child better then anyone.

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My son was diagnosed when he was six. He was not able to focus long enough to learn anything. He could not recite his ABC's all the way through. We put him on FocalinXR and repeated Kindergarten. He is now 10 and has kept moving forward with his ability to learn. I am some what reserved about using the meds, but I don't think he is able to concentrate and learn without the meds. I agree with trying alternative methods, but if the ADHD keeps you child from school success then meds may be the way to go. If their are too many negative school experiences, it will only become harder to turn them around to become successful.

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