My 10 yr old has ADD and I want help w/o Meds

Crystal - posted on 06/18/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am the mother of three gorgeous boys. They range in age, My oldest is 10, my middle guy is 4, and the baby is 11 months. I work full time and I feel as though I never have anytime for anything (especially sleep) lol!
I am very hands on with my children and I get help from my mom A LOT!!!! She picks them up and drops them off shes just wonderful. Anywhoo my ten year old was diagnoised with ADD at the age of 5. He has no hyperactivity but focusing is something that he just can not do. He also has some reading comprehension issues, which I think has more to do with the fat that he cant focus therefore when hes reading he gets nothing from it. At this point as much as I try to make reading time fun, he sees it as a chore. Two questions One Does anyone know how to help with the ADD naturally? I have tried the meds and they up him the dosage every couple of months till he is in zombie mode. He is bright, so smart, and helpful with his younger siblings. He just received a math award (the only one in his class). He is an amazing child, son, friend, brother etc. I just wish there was something out there to help him focus. If you have any suggestions plssssss HELP!! Second how can I make reading time more fun and not a chore??

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Denikka - posted on 06/19/2013

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Rice milk is also a good option instead of regular milk :) I found that it's a bit sweeter, so it may appeal to his tastes :)

I got the whole *out of your comfort zone* thing with books when I was younger too. And it never really made sense to me. If you enjoy something, why not stick with it? At least he's reading right? It's great to explore other genre's, especially when you're younger, but there's no sense in trying to get an avid horror fan to read a romance novel. Just seems dumb to me. Especially when there's enough overlap between genres and series that it's pretty easy to find something outside of a few specific books.
If you let me know what type of books he's interested in, individual books or series, I may be able to help send him in the direction of more that he may enjoy :) I've always been a pretty avid reader and even though I'm past that stage now, some of the older books are definitely the best :P

Crystal - posted on 06/19/2013

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Denikka you have given me so many great pointers! Summer is coming and I will start the food and the bed time books! I'm so busy that this will be great for bonding! He loves to cook so we will make the bread together and I will let him choose his books! The issue I was having was that the teachers always say take him out of his comfort zone with books blah blah blah. I took him off the meds way long ago. I have been giving him omega 3 and multivitamins. I changed him from cows milk to almond. So I am really trying little by little because he is soooo picky! Again I thank u for all this great advice!!! Xoxo

Denikka - posted on 06/19/2013

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There are many behavior modifications that you can try to help him with his concentration. There are tons of techniques out there, just google it :)
Actually, the meds aren't supposed to be used exclusively, but often are. And when they don't work completely, doctors just up the dose. They're supposed to be used to support learning those behavior modification techniques to allow the least meds (if any at all) to be used long term. Kinda of a kick start to get the ball rolling.

Another thing that you can try is diet modification. I've heard from many moms (including my step mom) that a slight diet change can make a HUGE difference. Try keeping a food journal for a while. See if he has more difficulty concentrating on days when he's given certain foods. I know that sometimes things like red food dye, gluten, and any assortment of other foods can sometimes create issues. Artificial foods are a huge one to watch out for. Not just candies, but just about anything prepackaged. Try a week with purely natural foods (fresh fruit and veg, non prepared meats (like hamburgers, chicken nuggests, etc), etc) and see if that makes a difference. Even change the bread you buy for a week. Get it from a local farmers market or from a bakery instead of a store. Or even better, make it yourself :P

As for reading, I think there are a few tricks you can try.
First, find books that he actually enjoys. Not necessarily books that are at his age level or preapproved for school, but purely books about things that he enjoys. I know at that age, I was HUGE into Goosebumps and Animorphs (god I feel like I'm aging myself a bit there XD) I probably shouldn't have been reading scary books like Goosebumps, I had nightmares all the time. But I LOVED them and would just devour them :P If he has a hobby or interest, like trains, dinosaurs, etc, that's another option. Find what he's passionate about and feed that passion.
The second thing is to show him how to break it up into smaller bits. I know that in my earlier school years, there were many kids (mostly boys actually) who had a hard time sitting still for any length of time to actually sit and read a book. And when they did read, it was more like skimming, so they retained almost nothing. One of the tricks the teachers used was to break up each page into smaller sections and block off the rest. A common practice was to use two rulers to go line by line, that was the page isn't as overwhelming. You're forced to slow down quite a bit.

And of course, you can lead by example. Have your own private book club. Set aside a certain amount of time each day, even just 15 minutes or so, when you and your son can read for a while. Either during the day, or right before bed. It's an excellent way to wind down from the day, and you may be surprised how often it'll come down to *one more page* or *just let me finish this chapter* when it's something he's really into. It may be difficult to get into that routine at first, but give it time. One day he'll find a book he REALLY enjoys and won't be able to put it down :P

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