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#1 of 22 Old 09-13-2009, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son 11, was diagnosed with ADD last year..he was on Adderalll and then it seemed to not be helping, he tried Straterra and that upset his stomach too much. For the summer we took a break from any meds....school has started and he is not taking anything but says he needs something. Right now my husband is unemployed so paying $300 for the 30 Adderall is impossible but we also really don't want him on meds. He has very low level ADD so we are trying to find ways to work through this all naturally and with coping strategies.

Do you have any recommendations for books or products that might help? Thank you in advance for any insight....he is beginning 6th grade and is very excited but having trouble staying focused in class.

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#2 of 22 Old 09-13-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Please do not flame me for anything I may say- this is what I have found that works w/my child and may not work for anyone elses and may be against your own ideas of parenting. I say this first because I have a feeling this may end up one of those heated topics.

My son has ADHD he is 14 almost 15 and normally takes Concerta- he has been on Straterra but stopped that while living w/his father. My son went unmedicated for 3 years (3rd-6th grade) during this time his school work suffered horribly and he developed behavior issues at home- he became very angry and started to violently lash out because he felt so out of control w/o the meds. This way not by my choice his father had custody of him at the time and no issurance to cover the meds.

He came to live w/me in 6th grade and it took me fighting for a year to get him seen. That's when he was put on meds and the difference was like night and day. But he had learned to give up on himself in school so he still suffered there- not w/behavior but he'd just given up and won't work. Since being on Concerta they have had to raise his rx 3x in 3yrs but he has also grown into a teen.

This summer we had issues w/his clinic and getting his rx before his pills ran out and at one point went 10 days w/o. but during this time we've found somethings that have helped him and it was alot like he was on his meds.

- Caffeine is not evil and works opposite on him- calms him down.
- elimanated sugars
- elimanated all artifical colorings w/the exception of carmel coloring

When he was younger I had heard of a diet (and now i can't remember the name but it starts w/an F) that I really wanted to try but his father would not get on board. It elimanates foods that are sopposed to be bad for kids w/ADD/ADHD. I am sure another mama here will know the name of it- I've seen it mentioned before.

We want to try this diet and other things w/him and take him off meds but this is his 1st year of hg school and are going to wait till next summer to try it. I hope that since he is getting older and maturing it'll get easier for him and the meds won't be as nessescary.

A book I was recommended by his dr was The Explosive Child by Ross W Green,Ph.D. It deals alot w/children who frustrates easily, angers quilckly and get stuck on things/ideas- all of which is/was my son. It gives you ways of helping them talk things out and identify feelings and frustations.

I wish you luck and hope others will give you more ideas!

ETA: He also has an IEP/504 at school that makes accomadations to help him succeed- like no timed tests, using computers to write out papers, once he shows mastering of a skill no extra work to practice more, etc. Also he has 2 sets of books one for the classroom and one for home so he doesn't have to try and remember to bring to class.There's more but I can't think of them all and they are designed around his needs.
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#3 of 22 Old 09-13-2009, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for your reply....I think you mean the Feingold diet? We did try that when this all first started and it really had no affect on him other then leaving very little for him that he would eat.

My son is not angry...he is a drifter...meaning he will drift off into space and have to be brought back. He also fidgets ALOT.

I think you may be on to something with the caffeine though, Adderall IS a stimulant.....

I also like the idea of that IEP....those are things that frustrate my son as well....will be looking into that for sure! thanks again!

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#4 of 22 Old 09-13-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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My suggestion w/the IEP is to start talking to his counselor now because in my exp it can take a while to get on into place and approved. You may have to fight some too- to get one that is.

As for the caffeine besides coffee soda is the easiest way to get it for/in kids but you don't want the sugar (w/my son it defeats the caffeine) so find a diet he'll like. I know diet in itself can be bad too but we limit it to 2 cans a day- one in the am and one after school. We like diet Dr.Pepper Cherry or diet Cherry Pepsi. Coke seems to have a weird taste kids don't like but its all personal preference.

Thanks for the name of the diet. We'll see how limiting for my teen.

Also remember protein- well extra in the am because it lasts longer and doesn't get their blood sugars up as high as carbs. Hope that made sense- almost my bed time.
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#5 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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I have inattentive adult ADD, and am on Adderall XR. The reason I am on it is just to see if it works. I've had ADD since I was a kid, and didn't get diagnosed until 2 months ago, because I wasn't hyper, I am just easily overwhelmed, and am inattentive etc. It also runs in my family big time, I just recently learned.

Anyway, I DO NOT want to be on meds forever. The only reason I am is because I am starting school again in the spring, and I want to do well, and not be overwhelmed by the work involved. Here is what I've found, that has worked for other people through a lot of research I've done. I haven't had an opportunity to try most of it, but most of these recommendations come from numerous people who have said it has worked for their kids, or themselves. I have have read the book, and the other stuff is just a matter of money right now, and knowing where to start with all of it.

1. Check out the book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Bock. I have actually read a lot of posts, here on MDC, recommending this book, and have read it myself, and it made A LOT of sense to me. I HIGHLY recommend it.

2. Check out this website http://www.truebotanica.com/. They make an all natural product to help ADD symptoms. My DD is actually a patient of on of the doc's who developed this line of products, and he is wonderful, and a VERY respected ped in our area. I actually get to see him in a couple of weeks, specifically for my ADD. (He see's the parents of his patients for specific things.) Because it's a natural product it might take a little longer to work, but I know I plan on taking/doing whatever he recommends after I see him. (His name is Mark Kamsler btw.)

3. See if you have any naturopathic docs in your area who really work on detox, diet, and nutrition. I found one in my area who I have been dieing to go to, but we just haven't had the money.

4. I know Whole foods carries a bunch of different supps that are supposed to help with ADD. I have always found the personal wellness staff there very knowledgeable.

5. I know fish oil, and a no carb diet have also been highly recommended to me recently by a woman who has studied herbal medicine.

I hope this help a little. Good luck finding something that works for your son. It seems like it's one of those things that can be really hit and miss when it comes to treatment. Don't give up. I know I don't want to be on Adderall when school starts next fall, that's for sure, so I plan on saving up money, and following my DD's doc's advice.

Double majoring Philosophy/History single student mommy geek.gif to DD(4yo)dust.gif. I heartbeat.gif reading (mostly feminist philosophy, Simone de Beauvoir and Jane Addams are my intellectual heros. I'm a dork pinktongue.gif), and sewmachine.gif.
You've got to get man off your eyeball, before you can see anything at all.- Shug Avery in "The Color Purple"

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#6 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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If it's pretty mild, then you have a better chance of managing w/o meds but you'll need the school's help! The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so be a very polite, extremely persistent mama.

FWIW, plain old generic ritalin is super cheap. It's a PITA to take it 3x per day, but it actually works better for some kiddos than the long-acting formulations like Concerta and Adderall. Carter takes ritalin instead of the longer-acting meds because it gives us more control (stimulants + anxiety = bad). I've paid for it out of pocket many times and it's usually about $7 for 30 days (which is 90 doses). I know you want to have a go w/o meds, just thought that info might be helpful at some point.

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#7 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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I've heard about the caffeine thing before and it makes some sense (though the specific way that ritalin et al work in the brain is not JUST as a stimulant, it has more to do with serotonin uptake, stuff like that)... and I would like to try it.

But I'm NOT willing to give my son diet drinks, Aspartame and sucralose are just horribly IMO, if I'm trying to avoid artificial colours etc then artificial sugars are in the same camp. I don't see sugar as evil, but the HFCS is bad news. Of course we do have pop to drink once in awhile, but if were actually going to be using it as a deliberate *treatment*, I wouldn't want to be giving him either HFCS or artificial sugars or even the artificial colours and flavours in most sodas.

He doesn't like coffee, or even chocolate, so I'm wondering what other options there are for trying caffeine for him other than caffeine pills?

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#8 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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I need to speak up for the Feingold diet. When you hear that there is not enough for the kids to eat, then they went about it wrong. There is nothing the kids can't eat--you just find a brand that is okay. No one needs kool aid or twinkies--so make a good substitute. Check out the website ADHDdiet.org and look at the video on the homepage.

Cola is sweetened with corn syrup--something else that is not only unhealthy, but it really hypes the kids. Carbs were also mentioned as bad and sweeteners are carbs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fairymom View Post
My suggestion w/the IEP is to start talking to his counselor now because in my exp it can take a while to get on into place and approved. You may have to fight some too- to get one that is.

As for the caffeine besides coffee soda is the easiest way to get it for/in kids but you don't want the sugar (w/my son it defeats the caffeine) so find a diet he'll like. I know diet in itself can be bad too but we limit it to 2 cans a day- one in the am and one after school. We like diet Dr.Pepper Cherry or diet Cherry Pepsi. Coke seems to have a weird taste kids don't like but its all personal preference.

Thanks for the name of the diet. We'll see how limiting for my teen.

Also remember protein- well extra in the am because it lasts longer and doesn't get their blood sugars up as high as carbs. Hope that made sense- almost my bed time.
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#9 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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I would recommend reading the book Driven To Distraction by Hallowell and Ratey, MDs.

It's an amazingly sympathetic look at the condition. Both authors have it themselves.

It manifests itself differently in each person. In 25% of the cases, meds simply do not work. There are ideas to use in conjunction with each other, meds and therapy/coaching, and careful organizational structuring to help keep on task.

I am reading it for myself and I am finding it very helpful and the stories reassuring.

It isn't cured, but it is managed and it doesn't have to overtake the child's (or adult's) life.

Best wishes.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#10 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Gentler approaches that you can for ADHD include concentration training through exercise programs such as yoga and karate, fish oil supplements, and exercise. You might want to ask if your school has a psychologist who can help you design a behavioral based program for him.

Fish oil is very gentle and has some research to back it up: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/he...ishoil.html?em

Congrats on giving up the drugs. Ritalin and Adderall are dangerous drugs:

1. They stunt physical growth in children (up to one inch off the adult height).
http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/news/2...s-stunt-growth

2. They can cause long term cognitive deficits.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...gs-take-a-toll

3. And they do not have long term benefits.
http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspo...-benefits.html

Good luck!
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#11 of 22 Old 09-14-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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Taking Charge of ADHD has a good section on meds and parenting tactics, but I didn't like a majority of it.

Driven to Distraction is by far my favorite. It has a good book that discusses pros and cons and side effects of medications.

Also, sometime anti depressants like Wellbutrin are used just as effectively for medication with ADHD.

Mother to a crazy wonderful son born 7-11-09 and A very determined amazing daughter born 5-3-12!
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#12 of 22 Old 09-15-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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Oh, and plenty of exercise too tends to help.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#13 of 22 Old 09-15-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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Diet for us too. No dairy, it really triggers his brain negatively, minimal sugars, he has to have plenty of fats and fiber, and I second the caffeine, he is calmed when he's had some caffeine. Also, he needs a certain amount of sleep.
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#14 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 05:05 AM
 
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Another dietary approach you might like to look into (which also begins with "F" lol) is the Failsafe diet - it goes a bit further than Feingold but many families have found it very helpful. If it works, you can then reintroduce certain foods to challenge them. There are a couple of recipe books available, but there are also lots of recipes on the website to help. Check out www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info

We have found it to be very helpful for our son; although he has never received any diagnosis (no-one in our town to see), he certainly displays a lot of ADHD-type behaviours which have definitely caused "impairment" at home and at school.

The very best of luck,
Heba
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#15 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 05:11 AM
 
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My husband found a little booklet called something like the Biblical Approach to ADHD. It was about restricting the various grains and such from your diet, and which ones were the really bad ones. The only biblical part about it was that it had prayers and such to say.... although he's not restricting his diet, the information was helpful!
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#16 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 07:36 AM
 
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slightly different but still relevent (i think) no flames please its just my opinion and what works for us

my ds (7) has aspergers, he is very very hyperactive, he was offrered behaviour modification medication but i refused (i'm in the uk so medicine is free) becuase he wouldnt be my son anymore, does that make sense, my son is hyperactive and silly and funny... would he still be those things if his behaviour was modified.... so i feed him natural, home made food (and you can see the diference when he stays at his grandma who thinks im insane and feeds him junk) i give and reinforce boundaries, he doesnt 'get it' the first time but he usually does eventually and i accept that he will never be like other peoples children... but he will always be mine :

hes in mainsteam school as well and they are great with him

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#17 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
He doesn't like coffee, or even chocolate, so I'm wondering what other options there are for trying caffeine for him other than caffeine pills?
Real tea (as opposed to herbal tea) has quite a bit of caffeine.
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#18 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so so much for all this great info! I am off to the library this weekend to get these books!

He does gets tons of exercise as he plays ice hockey and in general is an athletic kid...so that is good....We have fish oil so I am going to start him on that, which can only help him anyway even if it doesn't help the ADD.

Thanks again.....I will be back to report once we have some time to work on this!

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#19 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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Late to post, but......Along the lines of natural supplements, you may want to look at magnesium and zinc supplements. Many kids who exhibit ADHD symptoms are deficient in these areas. Google for more info. Both magnesium and zinc are cheap

Magnesium is best given in the early evening as it is a natural relaxer - which helps with winding down and sleeping better. I think it's best to split mag and zinc - zinc in the am and mag at night since they are absorbed better when taken separately.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#20 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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You've certainly received some very valuable advice here.

I can certainly relate to what you're going through because I am an adult with ADD. I've had it since I can remember and some of the most vivid memories I have were when I was in grade school and struggling to do the simplest things. Back in the 70's there was no such thing as ADD, so I was sent quite often to the nurse's office for hearing and speech tests. I always passed them which left them scratching their heads as to what was wrong with me. The only problem I had was that I couldn't pay attention and focus.

I lost a job in the past because of it and struggled much of my adult life with it.

I am a strong advocate for natural supplements and never even considered Ritalin or any other form of medication. Your body's ability to process chemicals causes terrible side affects that can be worse than the cause.

My ability to focus and enjoy my life changed when I learned Reiki. Reiki is spiritually guided life force energy. It has given me focus, inner peace and a calmness I never had before.

I am now a Reiki Master and enjoy teaching Reiki. You can Google "Reiki" for more information on it but it's something to consider for a child with ADHD or ADD. Children love Reiki and take to it very quickly.

I hope this helps.

Blessings,

Lori
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#21 of 22 Old 09-16-2009, 08:50 PM
 
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My son is 14 and he was diagnosed with ADD when he went into 7th grade. He tried Concerta first and lost 15 lbs within a matter of weeks so we immediately took him off of it. He is now on Flocilin XR and it works great. We also tried fish oil in the summers and that helped a little, it was just enough to get him through the summer, just not enough to get him through the school year. I hope you have found something that helps.
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#22 of 22 Old 09-17-2009, 01:27 AM
 
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My ds does not have add, nor take meds. But I just read an article in the NY Times Magazine that I thought you might find interesting. It's written by Walter Kirn, who was prescribed adderall, but not for add. For what it's worth, I found it a good read. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/ma...OB-wwln-t.html

Single, working mom to 6 yo ds, who may have spd, but is a happy little camper .
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