So what if my child has ADHD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-11-2013, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a wonderful, sensitive, bright 7-year-old who is in first grade. He`s always been a busy child, running and not paying much attention to what you say. We`ve just figured it`s his personality, for us it was pretty normal. Now, however we are running into problems at his school. They have 30 kids in his class so I cannot expect his teacher to be always dealing with him. At our last teacher-parent meeting his teacher told me that my son was speaking out of turn, running in the hallways and disturbing his classmates. As a result  he now sits alone almost next to the teacher. I find it disturbing as all the other kids have desk partners. I feel bad for him. :(

He constantly forgets his things. Even if I give him the bag he needs he simply forgets to take it. There is hardly a day that he doesn`t leave something at home.

He`s been talking about other kids picking on him and calling him stupid. But when I ask the reason why some of the time it`s because he`s done something annoying to them.

He can be pretty impulsive. He doesn`t stop certain annoying behavior even after repeatedly being told so. This gets him in trouble with his siblings and peers. And he just doesn`t understand why his actions would make others mad.:(

All of this spells ADHD to me (though he`s never been evaluated) We are planning to take him to a specialist but I`m afraid their answer would be medication. And I really don`t want to go that route. Not to mention that it would devastate him to know that he needs meds to be "normal". (Not that I think ADHD children are not normal, but this is what he would most likely think) He already has VERY low self-esteem and needs to be praised repeatedly to believe he`s done a good job.

Sorry for the novel. :innocent This brings me to my question: So what if he has ADHD? Would medication make a difference?

Are there any other natural ways to treat this? Any supplements?

Thank you so much in advance. I really appreciate it.


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#2 of 13 Old 12-11-2013, 01:56 PM
 
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I give my kids this:

Peter Gillham's natural Vitality Kids Natural Calm Multi

http://www.diapers.com/p/peter-gillhams-natural-vitality-kids-natural-calm-multi-liquid-30-oz-68146

 

and it certainly does seem to help. We are going through the evaluation now and it is helpful, and very lengthy. It has been helpful because there is a lot of stuff you can do to support executive function issues, ADHD or not.

 

Exercise is really good for ADHD kids, and you don't have to do meds.

 

But if your child already has low self esteem, and already having trouble at school-- he already knows he is not "normal." He already knows he is different. Better to have a name like ADHD and a medication that can help him at least feel normal for a bit, then let his skills catch up, and then wean off the meds. But often the meds give them a break from their symptoms and a chance to reflect on how their behavior is different, and then develop the skills to manage it.

 

But he likely knows there is something different about him, and without knowledge, who knows what he is thinking. A lot of these kids just think they are "bad." I'd rather my child know what is different about him then somthing like that.


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#3 of 13 Old 12-11-2013, 04:52 PM
 
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:Hug Sounds like an evaluation is in order, not only privately, but through the school.  As for medication, no one can make you put your child on meds, not the school, not the doctor, not family, etc!  My youngest most likely has ADHD.  After the school evaluated him, we learned a lot of things that could be done in school.  Some of the things that have been put in place for him include: a standing desk, fidget toys,silencing headphones (so he's not too distracted), frequent breaks, frequent redirecting, etc.  The thing with ADHD is not that a child can't pay attention, it's that they pay attention to everything and don't know how to prioritize.  The fly outside the window takes on the same significance for the child as the teacher standing in front of the class.  

 

As for things that you can do that are outside of medication, the number one thing I would look at would be diet.  Sugars, dyes, artificial flavoring or sweeeteners.  Then maybe check out the gluten free casein free diet for at least a couple of months.  And like forestmushroom said that are a lot of supplements out there.  If you can find an integrative doctors practice you can get a lot of help that way.  There are just soooo many things out there it can be confusing.  But again, I'd start with diet. 


 
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#4 of 13 Old 12-11-2013, 09:12 PM
 
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We took ds to a psychologist that worked with kids with adhd.  He was not put on meds because he took meds for seizures that were problematic to mix.  He worked with the psychologist on strategies for many different things ranging from impulsiveness and friendships.  

 

Probably, if you initiate an IEP or a 504 plan, your ds will end up in close proximity to the teacher as part of the plan.  It is a good way to keep distracted kids on track; he might not care if he has a class partner and it may be more productive to have him work on his own. (I requested this year that my dd not be partnered with a little girl that she had to "mentor" last year.  She coached this peer through all the classwork and I thought it was unfair because she was more or less teaching this little girl instead of the teacher.) The impulsivity and social skills are something that would be good topics to work on with a psychologist or in the least a school counselor.  

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#5 of 13 Old 12-12-2013, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I admit I`m pretty ignorant in the subject, that`s why I ignored a lot of red flags so far. He always seemed like a regular kid with a hyper personality.

 

@forestmushroom--I checked and they do not sell this same supplement here in Japan. I might be able to find a similar kind, though. Thank you for the suggestion. You`ve really given me food for thought about him feeling normal. He`s never said it out loud but maybe he`s been wondering about it. I`ve asked him tonight if he felt bad about sitting alone and he says no. He just feels bad about the teacher getting upset with him a lot.

 

@QueenoftheMeadow--"The thing with ADHD is not that a child can't pay attention, it's that they pay attention to everything and don't know how to prioritize.  The fly outside the window takes on the same significance for the child as the teacher standing in front of the class." I`m glad you said this. I`ve never thought about it this way, but he truly pays attention to every little (unimportant) detail.

I will also definitely look at his diet. We eat relatively healthy but I usually buy the cheapest of everything and who knows just what`s in those. Also, I have to research more the casein and gluten free diet. How does that make a difference?

 

@melissa17s--he probably is better off alone. He bothers others and is probably bothered by kids making noise next to him. I will definitely know more once his evaluation is over.


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#6 of 13 Old 12-12-2013, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katica View Post
 

I have a wonderful, sensitive, bright 7-year-old who is in first grade. He`s always been a busy child, running and not paying much attention to what you say. We`ve just figured it`s his personality, for us it was pretty normal. Now, however we are running into problems at his school. They have 30 kids in his class so I cannot expect his teacher to be always dealing with him. At our last teacher-parent meeting his teacher told me that my son was speaking out of turn, running in the hallways and disturbing his classmates. As a result  he now sits alone almost next to the teacher. I find it disturbing as all the other kids have desk partners. I feel bad for him. :(

He constantly forgets his things. Even if I give him the bag he needs he simply forgets to take it. There is hardly a day that he doesn`t leave something at home.

He`s been talking about other kids picking on him and calling him stupid. But when I ask the reason why some of the time it`s because he`s done something annoying to them.

He can be pretty impulsive. He doesn`t stop certain annoying behavior even after repeatedly being told so. This gets him in trouble with his siblings and peers. And he just doesn`t understand why his actions would make others mad.:(

All of this spells ADHD to me (though he`s never been evaluated) We are planning to take him to a specialist but I`m afraid their answer would be medication. And I really don`t want to go that route. Not to mention that it would devastate him to know that he needs meds to be "normal". (Not that I think ADHD children are not normal, but this is what he would most likely think) He already has VERY low self-esteem and needs to be praised repeatedly to believe he`s done a good job.

Sorry for the novel. :innocent This brings me to my question: So what if he has ADHD? Would medication make a difference?

Are there any other natural ways to treat this? Any supplements?

Thank you so much in advance. I really appreciate it.

Hi friend! Thanks for sharing so openly... I can hear how much you love and want the best for your little man! 

 

Although I don't have any direct advice for you on this, I did find two articles that may give you some good insights. One is called ADHD and the other How to Help an ADHD Child. I hope they help! 

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#7 of 13 Old 12-12-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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I found this video to be very helpful in understanding what ADHD is and is not, and some possible treatment options:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mqpdomdnH4

 

Drugs are certainly not the only treatment for sure. And each person with ADHD is very different then the next. It is long, but I found it to be so informative, it was worth the time.


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#8 of 13 Old 12-12-2013, 11:56 AM
 
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ADDitude is an excellent magazine. I always recommend that people get a copy, check out their website, or both. I have learned so much. I think it addresses all the related issues in a very balanced way. Barnes and Noble carries it, if you wanted to take a look.
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#9 of 13 Old 12-12-2013, 04:18 PM
 
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I also like Additude Magazine.   Another resource is chadd.org

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#10 of 13 Old 12-13-2013, 05:02 PM
 
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DD was diagnosed with ADHD in first grade -- about that age.  We resisted the recommendation for medication for a while and tried several homeopathic options, none of which helped very much.  In the end we medicated -- she takes Vyvanse and has great success with it.  She says that, once she started with meds, it felt like someone had turned off all the noise in her head and she could hear herself think.  Her self-esteem was awful because the kids teased her about things that the ADHD made worse.  She hated the fact that her teacher was always correcting her but she felt like she had no control over her body.  At that point we decided that medication was really going to be the only answer if we didn't want her to think of herself as a total failure.  She went from behind in reading to very advanced.  She had a much better time interacting with peers.  Frankly, it was much easier for me to be in the same room with her and I was a much better mommy.  She will ask for her meds if I forget.  She fully agrees that her life is better now -- its been almost 4 years.  I know that everyone has very different opinions on this, and I respect that.  But please don't automatically rule out meds before you have a diagnosis and have found out about the options in your school and community. 

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#11 of 13 Old 12-13-2013, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much everybody for your gentle thoughts and resources. I`ve begun watching the video and will try to finish it this weekend. It looks really promising.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
 

DD was diagnosed with ADHD in first grade -- about that age.  We resisted the recommendation for medication for a while and tried several homeopathic options, none of which helped very much.  In the end we medicated -- she takes Vyvanse and has great success with it.  She says that, once she started with meds, it felt like someone had turned off all the noise in her head and she could hear herself think.  Her self-esteem was awful because the kids teased her about things that the ADHD made worse.  She hated the fact that her teacher was always correcting her but she felt like she had no control over her body.  At that point we decided that medication was really going to be the only answer if we didn't want her to think of herself as a total failure.  She went from behind in reading to very advanced.  She had a much better time interacting with peers.  Frankly, it was much easier for me to be in the same room with her and I was a much better mommy.  She will ask for her meds if I forget.  She fully agrees that her life is better now -- its been almost 4 years.  I know that everyone has very different opinions on this, and I respect that.  But please don't automatically rule out meds before you have a diagnosis and have found out about the options in your school and community. 

 I`m so glad you say this. I`m not trying to rule out meds just exploring other options first. I want what`s best for him and if medication would make him feel in control then we`ll go with it. It`s awesome that your DD could verbalize her feelings so well. She sounds like a very sensitive, bright little lady :)

Definitely will get him evaluated first and see what the docs will say.


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#12 of 13 Old 12-13-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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www.feingold.org

 

 

It helps a lot...Not saying it is 100% miracle for every ADHD child but to some it is a godsend...I have been exactly where you are and we ended up doing Feingold and meds together..Feingold helped with the anger and hyperactivity...a small dose of meds helped with the focus...The meds were more than cut in half with the help of the Feingold program....

 

HTH

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#13 of 13 Old 12-13-2013, 08:34 PM
 
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I would be another one piping up for looking at diet.  Feingold definitely works for some--if not for ADD/ADHD then usually for other issues that people are unable to manage.  Please don't assume it's about food dyes and preservatives because there are fresh, whole foods involved in it as well.

 

Gluten (a grain protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats) and casein (the protein found in animal milk) are common intolerances.  They happen to be processed by the same enzyme in the body.  There is a small handful of people that manage it with enzyme therapy but not the majority.  And honestly, sometimes the severity of the reaction is more about the condition of a person's intestines than a native allergy.  For instance: if the digestive system is not working properly, then partial digested proteins get into the body and the body reacts.  This can manifest in a LOT of different ways--not just ADHD.  And for some, rebuilding the system allows them to tolerate a certain amount of these ingredients rather than have to steer clear of them completely forever.

 

There are a number of dietary culprits to look at.  Working with someone that can narrow the field to the things that are most likely irritating an individual body is helpful.  I do that for a living.  :o

 

Also, there are other conditions that present JUST like ADHD but are not--and those should be ruled out first.  I have a tip sheet on those things on my business site (there should be a link in my signature).  It's under How Can I Help/Free Resources.


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