Question about ADHD

>>It has been discussed with us that our ds9 has symptoms of ADHD.  For example he’ll climb under his desk to listen to the teacher while peeking out of a hole or the like.. also obnoxious behavior to other children I.e. spitting or throwing things.  He does these things at home too, it’s hard for him to walk past a sibling w/o a bump or push of some kind to them.  He’s doing well academically but socially not so good.  My own mother told me that she suspected this in my son since he was much younger but I guess I didn’t want to consider it at that time.  What I’m trying to (ask) is what you would recommend for a child w/ ADHD.  I may have him assessed formally to get a diagnosis but I really do NOT want to medicate.  The school said they know of families who took the “natural” route to help children but it just took a lot more time.  Ritalin apparently gives the child more focus throughout the day.  Any advise you have would be so very appreciated.  I’m so sad for my son and hope we/he can get through this.  Thanks so much.<<

There are several aspects of ADHD to consider: nutrition, vaccination history, behavioral expectations, and parenting are those which to spring immediately to my mind.  This is a very emotional topic for many people, and I strongly suggest that parents do their own research.  I do not make recommendations one way or another beyond that!

I believe Ritalin is drastically over-prescribed, and what historically fell into the range of normal behavior on the very energetic side has now been labeled as dysfunctional.  We expect kids from a very young age to sit still for what is unreasonable for their ages and abilities.  Some kids can manage but young boys in particular have a very hard time with these expectations.  Not surprising that young boys are the most heavily medicated for ADHD!

One book that I would suggest parents interested in doing some research begin with is: ‘Healing the New Childhood Epidemics : autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies : the groundbreaking program for the 4-A disorders’.   The doctor who wrote it discusses from his professional perspective the relevance of vaccine history and nutrition, which is interesting and relevant to everyone, but particularly to children who have attention deficit disorders.

The quality of food eaten and the effectiveness of the digestive system is tremendously important for ADHD kids.  Much has been written about this, and it goes way beyond not giving children sugar, chemical additives, or food coloring.  To get you started, here is a link to the first in a series of interviews with Donna Gates (Body Ecology Diet) and Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (Gut and Psychology Syndrome).  Though the title of the series is Autism Diet, the brain imbalance for autism and ADHD is very similar though it outwardly manifests differently, and healing the underlying problem is therefore addressed in the same way.  Both address issues that I think parents of the ADHD child will find of interest; it is a six part series and you can continue on your own to research if this aspect interests you.

Of course the way a parent deals with a child who is very high energy is also very important. Parents need to learn what reasonable expectations for their children are, and how to appropriately navigate challenging situations that arise.  I’ve written about this in various posts, but I strongly feel that someone in the above situation needs personal consultation with someone skilled in mentoring parents so they get the detailed help they need.  Reading suggestions that aren’t targeted to their specific concerns will be somewhat helpful but to really turn things around, you need to take clear and concrete action in the right direction, and be sure that you’re really headed in the right direction!  I have a very strong sense in this particular situation that this is a very critical factor.

The alternative approach does take longer, but time takes time – the natural process can’t be rushed; it proceeds at an organic pace.  If you do wish to avoid Ritalin, then you’ll need to be willing to experience the discomfort of not immediately being able to resolve the situation, though the commeasurate satisfaction will come from addressing the root issues at the core rather than eliminating the symptoms.

Good luck!


5 thoughts on “Question about ADHD

  1. The examples she gave are pretty textbook sensory-seeking behaviors. In addition to looking at the ADHD issues, I’d get an appointment with an occupational therapist. Diet may improve his sensory requirements but some simple therapies may offer her child a bunch of relief.

  2. @Aadrw – I totally agree. Sensory processing disorder can look like a lot of other really challenging things, but is in fact its own unique animal. There is a specific protocol for SPD that is very effective and also serves as a good bonding time between parent and child. It is very likely that their local public school district can direct them to free (tax-paid) assessment services.

  3. I wonder what your feelings are about someone that just discovered that they have ADHD as an adult? That would be me. I’ve been put on Ritalin and other things but I’d like to do natural—just not sure if that’s going to be totally manageable…thoughts?

  4. I just wanted to comment because I have ADHD, and I worry when it is described as a behavior disorder, because it isn’t. It’s a focus disorder.

    Yes, I have found that I am more sensitive to my environment than others, but I was very well-behaved growing up and it was because my parents were very clear on how to behave, what behaviors were modeled around us and, to a lesser extent, they were careful about what we ate.

    Once a child really knows (not hears, not parrots back, but understands) how they are supposed to behave it is actually easier to behave and deal with trying to focus. It does make it harder to instill the behavior in the first place though. Also, due to ADHD now being grouped with autoimmune disorders it appears that an autoimmune-sensitive diet really seems to help all the symptoms.

    As for the focusing, I learned to ‘loop’: I knew what I was supposed to be on, but I would keep jumping around mentally, so I would let myself wander and then come back to where I left off on the first task, continue, and then give myself a little mental ‘bookmark’ when I went wandering off again. You would think it would take longer, but I never fell behind. It sounds like this child has figured out how to manipulate his own ADHD in order to keep up academically; what he really needs is focused guidance on how to behave, and figuring out what triggers him so that temptations can be minimised.

    Because I will say, that when I misbehaved I knew full well what I was doing, and honestly it was more like I was watching myself and everyone around me to see what happened. A social experiment, if you will, however, and this is the important part; I did not want to be bad. I did not want to be the weird kid. Sometimes I just needed to let the crazy out, and in a school setting it is very hard to find a safe outlet for that. I simply could not focus without getting rid of all this built-up distraction, so I learned to accept the consequences, which were unpleasant.

    Even once he figure out and manage his triggers, his behaviour is always going to be a bit MORE than everyone else; the goal is to help him figure out how to direct that MORE productively. (Productively here meaning any way that is positive, even if it’s just him playing some mental games that help him calm down and refocus. As long as it benefits him without negative consequences, I see it as a productive action.)

  5. I’m also ADD, and my mum’s method was to be incredibly patient with me. To this day, when I get distracted (because it happens for your whole life, not just childhood) she can say “Stay on task” and suddenly I’m pulled back to what I’m doing.

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