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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would ask this here to see if I could get some feedback.

My sisters son is 15 and was diagnosed with ADD when he was 10. He has been on ADD medication and seemed to work ok over the past few years. However, I think shes looking into maybe trying some alternative things, since she doesn't really like him being on the meds and it has side effects. I'm sure she will talk with his doctor for suggestions, but so many push for medications, so I thought I would see if there was anyone here who had a child with ADD or ADHD and tried alternative things and if so what were they? Did they help and make a difference?
 

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I have a son who was diagnosed with moderate ADHD. He was diagnosed at about the same age. Both the tester and his school immediately recommended medications. As far as we were concerned that was the last option on the table. No offence to your sister, but "behavior out of a bottle" is the easy way out and another prime example of how ****ed up our medical system is. A quick and easy "fix" without working on the problem itself.

That being said here are the steps we took to address it.

We let the school know (Privet School) that we would not be putting him on meds until it was absolutely necessary. If they had a problem with that we'd take our tuition money elsewhere. We asked that they informe his teachers of the diagnosis and contact us immediately if there were issues at school.

We had him fully tested to make sure we understood the condition.

We enrolled him in martial arts programs to help him learn discipline in a fun manner. This was not a competitive dojo. It was geared towards kids and family.

We pushed him to partake in school activities including sports, drama and speech.

Most importantly we realized we could not utilize the parenting technique we had been using. We had to change and make sure we gave a little more patience and understanding. We tried to remember his actions were part of a condition that warranted a little extra care but not carte blanche to act out.

Today he is in high school, an honors student and active in several extra curricular activities. He fits in well and has developed a terrific sense of humor. I couldn't be more proud of him.

My personal opinion is that ADHD is a label thrown out there because we "have" to call it something if its not perfect. I think that thousands of kids are labeled with with this who are really just "a difficult kid" as my mother would say. I would include my son in that group. But it did make us look at the situation and make changes without medicating him. Good luck to your sister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Amp, thanks for your reply and I agree with a lot of what you have said! I think at the time my sister went the medication route even though she wasn't real crazy about the idea because she was looking for something quick too after years of not knowing what was really going on.

Now she is seeing the light that it might be best to try some different things. Right now he is taking guitar lessons and seems to enjoy that. When he was younger he was into marital arts and has expressed possibly getting back into that soon.

I have heard of some people doing a whole lifestyle change as far as diet, foods etc, just so their child doesn't have to be on meds, which I get, but sounds like a lot. I have read fatty acids, and things like green tea or chamomile tea can help too. There are many people who believe in certain herbal remedies that can help too. I think they key is to get him to focus and concentrate more without him feeling like a zombie.
 

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Thanks for bring up the food aspect, I had forgotten that. We did not make lifestyle changes in that area but we did change his evening snack options to reduce caffeine and fatty food and promoted Tryptophan and carbohydrate rich snacks to help his sleep patterns. That helped also.
 
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Most people with ADD/ADHD have low dopamine and seratonin levels. It could be as simple as watching what he eats and cutting out certain things. I read too, supplements like Vitamin B and Omega Fatty acids help as well. You would need to talk to the doctor though about the dose and how much is recommended.
 

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Thought I would ask this here to see if I could get some feedback.

My sisters son is 15 and was diagnosed with ADD when he was 10. He has been on ADD medication and seemed to work ok over the past few years. However, I think shes looking into maybe trying some alternative things, since she doesn't really like him being on the meds and it has side effects. I'm sure she will talk with his doctor for suggestions, but so many push for medications, so I thought I would see if there was anyone here who had a child with ADD or ADHD and tried alternative things and if so what were they? Did they help and make a difference?
My oldest son was on adderall from seventh grade until eleventh grade. He's twenty four now and very successful and well adjusted even though the doctor would have him on it now had we not said enough.

It would help for a bit (probably placebo) but then he would slowly slide back to old habits. The medication was only a quick fix and a crutch. His mother and I decided it was not the answer. I got serious with him and expressed on a regular basis that his consequences were his to own. He got his act together and completed high school which was not looking probable at the time. Joined the marines, went through over two years of aviation training and is a sargeant which is an achievement on the first enlistment. He has a wonderful wife and 3 kids and one on the way.

Point is, the meds prevent them from learning how to function and succeed with their handicap. I personally as a parent of a child diagnosed and on medication, think that it's another example of us trying to circumvent just being accountable and overcoming obstacles.
 

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My son was diagnosed from age 6. We struggled big time in school. We did the diet, biofeedback, structure, choosing experienced teachers; exercise, etc. Everything helped....some. Ultimately, we had to make the choice between going without medication or having a child in trouble all of the time; struggling in the classroom. Needless to say, at home, he was a handful as well.

Sometimes, there is a time when medications are what is needed. He would have NEVER made it through high school without them. After graduation, he choose to not take the meds. He still could use the meds but instead he self medicates.

Soooooo....there are two sides to every story.
 

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My son was diagnosed at age 3, he is 21 now.

He was on meds from age 4 till 9. He had an aide in kindergarten but not after that, I worked closely with his teachers to ensure he was at the front of the class, that they know how to talk to him (face to face, get down to his level etc) and that they knew how to discipline (taking away recess is a really bad idea for an ADHD kid) and other stuff.

We did an elimination/reintroduction diet with him and found that artificial food coloring affected him a lot, so we cut that out. He always does much better on a 'traditional foods' diet with nothing processed etc.

We also put him through a neurofeedback program that did wonders - got him off the meds entirely. If you google "neurofeedback for adhd" you'll get lots of info.

He's done some self medicating (pot, alcohol) but currently doesn't overimbibe anything. He was drinking quite heavily for a while but has managed to get it under control. Personally, my feeling is that if smoking a joint once in a while helps, go for it.
 

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We also blacked out his windows so he would sleep (he couldn't sleep if the sun was shining, which is a problem here where the sun comes up at 4 am and sets at 11 pm in summer) and we cleared his room out so that he couldn't hurt himself throwing tantrums. That was the case till he was about 7 or 8.
 

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my feeling is that if smoking a joint once in a while helps, go for it.
Marijuana has a long list of health benefits. It's unfortunate the normal method of use requires inhaling toxins and also unfortunate that it's illegal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the replies. My sister is looking further into some different things to try.

Hope- I would think food coloring would be a big one too...I assume its in a lot of things? As far as no processed foods, we might could all benefit from that. :)
 

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Thanks for the replies. My sister is looking further into some different things to try.

Hope- I would think food coloring would be a big one too...I assume its in a lot of things? As far as no processed foods, we might could all benefit from that. :)
From my experience, accountability and consequences were the root solution and not diet. For example, the reason Johhny's grades are not good does not change the fact that no car keys until next report card are still the result. It appearing to have no effect sometimes was frustrating but non the less.

And I reminded my son repeatedely (at 17), in the most respectful way that he was responsible for his choices and that independent, strong adults are the ones who learned how to overcome their demons and gave examples. Basically I took the crutch from him. My experience is only one of many though.
 
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