View Full Version : Want to manage my thirteen yr old ADD son without meds


hippychik
07-10-14, 09:54 PM
Hi there,
I have a son who is thirteen. He may or may not have ADD but the signs he displays indicate that he most likely does. He is not naughty. He is very well behaved. Sits still to watch movies or tv shows. Has manners. But when he is with friends, he interrupts their sentences, gets a bit hyper and shows off a bit. He has a lot of trouble switching off his brain at night. Last night he was up until midnight and I sat with him to help him go to sleep. He was telling me that its hard for him because he has a hundred things in his head. Stars and shapes and thoughts. I feel sorry for him and I guess my question is, what can I do to help him? I definitely don't even want to explore the medication option so I am only looking for non medication therapy. I am also homeschooling him which is also very challenging to get him to concentrate. Please can you give e some advice for helping him get to sleep and also for getting through his day in general as a teenager?
Thanks,

LynneC
07-11-14, 06:21 AM
Even though you are not considering medication at this point, it would be a good idea to have him assessed to determine if he has ADHD.

Regarding sleep, you may want to consider giving him melatonin; this is a prehormone that the body produces naturally that helps regulate the sleep cycle. It is available as a supplement. In addition, make sure to stop the TV and video games at least an hour before bedtime.

Does he take fish oil? Some kids show improvement in ADHD symptoms with fish oil supplements. Have you eliminated food colorings from his diet? Food colorings have been shown to increase hyperactivity in some kids, whether they have ADHD or not.

Lastly, learn all you can about ADHD. These behaviors that you describe, if he has ADHD, are largely out of his control, to a greater or lesser degree. No parent 'wants' to medicate their child, but the alternative may be a child with low self-esteem, poor relationships with family members and peers and difficulty with schoolwork. Here's a link to Dizfriz's Corner...it's a great place to start; there are lots of good suggestions there about how to help your child with ADHD behavior and to help you to understand how a child with ADHD 'ticks'.
And welcome... :)

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130

Tmoney
07-11-14, 08:56 AM
How is his diet? Especially at night. What is he drinking, is he snacking, does he have different reaction to different foods.

For example; I avoid red sauce late because it interferes with my sleeping for some reason.

Junk food, chips, cookies also interfere with my sleeping. Artificial anything, food coloring are also ones that I avoid.

Lunacie
07-11-14, 10:07 AM
Why aren't you willing to at least explore medications?

Would you refuse to give him insulin if he developed diabetes?
Would you refuse to give him meds if he developed severe asthma?

Stevuke79
07-11-14, 10:25 AM
Talk to a doctor. Doctors can do more than just prescribe meds.

vpilar
07-11-14, 11:24 AM
Hi there,
I have a son who is thirteen. He may or may not have ADD but the signs he displays indicate that he most likely does. He is not naughty. He is very well behaved. Sits still to watch movies or tv shows. Has manners. But when he is with friends, he interrupts their sentences, gets a bit hyper and shows off a bit. He has a lot of trouble switching off his brain at night. Last night he was up until midnight and I sat with him to help him go to sleep. He was telling me that its hard for him because he has a hundred things in his head. Stars and shapes and thoughts. I feel sorry for him and I guess my question is, what can I do to help him? I definitely don't even want to explore the medication option so I am only looking for non medication therapy. I am also homeschooling him which is also very challenging to get him to concentrate. Please can you give e some advice for helping him get to sleep and also for getting through his day in general as a teenager?
Thanks,

May I ask what is the impairment exactly?! ...
What is it that you're worried about? Is it that he doesn't sleep early?... How is doing with the school work?...

..

jlynn30
07-11-14, 12:09 PM
I would say to start with a doctor and seeing if there is a diagnosis there to work with. Then you can start really researching methods to best help him manage.

Though, for the sleeping, we use melatonin and it works wonders for settling my sons mind before bed so he can at least get started with some good sleep. It won't keep him asleep if he has issues waking at night, but it does help calm the body down to get to sleep. At least in our experiance.

CrazyLazyGal
07-11-14, 04:21 PM
I agree with the others--diagnosis first. Are these behaviors a recent thing? At his age, hormones affect behaviors a lot.

Ms. Mango
07-11-14, 06:04 PM
The behavioral strategies that work for ADHD kids will work for any child, so that's a good place to start. Strenuous exercise couldn't hurt.

I have to agree with others that you're putting the cart before the horse--you don't have a diagnosis so why even worry about medication?

A proper diagnosis would guide you in making decisions about behavioral interventions and possibly medication (even if the decision re: medication is that you're not going to try it).

You should know that adolescence is the time when many mental health disorders begin manifesting themselves. You're thinking ADHD, but how do you know his behavior isn't caused by anxiety or depression? How do you know that his difficulty focusing on school work isn't caused by a learning disability like dyslexia? It's also possible it could be a combination of ADHD and a learning disability or other mental health disorder.

You really should consider an evaluation.

ccom5100
07-12-14, 12:21 AM
For helping him sleep, you could try a product called Natural Calm. Some people on another board I frequent give it to their children about 1/2 hour before they go to bed and they say it works really well.

sarahsweets
07-12-14, 08:26 AM
First take the tv out of his room) if its in there, Then get a full medicatal workup of everything under the sun that could be an issue. There are many issues that mimic adhd and you need to get to the botom of it.

hippychik
07-13-14, 09:30 AM
Thanks so much for your very helpful and insightful words - everyone. It helps me see outside the square. I am really hoping to stay in touch on this forum. Thanks again!

hippychik
07-13-14, 09:32 AM
sarahsweets, while he would LOVE a tv in his room he is definitely not getting one - lol!! But thank you for sharing knowledge about other things that mimic ADHD - do you have some examples?

hippychik
07-13-14, 09:34 AM
Ms Mango, I am pretty sure he has anxiety issues. But to what extent I am not sure. And yes you're right I am putting the cart before the horse. :o

ana futura
07-13-14, 11:14 AM
If he's willing to try it, meditation will help a lot with the sleep and impulsiveness, whether or not he has ADHD.

I would enroll him in a formal training course of some kind, learning to do it effectively on your own (especially as a child) can be very difficult.

Amtram
07-13-14, 11:32 AM
There are some things you can't manage. He has to learn to manage them himself, and he might not be able to do that without some form of medical intervention.

ccom5100
07-15-14, 06:22 PM
sarahsweets, while he would LOVE a tv in his room he is definitely not getting one - lol!! But thank you for sharing knowledge about other things that mimic ADHD - do you have some examples?

Here's a link to a prior post listing 50 conditions that mimic adhd:
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26832

busymomonli
07-16-14, 02:26 PM
Is the sleep issue a recent thing? I ask because my teenage daughter went through an awful bout of insomnia that lasted about 2 years. And I don't mean she just had trouble sleeping, I mean she went DAYS without sleep. As suddenly as it appeared, it disappeared one day. I attribute it to changing hormones. She does NOT have ADHD.

acdc01
07-16-14, 03:55 PM
Couple of charts below listing some different treatment options (both alternative and meds). These charts aren't scientific fact, just based on surveys but they're as valid as asking for advice from individuals here and I think the results were reasonable.

Main points of charts:

1. Exercise is what the adhders surveyed in chart 2 found to be the 2nd most effective treatment on average so exercise can be very effective.

2. Medication was found to be the most effective treatment by far on average. Note, I myself consider meds as a very last resort for kids if problems can be solved without them. But just sharing this info just for a different perspective. It's much easier to learn how to not be a social moron when you're young than it is when you're an adult and uncontrolled ADHD can really hinder social development.

3. All of the treatment options listed did show benefit for some so worth trying if not harmful. Never know if your son will react the same as the average did or if he'll respond better to some treatments that the majority didn't take to as much.


http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=chart+treatment+adhd&qpvt=chart+treatment+adhd&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=0B4DD71895D539C8494FFFAA81BEAD143DCF28AB&selectedIndex=0

http://blog.23andme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ADHD-Graphic.jpg

Flory
07-16-14, 06:37 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about a condition you don't even know if he has or not yet...evaluation first

Stevuke79
07-16-14, 07:22 PM
I think too much emphasis is placed on medication in general. Sometimes the overemphasis is in over-prescribing, but other times it's over-emphasized as something "not to do".

What I mean is, you don't even have a diagnosis nor do you know if meds are even a potential solution or an option. All you know is: you don't want meds. But your focus should be on making your son's life better. Focusing on not taking meds, is still focusing on the meds not your son. (Think pink-elephant. No wait, actually don't think pink elephant, ha there! see? ;) ;) lol!! I'm so clever!)

I don't mean that to criticize you AT ALL, I'm a parent and I know how scary the idea of medicating your child is. I know how easy a mistake this is to make - I think ANY parent has to constantly overcome these fears to make sure their focus is in the right place.

HADDaball
07-17-14, 03:56 AM
To help a teen sleep, I'd suggest sport or exercise. Burn up the energy. Maybe just water after tea as well.

I agree with the others. Might want to chat with your doc. Get the diagnosis cleared up.

zette93
07-17-14, 09:27 AM
Smart But Scattered is a good book that covers executive function skill in depth and how to help teach them. If you think your son may have ADD I'll hazard a guess that some of these skills are issues for him.