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  #1  
Old 03-13-08, 03:01 PM
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non-drug treatment success stories please!

My son is in-attentive ADHD and he is 6 and in First Grade. He is a focus and attention problem child, he is not hyperactive at all.

Come 4/28 I will need to decide if I will agree to stimulant medication. I researched, read so many books and keep trying to find the right answers.

I hate the side effects, the long term use, etc. etc. etc I am an active Mom and will do what ever I can to help him through this. As of "today" I am leaning towards non-medication treatments. I am attending my second seminar next well on non-drug alternatives. I am looking at the Feingold diet and researching biofeedback. I feel as though I should try other alternatives first. I ordered "bright spark" and "focus" herbal treatments and will start him on Monday.

I am also thinking vitamin supplements, but can't figure out what to buy.

Anyone who can give some suggestions on alternative treatments please help me with suggestions.

I would love to hear some success stories.
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Old 03-13-08, 04:13 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

I'm SOO happy to see you start this thread!

I definitely have had major attention-focus issues, and have all my life, but as I was never told I had a "disorder", I just learned how to function.

I was also fortunately introduced to a healthy lifestyle approach early in life, so I naturally (no pun intended ) looked into herbal/food/supplement help.

I should also mention that my two children have the same issues, and I've been working with them on different remedies -- it's important to know that every person with this challenge is usually deficient in specific nutrients, but it varies from person to person what they're deficient in. So we've had to do some experimenting.

Overall, I've seen the most improvement in all of us by adding fish oil with DHEA. I use Nordic Naturals because I believe it's one of the purest (free of mercury,etc...), and they have gel caps so we avoid the bad fishy taste. Not only does it help the brain, but the whole body loves it!

Phytonutrients are also really important. I wish I could say we "easily" get them from our food (raw veggies and fruits), but we don't. We still eat plenty, but "easily" isn't accurate. But that's another detailed story. Suffice it to say that most of the fruits/vegs we get in the grocery store didn't ripen "on the vine" so we don't get the major chunk of nutrients we're suppose to get. Also, mix in herbicides, pesticides, and the nutrients are further diluted. So in my family, we get organic and locally grown (home garden even better!), but we also take a supplement...I mix in a very pure fruit/veg powder mix with OJ, and the kids take the same powder in capsules.

There are places that test to see what specific nutrients a person is deficient in. We haven't done this, and I'd still like to. But with the quality (quality is Very important) multi-vitamin, phytonutrients, and fish oil we take, and healthy eating, I think we've got a lot covered.

Zinc is another nutrient that I've heard can be deficient in people with attention-focus challenges.

I know you said your child isn't hyperactive, but others might find this helpful. I'm looking into "chicory" to help give a calming effect without sedating and creating that "stupor" effect. I hate when I see kids/teens who are no longer "themselves" because of this side effect of common drugs. I always experiment on myself first, and I'm going to start with a flower essence "chicory" first and see if I notice any benefits. I heard how one man's mother (he's now 65 but was & is naturally Very hyperactive) benefitted from chicory coffee mixed with mashed ripe bananas (HE needed four! of these every morning), creating ~ a soupy paste. We can easily eat a banana, but I'm looking for a successful source of chicory that's easier on the taste buds

I've heard good things about the Focus and Sparky products for kids, but I THINK they're alcohol based and I was trying to find non-alcohol. It's been awhile so I might be wrong.

This is a continual passion of mine. I'm even putting together material to put on a website so I can share all that I've learned. It's a shame not to get all my research out there for others to benefit from. Including coping skills, other alternative approaches, etc...

Hope this helps. And I hope we can keep this thread going!

All the best,
tjay

p.s. I'm happy to share whatever I have if you're interested.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-08, 06:45 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Okay, now we are in the right place, Codykins!

First, make sure you run any supplements you are considering through your child's doctor, and research the ingredients in the herbal/amino acid ones. Many are safe but for not long-term. Natural does not mean safe.

We, as well as many others also have a lot of response with the omegas. There seems to be differing opinions and responses with high DHA or high EPA. The Durham trials used high EPA forumulas. We tried the high DHA first and also only have good response with the higher EPA. Some do well with krill oil or emu oil too. Just make sure whatever you get is pharmaceutical grade and distilled, which are best found through sources online.

Magnesium is another supplement along with zinc that is getting some attention with treating ADHD, but again discuss this with the doctor for consideration. I had my son's serum levels tested for zinc and magnesium, and both were fine, and I felt better to do that rather than unecessarily supplement.

Some have good response with amino acids, and again, this should be done through a qualified practitioner as messing with neurological chemistry can be messy without knowing your unique makeup.

My son did the Dore program, and it has helped him in many ways. I wish it were around and we did it when he was old enough to start, at age 7. It sorted out a lot of his issues. I have also researched the CogMed program which works on attention, and working memory, one of the executive functions. It has an excellent track record and valid research to back it up. It's a fun program for the kids to do as well, though it is very intense, 5 weeks and bam, you've got results. Worth looking into if one fits the profile.

Along with common sense eating good diet, getting enough sleep, and exercise all decrease/manage the symptoms of ADHD too.

Ummm, that's all I can think of for now.
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Old 03-16-08, 12:44 AM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Codykins,

There are lots of things you can try. Read many of the other threads on this forum. I am lucky and have found a supplement that works great for me. But some things work well for some people and not for others. Go ahead and keep looking, but until you find things that work, I'd encourage you to also try the stimulant medications. You can always stop using them if you find something that works better.

phosphatidylserine
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Old 03-17-08, 11:31 AM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Iím just beginning on the journey with my 10 yo son who was recently diagnosed (3 months ago) with combination ADHD. To top it off, heís also academically gifted which has delayed the reality of it because heís always excelled at school. Since starting 4th grade, though, his ADHD has really come to light. He has more responsibility at school this year (changing classes, teachers, more homework etc.).

NO MEDICATION!

What (I believe) has helped out of everything Iíve tried is (in order that I think has helped the most so far:
- He started Taekwondo classes six weeks ago (exercise, focus, discipline, self-confidence)
- More protein in his diet (especially at breakfast)
- Omega 3 fish oil (we have been using Coromega and also ground flax seed)
- Attitude adjustment on my part
- Checklists and Rewards program (the verdict is still out on this one, though)
>>
Things weíre just starting (over the last couple of weeks)
- less junk food (we donít eat a lot to begin with, but thereís room for improvement)
- packing school lunch instead of cafeteria food
- slowly incorporating more organic food & less processed food
- more consistent dinner time
>>
Things Iím looking into:
- Feingold Diet
- Krill Oil capsules (just ordered some from Amazon)
- S.M.A.R.T. BrainGames and/or Neurofeedback
- Lumosity.com and mybraingames.com
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Old 03-19-08, 01:34 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Thanks for starting this thread. I am looking to natural alternatives again.

Two reasons. 1) I HATE the side effects and 2) unfortunately because of the cost soon we are going to be forced to choose a health insurance plan without RX and we won't be able to afford prescription meds.

Both my son and I (he is 23) have ADD I am predominantly inattentive and my son has a combo of the two.

How well do natural treatments work with adults? Anyone have any experience as an adult?
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Old 03-19-08, 03:20 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

a59yankee, I can really identify with your post. My son wasn't diagnosed with ADHD - combined, emphasis on the H, until adulthood and we knew very little about ADHD/ADD - just some misinformation from the media. We just functioned as a family, accepted each individual as they are and supported each other.


Quote:
Originally Posted by a59yankee View Post
Iím just beginning on the journey with my 10 yo son who was recently diagnosed (3 months ago) with combination ADHD. To top it off, heís also academically gifted which has delayed the reality of it
I always suspected my son had a lot of ability and his assessment for ADHD included screening for LDs and abilities which proved it. His academic performance didn't start to decline until grade ten, but he always performed above the radar and his teachers liked him.


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Originally Posted by a59yankee View Post
NO MEDICATION! Ditto.

What (I believe) has helped out of everything Iíve tried is (in order that I think has helped the most so far:
- He started Taekwondo classes six weeks ago (exercise, focus, discipline, self-confidence)Karate, Boy Scouts, competitive skating, competitive running, skiing - cross country and downhill, dirt bikes, camping, hiking - did I mention hyperactivity?
- More protein in his diet (especially at breakfast)Ditto.
- Omega 3 fish oil (we have been using Coromega and also ground flax seed)scientists hadn't connected these to the brain yet
- Attitude adjustment on my part-big ditto
- Checklists and Rewards program (the verdict is still out on this one, though)
>>-Barbara Coloroso is my hero and she doesn't believe in bribing kids either.
Things weíre just starting (over the last couple of weeks)
- less junk food (we donít eat a lot to begin with, but thereís room for improvement)ditto
- packing school lunch instead of cafeteria food-came home or packed lunch
- slowly incorporating more organic food & less processed food
- more consistent dinner time

I was fortunate to be able to be a stay-at-home mom when my kids were in school and when I rejoined the workforce, I worked school hours. My daughter really struggles with organization and if she hadn't had the support I was able to give her, she would have had a much more difficult time at school. She went to regular swim and skating lessons instead of preschool. Did I mention hyperactivity?
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Old 03-20-08, 09:43 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

My son is 6, his ADD is mostly controlled by diet. He is 100% gluten and dairy free, 99% colour and preservative free, with reduced soy and sugar. When he get that 1% of colour etc we are really reminded why we cut it out. Last year when he was more like 80% additive free with no reduction in soy or sugar his teacher said he was the most distracted/inattentive of all the undiagnoised kids she had. Since then the doctor recomended the further diet changes that is to cut out soy, sugar and additives - it is a work in progess.
I experiment from time to time with suppliments inc fish oil, magnisum, zinc, vit C - they all make minor adjustments but none have stood out as amazing. I just started him on Learning Factors smoothy which is like a multivitamin designed for learning difficulties.

He also has started doing Learning Breakthrough type exercises though the aim is to help his learning any behavour effects will be a bonus...
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Old 03-20-08, 09:59 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

re: 8

When you say his "ADD is mostly controlled by diet", do you mean it has improved his executive function and auditory memory too?

Or reduced hyperactivity?

Or reduced inattention?
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Old 03-21-08, 01:57 AM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

I mean it has greatly improved his hyperactivity and somewhat improved his inattention and executive function. His memory has not improved at all.

While he has little ability to remember letters, numbers, words, story lines etc when he was IQ tested his auditory skills were in normal range. It is his visual processing that is low. However, his glasses seem to do little or nothing to help him learn after 3 school months. The school and I believe that he is having trouble storing and retrieving information.

Last edited by nikki3; 03-21-08 at 02:16 AM.. Reason: add information
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Old 03-21-08, 05:36 PM
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Thumbs up Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Hi Codykins, You are smart to look into the different types of treatment before jumping into the use of medications, which should be the last resort. As you do this, remember that your child is not a guinea pig (trying different treatments) which can cause problems your child does not need.

Our family has been very happy with the use of the Feingold diet. My son was on medication first and while things got a lot better, we could see that something was still triggering the behaviors we were trying to stop. The good and bad days were just not as obvious. After stopping the meds and using the diet totally, things were great and they were great 24 hours a day. The medications would wear off--the diet does not. The Feingold Association is a big help. Be sure to go to this support group's website.

Best wishes to you. Marcia


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My son is in-attentive ADHD and he is 6 and in First Grade. He is a focus and attention problem child, he is not hyperactive at all.

Come 4/28 I will need to decide if I will agree to stimulant medication. I researched, read so many books and keep trying to find the right answers.

I hate the side effects, the long term use, etc. etc. etc I am an active Mom and will do what ever I can to help him through this. As of "today" I am leaning towards non-medication treatments. I am attending my second seminar next well on non-drug alternatives. I am looking at the Feingold diet and researching biofeedback. I feel as though I should try other alternatives first. I ordered "bright spark" and "focus" herbal treatments and will start him on Monday.

I am also thinking vitamin supplements, but can't figure out what to buy.

Anyone who can give some suggestions on alternative treatments please help me with suggestions.

I would love to hear some success stories.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:14 AM
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CogMed Effectiveness

Has anyone here used the CogMed program? If so, did you find it effective?

For those who don't know, CogMed is a computer based program that is supposed to improve working memory. However, in order to use the program you have to go through an approved practitioner. I'm not sure about the cost.

I checked out the website and viewed the CogMed Demonstration video. Frankly, the activities are very similar to those we have on a couple games for our Nintendo DS (Big Brain Academy, Brain Age).

Also, what are your thoughts on the long term benefits of this type of memory training?
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Old 03-27-08, 11:47 AM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

I have looked at the CogMed. I think it's expensive, but does have research to back it up. My son and I have been using the website called "Lumosity.com". It has a free two week trial and seems like the games are similar to the CogMed. Lumosity tracks your progress as well. We are going to get "Brain Age 2" and "Flash Focus" for the Nintendo DS.

Also, on a side note: We are going to schedule an eye exam for him. It's something I hadn't thought about before.
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Old 03-27-08, 03:19 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Yankee....i highly recommend scheduling the eye exam with a 'developmental optometrist' rather than a regular optometrist. Many learning issues are related to eyes not working together and this will NOT be found with a regular opt. You can search google and read more about it. It has been really helpful for many with ADD/HD, dyslexia and more!
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Old 04-09-08, 12:37 PM
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Re: non-drug treatment success stories please!

Wow so much wonderful information! It is so amazing to see so many people trying different things. My son, 9, has always struggled staying focused in school. He also is not hyperactive, but was diagnosed with ADHD? When he was in 2nd grade I tried him on Brightspark and he turned very "ugly". My very sweet lovable child changed and he was very rude with me and others. I took him off of it after only a week, but I am now understanding this may have been normal. We have tried so many OTC products, but still haven't found one that really helps. We are currently doing the Learning Breakthrough program, but after a parent/teacher conference last Friday I did more research. Since starting the LB program in February I have noticed a difference, but it is minor at this point so I can't really say one way or the other. Monday I ordered ADD-vantage from www.crystalstar.com and should have my order in later this week. Will repost and let everyone know how that works out. I have commited to trying it for two weeks.

Good luck to everyone and their various treatments!
Julie
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