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My daughter and ADD

I have fought this notion for years...I have now accepted it and I'm moving on. My daughter fits virtually every description of a child with ADD...and she has a little bit of the hyperactivity in that she "fidgets"....she isn't swinging off the ceiling fan. We just did the 3rd eval which I am pretty sure is going to come back and say, yep you're the lucky winner of a child with ADD. Who cares, I love her. She tried Concerta for a short time last year, we didn't really see a difference and the Dr. just took her off it, said well, she must not have ADD/ADHD and left it at that. Some of you mom's who have dealt with this....what's your advice? She's a good kid, not a discipline issue, she just can't focus and schoolwork is her biggest problem, she also loses interest in everything really quickly. Oh, she's 13 by the way.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:24 PM on Dec. 16, 2008 in Kids' Health

Answers (16)
  • I have talked to several people who's children were or suspected of ADHD. I think the best thing to do and the way that I would approach it would be to look at the diet. I knew one mother that found out and immediately changed the diet to organic. No meds ever involved. That is the route I would pursue rather than putting my child on any type of meds. Here is why I say that, because I was put on a medication for 11 years that I simply could not get off of. It was found to cause liver damage. Not one of my Dr's told me that, I found out on my own. Then when I did find one who knew they wanted to try a different med. I finally weaned myself off. Don't risk any damages, do your research first and I would seriously start with diet. I think you will see an amazing difference. It's scary what we eat.

    Answer by pupmom at 12:28 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • I can address the diet thing. I am the OP....we actually do eat very healthy. I suspected diet also. We really limit anything that comes in a box or can. Basically, my motto is: if you can store it in a cupboard, don't eat it. It makes for more trips to the grocery, but I feel better about the food my family is eating. Maybe I could do more but I think short of eating the same grass as our horses...we're about as "out of the box" as we can get. LOL I read the label on everything. I really do NOT want to do meds, but I am willing to consider a low dosage because she WANTS to be able to focus in school and it is very frustrating to her. It's hard to see her cry almost everyday cause she wants to do well, she just can't make her body do what she wants it to do. Iam not underminding your advice...just adding to my original statement.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:35 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • Well, with the Concerta, all meds take time to work and if the dosage isn't right, it won't make a difference, so they may not have had the dose right. With that said, I agree with pp on changing her diet. My kids both have ADHD, and although I did have to put them on meds, I changed their diet first, with minimal results. Theirs is very severe. But I cut out all processed foods, anything with preservatives (lunch meats, chips, packaged cookies/cakes/brownies/mixes). I give them 100% natural juices, milk, pbj, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, fried egg sandwiches, cereal instead of chips. I bake, from scratch, any cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. that they want and it doesn't affect them at all. It made a difference, but for my sons, their ADHD is so severe that nothing made enough of an impact until the started their meds.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 12:36 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • tropicalmama~ your house or should I say kitchen sounds like maybe I have gotten the diet thing down friends (which is kinda sad) think I am "old fashion" because my cupboards aren't full of little debbie's and cheese puffs. I even cook pop corn in a pot on the stove...none of the microwave stuff. My daughter's friends love that one. It was a little weird at first, but I think everything tastes so much better now. We have our own chickens so eggs are just good ole bug eatin' chicken eggs, and if it says "enriched" it isn't bought. I grow a garden in the summer and use only horse manure for fertilize and stuff. I just pick the bugs off cause I dont' like pesticide and I put up all I can to use throughout the rest of the year.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • It's not just about diet from the perspective that you avoid processed foods. Some ADHD kids have food sensitivities - allergies to things like casein and gluten - things found in what most people would consider "healthy" and that act like opiates (causing spaciness and brain fog) for some kids. There are also salicylates - found in things like apples - that can cause problems. You might want to investigate further and familiarize yourself with the topic in addition to trying different meds.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:49 PM on Dec. 16, 2008


    Answer by keyaziz at 2:26 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • I appreciate the diet advice. I will do some more research...however I did go to and read the website that keyaziz posted for me.....what I got from that was don't eat milk, wheat or on fruit. I promise I am not trying to be a smart ass....but that seems left field to me. I've fed this kid everything from chicken nuggets to soy beans over the last 13 years and I can't say I have seen a dramatic change either way. I'm not saying I don't need to do more research, but I need some real information before I make any more diet changes. If you have web addresses, I'll be glad to look it up. Thanks

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:20 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • I worked with a lot of kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD - I diagnosed them. Concerta is just one of many MANY available options out there. If a doctor says, "well we tried but I guess she doesn't have it after all" I have my doubts about this doctor's knowledge of children living with ADHD and the medications available to assist children, teens, and adults in their daily functioning. My suggestion, go to someone who treats ADHD on a regular basis such as a pediatric psyciatrist or lisenced therapist. It is also common that children/teens living with ADHD have bouts of depression and anxiety. Medication is only part of the treatment. The other thing that is great for teens, along with medication, is CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:53 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • cont...What happens is that over the course of X amount of years of coping and compensating for ADHD we get into a groove or behavioral pattern we can't break. Even with the medication. Medication will help to give more energy (appropriate energy), more fucus, and provide a filter. What it does not do is retrain responses that have been ingrained since the beginning of time. So that is where the CBT comes in. Children who live with ADHD are also more likely to have a comorbid learning difference (learning disabiltiy). But if your child is intelligent or has higher than average intelligence then she may compensate and it is more difficult to detect. Often it comes across as laziness, lack of motivation, or being oppositional. Not true. Have the school test her for a learning disabilties

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:57 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • My children are younger and aren't the swinging from the fan type, but are fidgeters and cannot concentrate as well as they should. School work is difficult if they are not having what they should. I have a journal post that tells what we use. Nature's Plus makes a natural med for teens like the one we use. I think it's called Teen Active. The other things would likely help her, but the amount would need to be adjusted. Omega 3's and amino acids are very important. We eat an organic diet, but some of mine can't handle cow's milk products. They use rice or goat milk. Some avoid all sugar - even fruit juices - while others just have to avoid processed sugars. Different things affect people differently, but it takes doing without something for 2 weeks before adding it back in to see results. I'm guessing you've never had her go 2 weeks without milk or wheat to know how it might actually affect her. (just an example)

    Answer by GrowingMama at 1:40 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

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