Is medication the best answer for my son who has mild ADD -diet changes and supplements not working? He is 10.
I always suspected my son had some aspect of ADD/ADHD – After much frustration with the schools/teachers, he was diagnosed with mild ADD – Attentive Feature. Teachers and schools have done nothing to address the problem and have subtly pushed for medication. I have tried dietary changes – no sugar, no preservatives or food additives, as well as giving supplements and while his attention and ability to concentrate/ focus may have improved minimally, he continues to struggle at school. He is too smart to qualify for help – he scores within the average range on his tests, and yet can’t function within the classroom. His teachers don’t help only telling me what he can’t do. I have conferenced with them on strategies to help him overcome his weaknesses and capitalizing on his strengths, but nothing is working. I am not the kind of parent who doles out medications freely, but I’m at a loss as to what to do. My naturopath would be flabergasted that I’m even considering meds.
barry jennings answers:
The school is not being upfront with you. It is not unusual for kids with certain issues (like ADHD or Asperger’s) to have average to high intelligence. That does not mean they are ineligible for extra help. The first thing they did with my son was provide a one-on-one teaching assistant (called a “para” or paraprofessional) to help him out throughout the day – keep him on track, help him transition between assignments/events, control his emotions, etc. For him it was not enough and by 5th grade he was put in a “behavioral class” (special ed). He’s a very bright child, but he does not function well within a classroom setting and as of right now, nothing has worked.
He is 12 and has more dx’s than just ADHD. He is on medication and it makes a world of difference (they used to be able to tell if he had missed meds the moment he walked through the classroom doors in the morning), but seems to help less the older he gets. It does not sedate him or anything like that. A lot of people think that is how the meds work in kids with ADHD, but what the medical field reports is that it actually “wakes up” an area of the brain involved in focus that is not very active in ADD. Meanwhile other parts of the brain are active/overactive. I am not completely comfortable having him on meds, but speaking from the point of view of somebody that should have been medicated as a child and was not, I can not allow him to struggle the way I did when there is something out there that can help. I agree with you that natural methods are preferable.
I am meeting with a special ed advocate in the next week or so to find out what options we have. They are supposed to place children in the least restrictive environment. He is in the most restrictive and the public school still is clueless how to handle him (to be perfectly honest, so are we). You may find it helpful to talk to an advocate.
My experience has been within NY state, and the way the school thing works varies by state. I would definitely suggest looking into the specifics for your state. I am fairly certain he should be eligible for extra help no matter where you are located. Sometimes the schools are very helpful – for the first 5 years or so they were. I didn’t have to fight them for anything. Things are changing now and I am starting to understand the struggle many people have in obtaining appropriate services for their individual child.
There are things that can be done in the classroom to help. The structure of school does not allow much flexibility in how children are taught, but not everybody learns the same way. Sometimes they need to make modifications.
Is he classified as disabled through the school? I think that would be the first step to getting him the services that can help him.
You might be interested in books by Thom Hartmann (I think it’s spelled that way). He has a very different, very positive view on ADHD. Another book is Healing ADD by Daniel Amen.
Here are some links that may be helpful. Good luck 🙂
http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/parentguide.htm#LRE (this is NY state specific)
http://www.aboutourkids.org/files/articles/mar_apr2006.pdf (the very end has suggestions for school)
how do i gain weight?
I am 16 years old. 5’10 and weigh 125. dont just say eat. please. i think i eat a lot of snacks too much. but i take aderall adhd med it effects my hunger and appetite. it makes me less hungry. i am on other medicine antianxiety i thnk it helps me eat but still overall im less hungry and i cant go off the medicine. I also lift weights and play basketball and rugby and kind of run. any suggestions for like protien supplements, diets, food, workouts, techniques, websites, etc. i would really really like to have muscle but the only thing i care about right now is just gaining weight to the average weight
barry jennings answers:
It is a smart decision for you to gain weight. To reach a healthy weight, you will need to gain at least 4 pounds, so I would try for about 5-10.
Stomach- 50 crunches daily, increase by 5 each day until you reach 100, and 5 planks each day (spread out).
Arms: Lift 5-10 pound weights while walking for 30 minutes each day. Do not go up to 10 until you feel comfortable with 5 pounds (as a test if you are ready, do 5 pounds for an hour and if you are fine with this, go to 10)
Calves: The walking with hand weights, plus 30 minutes running without weights
Thighs: Swimming for 30 minutes-1 hour
Do this 5 days a week, but take weekends off.
-10 ounces grains
-4 cups of vegetables
-2.5 cups of fruits
-3 cups of diary
-7 ounces meat and beans
(All daily amounts)
-About 3500 calories a day (if this is hard for you, you can work your way up to this very slowly from wherever you are now…try increasing by 250 calories every week)
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