ADD/ADHD drugs are not always the answer

  • Aqua2378,

    About the ADD/ADHD thing. First off. There may be some children who need this drug BUT there are many who do not and could be treated with kindler/gentler treatments that do not have the lasting affect of the manufactured drug.

    So I will go on a rant here in case someone out there needs to know this.

    Many schools push for it to be diagnosed because they actually get extra money from the government based on the amount of children with learning disabilities. I was warned by his pediatrician about this after my son was diagnosed with the food allergies. He did not have severe symptoms, so he was not diagnosed until 4. After reading prolifically on the subject of food allergies and the misdiagnosis of learning disabilities that many times follows it, I learned why this occurs.

    Since those children with minor food allergies often go undiagnosed, no one realizes that the symptoms they are seeing are due to the allergies.

    They do not process the needed nutrients in their food due to the delivery of them in food the body see as an allergen. So consequently, many of the nutrients the brain needs is not processed properly.

    The body is also always in fighting mode and the immune system is always on call. This weakens the immune system but it also means that the small symptoms of the allergies again go unnoticed cause the person always seems to be sick with one thing or another.

    Also, the stomach is always irritated and the nervous system is agitated.

    Now, the child thinks this is normal because they have experienced it since birth, so they never think to complain or cry about it. It’s just what their body always feels like after food. But what you have to keep in mind is that with the body always on the edge of being irritated and agitated; the child’s action reflect this being on the edge. They can have calm periods where they are intent on what they are doing but as soon as you disrupt them from it they go nuts, like they have to let off a bunch of energy.

    Think of it like trying to concentrate when you have a headache, it is difficult. And how you act or react to outside disruptions when this is occurring. It’s just one more thing you did not need at that moment.

    The problem is the schools are usually the ones pushing for the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and they are the one’s recommending the psychologist or doctor to go see. These doctors get a great deal of their business from the schools for doing this and they rarely look for anything other than a blanket diagnosis of learning disability. It’s a scam for the most part. The schools get money and the doctors get money and the teachers get nice little drugged children who do not disrupt their class.

    I spoke with many parents of children who were on the medication or used to be on the meds. My boss in fact had a deal with his son to allow him not to take the medication and just not tell the mom or the school. Both the mother and the school, never made any more fuss. They all thought that as long as he was on the drug they were happy. But he never took it.

    My son’s pediatrician was the first to warn me and tell me to stick to my guns on the issue. my own doctor seconded that advice. A heart doctor I went to (turned out to be gas) counseled me to be strong on the issue against Ritalin and the child psychologist also agreed whole heartedly. By this time I was amazed at how many doctors were patently against these drugs being administered like candy to young developing minds.

    The fault lies in the system and the money is a big issue. The schools try to make the parents life miserable and call them at work saying their child is being disrupted until they cave in and do what is best for everyone but the actual child.

    As for indigo children, they many times have food allergies but they are also hypersensitive. The maybe empathic or hear or see spirits. If the former, then they are irritated by additional stimuli which causes them to react and be edgy (too much stimuli) if it is the later then they may seem spacey at times (distracted) and calm and intent on studies the next. Both of these are considered ADD/ADHD symptoms. BUT the doctors do not even know what ADD/ADHD is. IT IS A LABEL, that’s it and it is being treated with mind altering drugs.

    There are corrections for food allergies as in don’t give them the food they are allergic to. There are calming strategies that can be taught as in shielding, use of stones, and essential oils. You can try acupressure and massage. These things take time and effort but do not harm the child.

    The school system does not want to be patient and wait for these efforts to pay off. They want their fix NOW.

    So, I moved my child from daycare to daycare from one babysitter to the next while trying to maintain a calm household, teach him calming techniques and taking the time for the allergens to leave his system and for the new food to take up the slack and get his body back on track.

    I thank God, my bosses were with me on this and were patient and allowed for the disruption these constant changes caused until it worked itself out.


  • Paddi,

    The Feingold Diet is one of those that specifically refer to autistism.

    There are few doctors who will come out for alternative treatments "on record" but the parents of these children have no problem explaining how much it helped.

    Who cares what the medical, "I'm afraid of lawsuits, so I won't say anything" for or against thinks. When you see real differences in your child, that is the only thing that matters!

    I took about a 3 months for me to see the difference, 6 months for those who only saw him from time to time and a year for new people (teachers, caregivers) to no longer even mention the possiblitiy that there was something wrong.

    By the time I put him in the public school kindergarden, I never heard another word about it.

    That does not mean he was a perfect little angel, but it did mean, he was no longer thought of as a like;y candidate. Yet up until that time, any teacher, caregiver was dead set in their opinion that he had ADD/ADHD and you could not convince them otherwise.

    So, without every giving him the drug or seeking any kind of treatment for this unilateral diagnosis, how did he manage to hide it later?

    Answer is, he never had it in the first place! and yet I could never convince the nay sayers.

  • angel hugs with flower petals

    Ibelieve, good for you for sticking to your guns on this.

    My son was-is sensitive to a lot of food colour additives. I became aware of this early in his life and did what I could to eliminate them from OUR diet.

    When he was in grade 2 the teachers would often put my son behind a screen as she stated some of his behaviour was disruptive to the class

    I stated he may have been getting foods with these food colours in them. We worked on the elimination. and it worked.


  • Absolutely

    It was one of the things we had to eliminate as well. Not just those allergens but additives and colorings.

    I was so amazed at the proliferation of them in foods especially for children and prior to this, never thought about it in the least as I am sure most people still don't think about it.

    We tend to trust the food and drug admin to take care of our chldren, thats their job right?

    Not hardly, they fall prey to the same big business that all goverment falls prey to.

    Read up on the red dye used for marsciano cherries. It is baned from comsmetics but okay to put into our bloodstream? And if it is okay for the cherry industry then it if fair game for any other food, so think about that the next time you see red colored drinks or treats for kids.


  • Thank you much!

    For my son who is now 12, I have known since conception that he was going to be......we will just say the word "difficult". Didn’t like people touching my belly, didn’t like the position I slept in. Always kicking till he was comfortable. And it hasn’t stopped yet! Although now he can communicate on top of it, lol. It is just always his way or no way and will fight for that. I actually initiated him seeing a counselor. I had been told (when pre-school seen him not picking up learning fast enough and had him evaluated) been told that he is just too smart for his own good. He knew how to fool the best of us adults. Knew everything but just didn’t want to do it. This is when I knew he was going to be harder than I imagined. I have never wanted him on meds. I know he just needs to learn to balance his emotions with the world and not everything will be as he likes.

    But by time he was in 2nd grade (public school) there was a clear learning disability. He was not reading at an average level and test scores were down. The school had done all the testing which the State of Ohio requires so I didn’t have to pay for a private evaluation again. Upon the results they put an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) in place. The first meeting involved me, dad, and about 8 other teachers/principal from the school. Whether it is called a diagnosis or not, he is said to have a Reading and Comprehension Learning Disability. No meds were ever suggested (thank goodness) and the great patience and support of the school and teachers have brought him to a great level of understanding himself and how to cope. Ohhhh, and as far as empathic…..I don’t think so. When he was between 1 and 3, he used to say he seen things and then he would act out what he seen them doing. It kept me on edge sometimes; but knew that most kids are able to do this at that age.

    Now my daughter……She was ALWAYS very laid back. Even when she was born she wouldn’t cry. They gave her her shots and drew the newborn screening blood, and she never let out a peep. She always was content just watching her brother run around. We always knew there was something different about her though. She had a lot of allergies as a baby/toddler. Her skin is VERY sensitive. Diapers, toilet paper and laundry detergent are things we have to watch. Her stomach sensitive to milk, lactaid milk and soy milk (actually soy made her break out). She started having small seizures at 1.5yrs old that only lasted till about 5yrs old. Her staring off into space was something she did every other minute. Like I said, she has always been a story teller. Making up stories about how she went to visit her other mom and dad and what she did while she was there. Now a-days….she is a wolf and howls at the full moon, lol.

    When school started she had a very hard time paying attention. She was always staring out the window. When asked what she was doing, all she did was give a great big smile. When at home she does the same thing with the TV. She also cannot handle more than a few tasks at a time. With recommendation from her Pediatrician we initiated medicine (Concerta. Not Ritalin) and she is able to do more. Not perfect, but better.

    As a mother, you just wish you had a magic mirror and could see exactly what you need to do for the situation. A mother’s intuition is all I have to go on, so I choose not to medicate my son to control emotions and do choose to medicate my daughter to control her attention span.  And with my daughter being the great story teller she is, I find it hard to whole-heartedly believe her when she says she sees things that I can’t. Is that so mean of me?

    I actually have 100 questions!!!!! just can't focus on all of them right now, lmbo!

  • I willpass that name on to my friend IBeleive. Thanks!

    It is hard to know what to believe when kids get started on stories, my eldest always had another family and could see things, I got her tested and she has a very high IQ so we reckoned her lack of attention was merely because she was bored. So we and the school gave her more stimulation and it has worked wonders for her. Maybe something you could try aqua, find out what pushes your daughter's buttons.

  • Why do you feel you can't "whole-heartedly" believe your daughter?

  • Paddi: If it has to do with art, it pushes her button. Drawing, coloring, writing (she is 9 and has written 18 chapters of a book. The life of a wolf), painting, etc. Maybe I will have to let my OCD hide for a bit while she makes a mess with her art 🙂

    PH: I find it hard to believe mainly because I feel she is speaking of it after the subject has been brought up. Say we are watching a program about ghosts, entities or what-have-u.....she then says "I see ghosts all the time". I encourage her story and/or imagination, but don't believe it. Sort of like a hypochondriac syndrome. She sees it, she has it. Don't get me wrong....I am very open to what it could be. I just haven't found or heard that one thing to convince me yet. She has sleep disturbances and often has her eyes open while still asleep. This also includes conversations and walking around during these times. Sometimes I think that it could be her dreaming and thinking she’s awake and seeing it for real. I realllllllly don’t know. Just waiting for that one thing to show me she’s not just being a kid.

  • Aqua

    If you are open, then there is not much else that I know of. I do understand there are stories and then there are STORIES, but how to determine which is which?. You should definitelty go with intuition. There were many times when I just KNEW something with regard to my son. I did not care what they told me or him, cause I knew what was going on. That is not to mean all the time, but there are some times when you just know.

    Yeah, leave off your OCD with regards to her art but do set boundries. She needs to explore but she needs to learn there are other people to concider as well. And that is part of the social development.

    The feingold diet, which I did not follow as we had identified his allegies and most of their tradeoffs were his allegens so it would ot have worked, BUT I did learn a lot about the additives and colorings etc. They have a great deal to do with attention span as well as the hyperactivity. That's why many autistic and asberger childrren were seen to have results on it. So you could investigate whether this might help one or both of your children whether they are medicated or not. Feeding them foods without these types of things does not interfear with the treatment and truely is a better diet anyway.

    Going organic can be expensive and I opted for a partially organic/partially regular packaged plan.

    I switched to organic, free range, grain fed eggs because of the steroids and hormones they fed hens as well as for the humane treatment of them. The same goes for the milk and the hormone additives. Meat had to be nitrate free (which is a big problem in special children) andthe dyes specifically. So I bought organic yogurt as well. I try for naturally sweetend fruit as he has a corn allergy and just getting him off corn syrup was a pain (you know it is even used in ketchup?) So processed sugars went by the way side as well. It took me forever to get this all down but I learned so much from it with regards to what I was feeding me and him.

    But I must say I found alternatives for almost anything the "regular kids" got to eat so he rarely felt left out and if there was a special occasion then I let him make the choice of wether he ate the hot dog or had the cake so he learned how to make his own decisions very early.

  • This is really interesting, it is making me look at what my lot eat. There is one soft juice I stopped buying as it drives my kids bananas and there is another thing that does it too. And a certain type of mayonnaise. Organic is expensive I would love to have the space for a chicken run and a proper vegetable patch and orchard. I will be reviewing my shopping list this week.

    Good luck aqua with your daughter, I never saw any reason to doubt my daughter(she is 😎 notjing wrong with a vivid imagination, just needs to be harnassed to make it work for her (artwork, writing, nature this helps my kids they are busy for hours with their tales).


  • IBelieve and Paddi,

    I would be interested in finding out more about food allergies and additives etc as my daughter is Adhd that impaired her reading and writing skills. I avoided going through the school for testing untuntil several routes through external medical testing, neurological and etc took place. I did decided on medication as she was unable to retain what she learned and was affecting her in many areas academically to the point her self esteem was starting to show effects. I feel that a combination treatment has been most effective with her. She doesn't get cokes and chocolate is a very rare treat unless it is white chocolate as for some reason it does not effect her as badly. If she had not been put on meds, I would have not found her secondary learning issue or treatment for it. Aqua, as soon as I get her more settled, I will share what I found that helped her on many levels.


  • Aqua,

    I did all kinds of searching on tutoring programs and etc and the same day my mom called me with a name I had located their website online. A guy at work shared a story of a neurological USA be had as child that would have resulted in his life being totally different had his parents not been so active in obtaining help for him as young child. This man ended up a developmental chemist which he is fairly certain would not have happened without this help as a child. I showed him the site which he indicated similarities to techniques they had used. I decided to set her up for a cognitive test with learningrx. She came back in areas I and others had noticed problems. I wrestled with how to get her there and afford it as it was located an hour away. The difference in tutoring and the cognitive skills learning are different as it teaches them how to learn and problem solving skills so if she ran into a new problem she could work through it. I ended up opting for something called the partner program which meant they tight me how to teach part of the sessions and they taught part of the sessions. I made the decision to hold my daughter back in kindergarten last year and started the tutoring in midsummer. I wi be honest Nicole was not on board at first and trying to teach her like this was quite frustrAting and challenging at first. Once we started to get her on board, I started seeing improvements in memory, concentration, reading towards the end.

    When she went back to school, her behavior, concentration and reading and writing were greatly improved as well as her self esteem. No matter how hard, it has helped her so much. Several teachers asked me what I did over the summer as my daughter was like a totally different kid. I can honestly tell you it was all I could do to make it through it but it has helped me be more effective at helping her with school work and etc in a way she understands.

    We still have trouble with behavior at home but at least the problems are not everwhere now. She also has many psychic gifts so that has challenges of its own as she has some empathy abilites also so I work a lot at trying to stay balanced to try from making it worse if we feed off each others emotions. I don't know if this helps any but I truly hope it does as it really took a lot of faith in my gut feelings and pushing for help at her age. Most people want to wait until they are in third grade. I think by then things would have been much worse had I not acted on these things while she was still young.

    When I was young, my parents circumstances were much different than my own so I was more well adapted by the time I got to kinderfarten and because my grades were good adhd was overlooked in my youth. I am a divorced single parent with little to no support from my ex financially or with her in general so I had to find other ways to help her.


  • GreyStar,

    You are a wonderful parent.

    Regardless of whether the child needs some form of medicaition, change in diet, tuturing or a combination, the parents involvment and willingness to be involved makes a huge difference. Ask the questions, do the research, find out the alternatives and yes, use your gut to help make the decision on what will work or not work for your child. Doctors know a lot but they do not know your child on the day to day basis. They do not know for instance they the kid goes nuts after eating a chocolate mint but is fine when it is just chocolate. Or that he acted very strange after eating celery.

    I treated his "yeast infection as a baby just like the doctor told me to but it kept comming back and they kept giving me stronger and stronger medicine for it. The last batch came with such dire warnings, I refused to give it to him. I then took note that he was getting the rash the day after eating cucumbers. He loved them and had them every sunday when we went out to dinner with his dad and every monday he had a rash. Well guess what, I quit letting him have cucumbers and he quit getting the rash.

    So again, just being aware of what is going on with your child on a daily basis and noting what is occurring just prior to certain behaviors can be the biggest clue on what can help.

    You can google Feingold and I had a book about that diet program from the library. It is not the only one I read as I needed more specific infor on his particular allergies. So I bought several and most included info on additives and colorings and sugars (especially processed high glucose corn syrup HGS) and MSG which is another bad one for a lot of children. (known to cause migranes in some and weird high strung episodes in others). There were several I got specific to food and behavior.

    I also believe that the amount of work I put into making it as easy as possible for him, made the most impact on his accepting the diet limitations and not making a fuss about it. I always had an alternative he would enjoy.


  • I forgot to add that I also like Dr Andrew Weil's books and programs. His stuff can be pretty strict but I gained alot of info and was at least able to make my own decisions based on knowledge of the items I was buying and what goes into their processing.

    By the time I was done, I had more info than I wanted to know. So you kind of have to take some things in stride. As I could not afford to go totally organic and did I mention, I did not know how to cook. LOL

  • LOL Beth you are funny, I bet you learnt to cook pretty fast right? I am so going to look in to what I am giving my kids. My second and fourth both have dairy allergies, my first cheese and my third absolutey no problems at all (relief). But they do get a lot of junk if I am to be totally honest. I will see what happens when they get no or little junk.

    GreyStar once agan I admire your strength. I hope you are feeling better than you were.


  • Thank you both. I. have really great parents who are involved and help some with my daughter. I am feeling much better. I recently participated in a group healing which helped to bring forth areas for me and my daughter to improve our communication. It is nice to relate to other parents and share what each has learned.

    I hope that the learning she went through ends up helping other people.

    Love and Light,


  • Thanks Paddi and GreyStar,

    Paddi, I did learn but I still s*uck at it. I am gifted in many areas, that is soo not one of the areas. LOL. My only specialty is sandwiches. My older sister is one of those born to cook and with a green thumb to boot. I wish I could make everything and grow everything organically but have come to understand it just isn't going to happen like that, so I do the best that I can and it is good enough. In other words, I no longer beat myself up about it.

    My wish for this thread is to empower anyone who needs the information that there are alternative treatments AND alternative ailments. You may not be getting the whole diagnosis. To get involved rather than rely solely on those who consider themselves "experts". The only expert with regards to your child is you and the child. Anyone else in the equation is there to supply you with information in order for YOU to make a decision on what course to take. But if they give you only one side, like the standard advice you hear all the time "get a second opinion." Ask the questions, do the research, see what fits you and your child best and NEVER let someone (like a school/teacher) pressure you into doing it their way or else. They are NOT the parent.

    Not all children with the “symptoms” have ADD/ADHD. If they actually have something else, then the treatment will be different. I understand the teachers want a quick fix but if they have to wait for the treatment of the real disorder to work that is their problem. AND that is my point. In my case they would not accept any diagnosis other than the one that they wanted it to be and were unwilling to wait for the results. That pissed me off. I was just lucky I had the ability to do something else.

    Here is a note from a website that mirrors what the pediatrician was trying to explain.

    Diagnosis of ADD ADHD | Overview

    Everyone in a private practice setting who works with ADHD children or adults is going to have their own opinion on how Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder should be diagnosed.

    Some clinics take the perspective that "more is good," and will recommend a large battery of tests, often costing many thousands of dollars.

    Other clinics, typically with hurried physicians, will simply give a brief rating scales to the parents and then make a quick diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

    Unfortunately neither of these extremes is in the patient's best interest.

    Over-Diagnosis of ADHD

    The over-diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a problem. There are some children who are diagnosed as having ADD ADHD that simply do not have it.

    It is not uncommon for someone with the following conditions to be diagnosed as ADHD when they do not have ADHD:

    • depression

    • anxiety

    • specific learning disabilities

    • early onset bi-polar disorder

    • Tourette's Syndrome

    • food allergies

    • head injuries

    • fetal alcohol syndrome

    • dental problems, such as abscessed root canals or mercury toxicity from fillings

    • significant family problems

    • grief or trauma

    These differential diagnoses must be considered - and ruled out - before making a diagnosis of ADHD.

    This kind of mis-diagnosis is often the result of a diagnostic "work-up" which is too brief and does not take into account the many reasons why a child might be inattentive, impulsive, or over-active.

  • GreyStar: very interested in the alternative life skills teachings you speak of. This is exactly where I see her weakness as she grows. Organization, staying on task, she is also VERY naive.

    IBelieve: since she has had these "symptoms" her whole life, I will have to look deeper and certainly do some more research. THANK YOU! Me and dad just assumed it was her personality until diagnosis, then things seemed to make more sense.....but maybe I can keep an eye on more food sensitivities.

  • Someone mentioned Ritalin. I got to talk to an adult son of a friend with ADHD and he explained how taking it felt. Yes, he could sit and concentrate when he took it, but it was like a freight train running inside his brain. He is now a Navy Seal.

    I've also been counting carbs in food for over 10 years, because my husband is diabetic. If you look at all the pre-packaged snacks, juices and lunches for kids, the carb (SUGAR) and sodium levels are off the chart.

    I've worked with all types of kids (alternative school), and I don't think it's the teacher's fault. Any educational system that expects each child to learn in exactly the same way is flawed. The teachers are restricted by the system. Even those doing the testing have guidelines they must follow, and the doctors have procedures to adhere to. What's lacking is that each child is an individual person, with different characteristics, which the system is not set up to address. If at all possible, those of you who can, get them to an alternative school. At least an art or music class. I've seen miracles happen.

  • Hi Ibelieve,

    I'm sorry for taking so long to come here, I'm still feeling a little exausted from yesterdays de-cluttering, it's took it out of me physically but I'm feeling very happy :)....

    But I whole heartedly agree with all you say about the disgusting way these drugs are pumped into children, one of my daughters has 2 boys that have been diagnosed with ADHD, but thank goodness she refused to have them medicated for it, sadly, she hasn't really tried with the battle of making them eat a good diet to help them :(, but, for now I'm grateful she made a stand on "no drugs".... there is a lot of info for parents now to help parents make the right choice for their children, but they have to be strong and stick up for their rights and not to feel bullied with the organisations because a lot of them will even have the sick ordasity to make the parents feel bad in not wanting their children take their poison, just like they do with inoculations, phew! thats another of my pet hates....all this "pumping our children with their poisons is to keep them "dumbed down" and keep their pockets lined with the proceeds of making the future adults of our planet sick and ailing"....a viscious circle indeed!!

    I remember reading an article on Dorreen Virtues site, where she talks of how bad it's become in "labeling" our children as "problem" children when all it is the children are so highly attuned and sensitive to the energies around them....all they need is for people to learn how to deal with them, but with love and understanding, I know first hand the difficulty that statement can be, but to save our children from being pumped with poison that "dumbs them down and kills their spirit"......we truly HAVE to find the way to do it the natural way.....and whats more natural than LOVE 🙂

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