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My 6 year old son has ADHD and my DH and I have been trying to figure out ways of helping him. Medication seems like our last option, and my son's school work is starting to suffer. His self esteem, his emotions, they have all gotten worse since starting 1st grade, which is an atmosphere more mature and more work oriented.. He doesn't even like school anymore. and whats even worse is other kids in his class are starting to notice it as well.
His teacher said that he is pretty much incapable of sitting still in his chair, and she is even going to move him to and end seat so he isn't as disruptive to other kids, and maybe other kids won't notice it as much. He has been having some anger issues, as well as some emotional issues. He thinks he's "bad" and a "loser" and that he's constantly in trouble. I don't want to get into all the details, because its alot, but I want him to feel good about himself again, I want him to do the best he can at school, and right now he is going at such a full speed that he can't slow down enough to do things the way they should be done.
This definitly isn't a "discipline" problem, and he isn't "acting out" Its just the way he is, and always has been. He is very, very hyper. Constantly moving, constantly talking.. And he is VERY impulsive.
I want to help him.. It just kills me to think of medicating him and changing who he is. I know that it helps alot of kids, and I am preparing myself to give it a try, to see if it will work.. but I was wondering if there was anything natural to try first.. We were going to try behavioral therapy, but that is really hard right now, the drive would be very far to find someone to take our insurance.
Last edited by fibigrey; November 18th, 2010 at 11:10 AM.
i dont have any suggestions as far as natural therapy goes. i can tell you that i was extremely hesitant to medicate my kids though. its a tough decision because the truth is, when you medicate you are giving them an amphetamine. i had a rough time with that. mi kids school, self esteem, and self worth started to really suffer. in the end i made the decision to go with medication. parker takes concerta and lex takes vyvanse. it was the best thing i ever did for them. it did not change who they are. it made them much more in control of who they are. parker was very impulsive before, and not nearly so much anymore. they have improved by leaps and bounds in school. the best way i can explain it is that they are in control. without the medication they seem to act before thinking, and with the medication they think before they act. the fidgeting behavior and inability to stay on task is mostly gone. its not a wonder drug, but it has made huge improvements in both of my kids without changing who they are. both of them have been on meds for years, and we do occasionally miss a dose. when we do, it is very obvious and noticeable; especially to their teachers.
good luck with your decision. i just want to tell you from experience that medications for add/adhd are not all evil or bad. i know there is a lot of negative stuff said about them out there, but its not true for the most part. i know a lot of people who have had complete success with them the way we have.
Some natural remedies I've heard is more organic style foods and PLENTY of outside exercise But, the right medication will not change your son. He will still be your son, just a more in control version of him. It's like their brain is over producing something, the medication regulates that valve to make it produce more "normal" levels. It will vastly change the way he acts in regards to fidgeting, impulses, etc, but it will NOT change WHO he is.
Medication is not bad, but not all medications will work on everyone. We have done very well with Vyvanse so far.
I posted a long reply to you in our PR but I also wanted to add that if you decide to do meds don't give up if one doesn't work. Josh took Adderall first and it made him a weepy crying mess. Then we switched to Concerta. He's done great on that with absolutely no side effects.
Good Luck with whatever you decide and feel free to PM me if you want.
A healthy diet and lots of opportunity to exercise - an early morning walk might do wonders before school. Stress balls and other fidgety toys can help with the need for constant stimulation in the classroom, and might help him keep in his seat.
And it goes without saying, plenty of love and patience. Perhaps you can sit down with your educators and work out some mutually beneficial accommodations? My teachers helped me by allowing me to erase the board, hand out papers, generally "help" that kept me moving and involved in what was being taught.
After doing a lot of research and consulting with psychologists, I don't think there are natural remedies for ADHD. If it is a dye allergy, then it wasn't true ADHD. The problem is that ADHD is diagnosed based on symptoms and rating scales. There isn't a blood test that can be done.
You can try modifying his diet and seeing if that makes a difference. Lots of things can mimic ADHD. But if you do go the medication route, realize that it is not a poor reflection of you or your child. If your child had asthma, wouldn't you treat it? I also agree with not giving up if the first medication doesn't work well for your child. I spent the better part of my child's year in kindergarten finding the right medication and dosage.
Well I was like you not wanting my kid of meds and for surely my mom just was seeing it in a black and white way....just seeing kids back in the day on the drugs and making them look like zombies was her fear. But like Star light said it is just trying to find the right med and dosage to work with your kids chemisrty.