(Previously published on E-Zine)
Despite doctor analysis, it's common for most people to seek outside opinions and those specifically of mothers! Attention Deficit Disorder commonly referred to as ADD (Or ADHD if
there is hyperactivity involved) is growing more and more common and
becoming even more of a challenge to deal with in today's society.
Having an 11 year old who is ADHD - I have been long intending to write an article and summary of ADHD/ADD and summarize both our experiences and
thoughts. Below is my article in response to the question I hear so
Does my Child have ADHD/ADD? How can I tell? What do I do?
My son has had ADHD for as long as I can look back. Yes, kids are supposed to be hyper but sometimes you can just see that little bit extra!
As a young child:
Very sensitive, running from one task to another, legs twitching while trying to fall asleep, running away from teachers/day care workers many
accidents due to clumsiness, not sitting still.
As an almost teenager:
Not focusing in school, REALLY disorganized, school work always late, forgetting to eat lunch, losing jackets, sweaters, leaving doors open,
leave soy milk on table and forget to put away, mood swings, defiant
What were his symptoms?
* Not able to finish tasks
* Did not handle change well (freak out if something unplanned happened like go to IKEA instead of Home Depot as we originally planned.)
* Could not sit still, leg constantly moving until asleep
* Hyper focus: getting so involved in task (reading, puzzle, building etc.) that did not hear you to stop. If asked to stop would freak out.)
* Impulsiveness: throwing rocks @ cars, doing other dangerous things without thinking. Even if told not the day before.
* Mood swings: very sensitive, cry easily, low self esteem, strange ramblings, over dramatic
What did we try?
* Fish Oils, Dietary changes, Increase Omega 3's & 9's
* Pharmaceutical Drugs: Strattera, Concerta, Adderall
* Native Remedies (Focus, Mindsoothe Jr and Brightspark)
What works for him?
* No MILK! (Milk is like liquid sugar for him - super hyper.)
* Very little refined sugar
* 2 bananas a day
* LOTS of water through out day to flush out system
* physical activity - sports
* CONSISTENT ROUTINE - same routine as much as possible - repetition
* Positive reinforcement & feedback
Is he on drugs?
Not any more. He was on Strattera but that was causing him so real crazy thoughts and scary images in his mind - so that was done with. We tried
Concerta but that didn't last and the next highest dose was too much
for him. Adderall worked a bit for about 5 months and then stopped
working - almost like his body metabolized it and got used to it.
Another mom I knew told me her son was on Native Remedies Mindsoothe Jr. a herbal remedy. So I gave it a go and it works! My son is old enough to
communicate his feelings and he was able to notice a difference. We
stopped the Adderall immediately and he's been on only Native Remedies
for the last 7 months.
Mindsoothe Jr: Calms him and creates good mood balance, reduces anger & frustration feelings
Focus Formula: helps him focus & concentrate
Brightspark: reduces hyperactivity and impulsivenes.
I tried taking him off one @ a time to see if changes were noticeable and they were! He is only all 3 now and doing good.
Diet is VERY important - if my son has sugar (which he usually gets from friends @ school) he is done! His behavior and mood are messed up if he
doesn't take care of his diet.
Sleep - also very important - if he's overtired he's a mess!
Consistent routine & expectations: knowing what he has to do, how to do it and when is crucial. Throwing a list of 20 things for him to do during the day will confuse &
frustrate him easily. Knowing how he handles tasks and takes them all
in has helped us to help him. Now, we keep it simple, write it down in
a check list format so he can tick them off 1 @ a time.
He is very creative and expressive now, though before he could not verbalize his thoughts and usually came across as rude or as saying the wrong
thing. He is very caring and empathetic but can still get easily
frustrated and hurt (emotionally).
Our son has learned that ADHD is part of his life and he needs to learn to deal with it. These techniques are works in progress.
Can he be successful still?
Of course! I've met many people with ADHD as adults - some knew they had it, others did not. I watched how they managed their lives & work
and they've all developed techniques that worked for them.
What about failures?
Many people with ADHD/ADD do fail in life. But mainly because they were not understood or given the opportunity to succeed. Pushed down, criticized
and punished for not being like everyone else - these people gave up
and got resentful and discouraged (who wouldn't?) and took easy ways
out. Most likely hanging with crowds who accepted them for who they
were (rough and criminal crowds.) Self medicating is also a common
course of action (Marijuana) to take the edge off and slow things down.
Hard, frustrating and big test of limits. But there are resources out there and remember: no one is perfect! Every parent will look back on one instance or another
and wish they had approached it differently. Understanding your child
and helping them help themselves will be hard and there is no right
answer or method. Get involved in support groups if you can - for
yourself, family and individually for the child.
* Read books
* Contact your mental health community center
* Family doctor
* Teachers, School workers
* Web sites
* Support groups
You are not alone and this path will be a long one - but understanding ADHD/ADD is the first step!
Tamara Laschinsky is the founder and owner of "Natural e GREEN" an online store specializing in Organic, Natural and Chemical Free products. With
a business degree in E-Commerce and Marketing, Tamara has been involved
in many organizations, publications and advocate groups. You can find
out more about the Natural e GREEN organization by visiting their
website http://Shop.NaturaleGREEN.ca or by viewing their blog at http://NaturaleGREEN.blogspot.com
Dedicated to helping people learn about harmful chemicals in everyday products and offering up safe and affordable solutions, Natural e GREEN pays
attention to industry news, FDA events and most importantly - listening
to customer requests and feedback.