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amandaerin1977's avatar

Treating kids with ADHD?

Asked by amandaerin1977 (6 points ) May 15th, 2009 from iPhone

Does anyone have any good ideas on how to treat kids with ADHD without using medications??

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8 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It really depends on the kid. My oldest has Fragile X Syndrome which has a lot of symptoms mirroring ADHD and Autism. In my case (or rather my son’s case), speech therapy and occupational therapy were invaluable allies.

But as far as ADHD is concerned.. let me know when you figure something out.. I think my second son has it. =/

Likeradar's avatar

Like @NaturalMineralWater said, it really depends on the kid.

The best advice I can give you is to understand that this is who the kid is. The child is not behaving in a certain way to annoy you, he/she is not being “bad.” He or she is just behaving the way they can. In my experience (I have non-hyperactive type ADHD), most children with ADHD are really frustrated that they can’t live up to expectations, no matter how hard they try. Let the child know he/she is ok the way they are.

Also, understand that ADHD is weird. For example, I get overstimulated really easily by sounds and a lot of people around, but there is no way in hell I can study without the perfect type of music playing at the perfect volume. That annoyed my parents when I lived with them- they thought it was an additional distraction. People with ADHD can be quirky like that.

Let the kid have plenty of time to wiggle/do something else when something like eating in a restaurant or studying requires sustained attention, even if it means setting a timer for 5,10, 30 minutes (or whatever works) so the child can have the opportunity to re-focus.

Good luck. :)

Sakata's avatar

This question comes along every so often. I generally always respond with “beat ‘em” and then I have to deal with everyone flipping out over that comment because they’re so perfect and blah blah blah so this time I’m going to say something different.

Less TV.
Less internet.
These two things, I believe, are the main causes of ADD & ADHD.
(I have absolutely no clinical proof or anything like that, it’s just what I’ve observed and is my own personal theory.)

More sustained activities. Start off with something short and work your way up. The timer idea was great. (It occasionally works with my kid.)

For the record, I still like the “beat ‘em” answer the best.

knitfroggy's avatar

My son is ADHD and we had to medicate him. Of course I would prefer he were just like a regular kid, but that’s the lot we got, so we have to deal with it. He does well on the meds and you wouldn’t know that he is medicated-we’ve never told his teacher and she’s never said anything to let me know she suspects anything.

A lot of people suggested Karate. My son loves it. I don’t know how much it is helping with his ADHD, but he likes it and it tires him out.

RedPowerLady's avatar

You have probably already heard this one but Diet is huge for ADHD and ADD. There may be diet triggers for the behavior that you don’t recognize. That is the first place to start.

It is also very important to remember that humans are not made to be attentive for long periods of time. In fact the brain quits actively learning after 20 minutes of inactivity. So every 20 minutes we need a “movement break” to get our brain back into an active state. Kids with ADHD need this even moreso. A kid with ADHD should have a chance to move around every 20 minutes, if this means getting a dr.s note and having the teachers involved then all the better, hard work but it is beneficial (at school it’s probably not likely to be able to move around every 20 minutes but you should find out how often the kid gets a chance to move around and increase that).

Along the same lines, these children need opportunity to engage in physical activities. And should be encouraged to do so daily. Even in the winter. They need to have something to do that occupies their bodies.

Also ADHD is a symptom of over-activity. So the advice above about removing TV and Video Games is very good advice. It doesn’t need to be removed completely but it does need to be drastically reduced.

Music is an effective calmer (and it doesn’t matter what type as long as it is soothing to the listener), so is circular motion such as swimming and biking. Massage is also helpful for relaxation. You can even teach self massage, such as rubbing ones feet when they start to feel anxious.

Another positive step is teaching the kid how to recognize changes in their behavior so they can begin to modulate it themselves. There are specific techniques for this. An easy one is to sit down with the kid. Then ask them to put themself in that “active” mood. Ask them to identify the mood on a scale of 1–10. Then ask them to increase it by a point or two (if they say they are 5, ask them to bring it up to a 7). After they increase you can practice having them try to decrease it (to a calmer state). This is a way to become aware of your mood and begin to have control over it. After doing this excercise a few times (and only after doing it and making it fun enough times the kid “gets it”) when the kid starts acting up you can ask them to try and identify their mood and then bring it down a notch. Eventually they should be able to do it on their own.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

We removed bleached flour and sugar from our kids’ diets. A lot of kids with ADD or ADHD seem to have sensitivity to even small amounts of sugar, and also dairy and gluten.

chasy's avatar

It definitely depends on the kid. I have two friends who have children who suffered from ADD/ADHD when there was a lot of food coloring in their diet. I have known other people whose children just need a lot of movement (i.e. one mother homeschooled her child because he needed to be able to get up and run around every twenty minutes – interestingly, he did BETTER with his school work because of the frequent “movement breaks”).

I would look into diet and exercise first and foremost. If it’s problems in school, maybe the child is brilliant and needs some extracurricular activity.

suraj460's avatar

The signs and symptoms of ADHD typically appear before the age of seven. However, it can be difficult to distinguish between attention deficit disorder and normal “kid behavior.”

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