ADD / ADHD Community
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Avatar universal

or ADHD / mild autism

My 5yr old beautiful boy has adhd/mild autism. I chose to go the natural route vs ritalin. He's on a gfcf diet and as well as avoiding foods he's allergic to. I am seeing a naturopath and homeopath to treat his condition. He's on multivitamins, candicease (to treat yeast), super EFA, Nu Sera, passiflora or calm by pascoe and digestive enzymes. Is he lacking something else? Has anybody here tried the natural way and see it work 100%? Although I have faith in what my naturopath, I kinda feel that it is not as effective as Ritalin? I have tried the drug for about two months with my son and I liked what I saw. School saw improvement in his social skills, for the first time he smiled when he's picture is being taken and I saw calmness in him. I stoped the drug because although it's working, I still feel guilty putting toxins in his body. Who knows what would be the long term effect on him. So now, we are still doing the natural. It's so hard to be consistent with his diet especially when your husband is half on board with the program. He supports me with he remedies and all but does not agree when our other kids gets deprived from treats.  Going out is a challenge for us too --- birthday parties are notorious.

I am confused between putting him back on Ritalin; since the good outweighs the bad vs the natural way.
It would be  nice to know that am  
5 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
   and what makes you think that Ritalin is a toxic?  Toxic's hurt people.  If a person doesn't have ADHD then Ritalin could be a toxic because it can lead to dependency.  If you do have ADHD, that's not an issue.  Furthermore, this medication has been in use since at least the 60's, there is a very long history of its effects. For a look (and a very exhausting look at almost all possible remedies - check here.  http://www.healing-arts.org/children/ADHD/treatments.htm.  When you look at this also notice that ritalin is not the only choice.  In fact, most parents use another type of medication for its milder, longer acting ability.  Kind of makes me wonder what kind of doctor prescribed the med?
   This site also covers diets.  There is some research showing that the elimination of food coloring can help.  But my problem with a lot of diets is that they are promoted by self serving people who are preying on false hopes.  If you have been reading things that promote a particular brand, my question is always - who is selling it (your naturalpath and homopath)?  Can you buy these things anywhere else but in there stores?  Anyway, it is a personal bias and I am just kind of sick seeing people ripped off by 'some' diets.  I should also add that I have been posting to this site for the last 4+ years and nobody (I repeat nobody) has ever come back to say that going the natural way ever helped their child with ADHD).  
    What is more important is that with or with out diets or meds there is a lot that you can do for your son.  If he is indeed mildly autistic, the sooner he gets help the better his chances for full recovery.  Help in this case is not meds or diet, but help from a trained professional.  There is also a lot that you can do to work with your son for the ADHD.  I highly suggest that you get the book,  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.
It will answer a lot of your questions.   I can give you many more sites to check out if interested.  I do feel for you.  Hope this helps!
189897 tn?1441130118
    Wow, just read your post on the expert forum.  If your son does have all of these allergies it would explain a lot.  However, I am also concerned in that it looks like you have eliminated almost every form of protein which would certainly slow him down and cause numerous other problems.  I hope that you are slowly introducing things back into his diet  and watching for reactions.  I have seen cases where well meaning parents literally wound putting their child on a starvation diet and thought that because he wasn't running around like crazy he was getting better.  Anyway, I just hope that you are getting sound nutritional information for his diet.  At his age, there can be long lasting consequences if done wrong.  
Avatar universal
I agree that you need to be careful with these "natural" solutions to ADD/ Autisim.  I understand food allergies/ dye sensitivities/ environmental reactions can cause behavior problemns.  I also understand wanting to spare your child any unnecessary medication.

Here's my story, for what it's worth:  
My son has ADD, sensory processing disorder, and retained primative reflexes.  He's 8 now and finally integrating fully into a regular classroom.  I spent the better part of his 1st and 2nd grade seeking full diagnosis for him, carefuly ruling out what was not an issue so as to help him in just the way he needed it.  I didn't care if you called his issues "purple passion" I just wanted to teach him how to cope with and over come his troubles.  I also was very leery of medication.

Having Add myself I know that the disorder is similar to a lot of other disorders, and overlaps a lot.  I got him tested by a interdiciplinnary team that did hearing, sight, speech and language processing evaluation, sensory testing, and small and gross motor skills testing.  The team was with the early intervention department of a local college, maybe there is one near you?  The whole process took one day, and my then 7yr old son just thought he was going to play with some people and go out to eat.  He liked it.

Once I got the results back from his testing I went for a consult to the professionals they said might help.  One was a psychiatrist, she had to explain to me exactly how his medication (which is not Ritalin) would affect his brain and help it opperate more like a nonSpecialNeeds child.  Then I also saw a Occupational Therapist who was trained in Sensory Processing and Integration.  We started on Occpational Therapy.

Let me tell you, this has been a amazing transformation.  The medication helps him focus enough to let the occupational therapy work (and to learn in school, and learn social cues).  The occpational therapy has helped to get his brain and body in better sync - thus improving his physical and mental abilites.

I'm telling you this to let you know that "modern medicine" is not the great evil it is sometimes portrayed as.  Sandman2 is right about unguided naturopathy.  Also, there is more out there to help your son than just elimination diets and medication.

I hope this helps and you all are able to find what works best for him.
Avatar universal
Hi!I am brand new to this.I have a daughter that has Adhd,mild autism,Spd,and anxiety.She has been on a gf and dye free diet for about 18 months now.Although this has improved the melt downs because I believe she has sensitivities to these products.She is now in kindergarten and just diagnosed with all of this.I want to try everything first before medication.What medications have worked for your children??I don't want it to change who she is.She learns in motion.Will this make her change the behaviors that soothe her?tia
189897 tn?1441130118
   Oh, boy.  This is kind of a slippery slope.  First, congrats to whoever diagnosed her with the SPD - it is so often missed.  And, it is what makes this either easier or harder to deal with.
   No medication will help SPD.  But the correct dosage of medication can be very helpful for ADHD.  What is tricky is that if you don't have a good doctor, they may be trying to medicate for an ADHD symptom which is really a SPD problem - and wind up over medicating.
    My recommendation is to find an Occupational Therapist who is used to working with kids.  Then treat the SPD first.   There is a ton of things that you can do for SPD, but it doesn't happen overnight.  After a period of time, then start a slow, cautious trial of medication if it is still needed.  Probably start with a Ritalin type of med first.
    The next thing to do is to find out all you can about SPD.  You will have to be the one to suggest to the schools what can be done to help her.  Of course learning about ADHD will also be important.  There is an excellent chance that her anxiety is due to the ADHD and SPD,  and some SPD symptoms are also autism symptoms.
    Here is a very good link to SPD - http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
     And, if you have any SPD questions, we have a great forum with a leader who has successfully dealt with this with her own child at about the same age.   It wouldn't hurt to read some of her own posts.  But, she will also answer any specific questions you have.  That site is http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396
     Of course, any ADHD questions you have I will be very happy to answer.
Best wishes.
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