About Sarah Jane
Coaching for ADHD
What you can do
Life Style for ADHD
Maintaining the Brain
Coaching for ADHD
6 Impossible Things To Do
my free newsletter
Alternative Treatments for ADHD
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or you suspect he/she has it, then you have been into the Internet and know that there is an enormous amount of information about ADHD on the Web. Much of it contradictory and repetitive. I would like to help you make a little bit of sense out of the chaos.
The first thing to understand is that the name ADHD ( Attention Deficit Disorder with/without Hyperactivity) is really unfortunate. It is not a deficit or a disorder and certainly not a disease.
ADHD is the most studied of all brain conditions and the research is clear that medication is the single most effective treatment. Ritalin has been studied for 50 years and is safe and non addictive when taken as prescribed. Unfortuneately some people give up too soon because of side effects.It requires patience and a knowledgeable doctor to find the best medication, dosage and timing for your child.
But medication doesn't work for everybody, isn't 100% effective for others and some just don't want to take medication.
On the Internet you find information about many alternative treatments most of which are not supported by the medical establishment. They aren't supported because controlled clinical trials have not been carried out or have produced negative or ineffective results, and yet positive anecdotal evidence supports them. The CHADD website has a summary of alternative treatments and how to evaluate them. http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/complementary
I went to Tucson AZ in May to attend the ADDA conference (Attention Deficit Disorder Association, www.add.org ) especially to hear Ned Hallowell, author of the "Distraction .." books, talk about alternative treatments.
Dr. Hallowell takes exception to the standard medical ADD approach focused on a disease model. Using the words "disorder" and "deficit", he says, creates a problem that leads to shame, low expectations and frustration. Many people who have ADD type problems just don't see themselves as sick or broken. Dr. Hallowell points out that we are not to blame for having ADD but we are responsible for dealing with the issues such as anger, lateness, failure to deliver that it causes. People who's eyes are faulty wear glasses; and there is little hesitation to fix other body parts which are not up to the desired standard. But the idea of ADD tends to invoke shame.
With his patients, he uses different mental images; he talks about a turbo-charged brain which just happens to have Chevrolet brakes. You win or you spin. And there are some things we need to work on.
Dr Hallowell sees ADD as a talent that needs to be nurished and fed, a gift that's hard to unwrap. He looks for the strengths and finds ways to reinforce them. Research has shown that when teachers have high expectations for students even average students can excel.
Treatment generally focuses on medication. Ritalin has helped many and is still appropriate, but Dr. Hallowell has other tools in his bag. Here are the points he mentionned. And one doesn't have to have ADD to gain a high quality life by following this list.
Dr Hallowell has ADD and so do two of his three children, but it is the "normal" child who feels deprived.
In conclusion as a parent with a child who has ADHD, you want the best for him/her. Medication helps the brain function better but your role as guide and teacher to learning life management skills is essential to promote a positive self image and healthy habits. (You can purchase a tape of Dr. Hallowell's presentation and other sessions of the Conference at www.add.org )
More To Do For ADHD
Copyright© 2003-2006, Sarah Jane Keyser, all rights reserved. Coaching Key to ADD