Works for Me Wednesday - ADHD Without Meds

03 September 2008
It's the BACKWARDS edition of WFMW over at Rocks In My Dryer. Go check out all the other bloggers needing tips by clicking above.

I am looking for advice from those of you with ADHD kids. I am looking into ways to handle ADHD without medications. I am curious as to what works. Do you do herbs or other natural stuff, control it with diet, what? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Hi there!..
I came across your post from rocks in my dryer blog!.. Your "dilema" caught my eye!
I truley belive ADHD is due to a few things.. 1. all the vaccines kids get today, and Diet!

Kids today eat so much refined sugar foods , and processed crap!, but as moms its so hard to find healthy snacks and foods for them to eat on a budjet!, at least thats what I deal with in my house of 3 boys!!

I reccomend going to a Holistic doctor, and I know there are Herbs and vitamins that they can recommend to give you to Detox your child and help repair their systems to deal with it, or even cause it to go away!

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I very much agree with mitzy. We have one son with Aspergers Syndrome and ADD, and one son with ADHD. Medication is the furthest thing from first choice for us.

We have noticed even when slightly altering their diets, big changes happen. I highly recommend the cookbooks Special Diets For Special Kids I & II. If you can only get one, get the first one because there is a wealth of information by the author (who has been there done that!), not just recipes.

We're planning to go Glueten (Wheat) Free/ Casien (Dairy) Free soon and give it a good 6 month run. I know Dawn at BecauseISaidSo has used the Feingold diet with success for her son. Good Luck & God Bless! ~Whitney

alicia said...

We were in the same boat. Our son Jake (5), although never officially diagnosed, is very ADHD. I'll give you a few things that helped us. First and foremost was we started him on The Feingold Diet. That helped about 80% of his issues. After about 6 months we started on soething called NAET. It's a little weird, but it has worked. I wish I could write more, but I have a 9 month old screaming her head off! LOL Please drop me a line at my blog and I would LOVE to talk to you more about both Feingold and NAET.


Anonymous said...

My sib and I both have ADHD, and what's helped for us is providing a sense of structure/routine and also having some kind of outlet for the physicality. My sib does daily workouts and that gives a sense of structure to the day.

I don't know the value of following a holistic doctor over a conventional one (as in vitamins and herbs are also chemical substances) but I think it's really helpful to keep a healthful diet. I know that when I've had too much sugar/empty calories, I get overstimulated and more distractable. I try to steer clear of processed foods. I haven't eliminated sugar from my diet, but I save it for treats, which come only at a mealtime (no sugary snacks, just dessert.) I do my cooking from scratch, so this is easy. I'm an adult, so I consume caffeine, but only as a deliberate action. I drink juice with meals.

I think this is the case for everyone, but if you have ADD/ADHD then it disrupts a sense of order that was really hard to achieve.

It's also helpful to be sure the person's getting proper sleep -- pretty much the idea is that if you're taking care of your body, then you've got a healthy store of energy instead of running on fumes. A ordinary person is going to get exhausted when running on empty, but at least for me and my sib, we get overtired/stimulated and then it's hard to wind down (or even to rest.)

I think also focusing on organizational tasks are helpful, like having a certain amount of time for a task, with a built in break.
I'm not sure how old your kids are but there are resources out there that talk about school issues, etc. I think for us, the big thing was to recognize when we were at that fever pitch and how to ease back from there. This is where structure and routine can help.

No disrespect meant, but if your kids really do have ADD/ADHD, a detox isn't going to cure them -- there's not a cure for this. And there are enough adults with this condition who weren't exposed to the vaccines...just wanted to mention that. It's just one of those things that happens, but it's not the end of the world.

There are a lot more diagnoses of ADD/ADHD, and there is some controversy to whether or not most of the diagnoses are valid. But in any case, proper diet, help with organization and proper self-care are useful for any child (in my opinion.) It might be helpful to look at some of the resources for older kids (to see what the kids themselves say works or doesn't.)

Jolanthe said...

One of my friends recently suggested an herbal remedy called "Calm Child". It comes in either pill or liquid form. They'd been using it for 5 days and noticed a HUGE difference in their son. She was grinding up the pills and adding it to his peanut butter, but we both just ordered the liquid form from (cheapest place we found) to try that out.

We are careful with our kids diets too, but ADHD runs rampant on my side of the family (even now in older siblings).

That would be my suggestion to look into. You could always look for it to try at your local health food store.

Hope that helps you out!


Anonymous said...

My 11 yr old son is both ADHD and Bipolar. I know it is hard. What I suggest is structure according to your child's needs. I can only tell you what has worked for our family.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan
2. Diet
3. Structure
4. Quiet time
5. Massage

I never shop after 7pm.
I watch what I feed him especially after 6pm.
He has a schedule for every day.
Everything electric (TV,radio, ipod) is turned off at 8:00.
Before bed I give him a short massage of his shoulders and back.

Good luck!

Wanda said...

I'm married to an ADHD man...who was raised on the Feingold diet (for them it worked) his parents were too weary of med's.
He is now a firm believer of Adderall. He's been taking it for the last 12 years. He has never felt better or functioned at a greater level. He says...growing up was hell and school was a nightmare (he couldn't think straight!!).

I know that most feel like my in-laws did...but do not have to OVERdose them on med's for it to be effective.

Diet can help....but this is a chemical imbalance that really is best treated with med's.
A GOOOOOOOOD physician can help you conquer this.

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog - it is nice to "meet" ya!

I have an adult brother with ADHD. I know he feels much better when he takes adderol. I also think diet definitely helps things related to this and many other health issues.

Penelope said...

Hello! I just had to leave you this quick response to your post. I found this amazing podcast about this last week, and have been sharing it with just about everyone! My son has ADHD, and it helped me a lot.

The podcast is called "Theatre of the Mind," and the particular episode is called "The Gift of ADHD."

It doesn't exactly talk about how to treat ADHD, but it talks about a different way to look at it and see it as a gift, which leads to greater understanding. Hope this helps!

The Southern Family said...
Check out this place that specializes in natural treatments. And from experience, I would add a zinc supplement (50 mg)and a DHA/ EPA supplement (EPA needs to be 475 mg a day to be effective) We use Omega Brite for kids.

Anonymous said...

"There are a lot more diagnoses of ADD/ADHD, and there is some controversy to whether or not most of the diagnoses are valid. But in any case, proper diet, help with organization and proper self-care are useful for any child (in my opinion.) It might be helpful to look at some of the resources for older kids (to see what the kids themselves say works or doesn't."

I agree this helps so much. As you see with your neighbor adult daughter. But, meds are not bad or evil. Expensive yes. Too many are meth drivatives but not Stattera.
Also you can get PAP to help pay for it.
And as I have said gingko does help.
Preliminary research shows that children with ADHD do have low levels of EPA/DHA in their blood. So you may add fish oil to the diet too.
I do know your serious about helping your children to do and be their best. Good luck in your search.

Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom said...

Glad that you found $5 Dinners! I also have another blog...about developmental delays, sensory issues...and have done lots of research on SPD (and ADHD, as they are often connected!). Like everyone is KEY! $5 Dinners is all about healthy, "raw" diet (with the occasional processed ingredient!)...there are some great blogs about this ( is my fave!
Also, fish oil (The LCP solution by Madeline Stordy...a book about the need for more EPA/DHA in the diet!) is something easy you could add in too. I just met a family who has seen dramtic improvements in their daughter on the Feingold diet too! Best wishes...stop by $5 Dinners ( for more ideas and if you have any other questions! Thanks for the button love! P.S. I'm from TX originally and love your blog and design!