I have a son with ADHD who is struggling in school.?

My 11 year old son was dx with ADHD when he was about 7-8 years old. When have been through two medications. One that made him so dopey that he was in a twilight stage and the other made no difference what so ever. We have been trying to control it with diet. I give him a caffeinated drink in the morning i.e coffee with a flavored cream (no sugar) and he has a diet pepsi with his lunch. So far this has work the best and I have heard that caffeine acts as a stimulant to his brain but does not make him hyper. I really do not want to do the meds, but we need something that is going to make him understand that he needs to participate in school. He has been ok for a while but then all of a sudden there were several issues in school today that raises our concern again. Help.
We have already done two meds with no success. He has no problems with taking the meds but when they make him feel the way they do or don't work at all then what is the use. I like the idea of the diet and have tried that. I am not one who feeds my kids from a lot of processed foods I make good homemade homecooked meals about 5 nights a week and I pack his school lunch to make sure I know what he is eating on the most part. I have also been to the health food store and vitamin store and tried there homoepathic remedies with little or no success as well. Practically everything that you have all suggested I have either tried or have already done. Please understand I really do appreciate your help. He regularly does see a doctor, so he is being monitored. I am debating whether or not to try more caffeine even in the pill form if I have too.
Ok Psychiatrist 1954, maybe you need to read this again because I am fine, it is my son that has ADHD that needs the help. If you are a doctor as you say you would have looked at what I have already tried and has seen what has worked and what has not to pursue additional treatment from there. If you were my doctor and you gave me this dx and tx that you are talking about I would be seeking a new physician and possible malpractice.

15 Responses to “I have a son with ADHD who is struggling in school.?”

  1. ghostsqaud Says:

    I don't have much experience of children with ADHD or otherwise, but I do have experience of children with low capacity for concentration.

    My eldest son is slightly hyper and finds it very hard to concentrate and work at something practical and has an easier time being creative-

    Right now I am very tired, I have also been dealing with troublesome children, my two boys are not bad at the moment but our daughter is very ill, she had a temp 0f 39.9 degrees Celcius today, that was bad and tough, but she is a fighter.

    When it comes to children that can't concentrate there is usually a catalyst that allows them to focus, not necessarily in the way you wish, but to the best of their ability. You see, the thing about children with difficulties for concentration is that there is something missing to permit that catalyst kick in. you have to find that, and for each child it is different, but one common thing is understanding and compassion.

    I do understand that there is a requirement for a level of disciplin in his life, but I think there is also a need for a higher level of appreciation of who he is than disciplin. have you taken the time to truly spend time with him and get to KNOW him.

    All the sugary foods and the drinks will of course cause a problem, and you are right to cut these out. But he might also do well to have some sort of routine, it doesnt have to be rigourous, but it should be stable and constant. Everyone needs this in life, it is the mainstay of a healthy way of life.

    I might sound condenscending here nad you might be doing this as it is, but you might not be doing it enough. Another thing the lad might need is someone to follow in life, a kid of guide, notso much a role model as a guide. Someone that can give him guidance and goal in life.

    A key to getting on in life is to have a goal, doesn't have to be big, just something that is an achievement, not matter the result.

    School is not that important, it is important that he attends, but it is sooooo much more important that he is happy at school. He doesn't have to do too well, but he does have to participate and feel appreciated, I use that word again (appreciated) because it is something we all need to feel.

    Stimulants, Drugs, Medicine… it all revolves around our natural endorphines and the brain's ability to release them into the system – these same endorphines can be released naturally if done right.

    I would seek help from someone with similar experience and that has fouond an answer, they can provide guidance, not answers or solutions, but guidance for you and your son to find your own answer.

    School may also BE the issue, like I said, he has to be happy in order to participate, or he won't want to participate or feel apprecated or wanted… talk to his teachers and find out from YOUR perspective as a concerned parent that has a child in the welfare of These people – and he is their responsibility once not in your care at school. They are not simply there to do a job, they are also there to cater for his needs and they hold no power over you… or your son, it's the opposite way around, they have a legal and moral obligation to you and your son.

    One of the teachers could even be the issue where school is concerned, you have to look at all angles and tackle them strategically.

    As I said, I am very tired, but I do think I have given some sort of advice or at least an outsiders perspective into topics that could shed at least some light on where to START looking at solving this issue.

    Best of luck.

  2. vtsztpu Says:

    I have heard numerous anecdotal reports that MonaVie juice helps both children with ADHD and autism. It is a safe all natural product and is free from the drug side effects. It is worth a trial since it has virtually no down side and may give substatial benefits.

  3. Roadkill 4 lunch Says:

    Talk to your doctor before listening to me.
    I'm an 13 yr old boy that has an ADD problem also. I take concerta and according to my parents it works. I would recommend talking to your doctor about it and not to just start on it. It seems to be working for me as well.

  4. sian_babi Says:

    my little brother has adhd and my mum normaly sits down with him and does activitys with him it makes him consentrate more and he is also calmso it helped alot.

  5. Melo_West Says:

    my son was hyper active too! I put him on a totally whole food diet ..no perservatives..no additives..no dyes..etc..he straightened right out. After you do this for several months you will be easily able too see the cause…
    i used to combat those times with whole american cheese..we never used drugs

  6. MR. Alex Says:

    Poor little thing, he's only 11. Believe it or not life with ADHD/ADD is complicated. My friend who is now 35 suffers from ADD (a varaint of ADHD). He says he has a extremely hard time concentrating, even on just little things, like watching news. He gets distracted easily.

  7. J F Says:

    ADD is a lifelong issue – whether it is a problem later on depends on what the person does for a living, but certainly for school age kids – it is a problem. My nephew has it. The meds have helped him a lot. He is able to concentrate on his subjects and the better grades have improved his self esteem. I don't think they're for everyone, and I do believe diet can help in many cases.

    One of the posters mentioned that his brother suffers from it and the mum sits with him and works with him to help him concentrate. I have heard that concentration is a learned behavior for people with ADD and that is does help to practice. The more you practice, the more you build up your self-help skills and in the long run – this is the best thing.

    Good luck!

  8. dances_with_unicorns1955 Says:

    I totally give up on this subject. There are medications out there that WORK, and yet people don't use them. They expect a kid to just think himself out of a box that they didn't create, and that is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. My own son has ADHD, which runs in his father's family. His uncle was unmedicated, and literally ran himself into the ground with alcoholism, three marriages, and death at age 45; several other relatives committed suicide. My son, age 26, takes medication, and has been successful in everything from being an Eagle Scout to studying mechanical engineering (3.5 GPA), and will probably be working with NASA this summer as an intern. Why would I have let him be without medication if this is what he's accomplishing WITH it????? Yes, he'll be on it for the rest of his life; if he were diabetic, he'd probably be on insulin the rest of his life; if he were epileptic, he'd be on medication for that too. You treat what you need to treat – you don't treat what it's "ok" to treat and pretend that a problem doesn't exist.

    Quite frankly, I say screw the idiots who think that they know what's right for YOUR kid. If he needs medication, then he needs medication. ADHD/ADD is a recognized diagnosis in the DSM-IV; if people can't accept this, then I guess their kids are the ones that suffer.

    I'm sure I'll get plenty of thumbs-down ratings on this – dollars to donuts they'll be from people who've never lived with the problem. Enough of the new-age medication-is-always-bad crowd. Get your kid the help he needs!

  9. fisherwoman Says:

    I heard the caffeine technique works, they consider caffeine a drug, did you know that? My son too was difficult in school, he had issues until graduation, he left school and is doing very well for himself. The public school system is designed to help children that fall into the "norm", getting extra help for your child is often embarassing for the child also, they know that the "extra class" he takes, is the class all the kids call the "retards", it's not right or correct, but it does happen. My son blossomed after he left the school environment, to describe him today, one would say he will go far in life, he's driven and focused, he has the energy to complete many tasks at one time. Those things could never be said while he was growing up, the school years were hard, high school was the best, I think the kids understand things better, just because they have matured.

  10. Iceman Says:

    get him into sports..not asking him..make him but nicely tell him like…either do this cerain sport or your going on meds and such.. let him pick the sport…..i myself have ADHD and it was a problem for me in school until i joined the football team and the Basketball team 😛

  11. black57 Says:

    I am a mom of a son who is ADHD. He is about to graduate highschool in a few months. Let me tell you, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it shines brightly.Hang in there. I had mine on meds for about 4 years. He hated the meds but I think that helped him to be an active participant in school.Personally, I didn't care if he liked the medication or not. He couldn't concentrate in school without it. I also homeschooled him for 3 years ( it was like homescholling Helen Keller ). I did it without meds but I could have done it with meds. He just hated them so much and so did his step-dad so I chose not to use medication.He used ritalin and aderral.

    One thing for sure, kids with ADHD do have a multitude of problems in a traditional school setting and I so feel your pain. Ask your school for an IEP ( Individual education plan ). He should not be in a traditional large classroom with busy cork boards and chalk boards. He can't have several assignments at one time. He will forget them all. If you can't get an IEP for him, consider homeschooling if you can afford the time.

    Charles Schaub is an advocate seeking the best form of education to bring out the intelligence of a child. I will look up the site and post it here. Good Luck.

  12. Heather Says:

    I’m not sure if you’ve tried Truehope CNE (aka EmpowerPlus) with your son yet? It’s an all natural, homeopathic product (safe for kids & even comes in powder form) that works to fight vitamin deficiency related diseases. It is successfully used to treat things like depression & Bipolar disorder as well.

    Truehope is a Canadian company, but you can order in the US from a handful of suppliers. While I personally have not taken it, I work with a Chiropractor who has had quite a bit of success using it with ADHD children. It’s recommended that Truehope be taken with an Omega-3 supplement for best results.

    I hope you find something soon that will work. I will share your posting on Twitter to see if anyone else has advice for you as well. Good luck in your search.

  13. Nicolas Says:

    One of the troubles with trying to treat this animal known as ADHD is that we often have the misperception that this disorder exists in one form and in a vacuum. Neither is true. There are many different forms of the disorder, and it is often accompanied by other factors such as depression, Tourette’s, behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, etc.

    The problem is that many doctors still see ADHD as a one-size-fits-all problem. First they start with the stimulant (typically Ritalin or Adderall or Concerta). Then they try another stimulant. If that doesn’t work, then they increase the dose. If that doesn’t work, they go to non-stimulants like Strattera. Then they may try an antidepressant like Wellbutrin. The list goes on.

    The other option is to go “natural”. This method starts out by assuming that Ritalin is the equivalent to crack (which it is not!), and then trying to pump as many fish oil pills down your or your child’s throat. Then try the amino acids, load ’em up with L-Tyrosine and the like. If that doesn’t work, throw in some herbs like ginseng and Ginkgo biloba and every other “brain herb” out there. Either way, it becomes a crapshoot (and an expensive one at that).

    I’m not bashing these treatments, they can be extremely effective, but the big question is “how do you know what will work?”.

    The answer is to do everything in your power to stack the deck in your favor and look for ways to “boost” these treatments effectiveness. Believe it or not, one of the most surprisingly effective ways to do this is to simply take a high quality daily vitamin and mineral pill.

    Let me explain: In order to metabolize most drugs or nutrient-based remedies, your body needs to utilize enzyme-based systems. There is actually a fair amount of genetic variation in these enzyme systems, so much that some people need to take much higher levels of the same medications to get the same results, all other things (weight, gender, symptom severity, etc.) being equal.

    These enzymes, however, typically need vitamin or mineral “co-factors”, which essentially act as helpers to the enzymes. Deficiencies in even one of these critical cofactors, can severely reduce the efficiency of the enzymes to do their job.

    Here are some of the most important cofactors for ADHD-related nutrition and drug strategies:

    Zinc (literally hundreds of enzymes require this as a cofactor. Often deficient, especially in males). Zinc can actually boost the effectiveness of drugs such as Ritalin or Concerta. It works well with vitamin B6, and plays an important role in fatty acid metabolism (see bit on omega 3’s down below):

    Magnesium: Extremely under-rated. Hyperactivity, tics and other Tourette-like symptoms can also exist.

    Iron: Like zinc, a huge co-factor. Very important in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine (which is often at low levels in key brain regions in many ADHD individuals). Can offset some of the negative effects of toxic metals. Related to sleep disorders (low iron levels, can increase the risk of things like restless leg syndrome, which is surprisingly common in ADHD).

    Iodine: Also overlooked. Thyroidal dysfunction can often trigger ADHD-like symptoms. Fortunately, a deficiency in this is one of the easiest to remedy. Substituting real sea salt for processed salt is a good way to boost this nutrient.

    Omega-3’s: The theory behind the fish oil treatment. However, they also require zinc for metabolism, as well as vitamin E to protect them from getting oxidized or damaged (vitamin E in turn, works well with vitamin C, which helps vitamin E from being damaged itself). One of the biggest things overlooked with fish oil supplementation is that these extra things (vitamins E and C and zinc) are not taken alongside this and its effectiveness is compromised. While many parents swear by fish oil, I have personally found it to be only marginally effective.

    B vitamins: This means all of them, B1, B6 and B12 are among the most important. Many multi-vitamins skimp on these, make sure you see adequate doses of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyroxidine (B6), cobalamin (B12). Niacin (B3) and folic acid (or folate, B9) are also important. They actually interact with each other quite a bit, so you don’t want excessively high levels of one and deficiencies in the others. Also, they work well with zinc.

    Sorry for being long-winded. A multi-vitamin will not “cure” your son’s ADHD. However, it can greatly support the other treatments you may have tried (or will try) by helping “fill in the gaps”.

    Best of luck to you and your son.

  14. eye treatment Says:

    I have an ADHD 3rd grader who is struggling in school and i want to homeschool him but were do I start?

  15. laser eye surgery Says:

    I had mine on meds for about 4 years. He hated the meds but I think that helped him to be an active participant in school.Personally, I didn’t care if he liked the medication or not. He couldn’t concentrate in school without it. I also homeschooled him for 3 years ( it was like homescholling Helen Keller ). I did it without meds but I could have done it with meds