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Monday, September 29, 2014

How does one deal with an ADHD diagnosis?

When we heard the ADHD diagnosis, I needed to reach out to ever resource I had that could help our family help him and I did that night.  I have a cousin who has 2 sons and a husband that are ADHD she pointed me to the Facebook page ADDITUDE and while I do like some of the ideas on the site others seem a bit out there for our family, but what works for one student may not work for the next one.  

I called one of our farm owners who happened to be the director of children’s services for a local mental health facility.  She was amazing at calming my fears and giving me suggestions of things to try before medications. 

I called a close friend who is a teacher.  She confided in me that she was ADHD.  She gave me suggestions of how to help in the classroom and with homework.  The first thing we did that night was make a morning routine list and put it in a plastic sleeve.  He could check off when he put on his socks, brushed his teeth, put on his shoes, etc.  It worked.  I wasn’t yelling 2 minutes after we should have left for school for him to find his shoes. 
What happened next, I never could have predicted.  I never dreamed anything could be placed in front of me like here is the next thing to try, the one thing that is on the breaking edge of ADHD research that could be the key, all while sitting at the Alltech Symposium opening session.  A conference I was attending as a blogger to help them with their social media and where I was supposed to be learning about animal health and animal nutrition.  I know some people don’t believe in higher powers, but something placed me at that conference to hear those words from Dr. Pearse Lyons, “Omega 3 DHA could be the key to ADHD.”  What?!  No medication?  No stimulants?  Nothing that will stop his desire to eat?  If you haven’t read it, please read my thought right after symposium called What if we Could Eat Our Way out of ADHD?  

We figured we had nothing to lose and everything to gain for our son, by starting him on a DHA supplement.  I worked with our local pharmacist, who is awesome by the way, to find a small capsule size and a high amount of Omega 3-DHA.  Then we waited to see if we could really see a change and then the unthinkable happened in the middle of wheat harvest the supplement that he could/would swallow was back ordered.  I didn’t have time to go anywhere else.  We were only a few weeks in to this trial, so we stopped.  My parents who were skeptical of this type treatment took them for an evening at the end of the week.  They demanded to know why I hadn’t called them to go get the pills from another store.  They couldn’t believe the change and the biggest thing was that my son could see the difference.  He told them that he was out of DHA and when he got more he was taking a WHOLE BUNCH!  OK, so we weren’t imagining things.  Skeptics saw it too. 

When we started the trial, we both agreed that we would evaluate him at the county fair.  If he could stay focused at the county fair in the show ring, then we might be on to something, if not we would talk to our doctor and get him started on a medication before school started.  Two weeks before the county fair at another local fair, I had to ask myself Did that Really Just Happen?  I wish I had a video of him showing the first week of May and the second week of July.  He is not the same child.  We practiced maybe 4 times…it was not practice that took him from kid staring off into the crowd to a showman.  I fully believe it was DHA.

I knew what we saw in him, but I still wanted further proof.  I need scientific data, so the next post is what the TOVA score said after 8 weeks on Omega 3-DHA.

 You might find these other articles helpful:

Is it Dyslexia? Is it ADHD? Help!! 

Documenting Change

-A Kansas Farm Mom