Alternatives to ADHD Medication: Alternative Methods of Treatment & Management of ADHD

Alternative Treatment

There are many medications available to treat ADHD. Sometimes medicine stops working or parents have decided to look for another option. Many parents just prefer a natural way to treat or believe their children are young to start medication. Other parents would rather treat ADHD with a holistic approach, using herbs and other supplements.

The Child With ADHD

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy plays a big role in managing ADHD. Teaching a child to follow routines, how to organize and follow directions are practices exercised in behavioral therapy and can improve a child’s demeanor while they are at home and in school. Over time repetitive teaching of proper behaviors in different settings, rewarding ideal behaviors and the fact that a child is getting older and learning new ways to cope with things can cut down on meltdowns and inappropriate displays of behavior.

Diet and Nutrients

Making sure a child gets a balanced diet low in preservatives and artificial dyes can help as this is junk that doesn’t have any nutritional value or benefits to anybody. Omega 3 is a healthy fatty acid found in fish, walnuts and flax seeds. The DHA which is found in foods with Omega 3 fatty acids is great for brain function. DHA has been reported to improve children’s reading and spelling skills as well as behavior. Another important mineral is in the body is Iron. Children with ADHD often have lower levels of iron and can benefit with a multi-vitamin that is labeled with a phrase such as "with Iron". Look at the labels to make sure the vitamin is providing at least a full days worth of Iron and encourage your kids to eat foods such as red meat, spinach broccoli and fruits like apricots.

Activity and Rest

Research also has shown exercise and good sleep are on the list of natural treatments for ADHD. Though they are not necessarily treatments, studies show children with ADHD who get good quality sleep as this could be a struggle for children with ADHD, can focus and perform better functionally and behaviorally. You may want to talk to your doctor or school psychologist about improving sleep for children with ADHD, since there are non-medicine options such as weighted blankets, also used for children with autism. Exercise on a daily basis that is fun should do the trick. Nothing too strenuous that feels like they are being made to do it, as this defeats the positive energy that reacts with the ADHD should be the ultimate goal of activity engagement for children with ADHD.