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Hi Everybody what a difficult subject.. I have been reading everyone's post and it is really nice to hear both sides of the story... for those that are for medicating this "medical condition" and for those that are against.. I must admit I am completely and utterly against using but I realize that for some people the medication seems to work miracles!!! which is great! I have twin boys 11 years old that were diagnosed as having ADD in 2nd grade! They weren't doing well in school and did show all the signs of having ADD however they did seem to have a high IQ which is always good=))... I ended up taking them out of school and started a homeschooling program. At the same time we also started traveling around the world on a sailboat.. so we got to spend 24/7 with the kids, there was no tv, ps2, movies, etc... we just went to deserted islands, ate completely organically non processed foods, read, did lots of swimming and excercising and basically had an amazing lifestyle that went completely back to the basics of life... And guess what magically my kids went from hyperactive, unable to concentrate etc etc to being able to sit down and spend 5 hours a day studying by themselves, they both have read the entire lord of the rings series and harry potter series, are on an 8th grade math and science level.. they are doing great and absolutely love learning which was my highest priority when I took on the job of teaching!!...

Five years later we are still making our way around the world and we have lost track of how many countries we have been to but what amazed my entire family is that through all of our travels we never met one child that was diagnosed as seems to be a disease of the first world and mostly in the states. What we noticed is that most of these kids don't have the ps2's or tv's. They aren't bombarded with stimulous every second of every day and my kids came up with a philosophy about this which basically is how can we expect kids to go from one extreme to the other.. games are overwhelming stimulous and provide fast action, surround sound, constant movement and then they go to school and they are expected to sit in a classroom in complete silence with the only thing to keep their hyped up mind active is a teacher, or book and there are 30 kids in the class and can only have about what 10 minutes of one on one time with the teacher a day!!" Also kids in developing countries don't eat processed foods (because there is none available and if it is they are too expensive) ... they live a much more natural and simple life not to mention their schooling is more old school like it was when I was a kid... I know my kids in second grade would come home in tears because of the pressure the teacher was putting on them to perform or "be left behind" and in third grade your kids are supposed to have a day planner, and then after school they have piano, karate, ballet, soccer then 3 hours of homework.. when are they allowed to be kids??? when do they just get to run around and play with other kids and build a treehouse, ride a bike or just stare at the stars or watch a beautiful sunset..

My kids are always amazed by how different they are than the other kids when they go and visit their freinds and family back in the states.. They say the other kids are never able to play and when they do it is all about something that has to do with the internet, games, etc and they all complain that they don't have enough and that they want more games, a better computer.. in comparison my kids get excited over a cool rock or stick they find on a beach!!!

I know most of you will say well I can't do what your doing and that may be true but you know what you can slow down your life and your childs life and get back to the basics... Maybe you could watch a sunset, read a book out loud to your kids, don't buy anything that has more than three ingredients, and don't stress if your kids aren't "perfect" let them be kids the best kids they can be and not what society tells them to be... =)) The first year of homeschooling I had to spend primarilly building my kids self esteem back up. They had been told so many times by other kids or their teachers that they were stupid or slow and you know what?? they believed it whole heartedly.. no wonder they didn't want to try and learn anything at school they were afraid to try and do something wrong which in their minds just proved that yes they were stupid!! I told them there is no such thing as a mistake but rather its a learning experience. For the first few months I didn't make one correction I just kept telling them how they were doing everything perfectly and how abosolutely brilliant they were and guess what they started to believe and as a result they actually got excited to show me how brilliant they were and it was ok to be corrected and make a mistake and they didn't have to shrivel up like a raisen when they make a mistake...They would wake up in the middle of the night and get their schoold work done just to surprise me. It was wonderful to see such a transformation.

I hope my story helps someone out there. I know this is a tough subject and we all want was is best for our kids and we don't know what to do or believe and often feel guilty no matter what we do and that we have somehow failed our children. I know when I first took my kids out of school and away from normal society my family thought I was crazy and I know I second guessed myself but thankfully all has turned out beautifully.. So trust your instincts and do the best you can...
Hi Elmhar, you are absolutely right when you say it is easier in the middle of the Atlantic than in the burbs.. and I don't know how one person can combat all of the influences that a child comes under during the course of a day.
I remember one day about 6 months after we left that one of my boys just broke down and cried and cried... this is the one that never cries.. ever.. and he just opened up and told me everything that he had been holding in for so long but never thought he should tell me or felt he couldn't. I couldn't believe how I had never known what he was going through and I thought I was in touch with what was going on in his life!!. Since then I really focused on not so much on what they DID everyday, but how they felt doing it and what they thought of themselves. If other children who have ADD symtoms or has been diagnosed with ADD goes through anything like mine did I can only imagine that they must feel so inadequate, powerless and that they so want to be considered smart because deep down they know they are but just can't seem to put all the information together. My goal changed when I saw him cry and I think being your kids best friend no matter what.. before being their mom or dad is the best thing so they always know they have that support no matter how rough school becomes, how unaccepted they feel they always know there is a haven in you to help work through their feelings. The other suggestion I have is I know my boys will most likely never be great at certain things but I try and take what they are good at and make that the biggest part of their lives and that is what we focus on.. One of my boys is amazing at kiteboarding so everyday we get him out there so he can do something that he enjoys and that he is good at which I think helps gives him the confidence he needs to attack his spelling!! Since he just did a jump 20 feet up and did a 360 (exaggeration=)) on a kiteboard he surely could do a few spelling words =))

I read my sons the posting I wrote and then yours and Christian wanted to reply as well to your questions.. his comments are as follows.

Less hours of ps2 xbox tv. let them be kids spend as much time with them as you can. Have them be doing a sport or writing a book. But one of the main reasons is that my mom and dad treat me as a adult more than a kid. Treating a kid like a adult makes their mind frame change and think more like an adult but they are still kids. They will play with their friends but they will act more responsible.

Changing there diet is the best thing you can do to help your kids. No caffeine makes the mind think better :nono: and more calm. cut out the sodapop, sugar and fried food. Try and get alll meat out of there diet. I am a vegetarian unless of course I spear or catch a fish. Their minds won't be :bouncing: so fast that they can not think.

The best of luck christian

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