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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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you know, if you can help your son get control of his ADD without having to medicate him, then that's obviously the best choice. he CAN be taught to control himself, but he will have to work at it a little harder than a "normal" kid. my daughter is also 5 and i believe she has ADD too (like me!). we have made a ton of changes in our home that have really helped her have more control over herself. do keep in mind (and from your last post, i think you already do) that your child is 5, and a lot of the behaviors you described are just typical 5 year old behaviors!

start with his diet. unnatural foods, processed foods, fried and fatty foods, anything with artificial colors and flavors (even vitamins) can all magnify symptoms of ADD. feed your son more natural foods (there are natural labels with many major brands now), fresh fruits and vegetables, stuff like that.

make sure your son gets a fair amount of outdoor play each day. it's amazing what a half hour in the sun and fresh air can do for a kid! if he can't get outside to play, figure out some way to help him get some good healthy exercise inside. dancing along with some kid's dance videos are a great form of exercise!

make sure your son goes to bed at a decent hour. sleep plays a huge factor in how the ADD brain functions! at 5 years old, your son should be going to bed sometime between 7:30 and 8pm..... especially on a school night! if he seems too wired to go to bed at that time, then it is possible you are waiting too long to get him to bed (i know it sounds weird, but it's something i have learned from experience with my own possibly ADD 5 year old!), and you might possibly need to move bedtime up even earlier.

as far as discipline goes.... well, to each his own. it doesn't really matter what form of discipline you use (we mostly use time out) as long as you are consistent with it. if you tell your son certain consequences will follow a behavior, give one warning and then follow through! even having ADD, a child will think twice about a certain behavior if they know there will be consequences!

having him sit and read for certain amounts of time is a good idea. something you might try.... have him read for 10 minutes, and then have him stretch and get his wiggles out (maybe for 2-3 minutes), then have him come back and read another 5 minutes. after a few times of doing this, add to his first block of reading so that he is reading longer before taking a break. don't add too many minutes at once though, just maybe one or two. after he gets good at reading for a full 15 minute block, start adding a minute or two to the second block of reading. after you get up to 10 minutes in the second block, go back and start adding to the first block again. did any of that make sense? i'm so not good with the descriptive wording!!!! oh, the first few times he stretches and gets his wiggles out, he can stand up and move around. after that, teach him how to do it while staying in his seat (tightening up and then relaxing each muscle group, doing certain sitting stretches, etc.... teach him how to do it in a non-disruptive way so that he can do it while sitting in class).

anyway, hope this helps!

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