While most parents worry about their children falling under the influence of illegal street drugs, many are unaware of the sometimes serious side effects caused by doctor-prescribed medications. How many children are actually prescribed such medications? A recent Consumer Reports survey revealed that 84 percent of parent respondents noted their children have used prescription medications. A study by Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health reported that American children receive three times the drug treatments for common medical conditions than European children.

Learning and concentration play vital roles in our daily lives. For children suffering from difficulties in the area of brain development, even routine tasks can become frustrating challenges for both the sufferer and those involved, including family members, teachers and peers.

With the CDC estimating that 4.5 million children ages 5-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2006, it’s likely that many of these kids will be exposed to prescription drugs. Although prescription drugs, which are often stimulants for those with ADHD, are effective for many children, their side effects can be harsh and destructive.

Potential side effects include:

  • Feeling restless & jittery
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Irritability & mood swings
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Tics

Last year, when Susanne Saad’s middle son Joshua started 3rd grade, he began having difficulties with his teacher and studies. Six weeks after school started, Susanne received a call from her son’s teacher that Joshua was failing. Susanne took Joshua for an evaluation, where he was diagnosed with inattentive ADD and placed on a pharmaceutical medication.

Within days of being on the medication, Joshua became violent and so emotionally unstable that his parents immediately took him off it. Even though Joshua was struggling with his ADD, going back on the medication was not an option. After much research, Susanne found a Web site that offered a range of natural homeopathic products developed to improve a person’s mental focus, concentration and attention span while calming hyperactivity.

Susanne became encouraged by the numerous heartfelt testimonials from parents who had great results with natural and homeopathic products, including some designed for children with attention issues like her son. Susanne found a natural remedy formulated with ingredients shown to support concentration and attention span while promoting normal energy levels in children. She decided to give it a try for Josh.

Three weeks later, Joshua’s teacher called to share the fantastic news: Joshua had progressed from failing 3rd grade to being on the honor roll. He appeared more attentive and interested in school than ever before. Most importantly, Joshua was able to be himself without any outbursts, violence or highly emotional behavior. Yet, he remained creative and an out-of-the-box thinker.

Conventional medicine often works by treating just the symptoms. However, natural medicine strives to create a holistic balance in the body to support systemic health, optimize bodily functions and sustain long-term wellness. The best natural medicines promote a dual modality approach to holistic wellness. Natural medicine works best in combination, such as herbal and homeopathic remedies combined with flower essences and tissue salts, for fast-acting relief and long-term care. Homeopathic remedies address the acute symptoms of a condition and stimulate the body to begin the healing process. Herbal remedies work on the cause of the problem by improving systemic functioning and supporting the organ, body system or individual as a whole.

After learning about the effective natural remedy, Joshua’s former teacher is recommending it to other parents of children who are facing attention issues and seeking an alternative to pharmaceuticals.

ADHD or Gifted?

Characteristics of ADHD may be shown by many normally-developing children and can also be confused with symptoms of other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, minor seizure disorder or even giftedness.

ADHD and the AM Routine

Here are tips for getting your child with ADHD out of the bedroom, ready for school and equipped to begin the day on a positive note.

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Attacking the Senses

A unique martial arts program helps kids with ADHD and other special needs.

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Behavior Coaching

Improving your child's actions and character.