Help With ADHD Child – Anyone Have Any Info To Help?

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    I have a close friend who has a 11 year old son who is showing signs of ADHD. He is not hyper at all, just can’t concentrate in class. He listens for 30 minutes, and then tunes out for the next 2 hours.

    He was taken to a professional who diagnosed him. He said he’s only a 3 on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the worst).

    The parents chose not to go with the medication, but are considering all options at this point.

    My questions to the CR are:

    1) Anyone know anyone who takes Concerta? Has it helped? Side-effects? Etc…

    2) Anyone know anyone who takes the alternative items available instead of the meds (omega 3 etc)? Have they worked?

    Then parents are trying to keep him off the meds as long as possible since the side effects are not great.

    Please – do not copy and paste reviews from other sites. Please only write first-hand knowledge or experience with this topic.

    Any information or cases will help!

    Thank you all in advance.


    I feel that- at least for me, it can be tricky to medicate someone for adhd, and since most likely, the first medication that the doctor will prescribe won’t work, I think they should start medicating him now, especially because he needs to be successful in high school, and even now. If he is not able to concentrate in class now, then he will have a LOT of academic difficulties.

    Think about it, the kid who can’t pay attention in class when he is most likely starting to learn how to learn a daf of gemara won’t have so much more of an easier time later on. Then he won’t be able to get in the best yeshivos possible in order to allow him to reach his potential, simply because his parents chose not to medicate him and he therefore did not learn as much as he would have been able to learn other wise.

    I know that there is a stigma,but this poor child is struggling due to something that could easily be treated for with medication and a 504 plan, but before a school would want to implement a 504 plan, he needs to start taking medication!


    I am a teacher who has seen medication work wonders in some students, but not make too much of a difference in others. Several questions: Does the child have other learning disabilities that could be blocking the way for classroom attention? If so, the medication wouldn’t cure those. Also, I have quite honestly never heard of a diagnosis being on a scale of 1 -10. Either he has it, or he doesn’t. I am happy for the child that he is not hyperactive – that’ll keep him from getting into serious trouble, but ADD is still difficult. BTW, keeping attention for 30 minutes is pretty impressive.

    Treating ADD/ADHD with medication is tricky and most parents go through some trial and error before they hit upon a good solution. Most will start with the homeopathic approach, and if it doesn’t work they will resort to the real meds out of desperation.

    When did the child’s symptoms start? If he only started this past year,maybe he just has a boring Rebbe.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    From my experience I can add two comments (but I have never met the child in question) –

    If he is showing signs now for the first time, get a second opinion. ADHD is not something that appears at 11, but several other things do.

    Secondly, 30 minutes of attention and then two hours off? – doesn’t sound like any case I ever worked with. We’re talking 3 minutes or 7 on task. 10 maybe. We work our way to 15. Sounds like he may have something else going on and medicating him without doing more investigating could be a mistake. The kids on meds are usually attending for tiny amounts of time, 30 minutes is a whole class period. And 3 on a scale of 1-10 for the ADHD scale is usually a maybe, not a yes (but I could be thinking of a different scale, there are a few)

    We do 504’s all the time without meds and if it works, why medicate?

    CBT can work for some, so can Mountain Dew. Never heard of omega helping from those I’ve spoken to.

    Israeli Chareidi

    Try cutting down on gluten and white sugar in his diet. It doesn’t work for everyone but at a level of 3 it might make all the difference.


    He has been showing signs of ADHD previously, but it seems to be getting worse, and he is unable to focus in class for shorter and shorter amounts of time.

    His Rebbe is not boring. It is the child who has difficulty.


    His ADD diagnosis is questionable, definitely get a second opinion. Definitely not ADHD if there aren’t symptoms.

    Meds work for some kids and not for others. I haven’t seen any children that Omega helped (out of 3 students who tried), neither has my principal (I don’t know amount of children who she knows about).

    Caffeine might help. There is some research about interactive metronome (I don’t know anyone who tried, but the research is impressive, I would try it for my child).

    An interactive teacher is a must; the child must take notes, a SmartBoard is very helpful, if not a SmartBoard then the teacher should write on the board as the lesson progresses. It’s great if the child can exercise for a few minutes before the lesson.

    Good luck!



    first of all, its very hard to qualify for ritalin because the whole us cant be on it. Number two, the medicine does NOT do magic and doesnt always help.. it gets extremly tricky with the dosing and always has to get changed. as well, there are side effects that must be taken into consideration. for ex- cannot fall asleep, irratible like crazy, and a huge loss in appetite.. one thing abt ritalin in a school aged child is that some forms must been administered twice a day, and the child is guna be embarased taking it in skool… But he can take it in a patch form called daytrana. goes thru the skin…

    i hope i helped!! btw add is genetic and runs in familys so its very possible one of his parents also has it.. and rem that this kid sounds like ADD and not ADHD.. adhd is w an H and is the wild, hyper type and ADD is the spaced out type… one thing typical of ADD kids is that they just talk and talk and dont stop… verry annoying…


    The most important thing is, does this kid get enough sleep at night? That can masquerade as ADD.

    I am not a professional, but I have worked with teens with ADD, and this sounds very much like ADD. He probably has shown signs of it before, but it was subtle and easy to miss, especially in boys where ADHD is more common. I know girls and girls tend to have ADD.

    2) Concerta has been incredibly helpful in 4 of the 5 people I know who have taken it. One person I know suffered from tics, which Concerta worsens, and had to stop it. The nice thing about Concerta is that you can take it in the AM and don’t need to carry it with you, and it has a smaller “drop” at the end of the day than let’s say Adderall. (I know one person on Adderall, they like it a lot but they also abuse it, saving it for studying, so can’t give you feedback on that.)

    2) The alternatives do not work on people with real ADD (not sleep or nutrient deficient.)

    Another option is therapy. This may sound strange, but one or two girls I know actually improved without medication. They learned to face their limitations and work with the tools they had.

    Yet another option is natural stimulants, like caffeine. A doctor once told me he treats his ADHD with coffee, it’s enough to help him focus. I would not recommend this for a child as it may stunt growth. (the scientific literature on coffee stunting growth goes both ways, but anecdotally, every child I know who drinks coffee regularly, or coffee yogurt, is very short for their age.)

    It’s not the end of the world, half the secular Jews I meet tell me they have ADD/ADHD. So I figure there’s a similar percentage in our community. 🙂

    Good luck!


    I’ve taken every form of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine salts under the sun. Concerta, ritalin, adderall, focalin, dexadrine, etc. These all fall into one of the two categories. I think that it helps tremendously for the right person, but it is not always the right answer and definitely should not be something you jump to without research. Someone with a level 3 diagnosis might not be in need of medication at all. Diet and other factors could be to blame, and those avenues should definitely be checked out first.


    mods im utterly insulted.. why didnt my post go thru??

    You posted personal information.


    AND I DIDN’T??

    You posted about yourself.


    one thing they can look into is fast forward program – it is a computer program which is supposed to help with such type of issues. I have looked into it but did not do it with my son (yet) due to price. I may still do it. There is someone in Monsey who runs part of it. It is in some of the magazines. If anyone has info – please share


    What’s the difference?

    Think about it.


    so my dear mods can u PLSSS post the NOT personal info?? like abt downsides of the meds?? i spent quite a lot of time typin that up!!

    We don’t have time to edit everyone’s posts like that. Please be more careful. But we will do it for you this time. 🙂


    The main NYU child study centers in Manhattan and Long island are the best at this in the northeast.They have a FREE lecture series for parents with questions about ADHD one thursday per month and they also have a very comprehensive website explaining various disorders parental concerns, possible diagnosis when/when not to medicate… many therapists and psychiatrists there work with frum kids.

    They will be able to give a good second opinion as while they deal alot with adhd they also deal with other disorders as well. From what you describe a second opinion is a must and a good neuropsych eval should be done

    It happens to be the next free lecture is in two weeks on this very topic

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    The Role of Neuropsychology Assessment in the Evaluation and Treatment of ADHD: Careful Considerations

    “Many children and teens with ADHD also have learning difficulties and other complications. This workshop explains what a neuropsychological assessment is; how it can help you to better understand your child; and how to determine when it should be used in treatment and school planning”

    The NYU childstudy centers website is

    NYU Child Study Center, One Park Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10016 (212) 263-6622

    (I know of many students whose lives were changed or finally had a proper diagnosis given after going to the centers)

    Re medication: As said above it involves trial and error. Regarding things like no food coloring etc… things like that working have found to be truly isolated or that the the child really did not have adhd



    thanks dear mods!! u bunch r the greatest!! (besides 4 me of course!! now thats juust a given… ) juus kiddin!!


    BTW did the professional they take him to order a full metabolic work-up as well as MRI of brain? Before recommending any ADHD medication a good doctor would want to rule out any Biological factors and also be aware of anything they should NOT prescribe due to possible adverse effects


    aidel -“He was taken to a professional who diagnosed him. He said he’s only a 3 on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the worst).”

    What is the occupation & degree of the professional?

    Name the scale.

    I posted this in a previous topic on ADHD and I feel I should repeat it here:

    “In my medical opinion and I think Aries once posted this -what your saying could be true. A lot of Mechanchim don’t know how to teach or discipline. Anything they can’t handle is labeled ADD or ADHD. They force the parent either to get the kid treated or he/she has to leave the school. The Parent comes crying to the Pediatrician and he/she puts the kid on meds to save the kid from being expelled.

    Now, in spite of this, there is a disorder called ADD/ADHD. If s/o thinks or the school thinks that the kid has this -the kid should be tested by a professional usually a social worker or psychologist. If the kid is diagnosed with this disorder, then and only then, should the kid be medicated. Stop being so scared of the schools -do what’s right for your kid. If the kid needs meds -give it to him/her. If the kid doesn’t need meds -don’t be bullied into getting the kid meds because the school doesn’t know anything about Chinuch!”

    “The parents chose not to go with the medication, but are considering all options at this point.”

    This is a common error. If the kid does have ADD/ADHD he probably will need meds. The sooner -the better.

    “My questions to the CR are:

    1) Anyone know anyone who takes Concerta? Has it helped? Side-effects? Etc…”

    All meds have side effects. Look it up online to find them.

    Also, all these Meds work, but some work better for others than others. In other words, it’s always a trial & error. Sorry, it’s not a perfect world.

    “2) Anyone know anyone who takes the alternative items available instead of the meds (omega 3 etc)? Have they worked?”

    If the kid truly has ADD/ADHD, these things hardly ever work.

    “Then parents are trying to keep him off the meds as long as possible since the side effects are not great.”

    The kid needs to be tested by a professional who specializes in this, unless he was already. Then the next step is therapy. If the therapy isn’t working -then you’ll need to add Meds. This decision will have to be made together with the therapist.


    I don’t want to be “that guy”, but ADD technically doesn’t exist anymore. There’s ADHD-inattentive type and ADHD hyperactive type. There is also a combination ADHD hyperactive/inattentive type. DSM changed it. Just fyi


    Interactive metronome therapy sounds expensive- I did it for a research study when I was younger, and it worked really well for me because I went to a bunch of basketball camps as a supplement to the therapy. Maybe he just needs to play some sports in his spare time. Also, WII fit could be good as well (unless you are concerned about having a working tv in your house, even if not for cable).


    aidel-I looked at a youtube about ADHD, and I learned a fascinating idea from this youtube. Sometimes ADHD children have vision problems instead. Children(according to this Holistic Doctor)are being treated with Ritalin and similar meds.,when this may just be a vision problem. Does your friends son wear glasses, or has he ever had his eyes tested by an Optometrist? Has the boy been tested for allergies? Does he get enough sleep at night, and eat a nutritious breakfast before leaving his home? Perhaps his lack of concentration is diet related. I would suggest that the family look for and seek the services of a Holistic Physician instead of spending money on Natural Remedies, which may or may not help the boy focus and concentrate in school better. If the Holistic Doctor can test and treat the boy, and give his diagnosis(as well as prescribe the appropriate medication)this would probably be money better spent-imho. This is a much better idea of helping the boy and helping create normalcy in his family.


    yankdownunder – There might be a small subset of pts. were this is true, but by & far alternative therapies don’t help in ADHD.


    Even my interactive metronome therapy was used to treat another learning difference that I had and it got my adhd down to the point where medication could actually help once I was old enough to start taking it.


    ZABACHUR -“I don’t want to be “that guy”, but ADD technically doesn’t exist anymore. There’s ADHD-inattentive type and ADHD hyperactive type. There is also a combination ADHD hyperactive/inattentive type. DSM changed it. Just fyi”

    Technically you are correct, but I used the term ADD on purpose. If I was billing an insurance company then I’d have to use the correct code. Can you think of a reason why I’d do it on purpose?

    I’ll tell you – because some laymen who get a diagnosis of ADHD say to themselves -“But my kid is only having trouble with attention -he/she is Not hyperactive. So the Professional Must be wrong!” They put themselves in denial – which btw is quite common. And when they are in denial – they tend Not to aggressively treat the disorder.


    Health: I definitely agree with you, and there probably was no point to my post …I definitely don’t agree with the change that the DSM IV made, but then again I often don’t.

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