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    A personal note
    My eldest son, Richard (lucky kid looks just like his father), now 13 and full of whatever it is that infects teenagers, was a busy baby. He walked and talked early and was generally a happy, active and very healthy toddler. Then came school, and it became obvious that he was having trouble concentrating in class.

    Various doctors later, it was decided that he suffered from ADHD, and that the only course of action was Ritalin, coupled with physical therapy, to assist his writing skills, which were lagging behind. Writing, in fact, was his pet hate. It's about eight years down the line now, and Richard is blossoming. He still isn't much of a fan of writing, but he has overcome huge hurdles on his way to claiming his rightful place amongst his peers.

    A word of caution to parents out there. Richard was never unruly, loud or abusive. There were no tantrums and no physical signs of rage or anger. Just a normal child who seemed to have trouble at school. And yet, he was diagnosed as having ADHD and the Ritalin started. I cannot help wondering if the same child had been diagnosed twenty years earlier, if the current malaise of the day would not have been offered up as the culprit. As it turns out, the physical therapy was probably the answer, and was tried to late. Then there is also the issue of food allergies, in particular, colourants. I am firmly convinced that a convenient label was applied to my son, and incorrectly so.
    I would urge all parents to pursue and close all other avenues before resorting to Ritalin. Richard was possibly luckier than most, and appears to have escaped unscathed, but this medication has a very bad track record, which may, or may not be justified. There is a lot of literature out there, both for and against and we have included some links on the right for further reading.

    If you are here because your child is a possible candidate for ADHD, let us know via the forum. If you have unanswered questions or need support, we will try to assist where possible.


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    A few ideas
    A few pointers from our own experiences, and points to consider on your journey down the winding road.

    NB Allergies
    Have your child tested for allergies. Did I say that loud enough. HAVE YOUR CHILD TESTED. Skin tests and blood tests if possible. This should be your starting point, and, if you are fortunate, the tests may reveal allergies. If your child tests positive, then consult a nutritionist about developing a well balanced diet that allows for the exclusion of the offending foods. Don't try to simply exclude things you think might contain the allergen. Foods are complicated and ingredients often mask under different names. If you suspect food to be at the root of your child's problem, you will need the assistance of a qualified nutritionist. The nutritionist will also ensure that your child is receiving adequate nutrition in instances where milk or gluten proves to be the problem.

    Eyes and Ears
    Have them thoroughly tested. Hearing and sight problems can seriously impede a child's learning and their ability to interact in a classroom environment.

    Back to food
    Colourants, preservatives and certain chemicals present in processed and junk food can affect your child. This is a whole subject on it's own, but well worth investigating. If your child does consume large quantities of processed and/or junk food, try eliminating these from his diet. If you need a list of the E numbers to avoid in food, click here.

    What if?
    Your child might have ADHD, and if this is the case, and environmental changes have no effect (diet etc), then medication is a really viable and in many cases, the only, option. Don't deprive your child of the opportunity based on often unsubstantiated fear mongering about certain of the medication available. Some of the medications may well affect a small percentage of children adversely, but then some of us are allergic to penicillin and cold medicine.

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    Richard's Wish List
    To be added.    

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    Stuff that sucks
    To be added

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    How I feel about being labelled.
    To be added

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    Why me?
    To be added.

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    Do I think Ritalin helped me.
    To be added.

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    Say hello
    You can send me a message on KIDSTALK. If you aren't a member yet, ask mom or dad to apply. It's quick and you should be sent your password the same day. I will try to answer as many messages as I can. If you cant find me on the members list, then click on the administrator (my dad) and the message will be passed on.

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