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ADHD Parents Together
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Strategies to avoid medication

Our daughter (age 7.5) was just diagnosed with ADHD Combined Type, and because she is performing well in school, it was suggested that we not medicate her, at least not yet. Her academic/aptitude testing shows she can perform well ahead of grade level. In fact, she skipped a grade as a first step to improve behavior before the diagnosis (with the suspicion that boredom would be cured with more of a challenge), and we still believe that was the right decision. She is having no difficulty academically in third grade, except with math facts fluency, which requires focus.

Still, she forgets her lunchbox, her teacher just informed us that she's frequently missing directions and on the wrong page, and we have to hound her at home to complete the simplest of routine tasks (like brushing her teeth). She also hyper-focuses on books so much that we can't get her attention without taking the book away.

She seems either oblivious to her attention issues or is hiding any anxiety or embarrassment she has. She does have frequent nightmares and irrational fears. She attends a private school, and we think it's a much better fit than the public option due to the highly structured day and small class size, but the teachers may not be as well trained in what to do with kids like her. We don't believe the problem is big enough (yet) to justify the side effects of medication until we've at least tried some coping mechanisms. We are seeking resources and tested strategies that we can use to help her help herself at school and techniques for her teachers and parents to help her. Any suggestions are much appreciated - it's hard to sort the evidence-based techniques and tools from the myths!

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My son has had problems with 3 rd grade math as well. He has responded well to multiplication games. I searched Amazon and found multiplication bingo and War. He loves it and he has been making strides. We have started medication recently and it's helping him focus better at school. From what I've learned, anything that puts the information out where they can see it and manipulate it and get some kind of immediate reward will hold attention better than sitting with a piece of paper and trying to memorize. Russell Barkley is a great source for information.

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