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Guide to ADHD

Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Type "natural cures for ADHD" into your browser and discover just how many people are willing to take your money—and possibly harm your child!

Currently, medical evidence does not support the idea of alternative therapies for ADHD, although there is some promising research into certain diets and neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback where children look at visual images of their brainwaves and learn to control them—therefore controlling the ADHD behaviors that produce them.

A 2001 study on 56 boys with ADHD showed symptom improvement in the 19 boys who received Interactive Metronome Training, a computerized simulation of the simple piano metronome. This promising study launched a whole industry of metronome training, when really what is needed is more research.

No legit scientific evidence backs up online favorites like megadoses of vitamins or herbal remedies for ADHD, and these supplements are so poorly regulated that you can never be sure what you are buying or giving your child.

If you do wish to explore complementary therapies (those done in conjunction with, rather than as an alternative to, conventional medicine), try those that are first of all harmless, and second can benefit health in some way, even if they're not proven for ADHD. Examples include yoga or eliminating food additives in your child's diet. But always consult your doctor first.

Also, remember that complementary medicine doesn't necessarily mean taking a pill or eating special foods. Activities like exercise, soothing music at meal or bedtime, and a schedule that ensures your child gets adequate sleep can all be considered "therapy" for ADHD.

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