Kids With ADD: Stories Of Healing And Hope

Published by Bonnie on

In America today, there are three million kids with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) who are taking stimulant drugs for treatment.  This is a 2,000% increase in ADD drug use in the last 30 years.[1. Sroufe, L. Alan, “Ritalin Gone Wrong”,  (accessed July 25, 2012).]  Wow!

L. Alan Sroufe, a psychologist who has been studying the development of kids with ADD for the last 40 years, raises the question in his New York Times article, “Ritalin Gone Wrong,” as to why parents and educators are relying so heavily on these drugs when they fail to address larger root issues.   He states that not a single study has shown these drugs to have long-term benefits when it comes to behavior, academic performance, or relationships.

I was blown away when I read that statistic.  So I had to read it again: “Stimulant drugs have zero long-term benefits.”

Parents are often caught in a catch-22: their child is struggling in school and falling further behind, but they need help NOW.  Stimulant drugs are an immediate fix.  And I believe that’s why we’ve seen such a dramatic increase in stimulant drugs to treat ADD.  We like quick solutions.  However, I believe it’s necessary to ask the question, “Are we doing our children a disservice by not addressing the deeper underlying causes of their symptoms?” Could we possibly be setting them up for long-term failure?

If there are no long-term benefits of stimulant drugs, as Dr. Sroufe claims, then maybe we ought to consider other options.

That’s what Sharon Panuska did.

Nurse and college professor, Sharon Panuska, struggled with ADD throughout most of her life.  In helping her own daughter and countless other patients, she has seen that ADD is usually a symptom of deeper problems.[2. Panuska, Sharon. “Amazing ADD Stories.” In Healthy Kids, edited by Betsy McMahan and Ginny Vaughn. Long Lake, MN: Frontrunners, 2006, #38.] Her experiences match Dr. Sroufe’s conclusion:  food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and stresses at home all contribute to a lack of focus and behavior problems in kids.[3. Sroufe, L. Alan;  Panuska, Sharon.]

The good news is many parents have seen significant short- and long-term changes in their “ADD kids” when they address key nutritional deficiencies.  They have chosen to attack the root problem and have seen incredible results.  I want to highlight a few of their stories here.

Parents Share Turnaround Stories For Kids With ADD

Special Note: All of these stories come from parents who utilize the same nutritional approach and products we use with our clients. Shaklee Corporation has been the leader in proven natural nutrition products for over 55 years. We rely heavily on their science and quality to help parents put together effective programs.  If you are looking for alternative solutions for your ADD child, then you need to read these inspiring stories and contact me right away.  I can give you the guidance you’re seeking.

Kristina, my 13 year old, was diagnosed at 4 with ADHD. I knew from birth she was different. The doctor put her on Ritalin but it didn’t work. I was in nursing school and studying everything on ADD but having no success.

At 7, her medication kept her awake. We put her on more medicine to help her sleep. She would disappear in the middle of the night. Often we found her on her bike. She developed ODD with screaming episodes and head banging that lasted for hours, destroying everything in her path.

At 10, she developed bipolar, became suicidal and was flunking school.  Either my husband or I had to watch her through the night.  Medicine wasn’t working.  After much soul searching we decided to put her in a mental institution to get her stabilized and give us a chance to regroup.  When she came out we tried another drug but she was developing liver problems.

God answered my prayers when a woman came to me who knew I was teaching ADD programs at 2 colleges and asked if I’d be willing to explore a nutritional approach.  I investigated Shaklee and took Kristina off her medicines.  The doctors called me an unfit mother and said she would get worse. My daughter is now on the honor roll and shows no signs of ODD or bipolar.  She was allergic to many things in the home and was hypoglycemic.  The Shaklee vitamins help her.  She picks out which vitamins to take depending on how she feels when she awakens.  Her basic program includes VitaLea, GLA, Lecithin, Mental Acuity, B-Complex, and Soy Protein.  And we Shakleeized our home including the laundry soaps.  She still has ADD, but I’ve taught her adaptations to compensate.

I have my daughter back. She is a delight.  Her doctor is awestruck and sends his clients to me for evaluation and ideas.

Who knows where my daughter would be or in what condition if we had continued the drug approach?[4. Panuska, Sharon.]

~Sharon Panuska

Kids with ADD

Kids with ADD experience great changes in focus and behavior with nutrition–without the side effects. Photo Credit: Dalla* via Compfight cc

Kids with ADD often require slightly different nutritional programs because each child is unique and has different needs. The absolute best way to get your child on a beneficial program is through coaching and guidance. You’ll notice that each of these moms had someone guiding them through the process.

Mary Beth’s story (below) demonstrates the common pattern of needing to increase dosages with stimulant drugs in order to get the same effects. Over time, a child’s body begins to develop a tolerance for the drugs and exhibits their old behaviors. Not so with nutrition.

My 11 year old twins were both diagnosed in first grade with ADD. Since they were small, a doctor prescribed a small dose of Ritalin, 5 mg in the morning and 5 mg in the afternoon on school days. The side effects were sleeplessness, lack of appetite and occasional headaches.

By 5th grade they once again had trouble focusing. The dose was increased to accommodate their weight gain. The boys begged me to take them off Ritalin before they began middle school. I told them I’d look for an alternative that summer.

I met a Shaklee leader who helped me get on a suggested program. I started them on her list of supplements but reduced the dosages due to their small weight. Since they spend some weekends with their dad, they weren’t able to follow the food eliminations completely.

The results were remarkable. They were both honor roll students the entire school year. Even their teachers called to tell me how well they were doing and how well behaved and polite they were.[5. Janczak, Mary Beth. “No More Ritalin.” In Healthy Kids, edited by Betsy McMahan and Ginny Vaughn. Long Lake, MN: Frontrunners, 2006, #44.]

~Mary Beth Janczak

This next story has an interesting beginning, as the parents sought initially to address a more immediate issue.

Our daughter Carly’s colon problems brought us to Shaklee. We started her with the Optiflora and Fiber products. Her problems were gone in a week and have not returned in over a year.

We were so impressed, we started her on an ADD program. Carly is not hyperactive but the other end of ADD.

Her focus and attention span increased alot. Even her teacher could see a difference. We adjusted the supplements for her age and weight (she’s 8 and 52 lbs). We noticed a big change within four to five weeks. Several other families using the same program are getting great results.

Carly’s daily program includes Children’s VitaLea, Chewable C, Zinc, Omegaguard or GLA, Lecithin, B-complex, Optiflora, and Vitamin E. We split her supplements between breakfast and dinner and increase her B’s as needed throughout the day. What a great year we’ve had.[6. Lundgren, Jan. “ADD And Intestinal Problems.” In Healthy Kids, edited by Betsy McMahan and Ginny Vaughn. Long Lake, MN: Frontrunners, 2006, #54.]

~Jan Lundgren

Are you interested in lasting changes for your own ADD child?  Willing to try an alternative proven to work for thousands of children?

Then begin your new journey today by contacting us to discover a great starting place.  Our kids symptom assessment is carefully designed to reveal your child’s unique nutritional needs.  The information gained from this online tool is foundational towards implementing a customized nutritional program.

Perhaps you know other moms struggling with ADD children.  Will you kindly share this post with them?  We want to get the word out to as many moms as possible.  There is hope.  Better alternatives are available.

Feature Image Original Photo Credit: Dalla* via Compfight cc


Nathan Coppock · July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

It’s great to see people having such positive results with nutritional interventions to commonly medicated problems. I have seen studies linking ADHD to low levels of iron, zinc, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, but haven’t heard any specific stories of children taking supplements and having results before. Thanks for sharing.

    Bonnie | ProvenNutritionForKids · August 1, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Thanks for the comment, Nathan! I’m glad that you learned something new here. Our healthcare system often does a disservice to our kids by medicating before looking for other, safer, approaches. I’m passionate about helping parents see that they do indeed have a choice, and there are other effective treatments to pursue.

Martin Holsinger · August 4, 2013 at 12:10 am

Very interesting study Bonnie.
#1. I didn’t know Ritalin was considered a stimulant. I did a little research into it a while back too and found that ADD is so often the result of a deeper issue.
So often we try to deal with the symptoms rather than treat the cause.

#2. I didn’t know that ADD can be tied to food allergies, and that supplements can help.

Very Interesting,

    Bonnie | ProvenNutritionForKids · August 6, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing what you learned, Martin!
    Yes, Ritalin and Adderall (another stimulant used for ADHD/ADD) are both derived from amphetamines. As such, they can stimulate immediate behavior changes along with some undesirable side effects–both short and long-term.
    It’s unfortunate that most medical doctors are not able to advise families on the nutritional approach, but if more parents realize they have a choice about what type of treatments are available to them, that would be a step in the right direction.

Weekly Kids Nutrition Nuggets | September 20, 2013 · September 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

[…] For more on ADD/ADHD and what parents are doing to avoid the medications altogether, check out my post on “Kids With ADD: Stories of Hope and Healing.” […]

Weekly Kids Nutrition Nuggets | September 21, 2013 · September 21, 2013 at 6:48 am

[…] For more on ADD/ADHD and what parents are doing to avoid the medications altogether, check out my post on “Kids With ADD: Stories of Hope and Healing.” […]

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