Holistic Support for Children With ADD/ADHD

So our last post was more suggestions from published studies,  ADD/ADHD educational literature and the US Department of Education regarding general support for educational success.  Today we are going to focus on some of the more holistic options and ideas for general support for the child with ADD/ADHD that I have cross-referenced with just a few studies as I could find them.

The list of complementary therapies parents have used to support ADD/ADHD is long and cannot be adequately listed in one post:  elimination diets, avoiding food allergens and food colorings/preservatives, Omega 3 and other supplements, chiropractic work, craniosacral work, Traditional Chinese Medicine, EEG biofeedback therapy, Occupational Therapy , Physical Therapy, massage, yoga, homeopathy, work with naturopathic doctors.  Other things from a Waldorf perspective may include light or color therapy, sound therapy, anthroposophic medicine, therapeutic eurythmy.

Regular lifestyle choices that many parents who read this blog are familiar with but also supportive to children with ADD/ADHD include regular rhythm, simplification in the environment and outside of the home activities, a great diet of outdoor time and sensory play in the outdoors, warm and natural materials for warmth and play, not burdening smaller children with too many choices.  I am sure there are many other options that exist that I have left out.  Please be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you have used in your family if I have.

In just digging around, here is just a tiny sampling of the links to research I have found that you as a parent could share with your health care or educational team for your child or delve into for yourself.  Parents can sometimes end up spending lots of money on therapies for their child; I think that not everything wonderful has studies behind it, but on the other hand it is  nice to see some do and maybe that is a place to start if you have limited funds and want to look into supportive therapies.

Is there a link between ADD/ADHD and Celiac Disease?

Omega-3 and Zinc Supplementation; the role of zinc 

Case study of chiropractic care and another case study here.  A 2010 systematic review.

EEG Biofeedback (there are many studies out there; this is well-researched.) Here is an example of one study; some studies include only children or teens on Ritalin, so look through and see the study criteria when you look at a study.

Traditional Chinese Medicine efficacy versus Ritalin; meta analysis of acupuncture and its affect on AD/HD

The relationship between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and  AD/HD; outcomes after surgery

Yoga and ADD/ADHD

This is just a tiny, tiny tip of the research out there. I urge you to go onto PubMed’s website and search for yourself under these topics to see what is out there.  Please share with me what complementary choices or lifestyle choices your family has made that you felt had the greatest impact and success for your child with ADD/ADHD.


5 thoughts on “Holistic Support for Children With ADD/ADHD

  1. Dear Carrie
    This is a topic very dear to me. My now six year old son was never officially diagnosed however shows many symptoms of aspergers/adhd/ocd. There are different names we can give to it. It was first identified by his Waldorf nursery teachers and we began or journey of seeing anthroposophical doctors. This is how we were able to support him.
    The latest consultation with dr. Susan Johnson has shed so much light on why he behaves the way he does. It is an inflammation of the brain & nervous system along with a leaky gut lining. So the body is unable to self heal.
    Things to think about:
    – is it a cranial compression resulting due to birth aid (forcep, petocin,c – section) or hereditary genes.
    – how is the proprioception for this child- winking, jumping, knowing the body and limits in space
    – what does the child crave – sugar, salt. These cravings indicate nutrients deficiency.
    – how does the child sleep? Needs someone nearby to fall and stay asleep? Grinds teeth at night, bed wetting?
    – what other autoimmune symptoms does the child have: asthama, excema, allergies?
    – there are links between lyme disease and auto immune diseases, because Lyme affects the neurological system.

    This is how we supported my child
    1) stop wheat and all gmo products. We used spelt for a while but recently stopped it and saw amazing results.
    2) cosleep him, yes even after he turned 6, for him to sleep better. Sleep is the only way he will be able to cure himself. And his sleep quality improved. (Took me a while to get used to it)
    3) gave him dry massage daily, pressing his limbs; full body oil massage weekly
    4) clear rythm not only in the day’s activity but also the food. He was allowed to eat only at his meals/snack time and nothing in between the meals. This was extremely effective. Because the kids eat to feel their body.
    5) used lavender oil as a sleep aid
    6) got him very active with jumping flipping through a trampoline class and rock climbing. It helped him find his body limits.
    7) make him responsible for his chores with natural consequence, and not covering up his slack. If he did not do his laundry, he won’t have clothes to wear. I help by folding his socks and singing songs to hum along.
    This made him realize that he needs to do things for them to happen. Very important for kids of his kind who tend to forget and go into their own dreamy world.
    8) did a toxin hair analysis through a homeotoxologist and found that he had a lyme bacteria and parasites in his gut.

    This is a long post and there is so much more to say. Let me know if you have any more questions. I’d be happy to answer.

    Love and light

    • Nehal, I would be interested in hearing more about yours successes with your son. I have a 7 year old daughter who exhibits adhd behaviors and I want to help her as best I can. What do you feed your son in lieu of wheat? Are there any books you can recommend? Thank you!

    • Hi Katherine,
      I fed him other gains such as millet, quinoa, sourghum, rice, red millet, bean pasta, seeds, dates. It is a slow transiting and don’t expect to make that transition overnight. Introduce one change at a time.

      We saw a non-manipilative, bio-dynamic osteopath who helped clear out the cranial compressions. This took away all of his tooth grinding, and 90% of the obstinate behavior.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific book that I used. It was mainly following the feedback from anthrosophical doctors. They are holistic in their approach to helping any ailment, including this.

      I’d be happy to provide more details into the daily food

  2. I recommend the book ADHD Without Drugs: A Guide to the Natural Care of Children with ADHD by Sandford Newmark, MD. The book covers pretty much all of the things you have mentioned in this post and goes into all of the various research studies about these different ways of treating ADHD. It is nice to have the information all in one volume.

  3. Hi, I recently listened to a program on NPR about what may be a promising treatment for those with Aspergers and autism, and I also recently looked through the new book “Medical Medium” by Anthony William and he has an encouraging treatment plan for the same.



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