|Disorders - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder|
| Written by National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia |
From time to time other therapies for children with ADHD and learning disabilities are propounded.
Some children's problems are said to be the result of "allergies", and treatment involves sometimes strict diets which exclude the alleged offending foods, or else the daily ingestion of homoeopathic substances which are said to counter the effect of the allergens.
Sometimes children are believed to have deficiencies of certain minerals, diagnosed on the basis of analysis of samples of hair from their scalp, or from the results of "vega testing". The Dunedin study showed no relationship between hair zinc levels and symptoms (McGee, Williams, Anderson et al 1990).
A recent addition to the range of therapies claimed to be effective for children with ADHD, learning disabilities and autism is "sound therapy". This involves initial assessment of "nutritional health", together with assessment of "body structure" by an osteopath, physiotherapist or reflex therapist, as well as "TOVA" and "TOP" tests (which are tests of attention and processing time). No thoroughly researched published data are available regarding these therapies, and there is no theoretical justification for considering their use in children with ADHD (McGee, Stanton and Sears 1993).
Biofeedback has also been suggested as an effective therapy for ADHD but at best might be considered an interesting research or experimental strategy for selected children, and certainly cannot be recommended for general use (Lee 1991; Lubar 1991).
Key points - other management programs
Parents embark on alternative programs for the management of ADHD in their children for a number of reasons. In deciding to undertake a particular intervention strategy, they may be responding to conscious emotions including guilt and frustration, and the feeling that they should actively be doing something for the child. They may conclude that at worst these alternative interventions will not do any harm, and at best they may help the child.
However quite apart from the cost of these programs, which is often considerable, there are a number of ways in which they can have adverse effects on the child and family. First, such interventions may take up valuable time, both in postponing the introduction of an accepted intervention that has been shown to be of benefit in children with ADHD, as well as allowing the child less time for more productive and constructive pursuits. Second, the child with ADHD may be made to feel even worse by claims that his eyes are not working properly or there is something wrong with his brain.
Children with ADHD represent a complex, challenging and often frustrating set of problems for parents and professionals alike. In searching for ways to help these children, it is best to focus only on...
|Disorders - Autism|
| Written by National Institute of Mental Health |
Selecting a treatment program
Parents are often disappointed to learn that there is no single best treatment for all children with autism; possibly not even for a specific child.
Even after a child has been thoroughly tested and formally diagnosed, there is no clear "right" course of action. The diagnostic team may suggest treatment methods and service providers, but ultimately it is up to the parents to consider their child's unique needs, research the various options, and decide.
Above all, parents should consider their own sense of what will work for their child. Keeping in mind that autism takes many forms, parents need to consider whether a specific program has helped children like their own.
At the back of this pamphlet is a list of books and associations that provide more detailed information about each form of therapy and other resources.
What Medications are Available?
No medication can correct the brain structures or impaired nerve connections that seem to underlie autism. Scientists have found, however, that drugs developed to treat other disorders with similar symptoms are sometimes effective in treating the symptoms and behaviors that make it hard for people with autism to function at home, school, or work. It is important to note that none of the medications described in this section has been approved for autism by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is the Federal agency that authorizes the use of drugs for specific disorders.
Medications used to treat anxiety and depression are being explored as a way to relieve certain symptoms of autism. These drugs include fluoxetine (Prozac™), fluvoxamine (Luvox™), sertraline (Zoloft™), and clomipramine (Anafranil™). Some scientists believe that autism and these disorders may share a problem in the functioning of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which these medications apparently help.
One study found that about 60 percent of patients with autism who used fluoxetine became less distrau...
|Disorders - Autism|
|Written by National Institute of Mental Health|
Autism: Mom Uses Biomedical Treatment and Diet Change to Recover Child
nSphere provides links to videos hosted on other sites as a convenience to our users and does not control the content of the videos or any other graphic content outside of the nSphere network. nSphere is not responsible, in any way, for any information, advice, content or graphics found in any video linked to this site. All video usage is subject to the terms and conditions of the site upon which such content resides. Users are encouraged to review those conditions upon transferring from this site to any host site.