An Overview of Alternative Treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Since so many would rather avoid the use of stimulant medications for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder if possible, a growing need for the development of alternative treatments for ADD ADHD has developed over the past twenty years. Although there are many products that claim to help any child with ADD ADHD, the truth is that there are only a few non-medication treatments for attention deficit disorder that have actually undergone even the simplest of clinical trials. Most alternative treatments have never been carefully studied to determine their effectiveness in the real world.

Our four favorite non-medication treatments for attention deficit disorder have been studied in the real world. They are Behavior Modification therapy, the Nutraceutical medicines called "Attend" and "Extress," Brainwave Biofeedback training, and Eating or Diet Interventions.

Counseling can have positive benefits under certain circumstances, such as the skill of the therapist in working with ADD ADHD individuals. Most therapists have little experience working with this population.

"Attend" and "Extress" are excellent alternatives to prescription stimulant medications. They are very complex formulas, engineered to optimize brain functioning in individuals experiencing problems with attention, impulse control, temper, paying attention, or over-activity.

EEG Biofeedback training, also called Neurofeedback, is about a twenty year old technology. With the continuing development of faster and faster computers it has become a viable alternative treatment for attention deficit disorder. There is a great deal of research on EEG Biofeedback which you should read if you are at all interested. The EEG Spectrum web site for great information on this treatment option.

Eating programs, or diet interventions, may also have some positive impact on individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although we do not feel that this intervention is as effective as either the Attend and Extress, or EEG Biofeedback training, we do believe that every individual with ADHD should try a diet intervention.

Many individuals with ADD ADHD will also benefit from nutritional supplements. The most effective are probably Essential Fatty Acids (Omega Oils) and certain minerals such as Zinc. The essential fatty acids are found in the "Attend" nutraceutical. They can also be found in Flax Seed Oil or Borage Oil. They can also be found in fish, and you can simply feed your child more tuna fish.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

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