ADHD alternative treatments

Learn about: ADHD alternative treatments from James Varga, MD,...
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ADHD alternative treatments

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As someone involved in the treatment of children with ADD or ADHD over the last 30 years, most parents want to know about alternatives to medication. I usually begin by stressing the importance of an appropriate educational placement. And that involves making sure that the classroom has as few pupils to teacher as possible because these children need a lot of structure. And that they also, especially for hyperactive boys, are able to tolerate some modicum of behavioral outbursts and some of these kids tend to get into trouble. I'm a big supporter of coaches and educational tutors, if necessary, to help them with their academics. And while that may not totally be considered alternative treatment, it's very important. Second thing is, I stress what I call brain fitness programs, which include number one, new programs like Cogmed, which has good evidence to support, which is a cognitive behavioral training program, neuro-feedback or bio-feedback, which has now been used for 20 years, and a newer program called mindfulness training, which is becoming increasingly used for a host of conditions in children as well as adults and has now shown some promising results in children with ADD. Lastly, I talk to parents about diet, although I personally have not seen very many positive results from diet. Many parents are interested in diet, and usually I'll refer them to the website to look up the Feingold diet which was popular in the seventies and eighties which eliminated food additives and excessive sugar in the child's diet. With all of that said, it's understandable why parents are so interested in diet, because as a parent, we've all had our child get a big carbohydrate load and become extremely wild and hyperactive. Unfortunately, in m experience, diet alone is not going to solve your child's attentional issues.

Learn about: ADHD alternative treatments from James Varga, MD,...

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James Varga, MD

Pediatrician

James Varga began to practice medicine in 1977 after graduating from Bucknell University and New York Medical College with honors. James completed post doctoral studies in Child Development at UCLA. His wife Olga and he have two great daughters, Jenna and Maya.

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