My learning curve with ADHD:So off we went, adding the probiotic, eliminating dyes and processed foods (much like a paleo diet if you need ideas on-line).
My son was only five, but we had known for a while that he is wired a little differently so when his kindergarten teacher told us we needed to do something we figured we had better listen. I did some research and started him on a good multivitamin and DHA supplement.
His pediatrician told us we did right on the supplements but we also needed to change his diet slightly. We have to protein load his meals and use "good" carbohydrates. The doctor also told us to use whole milk rather than skim and to try to use the least processed foods available - fortunately when Eric and I had started using supplements a year and a half ago we had made most of these changes. We also have to use dye free items where available.
He is doing much better with his hyperactivity after making these changes, but he is still having impulse control issues. Texas Tech had done a study on the efficacy of using SPARK in children with ADHD, but I could only find the abstract of the study and not the complete write up so I talked to Dr. Carl Keen on AdvoCare's sci/med board about a personal testimony Tara Presley had shared with me about her son's experience. I wanted to know safe doses for a five year old and what risks were associated with him taking these products because on the website they are NOT recommended for use in children. He talked to me about several factors involved in ADHD and the fact that there is nothing in the supplements that would be harmful if I wanted to try them, but he could not give me dosing recommendations because they are not recommended by AdvoCare for use in children as young as five.
Dr. Mark Miller said that I should try probiotic boost in addition to the multivitamin and DHA supplement first. After about two weeks I should add the SPARK to this.
If you are interested in trying supplements, you can take the pages on each supplement to your doctor to ask about any health risks.
Hope this helps. I never thought being a mommy would involve so much research!
Current products I have my son use:
Wellness Product Line:
Active Product Line:
December 2012 Update:
I wanted to give an update on how my son is doing in his regime. He is now 6 and in the first grade. Because Spark wears off after 6 hours, his first grade teacher recommended we talk with his doctor about a medication that would last longer. We tried Focalin. It worked for a shorter period of time than the Spark and when I went to visit him for lunch the second day he was on it, he looked like a zombie. I called his doctor and told him that was not an option for my son. He asked that I try Focalin XR. I was very hesitant after our first experience, but it did seem to work better that the regular and longer than the Spark. However, it does not prevent him from chewing on his clothes - everything still goes in his mouth at 6!
We continue to use Spark instead of medication on all non-school days. It still gives him the focus that he needs and the impulse control that keeps him from doing things like poking holes through the plastic that is covering the raw ground beef. I cannot wait until he is old enough to drink a second Spark at lunch instead of using medication!
We had to take my son off of Focalin XR. We tried lowering doses and such, but the medication was giving him certain ticks that had a negative impact on his socialization. Nobody wants to hold hands with the kid that can't keep his hands out of his mouth! He was also chewing up shirts at least a few times a week. It seemed to be building and worsening quickly so we went back to the doctor and back to the drawing board. During all of this our insurance changed so we have changed doctors, too. We have a new doctor who heard loud and clear that I did not want Focalin or anything like it! I also told her that I did not want a medication that had to be taken regularly because on the weekends and during summer break we would not be using it at all unless he was going to need to focus for more than a few hours. At those times we planned to used Spark as needed. We settled on trying Vyvanse. Again the doctor wanted to try a dosage that was uncomfortably high to me. We agreed to one slightly lower. After a few days on it, we lowered it further. My goal with medication is to help my son with his impulses and to give him the ability to be settled enough to think. I DO NOT want a medication that alters his personality in any way. That is what I LOVE about spark. His personality does not change at all, but he is able to think more clearly AND has much more control over his impulses.
The differences in my son this year are amazing! He has not chewed a single shirt to pieces! We went all summer long with no medication. However, when he would try to write in his summer journal (he is weak in his writing skills so I had him writing this summer), he could NOT focus without spark. He would get less than a sentence written then break down into tears because he "just couldn't think". as a parent, it is so heart aching to hear the frustration in a 7 year old child's voice. In the fall we did use the Vyvanse when he started back to school. At his November doctors appointment he talked to the doctor about using the medication at school versus using spark. We also talked about using the medication on the weekends versus going without and using spark as needed. He told the doctor that he likes using the medicine at school because he is scared that the spark won't always be enough. However, he likes not using the medicine on the weekends. I like including him in the conversation about his medication because I can only see how he acts on the outside, I cannot get into his head and see how he feels. It surprises many ADHD moms that I include a 7 year old in medication decisions, but I want my son to know that he had a need that may be a little different than his peers, but like any other special need their are strategies to be the best he can be. He has the ability to reason out the need for medication and I want him to be empowered as he grows to feel like he can tell me and/or his doctor which medication is best for him or if he wants to continue with medication at all. I do not feel the need to force him to use Spark only. It works well for me, and meets my needs, but he had to be able to verbalize what works best for him.
Eric and I signed up with AdvoCare in June 2010 and have used the products since then and love them. I signed up as a distributor to get the wholesale rate (instantly saves 20% per order with the ability to earn up to 40% off – I will gladly explain this to you.) You do not have to order a certain amount to get the 20% and you do not have to sell to others. The kids have used the multivitamins and purple champs since September 2011 and love them.