There are certain topics or trends that seem to follow just about anything, and that is no different from healthcare, or figuring out the best options to take care of our bodies and our families. The same goes as with anything, certain questions pop up much more frequently than others and I am going to answer the top four I often hear.
First of all, I am a physician that truly believes that there is no bad question. Knowledge is power and the more you know the more you are able to make informed choices for you child. Questions mean you are thinking and trying to process information. It is imperative that you understand what is going on with your child and the side effects of some of the therapy choices. I am shocked at how many people tell me that therapy or medications or procedures are not fully explained to them before utilization. On that note, lets see what we can learn.
1. What if my child does not have a diagnosis yet, but exhibits signs or symptoms of ADHD, sensory issues or something on the spectrum?
Yahoo! Glad to hear this, because this means they will not have received any medication yet. You can not medicate with out a diagnosis. Yes, many of the ADHD medications are used off label for other things, but you can’t be medicated for ADHD with out a diagnosis. Just so that you know, I DO NOT treat a diagnosis, I treat the child. Therefore, whether or not they have a diagnosis or not means nothing to me. I look at an extensive amount of paper work (that you fill out for your child), preform an extensive functional neurological exam and also preform an EEG brain map. From this I determine the best mode of treatment for each child individually. If your child has positive findings, that is what I treat, not a diagnosis.
2. What if my child if diagnosed with ADHD and already on medication?
I treat children on medication the same as I treat unmedicated children. Just because your child is on medication does not mean that a natural approach will not be effective. Many of my patients caregivers are particularly concerned about the side effects from the medication their children are taking. While some children exhibit positive results from taking medication for example increased concentration at school, many of them have adverse side effects as well. The most common side effects I see are appetite loss, weight loss, depression, personality changes and having to increase the medications to stronger dosages or to more dosages a day. Also from some children with sensory issues, these may become more pronounced. In my practice, I do not prescribe medications, nor do I discuss dosing. This is a conversation between you and your pediatrician. Just like as stated before, I do not treat the diagnosis even if you have one. Everyone has different signs and symptoms of ADHD. Blanket treating these symptoms is not a beneficial approach but finding the root cause is.
3. We have tried so many therapies with little or no change. What makes your program different?
I have heard of many treatments and therapies and I never discredit any of them. As parents we are always trying to look for the best option for our children and all parents that are actively looking for better answers for their child should be applauded. I have so much respect for the parents that have tried different things as they are looking for their child to function optimally! Kudos to you! My approach is different as it is a three pronged approach.
The triangle of Neurometabolic Integration consists of looking at your child:
3. Brain Connectivity through an EEG Brain Map
The reason I use this trifecta is first, research shows a multi model approach is the most effective for the treatment of ADHD and it just makes sense. For example, how can you be changing function of your body and brain if you are eating foods that are making you inflamed. Just like you can’t put the steeple on the church without the church building itself. If you tried, the steeple would just crash. I like to build from the foundation up using the NeuroMetabolic Integration approach. Additionally, I have found that many patients have not received complete instructions on the process of why and how to fully execute the treatment plan their doctor is recommending. Once again knowledge is power and no question is wrong. If you are not aware of the full process of why you are doing something it may not seem important to follow the plan. This is why I take a lot of time explaining the process for which each modality is utilized. So for example, if you don’t understand why your child should not be eating gluten if they are sensitive to it, I may explain it to you as drinking a bottle of parasites. You wouldn’t do that, but they can both cause inflammation and inflammatory cascades that attack various parts of your child’s body including their brain. Another misconception I hear is that home exercises are not as necessary as in office treatment. WRONG! These are just as or even more important than in office therapies. In office and home therapies are intertwined to work together and should be performed together.
4. Last question I often get is a difficult one, I know from personal experience. When a parent is really at their whits end and feels like they have exhausted all of their options, it sounds something like this: “Dr. Kelly, I am afraid for my child. I am scared to see what the future holds for them and I don’t feel like I have any options left. What can I do?.” I HEAR YOU and I will tell you these statements always bring a tear to my eye. Just like a young child reading off an affirmation about how awesome they are, but not truly believing it in their heart yet.
My response is simple. You have not tried everything yet. Every child deserves everything we can offer to live an optimal and truly joyful life. If you are really struggling please take the time to educate yourself on the services in my office. You can do this by taking advantage of a complementary phone consult with me, to see if the NeuroMetabolic Integration program is a good option for your child. With this program, I evaluate fully before we even determine if treatment is an option. For the sake of your child and your family, take the time to see if this program would be a good fit for them. My goal is to help your child thrive! My biggest reward in life, other than the smiles from my own four children, is your child giving me a high-five because they are doing better. You have nothing to loose. Take the time to get educated and see if a natural approach can help your child blossom!