“Mommy, is there a famous golfer called Tiger Lilly?”  ”I think you are referring to Tiger Woods honey. Why?”   “Because his dad used to make noise while he was practicing so he could work on his focus.”
Wow… I am not sure where my 5 year old picked up this info but I am amazed that he was looking for information on ways to focus. It has been a topic of discussion around here since a Therapist suggested that he may have ADHD during some IQ testing we had done.
I had noticed that he was really struggling to get through his daily Kumon Worksheets and the more he masters the information, the harder it is for him to attend.
We started working on strategies to overcome this about a month ago. The first thing has been Acupressure done by one of the only people in the US trained to do such a thing. I am fortunate to know Melissa Light so I called her up and made an appointment. She has given us some message techniques to do daily and I have seen improvement already. The second is trying some caffeine.  This is a tricky one.  My mom decided to give him a little tea when we were at her house and he was doing homework.  She gave him half a cup and it seemed to make a difference.  She then decided more must be better and gave him another cup.  Unfortunately, this had the opposit effect and he was soon running around like the wild man he is and with tons of caffeine.  So, experimenting has been interesting and fruitful.

Another thing that seems to help is exercise.  A good run around in the morning seems to be setting his body up to be more relaxed and happy.  I know I am happier when I exercise in the morning too.  It just makes the day better in general.  The next thing we are going to try is a two week  Elimination Diet getting rid of things like yellow foods, fast foods, fried foods, dairy, food coloring, most sugar, most chocolate (I know…sacrilege), processed meats and more to see what if any of these things may be causing an allergic reaction that contributes to the attention issues.  After the two weeks, we will add the healthy foods back in for four days to see if their are any behavioral changes.  This will give us an idea of what, if anything, is contributing to loss of focus.  I am not sure what we will eat because my son’s diet is rich in all of the above, sadly.  I am not a great cook and he is a picky eater.  This is a great opportunity for us to review what we know about eating healthy and un-learn  some bad habits.

A friend of mine who specializes in Behavioral Therapies, suggested the above diet and also EFT.  EFT is a therapy that involves tapping out any issues you are dealing with emotionally.  I have always been interested in learning about it and I figure why not add to the arsenal of strategies.   The books are ordered and next week we will dive into the realm of tapping (hoping it helps with terrific two tantrums as well).

My husband is stressed about him getting a complex.  I feel like not addressing the issue will be more of a problem.  He is a bright kid with lots to offer the world and in my experience with my own learning differences, addressing the issue head on makes it not about being a victim to the problem but about overcoming the differences through finding strategies that work.  This is a good life lesson for anyone in my book.  Learning to address anything that throws a wrench in your way and moving around it rather than letting it drag you down seems like the way to go.

So, this is the current plan.  Am I against meds?  Well, I do think they are over used.  I am not sure where I stand and I don’t think judging is the way to go.  We will work with the alternative strategies and see where they lead.  If the time comes to look into another path, we will look.  Different strokes for different folks, that is what makes the world go  around.