(June 1999)

Part one

"You might be interested in part of an article in a newsletter from my son's high school. It is a fact sheet : "Attention Deficit Disorder - The Facts" written by Dr Mark Gibbeson, Behavioural Paedatrician, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.

It states as follows:

"MYTH: Drugs are the only treatment given to help these children

FACT : Medication is without a doubt the most effective management tool to help these children concentrate at home and at school. Dietary manipulation is of little help to most ADHD children [yawn]. Long term improvement is best achieved with the help of behaviour programs, family and teacher counselling and, of course, helping the children themselves come to an understanding of their condition as they grow older."

This article alarmed me because there was a contact number for further information and books on ADHD. You can bet your life that "Different Kids" and "Fed Up" are not on their list. I am also alarmed that these fact sheets are given out freely to parents and professionals alike really offering no other choice than to medicate.

I agree that a lot of parents would need to be helped with behaviour programs but I now think diet needs to be looked at first before resorting to medication. If the diet has been adhered to strictly, I am sure that most parents would see an improvement in their childrens' behaviour as I have seen with my son ...

It makes me angry that there are so many experts out there willing to medicate our children without first offering alternatives."

Part two (after 6 weeks on the elimination diet)

Today Jake was the best he has been, but even though I watch what he eats and drinks, I got caught. He sneaked some Sprite lemonade and I didn't know until I arrived to pick him up from after school care. The carers said his behaviour had been "ratty, obnoxious, argumentative and hyped up" all afternoon. He had told them about the Sprite. They said there really must be something in this diet thing as they had seen a rapid change in his behaviour since I had dropped him off. At this stage I hadn't seen him yet. Then Jake bounced through the door and nearly ran up the wall. It took me half an hour to get him into the car. He wouldn't listen to reason, he was totally off the planet. I will have to be so careful in the future. - Dianne