Q: My 12yo son was diagnosed adhd & specific learning disorder 3 yrs ago & medicated. His teachers feel as though he is not progressing at all & he seems to be getting worse. They question his diagnosis, hence they are reassessing. I was hoping to try the elimination diet to see if this would help - am I best to do the 4 weeks elimination or just the ditch foods with additives, being that the main issue is that he is particularly vague, switches off, loses focus? - Bella

Answers from facebook group:

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6, he’s now 36. He was put on medication that didn’t help. Find something he’s really interested in, my son loved lego, to boost his concentration span, also reading, something that he loves, you will be rewarded, it takes time and a lot of effort from you but worthwhile – Della

Couldn’t agree more avoiding additives (incl synthetic perfumes etc), eating 100% organic is very effective for me as an autistic adult with ADHD. Medication still helps—it’s just not enough if the body is assaulted by inflammatory chemicals - Miff

I was asked to take my son for testing for autism but when he went onto strict elimination he completely changed overnight. His teacher told me she could see no sign of autism (although I know he's still got more subtle sensory needs, fixates on some things like science, how things work, screens, minecraft)...If he has something like broccoli he will run around crazily, sugar gives him a high but then a low where he'd lie down and cry, carrot for example he'd be aggressive or argue, some things he'll be very sensory and touch all the walls etc. Anyways, not a 'cure' as I think it is how he's wired and he's a really beautiful smart child... but it makes his life a lot easier - Micky

Autistic and ADHD person here. An elimination diet can help an environmentally Sensitive Autistic person but that's not the only thing that can help. Autistic people are sometimes capable of something called "Masking" which means suppressing Autistic traits. It's exhausting to do and causes fatigue and burnout. Getting him to stop doing the things that make him ADHD will lead to burnout. I would suggest you test him for Autism anyway and make sure his accommodations are met. There's lots of tools to help with sensory issues; headphones, weighted blankets, chewelry, fidget toys, etc. These will help him regulate his emotions and sift through uncomfortable stimuli - Sam

Any diet will not "cure" your child. Diets will only help your child if they are environmentally sensitive to those chemicals. Even if diet does do something, your child still has Autism or ADHD and finding ways to accommodate their needs instead of suppressing them will lead to an infinitely happier child. Put it this way, if loud noises bother your child you can teach them not to react to the noise, but the noise will be as loud or bothersome as ever. They just won't feel safe enough to show that they're hurting - Sam again

I get so upset when people try to “cure” neurodivergence. I can confirm that whilst I get grievous mood swings from artificial flavours, no amount of bloody vanilla ice cream will get me through Kmart exposure for longer than 30 minutes. The sensory overload is hell. The language used around the discussion of diet and asd/adhd needs to change otherwise people will continue to feel unacceptable members of society – Kate

The thing is, the ND people who don't have these food and chemical sensitivities see the whole thing as a myth. They don't understand the relationship that things making us sick, tired, or in pain can impact our focus or our tolerance for sensory overload – Kate again

My son had behavioural issues at home and in classroom around age 8 and the elimination diet resolved most, it was amazing the difference within 3 weeks. He was found not to have ADHD as there was never an issue of concentration on things he was engaged with. He reacts to salicylate, amines, antioxidant, benzoate and glutamate all with different reactions. Although he has less adverse reaction to salicylate which make him more sensitive, emotional etc. I have always wondered if they contribute to his lack of concentration in class. My son now 14, eats relatively well at home but whatever he chooses away from home has fewer behavioural issues as he has grown but has zero interest in reading/writing school subjects and is behind for his age – Nicky

Everyone is different, so react to different things. So I'd definitely try full elimination. My 5yr old has ADHD, after 4wks we definitely saw improvements in focus and sitting still. Eg. from getting up from dining table 20+ times while having dinner to only getting up 2-5 times; finally sitting at group time and not running around the classroom and touching the child next to him; sat and focused on colouring in a picture for the first time. So hopefully he will be able to sit long enough to actually learn something now. Sals made him return to previous non-focus behaviours – Lena

It is very hard at first, I may have had a bit of a meltdown in the first week of planning menus. And being out and about or birthday parties is hard. My son has delays also, but has noticed himself that his speech has improved (his oppositional behaviour has reduced considerably so that he actually partakes in his speech sessions). He is so proud of himself, so I use that to remind him at parties etc, so he understands why he's on the diet. Plus I give him marshmallows and chips so he doesn't completely miss out – Lena again

It's easier with the assistance of an RPAH trained Dietitian - Samantha

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio