What Experts Say

I strongly recommend Dr. Newmark's book to all parents, relatives, and friends of children with ADHD, as well as the teachers, doctors, and other professionals who work with them. Before going to the pharmacy, we can use an integrative approach to help these children succeed and fulfill their true potential. Dr. Newmark tells us just how to do that.
— Dr. Andrew Weil

Dr. Newmark has finally crafted the book that I have long been wishing for: a wonderful self-help guide for parents looking for a thoughtful and science-based natural approach to treating ADHD. This integrative/holistic style reduces or eliminates the need for stimulant medications and offers sound advice about diet, sleep, nutrients, herbs and other key modalities. The book radiates a balanced wisdom that comes so rarely from practicing physicians today..
— Scott Shannon, MD Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; author of Please Don’t Label My Child; editor of Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Mental Health

If I had one book to read about ADHD, this is it. It is well-written, practical and filled with the uncommonly good common sense of an experienced and compassionate clinician with fair-minded and rigorous reviews of the state of the science.
— Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Integrative Medicine; Professor of Pediatrics, Social Science Health Policy, and Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Is it Really ADHD?

There are a number of other medical or learning problems that can be mistaken for ADHD. It is very important to obtain an evaluation from a professional who has the time and skill to sort these out. Here are some of the most common:

  • Learning Disabilities – The child who has, for example, dyslexia, may act as if they are not paying attention but is actually just having a really hard time learning to read. After a while, they may start to give up and act out in some ways. To make matters more complicated, learning disabilities often coexist with ADHD.
    The child with an intense or difficult temperament – these children are very strong willed and will tend to do things only on their own terms. The key here is that they can concentrate beautifully if they happen to be motivated or interested (and I’m not talking about TV and video games-even ADHD children usually can focus on these).
  • Anxiety or depression – Both of these can mimic ADHD, and as with learning disabilities, can coexist with ADHD. Anxiety especially, can really look like SADHD, and anxious children can have very negative reactions to typical stimulant medications.
  • The Gifted Child – Boredom can be a major problem for the gifted child in an ordinary class. When he or she understands in the first 2 minutes what the teacher is taking 30 minutes to explain, behavioral problems can arise. They may also simply refuse to do work that is too tedious.
  • Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea describes a condition in which a child cannot get adequate sleep, usually due to upper airway obstruction from large tonsils and adenoids. Symptoms include snoring, breath-holding, and tossing and turning at night. Research has shown that this can cause ADHD symptoms.
  • Social Issues – Many social factors can contribute to poor school performance which can look like ADHD. Divorce or separation, financial problems, inadequate parenting, abuse, bullying, and many other social factors can cause a reaction which can look like ADHD. One red flag for this is the child who was doing very well in school, and rather suddenly begins to develop problems.

You and your child deserve the time, attention and detailed evaluation of trained experts to determine whether or not it’s ADHD or if it’s something else. I’ll address the components of a thorough diagnosis in a separate post.

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