Alternative medicine is a practice which people either live by or laugh at; there does not seem to be any middle ground. When it comes to treating Attention Deficit Disorder, alternative medicine refers to any treatment technique which falls outside the realm of standard behavioral treatments and medication.
Dietary intervention is one such treatment in which certain foods are eliminated from a child’s diet to reduce or eliminate the negative effects of ADD. This is based on the misguided belief that ADD is caused by food allergies or certain manufactured products, such as food dye or preservatives. While many people strongly trust this belief, there does not seem to be any scientific foundation for it.
Another alternative treatment is the taking of nutritional supplements, which, of course, is the opposite principle of dietary intervention. Specifically, the use of glyconutritional supplements, megadose vitamins, amino acid supplementation, Gingko biloba, or any number of other herbal remedies have been touted to cure ADD. Special care should be taken in consuming herbal remedies as they are not regulated by the FDA. Children are also especially susceptible to negative effects of such supplements. Seek the advice of a doctor before giving any type of medication to your child.
Interactive metronome training, which trains the child to keep a rhythmic beat in time with a computer, is based on the lack of motor timing and planning abilities in children with ADD. This, in turn improves upon that inability. While only one study has been done, this technique shows some promise. It, of course, requires more research before its usefulness can fully be assessed.
The use of lead treatment in children with ADD is base upon increased hyperactivity in animals as a result of lead poisoning; this has led some to believe there may be a correlation between high lead levels and hyperactive children.
A specific realm of treatment which has gotten little respect is that of motion sickness medication, treatment for candida yeast, and optometric visual training. These each fault inconspicuous culprits for ADD, such as inner ear problems (motion sickness medication), toxins produced by excessive yeast in the body (candida), or faulty eye movements and eye sensitivity (optometric visual training). Each of these have been completely disregarded by the medical community as having no basis in reality.
Other alternative treatments for ADD include applied kinesiology, or the realigning of the bones of the skull, as well as chiropractic treatment to balance brain activity through spinal manipulation.