Some parents of children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder will try just about anything to avoid drug treatment – homeopathy, chiropractic, massage, even faith healing.
“There’s a label, a stigma that goes with drug treatment,” said Dr. Regina Bussing, a child psychiatrist at the University of Florida who conducted a recent survey of 1,600 families in that state.
Although national statistics are not available, some doctors and other experts say that more than half of families coping with ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, now try alternatives before considering treatment with drugs, such as Ritalin or Adderall.
The trend is on the rise, doctors say, as more children are diagnosed with attention problems and more ADHD products and programs crowd the marketplace. These include not only restrictive diets, vitamin and mineral supplements, but brain wave-measuring technology, and biofeedback.