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Alternative ADHD treatment: What Does NOT Work?

Margaret V. Austin, Ph.D., edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

A disorder like ADHD that can negatively affect someone's entire life. Fortunately, an increasing number of effective treatment options are available. New and promising research continues to expand our understanding and new treatments are being explored. With so many new treatments emerging, it becomes difficult for people to distinguish effective treatments from quackery. The National Resource Center for ADHD provides a guide for evaluating treatments (What We Know #6: Complementary and Alternative Treatments for ADHD, n.d.).

The following 'treatments' have been proposed for ADHD. However, these are NOT sound ADHD treatments and are not supported by the scientific and medical communities:

  • Dietary Interventions*
  • Elimination Diets*
  • Nutritional Supplements*
  • Sensory Integration Training**
  • Cerebellar Training - (physical exercises combining movement and balance to target motor control, attention, and focus
  • Anti-motion Sickness Medication
  • Candida Yeast Treatment
  • Chiropractic Treatments
  • Optometric Vision Training
  • Thyroid Treatment
  • Lead Treatment

*A healthy diet, with wholesome unprocessed foods, that limit salt, fat, sugar and other additives improves everyone's health. Therefore, an improved diet will indeed help a person with ADHD though it does not directly target ADHD symptoms.

** Sensory integration problems often accompany ADHD. However, treating these symptoms has not been shown to diminish ADHD symptoms.