Our expert says:
I absolutely NEVER accept a diagnosis made by an Occupational Therapist, as they are not qualified nor traiend to make psychiatric diagnoses, including ADHD and similar problems. Nor do I know of ANY good evidence that OT is an effective treatment for such conditions. I simply do not understand why in SA Occupational Therapists seem to have muscled into this territory - ineffective treatments may be profitable to provide, but are not proper practice.
So the first step is to have a competent and expert diagnosis made by an appropriate expert, a child psychiatrist, or paediatrician. Once a proper diagnosis has been made, available treatments can be discussed. There are some variations on the theme of Ritalin which can be helpful, and the right sort of expert would adise you on those alternatives once the diagnosis is established. Similarly, you are right that you need to consider possible side-effects and long-term effects, too.
There are no real "natural" alternatives, but I have heard some good reports, and have seen some promising actual evidence, that a non-prescription product called HiQ ( or something like that ) may be useful in some cases.
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