Alternatives to medication and ADHD

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Alternatives to medication and ADHD

There are options for your ADHD child in addition to medication or instead of medication. I'm a great fan of Dr. Edward Hallowell who's written a book called "Delivered from Distraction" in which he describes about 20 interventions that can be done for the ADHD child, only one of which is medication. Many of the interventions are as simple as diet or exercise, but some of them can be costly and they are often sometimes difficult to sustain the motivation with a young child, to be able to do all of those strategies. I suggest you explore them, and if medication is not something you want to try as a first step defense against ADHD, there are options you can try. Many of these things are also very, very successful in conjunction with medication. And optimally it is best that you try a multi-prong approach to any time you're dealing with a child, or an adult, who has ADHD.

View Carolyn McWilliams, MA's video on Alternatives to medication and ADHD...


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Carolyn McWilliams, MA

Educational Specialist

Carolyn is currently an educational therapist and educational consultant helping students, parents, and schools meet the challenges of gifted students with learning challenges through her offices in Santa Monica, California. Carolyn also does general consulting with schools on topics from curriculum development to teaching study skills to interpretation of student test scores.

Carolyn began her educational career in Santa Barbara, California, where she received her B.A. and M.A. and became a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Administration with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction. She served as a supervisor of student teachers and taught courses across the educational curriculum during her eight years at UCSB.

After completing her studies, Carolyn moved to Los Angeles where she served as the head of Adat Ari El Day School in Valley Village and as a consultant on issues of learning and instruction to Jewish day schools across the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Spectrum, as well as to elementary and secondary schools of all types. During this time she also served on the faculty of California State University at Northridge.

The parent of three highly gifted daughters of her own (one with learning challenges), throughout her career, Carolyn has designed innovative strategies, as well as unique programs to help gifted students achieve life success. She established the Johns Hopkins Center for Academically Talented Youth (CTY) Summer Commuter Program held at the University of California Los Angeles and served as parent liaison for the CTY to the press and larger community. She was the founder and head of Bridges Academy, which serves a population of twice-exceptional students in grades 6-12, from 1994-2003 (

Carolyn has been a classroom teacher in both Goleta Union and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. She was LAUSD Teacher of the Year, was one of five finalists for California Teacher of the Year, and was given an Outstanding Educator Award by the Los Angeles Times. She has published curriculum and articles in the areas of special education, social studies, English, educational computing, ESL, multi-cultural education, study skills, and classroom organization. She regularly presents at conferences and schools on topics related to curriculum, instruction, classroom organization, gifted students, and special needs populations. 

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