Alternative options for treating behavioral issues in children?

amyjacobson6 Posts: 17 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in General Health

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to see if any of you might have suggestions on how to manage symptoms associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome using a more natural approach? My younger sister has recently adopted 3 young siblings ages 6, 4, & 2 that came from the foster care system. The older two are Fetal Alcohol Syndrome babies, with the 6 year old being the most severe. He was put on medication to manage outbursts of anger, it does not seem to be helping his behavioral issues and is causing side effects. I know that his brain damage is permanent, but was wondering if anyone had ideas without using prescription meds?


  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    As a former foster child myself, KUDOS to your sister for adopting "foster" children and keeping the siblings together. As I'm sure you know, the foster care system is, to say the least, lacking.

    Something you might want to research is CBD. In my quest to educate myself on CBD, I remember reading CBD was found helpful to children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, specially with anxiety and focus.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
    edited October 2019

    @amyjacobson6 I have 2 grown cousins (one adopted, one fostered, siblings) who also had FAS. I have no idea what my aunt & uncle did, but they are a lot of homegrown foods and had raw milk. I know their diet wasn't always clean, though, as they didn't watch ingredient labels.

    We manage ADHD, without meds, in our family. Our primary natural help is by reading ingredient labels to avoid artificial flavors & colors (including tartrazine & FD&C colors), certain preservatives, artificial sweeteners, & MSG in all its forms. We prefer where to know where our food comes from if we don't grow/raise it ourselves. Our diet is based on recommendations. We can't fully do their program, as it is US based, but have been able to be quite successful here due to one Canadian store (The Real Canadian Superstore/Loblaws) offering their own products that most often (but not always) for our criteria.

    Anyway, how this might relate is that we all feel better without that junk. If we have it, we see additional anger, rage, aggression, headaches to migraines, extra hyperactivity, and more. Some additives certainly do alter brain chemistry and can cause these behavioural issues all on their own. I am suggesting this because this type of clean diet should help aid by not adding additional fuel to the anger, etc. and help the new parents be able to cope better by eating this way as well and not having to fight the additional stress of dealing with their own body's battle with the chemicals.

    Upon re-reading your post...some medications have nasty things in them as well and do just aggravate the issue. It might be good to become familiar with those ingredients to make sure the things that I mentioned are not present in them. A compounding pharmacy can help formulate the same thing without these additional additives, if they are to continue with that route.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,622 admin

    I agree that diet has a huge effect on the mental state but I would suggest that this family sees a homeopath. Homeopathy can offer so much more than herbs for cases such as this. Herbal nervines and sedatives might help in the short term but homeopathy can assist in correcting the root cause of the issue. A good homeopath will be able to treat the differing symptoms that each of these children will have as well as offer assistance to the parents (or other family members) who may be feeling very overwhelmed..

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @amyjacobson6

    Did you happen to Notice... @Laurie as she said "Our primary natural help is by reading ingredient labels to avoid artificial flavors & colors (including tartrazine & FD&C colors), certain preservatives, artificial sweeteners, & MSG in all its forms. ... We prefer where to know where our food comes from if we don't grow/raise it ourselves. ... how this might relate is that we all feel better without that junk. If we have it, we see additional anger, rage, aggression, headaches to migraines, extra hyperactivity, and more. Some additives certainly do alter brain chemistry and can cause these behavioural issues all on their own. I am suggesting this because this type of clean diet should help aid by not adding additional fuel to the anger, etc. " - Everything she said there is Spot ON. Excellent suggestions :)

    And since your sister has her hands full, Lovingly caring for those three terribly harmed children, may I add that you can borrow this book "Feeding You Lies" by Vani Hari from a Library, to share with her too. You will learn the Food Industry's playbook, & HOW to regain your health. - And beyond the author's Recipes, & life-long DETOX plan, she (as Laurie already said) teaches you about 3 Essential questions to ask & know BEFORE any "food" is ever accepted, to Transform your health, on pg 197 : 1. What are the Ingredients ?, 2. Where do these Ingredients come from ?, & 3. Are these Ingredients Nutritious?

    And do you what else? This young mother, the Author, took the Entire Food Industry to TASK, & they actually made some changes & improvements ! YES ! I recommend this book to you at this time, for everyone's health.

    And another thing: when you said 'brain damage is permanent' = Be very careful what you allow in your mind as far as beliefs, including these precious children. Why?

    Because when doctors say such terrible things, it is only because they have no answers, & not that no answers exist. - (Research done in 2017 Clearly showed 2 common drugs (metformin & thyroxine) show promise as a treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) after they were able to reverse some of the brain damage from this condition, in mice. Sure, we don't want drugs) - Additionally there are nutraceuticals that have been shown to help...

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Essential fatty acids, especially fish oil for kids may help significantly. Also some lemon balm, as a tea or supplement would be calming - 2-3 times a day. As mentioned by others, diet is key.

  • bubknzklee
    bubknzklee Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    I make a nervine syrup for my daughter who has ADHD and autism. It is 2 parts chamomile, 2 parts catnip, 2 parts lemon balm, and 1 part lavender. She takes it twice a day

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
    edited October 2019

    @bubknzklee Interesting. I would like to know if you have seen just what this does for her; do you see a direct benefit & how does it show?

    @amyjacobson6 I am not saying to use the following things (just adding for research consideration), and I have not looked into FAS specifically (my disclaimer), but I do wonder if certain brain building herbs could in fact help. Many are known to halt/reverse damage in dementia, Alzheimer's and other brain damage.

    I can't help but wonder how lions mane might do. I looked into it for brain injury, concussions specifically, and it can do great things. You might want to check out the thread that is discussing these things on the forum. You might find something helpful there.

    Exercise can help specific areas of the brain, building new connections (example, crawling helps the hippocampus & crosscrawling helps in other ways). Remember that even though damage may be permanent in certain specific areas, the brain can make new connections & learn how to compensate in this way.

    It could be worth looking into a program that offers these fun activities, many which can be done in the home. I think Move to Learn is one such great program that teaches these exercises. It is out of Australia, I believe.

    I for one would be curious about the path that your sister takes. Remind her not to try everything at once, just one thing at a time as to not get overwhelmed. Let us know how things go. She will need support to do this journey. It is never easy dealing with FAS.

  • dimck421
    dimck421 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭

    I adopted two siblings via foster care, both with FAS. I avoided prescription drugs for both. I turned to CBD and avoid processed food. Lots of time outside, running around and having simple chores seems to be the biggest help. The CBD usually creates a calm youngster. Other times, it seems to cause a surge. I hope this helps, at least a little.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Commendations to those people who adopt, especially older and special needs children. Blessings to all.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2019

    @bubknzklee Question: As an herbalist, going for an MS, - why take children to a traditional/conventional MD to be handicapped with another Label such as "ADHD autistic" ? Can you please explain what made you think such Labels are a good idea ?

  • one.ette
    one.ette Posts: 54 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019

    My number one recommendation is to remove all screen time. No TV, no movies, no video games, no computer, no phones etc.

    #2 get outside in the sunshine, take walks in the woods, take a camera and let them take pictures of bugs and flowers and plants, (it's a good time to teach them about herbs), play in the dirt with them, walk/wade in the ocean or other natural bodies of water.

    #3 allow/teach them about how to help out around the house/ Homestead, let them help prepare meals, (children love to learn/help in the kitchen).

    #4 quiet time- read them good books about real life, (children really like to learn about true history).

    Sing, sing, sing!

    Be happy around them and they will learn to be happy as well.

    And most of all treat them with respect and like they are already well and give them lots of attention.

    Don't expect them to act like miniature adults. It's normal for children to be loud and rambunctious.

    Also, I would do my best to slowly ween them off of all prescription medications. The side effects of behavioral medications are much worse than the behaviors they are treating.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi again @amyjacobson6 - the Details of what @one.ette just shared with you are priceless, & oh soo True! & so well said !

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    @amyjacobson6 Love, Patience and Nature are doors through which all children can emerge from past harms. Please remind your sister and all adults in the children's lives to take care of self also. And an update on all now and then would be marvelous. Blessings to all.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin
    edited October 2019

    I know that this question was not directed at me, but I would like to respond.

    I don't agree with labelling to stigmatize. It should never be used against a person and should never, ever be used as a crutch. However...sometimes it can be a stepping stone to start to find help (either external outside the family or within/by family) for a specific issue. Yes, the medical system wants their drugs to be used and be right in there to manipulate. They also promote a lot of misinformation to support themselves & their drug culture (so frustrating). That doesn't mean that you need to follow up with them. On occasion they stumble across something good, but of course, critical thinking when dealing with their info. needs to be exercised.

    As for us, we chose not to go to a doctor for an "official diagnoses." It was pretty clear after researching the term what we were dealing with (and we can see it throughout both families!). I was at the end of my rope, feeling alone (our community is cold to "outsiders"), crying and deeply was either me or my very young daughter who "needed to leave," so I said (that is how desperate I was). I prayed that I would find help. I was heard! Within 3 minutes...3...I found the most wonderful Christian support group online for parents of ADHD. I soaked up every bit of support & suggestions that I could. I was an eager learner (and supporter of others) there for many years. I learned what I had dealt with when growing up & at that present time. It explained a lot. Of course, we chose not to medicate (I believe that is a mistake to do in this case for so many reasons, but won't bash others), so I learned alternatives. It wasn't about curing, but managing.

    I have heard how ADHD labels can hurt when one wants to enter the (US) military, even though they have very many decorated undiagnosed ADHD people already. It can also affect getting certain jobs, etc., if it is known. Stigmas are horrible and It is so wrong.

    We used the term as a means to explain & research & find hope & help, not as an excuse for anything. It certainly helped us move forward. I am now happy to help anyone else who might need the same whole support that we received.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Laurie - Not sure if you understood why I asked that question of bubknzklee ? - was short on time, so failed to launch... into explaining in Detail what you said re to Not "to go to a doctor for an "official diagnoses." - And the real harms that such measures cause in so many tangled ways, as you also mentioned.

    Another class I designed, & have taught is for the general public to better understand the corrupted language of the 'medical model', including such terms as "manage": which really is 1 of their bad curses... Why? Because it implies that some condition can NOT be healed, so all you can do is "manage" (whatever). That that is patently wrong, has been proven by untold many people, who (inspite of medical nonsense), have in fact healed, & so continue. Certainly you are familiar with healing 🙂

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @rainbow Certainly, and I do understand that. I do believe that people do heal from many things that the medical profession claims is permanent. You just have to be fortunate to find the right helps.

    Managing is what we do when it comes to diet & learning various skills to help cope with the challenges that come our way. We tried supplements, but saw no benefit. I think that our diet must have been filling in those holes.

    We never saw a doctor...they have no clue what we are doing...andthey would disagree heartily that it helps in spite of us seeing improvements.

    I have researched this stuff pretty thoroughly. What would you recommend in case I missed something? I am not against looking into more.

  • 7207chablis
    7207chablis Posts: 46 ✭✭✭

    Maybe she could try hypnosis therapy sessions with the older one?

  • wbt.affiliates
    wbt.affiliates Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    My son was ADHD. We adopted Dr. Feingold's diet, the basis of which is discussed here. As it turned out, his body refused to tolerate man-made chemicals well. Were we living on a homestead 100 years ago, he would have never been affected by the problem. We removed all artificial flavors and colors, the primary ones being artificial vanilla and red dyes. Even new carpet and colored clay became issues because the chemicals were absorbed through his skin. We did this because we refused to put him on Ritalin. Why train a kid to take a pill for every aliment when there are better, healthier ways to address most problems? That was how we looked at it. And that was way back in the dark ages, in the 80s. I was considered a nutcase then. My son considers me a hero.

  • amyjacobson6
    amyjacobson6 Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    Thank you (wbt.affiliates) for sharing your success story! Advocating for our children is definitely heroic!

    I will post updates and continue to encourage my sister to stay positive and to be careful of medical language that might hinder the hope & possibility of healing.

  • circleoflifeunlimited
    circleoflifeunlimited Posts: 57 ✭✭✭

    Hello Friends,

    All such wonderful things to do that will help.

    It sounds like these kids are also responding to the trauma in their earlier lives. Children have authentic needs, and if these needs were not met it will affect them for many years... maybe a lifetime. Also, who knows what kind of trauma they have been exposed to by earlier caregivers.

    We can help children (and adults) to have more emotional savvy and to be healthy emotionally. A huge step is to REALLY listen to them and their feelings. REALLY hear them, and let them know that you do. This empowers them to know that their feelings are ok and it is a big step in their healing.

    When my son (1st born) was 9 months old I was introduced to a book by Aletha Solter called "The Aware Baby." This was such a blessing because I was a new mom and really needed it. (Aletha also has books to help older children and even teenagers.) She teaches us how to really listen and empower our kids. This is so important, and very few people know how to do this!!!

    Another great resource is This is a very active website, so do check it out if you are interested in learning more about this topic.

    We all need to work on our emotional fitness, just as we need to work on our physical fitness in order to be really healthy. Aletha Solter helped me find resources for my own emotional wellness many years ago. Two things that I dove into that were really helpful are Holotropoic Breathwork and Rebirthing. Both are forms of breathwork that help to release old traumas. Powerful stuff. These were both popular 30 years ago when I was in this stage of my life, and I still practice breathwork regularly. I have heard that Pranayama is also similar, and there are other therapies as well. People these days talk alot about Tapping. Something I want to look into more.

    Anyway, these kids are lucky to have nice folks helping them. Bless you all.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭


    When I taught this class ( I mentioned here several times before) to Expectant parents, many still in their teens, amongst other things I shared...HOW AWARE each of us are, & not merely starting at birth. -- Alert in our prebirth nest, we were mostly Imprinted by our mom: her beliefs, her thoughts, her actions & in those we were being Trained, & there we had fewer choices = we could not run away, we were held captive there. And thus more Developmental... problems occur before birth because of those challenges. - So when doctors say "This, that, or the other problem is Genetic", that more often than not, is also False.

    So Before & After a Baby is born, Imprint this wonderful precious child with : Do you know How Beautiful, & Brilliant you truly are..."

    And everything else Positively Constructive... I sang, & chatted with, & Up-close looked into their brilliant eyes, & wouldn't you know, at 2 months of age, they started babbling... back at me. Does any baby Consciously know what this was ALL about ? No. - But Subconsciously they eat it UP, and take off learning a mile a minute.

    And of course, you want to keep that UP so they developed... a Healthy Self-image & Self-esteem. This (along with solid morals) will bless children with a Healthy behavioral Foundation for life...

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @wbt.affiliates I know this is a very old post, but I have to voice a word of agreement with you. We have used Feingold recommendations for 18 years now. We exclude an awful lot of additives from our diet & cleaning, etc. It has made a huge difference to every member or our family.

    One thing that we found interesting, is that when we were visiting/travelling in the midwest, we hardly found any foods that were acceptable. I didn't think that it would be hard down there. It is WAY easier to find friendly foods here in Canada.

  • @LaurieLovesLearning it is indeed difficult to find clean foods here. I think that one of the reasons for Americans' poor health is because junk food is cheap. That's one reason for poor health in the economically disadvantaged people is that is all they can afford to eat and feed to their children. I'm afraid there is a really long list of reasons. 😥

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,500 admin

    @seeker.nancy - Central Texas We certainly don't buy our food at Walmart! We have noticed that even brands that were good elsewhere changed their ingredients so that Walmart could sell their products for less. Eventually, those products were that way everywhere...ruining a decent product.

    When we shop at a grocery store, we find the least unadulterated foods (real ingredients) at the Real Canadian Superstore, which of course is not in the US. We look for their brand (but sometimes still have to watch for hidden forms of msg). The food tastes better without the junk. They are good at putting imitation brands out. Their version is usually much better than brand name.

    I hear there are some Whole Foods or Trader Joe's up here somewhere...probably in the major cities out east. I never got to visit any in the US. Denver was probably the closest I could have been to one, but were they even around in the early 90s? I wasn't eating as clean back then and was not cooking for myself at the time either, as I was fed at the small school that I was enrolled in at the time.

    Junk food is plentiful here too and people are getting wider, bit I think the cause is larger than just junk food.

    I do think if the disadvantaged had access to good land, that they could & would produce their own food. I think it would in the end be more cost effective than the junk. Seeds are still affordable.

    I do agree that there are more factors at play.