Mother's Book Offers Hope for Managing A.D.H.D.

Soozy Miller of East Hampton is the author of a new ebook, “ADHD to Honor Roll.” Christine Sampson

Six years ago, doctors told Soozy Miller there was no cure for her son’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but that answer did not sit right with her.

She launched into research mode, determined to find natural alternatives to the medications that doctors wanted her son, then 6 years old, to take. What she found changed her son’s life, and her own, too. Ms. Miller, of East Hampton, has now documented her process and results in a new ebook, “ADHD to Honor Roll: How I Cured My Child’s ADHD Without Drugs (And You Can, Too!).”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects 9 percent of children ages 13 to 18, with an average age of onset at age 7. The organization reports young boys are more likely to have A.D.H.D. than young girls. According to the institute, the condition also appears to be increasing in frequency, but it is unclear why that is.

For Ms. Miller’s son, whom she calls Charles in the book to protect his privacy, it turned out that one answer lay in a food that’s getting a lot of attention these days: sugar. Its effect, she said, was becoming toxic to her son, and changing that required detoxification and strict dietary changes.

“I didn’t know the depth to which it was linked to other issues,” Ms. Miller said last month.

Another answer required finding the right medical help. That came courtesy of Dr. Caroline Fierro, a functional medicine physician based in Southampton. Ms. Miller said Dr. Fierro was able to get to the bottom of the situation.

“Each patient has unique differences in their need for individualized nutrients and how their environment affects them,” Dr. Fierro said in an email. “This allows my patients to function at their best and heal as many negative processes in their bodies.”

Dr. Fierro also said it is also important to have a parent who is “willing to go through the healing process with their child.”

“This requires lifestyle changes and the ability to teach their child how these changes can positively impact their healing and well-being,” she said. “I have found that in dealing with A.D.H.D. children this approach is extremely helpful.”

Before Ms. Miller began to manage her son’s condition through his diet, she described his behavior as troubling — even, sometimes, violent. He couldn’t focus on schoolwork or other tasks that required concentration, had difficulty playing quietly, and was often fidgety. He had been sent to the principal’s office in school for kicking a teacher, and on one occasion, Ms. Miller found herself sobbing while her son repeatedly smashed his baseball bat into his bedroom door.

“That was him at his worst — blind anger, not able to think straight,” she said.

Fast forward six years, and Ms. Miller reports Charles has made a remarkable turnaround. He can focus, do his homework independently, and has even earned a spot on his school’s honor roll.

“I know that he’s maturing. He’s developing into a kid who is thinking things through,” Ms. Miller said.

She said her son’s lifestyle changes still require maintenance, and the process can be uncomfortable. She said she hopes “ADHD to Honor Roll” helps inspire other parents whose children have the condition.

“People should consider a natural remedy,” Ms. Miller said. “The natural cures are there.”