Mother ‘prescribes’ coffee to counter the effects of seven-year-old son’s ADHD
It’s more usually regarded as a morning pick-me-up, but coffee may help to calm attention deficit hyperactivity disorder sufferers down.
A mother of a hyperactive son believes the hot drink counters his symptoms and now carefully ‘prescribes’ it to her young son.
Christie Haskel turned to the internet after noticing that her son, Rowan, displayed some of the classic signs of ADHD.
Cup of Joe: Coffee may calm ADHD sufferers, believes Christie Haskel who says it has helped calm her son’s hyperactivity
‘At home there was a lot of hyperactivity,’ the mother told ABC News.
She said Rowan, seven, was ‘not able to keep his hands to himself, talking when he’s not supposed to talk,’ and lacked ‘concentration or ability to concentrate when he needed to.’
Online, she found a host of information suggesting that the drink’s caffeine content may help Rowan and allow him to avoid the side-effects of ADHD drugs such as Ritalin.
She now gives him two 4-ounce mugs of milky coffee a day, at precise intervals and with a rigorous dedication that is normally given to prescription drugs.
No silver bullet: Though Ms Haskel remains sanguine about the drink’s effects, she says it is worth a try for those who may wish to avoid drugs such as Ritalin
And, unlike some medicines, the experience of drinking a cup of coffee is certainly no hardship. ‘It tastes good and it calms me down’ Rowan told the news channel.
Ms Haskel is pleased with the encouraging results and has blogged her story on CafeMom.com’s The Stir.
‘If we ask him to sit down and do homework, he can actually do it’
‘He doesn’t overreact if we ask him to pick up Legos, rather than screaming and throwing himself on the floor.
‘And if we ask him to sit down and do homework, he can actually do it,’ she said to ABC News.
However, some scientists and doctors warn against self-diagnosis and prescribing caffeine as a sedative.
Dr. Richard Besser, senior health and medical editor for ABC News, said: ‘A lot of children get into trouble by treatments that are just designed by parents who find stuff on the Internet.’
There is a danger, too, that some parents may see caffeine as the answer to what may be a more severe problem – and the added risk that coffee may solve one problem but create other medical issues in its path.
Though not approved as a treatment of ADHD, coffee may be more than just a morning ritual
Known – and well documented – side-effects of caffeine include increased heart rate, sleeplessness, anxiety attacks and mood changes.
Dr. David Rosenberg, chief of psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit told ABC News: ‘Caffeine is not the answer for real, bona fide ADHD.
‘I don’t want parents to be diluted into a false sense of security that if I just go to the local Starbucks, I’m going to cure my son or daughter’s ADHD.’
New research shows nearly one in 10 American children now receive an ADHD diagnosis – a number that is firmly increasing, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Lara J. Akinbami, an author of the study told the channel that ‘ADHD continues to increase, and that has implications for educational and health care because kids with ADHD disproportionately use more services, and there are several co-morbid conditions that go along with it.’
Christie Haskel remains loyal to the wonder drink, though, and says that it is worth giving a chance.