Tip Tuesday – July 13th

July 13, 2010

Research. If you or someone you love has ADD/ADHD, you’re going to want to find out more about the condition and what options there are for treatment.

Your doctor is a great place to start, but no doctor has the time required to walk you through every possible study, cause, treatment option, challenge and strength of this condition. There are just too many possibilities and too much information to sift through. You are going to have to take the bull by the horns and inform yourself! You can do it!

Whether you’re looking for more info for yourself or for someone else, a great place to start your search isย Google. (It may even have been how you found this blog.) Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Really? Google?! That’s your big insightful tip of the week?!”

Many of you are very familiar with this tool and will be annoyed that I decided to choose it as a topic. Deal with it. It’s my blog. ๐Ÿ˜›

Seriously though, many of you use this tool everyday and still couldn’t tell me what site you were looking at when you read that really depressing and unhelpful tidbit of parenting advice you felt it necessary to pass on earlier. And yet, you quote it to me as though it were gospel. Interesting, non?

To use Google effectively, you need to do more than just type the word correctly and click on the first three search results. What I am suggesting is a little more work, but will likely give you better results.

S’s Google Tips:

  • Hitting ‘Google gold’ (AKA: relevant information from credible sources) may take anywhere from 3-10 searches. Be patient and pay attention to words that keep popping up in your search results. (This is how I stumbled across a connection between ADHD and food allergies nearly 10 years ago. I kept seeing words like allergies, sensitivities, milk, etc. So on my third or fourth search I tried combining ‘allergies+ADHD’ and what came up in my search results was the start of my journey exploring the effects of diet and exercise on a child with ADHD.
  • A typical Google result has a title at the top, an excerpt of the page’s text in the middle and the website address at the bottom. Many of the titles will look and sound the same but will have vastly different content on them. Everything from pharmaceutical propaganda and mommy blogs to news stories and celebrity gossip magazines may come up when you search for ADD/ADHD information.

Case in point: A few weeks ago I was looking up medications to see what side effects to watch out for and which ones came highly recommended by moms and I searched among others for Adderall information. I had everything from online pharmacies to Wikipedia definitions to pictures of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton pop up. None of which I found helpful. It was like search spam.

That’s why the website address can be a huge help in distinguishing which of these sites you may want to visit. I would prefer to collect my information from government health websites or credible medical establishments like the Mayo Clinic or the Hallowell Centers, then I would from an online pharmacy or celebrity gossip website.

  • Cross reference! I can’t say this enough. Read lots of information from different sources. Look for patterns or trends. Ask yourself good questions. Challenge yourself to read the thoughts and ideas of those you disagree with. (Think medication is evil? Read message boards from moms who have tried it.) Think the link between diet and ADHD is just a way to avoid dealing with the real problem? Read more on the subject to understand the science behind it. It may not change your mind, but it may help you to understand the choices you have and the choices others have made. It may give you food for thought for later in your child’s life when you need a new idea or change of pace. Ideas are power. Store as many as you can for later.

Hope this tip helps you find good quality information on the internet. Good luck on your future searches. ๐Ÿ™‚

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