“ADHD is his superpower, a gift he was given, and it's our job to help him optimize these strengths including his physical endurance and creative mind.” Not unlike his older brother, Kelley and Joe's youngest son, Cooper, had a ton of energy. “The difference was his battery never got tired,” says Kelley. Cooper did well in school, but has struggled with hyperactivity and channeling his strong emotions.
Kelley and Joe spent years looking for something to help their son. “Occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, we investigated every approach our pediatricians directed us to with Cooper,” says Kelley. “Unfortunately nothing seemed to make much of an impact.”
That is until last spring, when a chance referral led Kelley and Joe to Dr. David W. Miller, Medical Director of pediatric integrative medicine at UH Connor Integrative Health Network, a division of University Hospitals health system. Due to COVID-19, the first appointment was a virtual one. Dr. Miller spent two hours getting to know Cooper and his family. Within a week of following Dr. Miller's initial recommendations - altering Cooper's diet and adding daily Chinese herbal supplements- Kelley and Joe saw noticeable improvements.
“Sometimes we underestimate the power of the cornerstones of health: diet, sleep, exercise, emotions, and relationships,” says Dr. Miller. “These can be downplayed in their impact, but often can be quite profound.”
Integrative medicine is often able to identify patterns of imbalance not recognized in current mainstream western medicine that are definitive and treatable. Dr. Miller is hopeful that in time and through robust clinical trials these therapies will be the standard in mainstream healthcare.
“Right away he seemed happier and calmer. His thoughts were clearer. I will never forget the moment he came to sit with me while we watched his brother's baseball game. He NEVER sat down!” There is less arguing, and his frustration threshold is much higher. Kelley and Joe aren't the only ones to notice a difference in their 8-year-old. Neighbors and friends have remarked on the positive changes they have seen in Cooper this summer.
“Our journey has been long and exhausting,” says Kelley. “After Dr. Miller came into the picture it felt like a new beginning.”
Dr. Miller explains that kids with ADHD are often quite brilliant, and have different ways of thinking that can make them highly successful in their youth and through adulthood. The key, according to Dr. Miller, is accentuating their strengths, and recognizing and optimizing their unique learning styles.
“Working with Dr. Miller has resulted in changes we could have only dreamed about a year ago, and words cannot express the amount of joy and hope Dr. Miller has given our family,” says Kelley. Cooper was selected for a competitive baseball team and is looking forward to hitting home runs and throwing touchdowns on his flag football team this fall.
Dr. Miller joined University Hospitals in March 2020. He is one of the only physicians dually board certified in Pediatrics (American Board of Pediatrics) and Chinese medicine (NCCAOM – National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).