Posts tagged ‘academic problems’
If you have a child in your family who has, or you suspect may have ADHD (ADD), and they are not currently getting the proper help with the disorder, there is obviously a problem that needs to be fixed. It could be that they are on medication and it is not solving all the problems, or that the side effects of the medication are causing their own set of problems, or they are causing a compliance problem, or a combination of the above. It is also possible that no treatment is engaged and parents are employing strategies to help the child cope with the disorder, instead of correcting it, and this is not doing enough for the child to realize their true potential.
Although it may be clear that a solution is needed, what may not be obvious is the importance of the “end game” of the current school year for your child. How this school year ends is of critical importance to how the next school year will start, to both your child and your child’s teacher (both this years’ and next’s). Improvement at the end of the year shapes your child’s current teacher’s decision for advancement and classroom placement for the next year. It also shapes the comments this year’s teacher will make to the new teacher about your child’s perceived (not actual!) personality, intelligence (most children with this disorder actually have a higher than average I.Q., although the disorder can make it seem the opposite), attitude, and in some cases even the parent’s skill at parenting! These comments and reports are very powerful in shaping your child’s school experience next year.
Furthermore, when a child actually experiences that school is really getting better at the end of this year, they will transfer that confidence over onto the start of next year. This makes a tremendous difference in their self-expectations and level of success for the new year to come. Both this year’s teacher’s ending perception of your child, and its effect on next year, and the confidence “carry-over” from this year to the next, is why the “end game” of this school year is so important.
The way to actually make this very important “end game” successful is to actually correct the ADHD (ADD) now at the end of this school year. The most effective way to do this, and at the same time avoid the side effects, stigma, and life-long rigors of medication is through Neurofeedback Treatment.
By utilizing a treatment called Neurofeedback, a child can re-teach the sensory functions of the brain, including processing, to ameliorate the disorder. Neurofeedback is a painless and effective process, where there is no side effects and no maintenance or re-training is needed after treatment is completed. It allows for focus, task completion, organization, and a variety of other symptoms to be controlled and become the way they should be.
Please feel free to contact Alta Neuro-Imaging for additional information in regards to Neurofeedback, or to set up a consultation with Dr. Ferrari at his Placentia, CA office.
As a psychologist specializing in helping students improve their academic and behavioral experience in school for over 16 years, I have come to identify certain types of students who benefit the most from specialized types of help. These are students that can make big time improvements at the start of the academic year.
The first type is the student who struggles significantly with homework (which icnreases in amount and difficulty each year). This is usually a problem with attention span, task completion, and/or organization. Problems such as homework taking too long, not being completed, not being turned in, or not being brought home, all fall into this category.
A second type is the child who has to work too hard to get what success they can. Poor grades and difficulty with testing are typical for this child. These are children who often can do OK when the work is done “one-on-one”, but are too distracted in group settings such as the classroom or group activity.
The third type is the student who has significant difficulties with his or her behavior. They may be getting into trouble frequently, and as a result may even be getting blamed for things that they don’t do. This behavior may make it hard to make friends (or the right kind of friends) and lead to feelings of isolation. They can often be held in or punished at recess (further isolation), and may begin to believe that they are troublemakers, or “bad” kids. The resulting damage to self esteem from this, and the other above patterns, can shape self-fulfilling self-images that are very sad to see develop.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult for parents to see these problems. They may feel that these problems for their child are “not that bad” or “I had the same problems when I was a child” (do we really want them to carry the same burdens?), or “they will probably grow out of it.” As parents, we need to be proactive regarding our children’s challenges and protect them for these obstacles, they will learn how to treat themselves from how we treat them with their difficulties.
As we mentioned earlier, many of these difficulties are caused by aptitude deficiencies whihc are quite correctable. Many of the students with these difficulties suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), either diagnosed or undiagnosed. Proper testing and/or treatment of this disorder are critical for these children’s well being. Many parents also resist testing and treatment because they fear the side effects and rigor of what they believe is the only treatment: medication. This is, unfortunately, still a popular misconception.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to this scenario. Neurofeedback is a proven, effective, drug and side effect free procedure in which the individual retrains the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.
If you would like more information about Neurofeedback, please contact Dr. Ferrari at his Southern California office, Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback.
There are many misconceptions and questions regarding Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD). The following are some of the more common ones I hear in my practice:
1. “How can I tell if my child has ADD?”
There are a lot of misinformation and uniformed opinions available about this disorder, and unfortunately it may often even come from people who are supposed to know. Most people think in terms of symptoms, and this is logical as it is real world problems a person experiences that gets our attention and matters the most. However, these should not be used as the determining criteria as to whether or not the disorder is present in a person. There are other problems that can cause ADD symptoms, which are often missed, and if an assumption is made that ADD is present without the proper testing, a big problem can occur. In misreading the real cause of the child’s symptoms, and assuming it is ADD, one can miss finding and correcting the true underlying cause(s). This unfortunately happens frequently. The only objective way to determine if someone’s symptoms are truly coming from ADD is to examine the underlying neurological processes and see if the misalignment that causes the disorder is actually present. This can be done easily through a simple form of testing by the proper professional.
2. “Does my child have to be hyperactive to have ADD or ADHD?”
No, there are actually three distinct forms of the disorder: Primarily Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined Form (a combination of the first two forms). Hyperactivity as a symptom is not uncommon, but certainly not necessary for the disorder to be present. The inattentive form of the disorder is quite prevalent.
3. “Is medication the only effective form of treatment for ADD/ADHD?”
The common serious side-effects and rigors of medication unfortunately cause many parents to deny even the possibility of the disorder’s presence in their children. As a result, proper testing and, in most cases, relatively easy treatment of the disorder does not take place and the child is left to unnecessarily struggle and often fail both academically and socially. There is a highly successful, side-effect free treatment option (which we shall discuss later).
4. “My child has been doing fine until she hit third grade. Now, all of a sudden, she is struggling. Can ADHD come on out of nowhere like this?”
While the sudden onset of the disorder is possible, particularly when there is some type of brain trauma, in most cases what is being described here is a case where ADHD has always been present, but the effects are now starting to manifest. The high intelligence typically found with the disorder can mask its effects until the cumulative complexity of material being learned and/or the increasing abstractness of the subjects (math for example) finally catches up with them and becomes overwhelming. This is one of the points at which it can really come to a parents’ attention, although earlier testing and treatment is very important.
As we mentioned earlier, there is an important alternative to medication in the treatment of this disorder. Neurofeedback is a drug and side-effect free procedure in which the individual learns to retrain the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary.