Posts tagged ‘ADD in Children’

“Impulsivity” In Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)

There are three sub-types of ADHD;  Primarily Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined.  While most people have a pretty clear understanding of inattention and hyperactivity, the terms “impulsive” or ”impulsivity” can be somewhat confusing.  These terms are often confused with “compulsive”, which is quite different.  Compulsion can be defined as a repetitive stereotyped act performed to relieve fear connected with an obsession. 

In regard to ADHD, there are two forms of impulsivity: Behavioral Impulsivity and Cognitive Impulsivity.

Behavioral Impulsivity –Actions.  People with ADHD who have symptoms of behavioral impulsivity do not stop and think before they act.  No matter how many times they are told to “stop and think first” they are unable, in most cases, to exercise this type of forethought, or judgment.  They usually are not able to learn from their past mistakes.  They act on the first impulse that occurs to them.  This can be quite exasperating to their parents, teachers, and other caregivers (which may in itself further add to the problem).

 These ADHD children often:

     ·       cut in line

     ·        can’t wait their turn

·        blurt out answers in class

·        speak when they’re supposed to be quiet

·        may show aggressive behaviors

·        are often too loud

·        sometimes fight

They can start a friendship or relationship, but it often fails as they blurt out the wrong thing at the wrong time.  This can also lead to isolation, as others don’t “get” them, which in turn inhibits the learning of other important social skills.

Cognitive Impulsivity –Thinking and Choices.  People with ADHD who have symptoms of cognitive impulsivity do a lot of guesswork.  Often, rather than thinking about an answer, these individuals will make a multiple number of guesses in a short period of time.  If you give them multiple choices orally, to a question, they will guess for the right answer very quickly…first one, then another, often back and forth…until you finally step in when and say, “That’s it” when they guess right.  This pattern only reinforces their guessing.

These individuals have a very limited problem solving strategy.  They are impaired in their ability to think the problem through.  They will usually just guess and let trial and error carry them through.  This not only tends to have a negative effect on how others perceive them, it also interferes with their ability to learn new material, and further develop more effective problem solving strategies.  If this disorder is not corrected, no amount of direction, encouragement, or discipline will change this inability.

Fortunately, both these problems, as well of the other sub-types of ADHD, can usually be corrected without medication.  Neurofeeback is a highly effective, drug-free, painless procedure, with no side effects, in which the individual learns to retrain the impulsive, hyperactive, and/or attention mechanisms of the brain.  Once treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870
714.990.6536
Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com

 

January 9, 2009 at 2:31 am Leave a comment

Treatment Options for ADHD

About this time of the school year, for the child with Attention Deficit Disorder, significant problems are really starting to raise their head.  If the problems of inattention, difficulty with homework, poor behavior, and/or hyperactivity (there are several forms of this disorder) are starting to occur again, or are appearing for the first time, you are probably wondering what you can do to fix the problem.  There are today, four basic treatment options with varying degrees of success, let’s take a look at them.

 Neurofeedback:.  Of the four options, neurofeedback is the only method that corrects the underlying cause of the disorder in a one time treatment, rather than merely managing the symptoms, or teaching the child how best to live with it.  Neurofeedback is a highly effective treatment, with no side effects.

 Medication/Drugs:  Medication/Drugs are fairly successful in suppressing symptoms while the medication is in the blood stream.  However, once the chemicals are out of the blood stream there is no longer any benefit.  If medication is missed accidentally, or intentionally (adolescent compliance is often a problem because of the stigma attached to the medication, or the unwanted side-effects), or when it wears off, the problems return in full force.  Adolescents’ not taking their medication is a significant problem, since you have the ADHD problems returning and combining with the hormonal and other challenges of adolescence, which can be a very bad combination.   Furthermore, since the drugs are only effective while in the blood stream, and the underlying cause is never corrected, the medications must be taken for life. 

 The potential of harmful side effects as a result of the medications is a major problem.  These side-effects range from weight loss, over-stimulation of the central nervous system, dizziness, sleep disorders, loss of appetite, tremors, tics, and Tourette’s Syndrome.  There may be one or a combination of these side effects.  These are serious side effects in any person, when one considers the vulnerability of children; the dangers are even more worrisome.

 Behavior Modification: Behavior modification can have some benefits, however, it does not correct the cause of the disorder.  The main problem with this treatment is its reliance on behavior contracts.  This process requires the child to remember the rules and rewards of the contract in situations (on the playground, while daydreaming, when they’re not thinking about what they’re doing) where their ADHD is least likely to allow them to remember them.

 Counseling or Therapy:  This is designed to help children and their families feel better about, and cope with the problems the disorder brings, rather than correcting the disorder, in which case (the majority of cases), the therapy would not be necessary.

 Neurofeedback is the only treatment that actually corrects the problem in a side effect free, one time treatment.  Neurofeedback is a highly effective, drug free, painless procedure in which the child learns to retrain the attention mechanisms of the brain.

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870
714.990.6536
Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com

November 11, 2008 at 2:09 am Leave a comment

“Next Year Will Be Better”- Using Summertime to make that come true for children with ADD/ADHD

If you have a child (or an adult) in your family who has, or you suspect may have this disorder, the conflict, chaos, and frustration that it generates can be so disrupting to family harmony that you may sometimes wonder if it will ever get any better! Helping the individual with this disorder not only can turn the world around for them, but can work wonders for the whole family.

Children have a natural sense of optimism and innocence about them that allows them to genuinely feel that problems will naturally get better (even when there is no real reason to believe so) on their own. This optimism can be heard when they say “Things will be better next year”, or “I’ll get off to a good start next school year”.

There are few things more magical for a child’s self confidence than when something actually does happen to change the circumstances and bring that about. An actual increase in their abilities to concentrate and/or improve their behavior, combined with the then evident validation of their optimism, “Look, see I was right, I am doing better, I am smart!”, brings about a surge of confidence that is wonderful to see. A child in this situation can really take off and soar!

Not only is summertime the pause between the old and the (better?) New Year, it is a relatively less hectic time of the year. Schedules (vacations notwithstanding) are more flexible, the pressures of school and homework are loosened, and it is a time to more easily accomplish a special project.

The way to actually change the ADD child’s circumstances or abilities is to take this time to correct the disorder. This can be done in this space of time through Neurofeedback Training. Neurofeedback is a safe, effective, non-drug procedure that corrects the underlying imbalances which bring about ADD. Once the training is complete, no further treatment is necessary, and you know what?….your child actually was right to believe in themselves, next year actually is better.

Neurofeedback is an effective, drug-free, painless procedure in which the child learns to re-train the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary.

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870
714.990.6536
Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com

June 13, 2008 at 4:04 am Leave a comment

AD/HD and Serious Behavior Problems

There are three types of AD/HD (ADD), primarily Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined. In individuals with Hyperactive-Impulsive and the Combined forms, anti-social behavior is, unfortunately, common. Approximately 60% of these individuals maybe oppositional or defiant, many end up in trouble with the law.

These difficulties are rooted in the neurological imbalances, which cause AD/HD (which in most cases can be corrected through neurological retraining, without the use of drugs). The results of these imbalances are that these individuals tend to typically be less content and peaceful, impulsively act-out, and crave the stimulation of anti-social behaviors. Furthermore, the impulsivity causes these activities to be less carefully planned, and they are more easily caught.

Teenagers with these forms of the disorder average two arrests by the age of 18. Approximately 20% of these teenagers will be arrested for a felony, compared to only 3% of teens without the disorder. Recent data shows that as many as 50% of all teens in juvenile facilities have AD/HD, but were untreated for it, and a full 70% of men in prisons in California have AD/HD and were untreated for it as children.

Teens with these types of the disorder have 400% more traffic tickets related to speeding, than teenagers without it. Twice as many of these teenagers will run away from home (with the added increased likelihood of further bad choices, once away from home) than teens without the disorder. Arson is also often associated with AD/HD, teenagers with untreated AD/HD are three times more likely to be arrested for arson than those without the disorder.

Teenagers untreated as children for AD/HD are ten times more likely to get pregnant, or to cause a pregnancy, than those without AD/HD. Teens untreated for this disorder are
also 400% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted than teens without AD/HD.
Often AD/HD students will have difficulty with certain interactions on a regular basis: difficulty in taking turns, misinterpreting others’ remarks as overly hostile, personalizing others’ remarks actions excessively, and misreading social cues.

Correcting the Disorder

In addition to the above-mentioned problems, there are a host of other difficulties associated with AD/HD. Tragically this disorder often goes undetected, or when detected, untreated, due to parents’ fear of the unwanted significant side effects of medication, which they may think are their only treatment option.

As we mentioned earlier, the neurological imbalances, which cause all forms of this disorder, can be retrained, alleviating the condition. Neurofeedback is a drug free, safe, non-invasive and painless procedure in which the patient learns to retrain these processes. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary.

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870
714.990.6536
Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com

April 30, 2008 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment

“Running Out of Gas” in School

About this time of year (if it hasn’t happened already), children with ADHD (ADD) begin to “run out of gas” at school. They are past the high point of Christmas, summer seems a long way off, and they’ve been working at school for over six months. After all, they’re kids. Often, they start to struggle and misbehave, and grades can decline.

This dilemma can become catastrophic for students with ADHD. They have been “running” much harder to keep up than their classmates have, and consequently are much more worn out than they are. An additional problem is the “foundation problem”, which refers to the tiered or sequential nature of education. As children move throughout the course of the school year, and progress from year to year, new concepts and understandings are built on the foundations of the previous ones. ADD often causes children to miss some of the key concepts of subjects. Then, when the teacher moves on to the next concept or set of facts, the child struggles with comprehening the new ideas because they are based on the previous ones, which they didn’t fully understand in the first place. This problem is of cumulative nature, and as school progresses, the lack of understanding increases and becomes overwhelming. Also increasing are the frustration, loss of confidence, and motivation… equally powerful in sabotaging the child’s success at school.

What makes matters worse are that these school programs may influence other areas of life, such as friendships and family life. Furthermore, the parents working with the child becomes exhausted too. This causes further “snow-balling” problems for the child and other members of the family!

The final piece of this dilemma is that at certain times in the education process, the teaching style, responsibility required of the student, or level of thinking required, take a big step up in difficulty. This may occur at fairly standard intervals, such as first, third, and sixth grade, middle school, high school, and college. But, with the increasing diversity in school programs and curriculum, it’s hard to know when these transitions will occur. This is often “the straw that breaks the camel’s back” for children with ADD.

Solution:
The solution is to correct the disorder. Unfortunately, many parents deny the existence of the disorder, or choose to not get help for their child because they fear the side effects and/or rigors of medication. There is, however, an alternative. Neurofeedback is a highly effective, drug-free, safe, non-invasive, and painless procedure in which the student learns to correct the problem. Once training is complete, no further treatment is necessary.

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870
714.990.6536
Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com

April 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Notes Sent Home From The Teacher – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

 

It is rarely good news when your child’s teacher sends home a note for the parents. As you reluctantly open this note (often not the first from this teacher), a number of thoughts run through your mind (usually of the “oh no, not again” variety).

There are a number of ways to respond to this note. Unfortunately common, but unproductive are to become angry at the child, ignore the note, or blame the teacher (possibly, but not the most likely cause). There are, fortunately, a number of very good, productive ways to respond.

  1. Calmly share the note with your child, get their input.
  2. Thank the teacher (some will not take the time to tell parents until it’s too late), clarify the problem, tell them of your efforts, and get their advice.
  3. Share this information with your child.
  4. If unsure of child’s motivation, provide consistent, immediate, significant rewards for improvements verified by the teacher (rewards are 8 times more effective than punishments, and there is no anger or resentment).

If these efforts are unsuccessful, consider that the problems are due to a deeper cause.

First check to see if your child understands what is being taught. If not, consider vision and hearing problems, and or tutoring. Consider emotional problems at home or school. If these conditions do not seem to be present, the problem may be Attention Deficit Disorder (often referred to by schools as a “Learning Disorder”).

Some of the comments, which may be present in a teacher’s notes to parents or progress reports, which may indicate ADD, are:

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Blurts out answers
  • Loses school supplies
  • Impatient
  • Trouble finishing classwork
  • Always on the go
  • Forgets to turn in homework
  • Talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly
  • Doesn’t listen
  • Fidgets or squirms

There are two effective forms of treatment for this disorder, medication and neurofeedback. Medication is often effective, however, there are frequently unwanted side effects and this treatment is usually life-long. Neurofeedback is an effective alternative to medication.

To request information on the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD), Mild to Moderate Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, and Peak Performance Training contact:

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870
714.990.6536
Website: www.ocbiofeedback.com

January 24, 2008 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment


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