Posts tagged ‘Children’
Does any or all of this sound familiar to you? “My child is struggling in school… the teacher complains that they don’t complete their class work, can’t follow directions, and are frequently daydreaming. Their grades are below average, yet I know that they are intelligent. Homework takes forever, and is a constant battle. If this were not enough, they are frequently getting in trouble at school, and it’s the same at home. The poor kid can’t get a break, and the family is constantly in an uproar. We always dread the start of the next school year, and things seem to be getting steadily worse.”
If the academic performance and/or behavioral part of this statement sounds familiar to you, there is a good chance that your child may be suffering from ADHD. The destruction of the child’s self-esteem, and the conflict and chaos wrought on family dynamics, can be devastating.
Denial is often a further complication to this problem in that many parents, thinking that the side effects and rigors of life-long medication are the only remedy, try to deny the problem and avoid testing and treatment. Fortunately, medication is definitely not the only form of successful treatment. We’ll discuss this more in a moment.
The many problems mentioned above and the hectic schedule of school, sports, etc. often make it near impossible to get help during the school year. However, when the school year ends, and summer is finally here, an opportunity presents itself to make a big change for the better. Neurofeedback treatment for ADHD requires thirty sessions of only thirty minutes each, with a minimum of one session a week. During the school year the pace of life can be so hectic that the treatment may take four to seven months to complete. In the summertime, the opportunity presents itself for a “Short Course” treatment, which can be completed in as little as two weeks.
One of the gifts of childhood is an innocence, which (as long as their self-esteem isn’t too damaged) prompts them to believe (without anything actually occurring to bring it about) that next year will always be better. If the child’s parents actually correct the problem over the summer, then a beautiful thing happens to the child’s belief in his or her self. They discover that, “you know what?… I was right to believe in myself… things are better this year.” When parents intervene for their children in this way, not only does their performance and/or behavior turn around for the better, but the parents also give their child an incredible boost in self-confidence and self-reliance. These are wonderful gifts to give your child!
Neurofeedback is a proven, painless, and effective solution to the problem of ADHD, which opens for the person the opportunities they deserve for a lifetime of learning, growing, and relating well with others.
Hope…not patience, not financial resources, and not perseverance, is the most important thing parents of children with ADHD (ADD) need to have. While the other assets (among several) are valuable, albeit essential to these parents, maintaining hope for their children’s condition to improve is the most essential ingredient for this wish to come true. The critical thing to remember when considering this asset is that it exists on a sliding scale. At the bottom of that scale is hopelessness, which means giving up.
The hope parents have for their children’s condition to improve is both fortunately, and unfortunately, not fixed. This is a good thing if hope is sliding up the scale and increasing, and a bad thing if it is sliding down and a parent is losing hope and in danger of giving it (hope) up completely. It is also important for parents (and grandparents, etc.) to realize that losing hope is something that one is often not proud of, and so it may be hidden, both from one’s self and/or other concerned persons. Gaining or losing hope is also contagious, and likewise one needs to be aware of its status and encourage it in the right direction, guarding it carefully.
Hope springs naturally from a happy and healthy heart (as human beings, this can vary according to life’s trials), and from other places such as spirituality, the encouragement of friends and professionals, and faith in one’s resourcefulness, among others. The reasons for losing hope are often listening to the wrong people (however well intentioned) both professional and non-professional (this can include teachers and doctors), overwork and fatigue (though this seems simple, it’s the culprit in much of our “giving up”), and feeling that you have no options.
Often persons who we figure should know what they are talking about, actually don’t. Some people with lots of experience working with children and being good at fixing other problems (doctors, teachers, grandparents, friends with children with similar problems) do not actually understand sufficiently this disorder and the treatment options. Unless someone’s specialization is ADHD, you are going to be getting inadequate or inappropriate advice.
As ADHD in frequently hereditary, many parents of children with ADHD who never got the right help, think that nothing can be done, and give up. Some of the same type of parents go the opposite way and steadfastly refuse to accept this handicap for this children.
A great many parents are afraid (with good reason) of the many side effects that can occur with medication, and seeing no way out, become hopeless too. This is a big mistake. There is an alternative to accepting the limitations that ADHD forces on their children, and the serious side effects that frequently come with medication. There is a treatment called neurofeedback which is free of side effects and the rigors of medication, and in one set of treatments can free their children of these significant limitations.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that utilizes EEG to provide information on brain signaling activity and allows for re-training that lasts for life. This form of treatment mitigates the symptoms of ADHD in a beneficial and side-effect-free manner by re-focusing the thought processes of brain.
Timing of the treatment is important too. If it is possible, it is a good idea to begin the treatment before the end of the school year so the child can experience some of the improvements involved in the school setting. Once again, it is critical that parents maintain and guard their hope by obtaining the correct (by a specialist in ADHD) consultation and, if necessary, treatment.
In my many years of experience helping children and parents with academic and behavioral problems, one of the most common issues is difficulty with homework. The purpose of homework is to allow the child further opportunities to independently master their coursework, and perhaps allow the parent to become involved in what is happening for their child at school.
If homework is often a problem for a child, several confounding factors may have developed which add significantly to the problem, in a cumulative fashion. Past assignments that need to be made up (undone or never turned in) and uncompleted class work that is sent home can add much to the burden. Additionally, with homework being a recurring problem, your child may have developed the behaviors of “hiding” homework or being deceptive about what or when something is due.
A typical “problem homework” scenario may include some or all of these patterns. After much cajoling and struggling, the parent gets the child to begin their homework. Then ensues in long battles that last multiple hours, involving countless distractions, struggles (and phone calls?) to understand the material and directions which unfortunately, the inattentive child did not get straight in class, and outbursts of frustration and anger occur from both parties. The outcome of this homework session is (along with hopefully some learning), exhaustion, hurt feelings, distrust, lowered self-esteem, and anger. Does this sound familiar…?
What’s very important to understand , and to correct this scenario, is that the child may have Attention Deficit Disorder. With the ADHD child, they cannot stop this from happening; it’s part of the uncorrected disorder. However, often teachers, other students, and parents lose site of this, and blame the child. The result is a child who feels very badly about themselves, and gives up, or rebels, or both.
These daily episodes are very damaging to family dynamics. In addition to the harm done to the parent-child relationship, there are other significant consequences. Other childrens’ needs go unattended (not to mention the parent’s), important tasks around the house go undone (dinner anyone?), and last, but definitely not least, the parent’s own relationship suffers as blaming, overwork, and loss of quality time together are also casualties.
Remember what we said homework was for and was supposed to be like in the first paragraph? The homework experience with the ADHD child is not any kind of “Building Up”… it is a “Tearing Down” experience.
Fortunately, this can be changed, without the side-effects and rigors of medication. Neurofeedback is an effective, drug free, painless procedure in which the child learns to retrain the attention mechanisms of their brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary.
Having been in the field for over 16 years, helping children and parents with school related problems, and also having worked closely with teachers, I have learned a few things about parent-teacher conferences. Conference time is just around the corner, and for some it may already be here. These conferences should be seen as a rich opportunity to build understanding and communication between the home and school. Due to budget shortfalls and increasing multiculturalism, teachers are under pressure and overworked. Many parents are also pressed for time, have lingering negative impressions from their own school years, and are apprehensive about what will be discussed during the conference, particularly if their child is struggling. What follows are some suggestions to help make the conference go better:
After you received the notice, schedule your conference as soon as possible within the allotted time blocks (you’ll get better choices). Arrive on time or you’ll forfeit important parts of your allocated time frame and miss key information points. Thank the teacher for their time. As it does for you, appreciation goes a long way to help both you and your child. Do not bring toddlers or babies as they are too big of a distraction. Leave your personal problems at home, unless they directly affect your child’s school experience.
Bring prioritized questions with you to the conference, and make sure they are not already covered in the informational packets sent home. Prior to the meeting, discuss it with your child. Find out what they like or dislike, as well as what they struggle or excel at. Ask the teacher what they think would make the school day go better. Some good questions are, ” Has my child completed assignments regularly?” and “How does my child handle taking tests?”. Other good questions may include, “Have you noticed any changes in my child’s behavior during the year?”, “What areas academically, and in terms of attitude, do they need extra help in at home?”, and “What is my child like during the day?”.
If your child is struggling academically and/or with their behavior, or if they seem isolated, you or their teacher may bring this issue up (which is a good thing to talk about). As parents, we can often be defensive and in denial to these problems, and their possible causes. Remember, both you and teacher are there as your child’s advocates. Be open to this discussion, as it can only help your child. Often these problems are caused by ADHD (Attention Deficit with/without Hyperactivity Disorder) or other learning disabilities. Many parents, believing that medication is the only treatment for this disorder, avoid the appropriate testing and/or treatment because they understandably fear the side effects and rigors associated with the medication. There is, however, an effective alternative to this scenario.
One alternative method to medication is Neurofeedback, a type of biofeedback that utilizes EEG to provide information on brain signaling activity and allows for re-training that lasts for life. This form of treatment mitigates the symptoms of ADHD in a beneficial and side-effect-free manner by re-focusing the thought processes of brain.
For additional information pertaining to Neurofeedback therapy for ADHD or various other disorders, please contact the director of the Alta Neuro-Imaging: Orange County, CA location.