Posts tagged ‘Dr Stephen Ferrari’

“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

 

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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

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

Parental Denial of ADD… a common reaction, actually worsens outlook – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

Parents of children suspected of having ADD (inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, or combined forms) often engage in denying even the possibility of the need for testing, let alone treating (if necessary) the disorder. This denial is often understandable, and may in some ways be somewhat protective in nature and well intentioned. However, it actually may make matters worse since it prevents finding out what the truth is, and if the problem is there, it allows it to actually grow and worsen.

There are a number of reasons this denial may take place. One is an extension of a simple childhood fantasy, “If I don’t admit to it, its not really there”. Even as adults a lot of this “magical” thinking goes on.

Another cause of denial is the “self-protective” one. Some parents (often fathers) see any problems in their children as a reflection of themselves, and therefore something that is wrong in them, or something they did wrong as parents. In children with ADD, this is specifically not the case. However, the urge to self-protect, even when misdirected, is a powerful one.

ADD is often hereditary. This means that the parent could have ADD too. Therefore, parents, in comparing their children to themselves (a device that often prevents us as parents from getting the best for our children), don’t see any problem, even if others do.

Also the perceived solution to the problem may be seen as so terrible that it is best to exclude the possibility of the problem, therefore excluding the solution as well. For ADD, this solution (often seen as unavoidable in treating the problem) is usually Ritalin, or one of the other stimulant-based drugs. This concern is valid. These drugs often have serious physiological and psychological side effects, and to control the ADD, must be taken for life. However, it is imperative for parents to know that this is not the only solution! More on that later.

As scary as the possibility of the problem may be, the most protective thing to do as a parent is to see if its there, and if so, treat it.

We said at the beginning that denial, although understandable, might actually make the problem worse. What do we mean by this? First, each academic year builds on the previous years’ foundation, therefore, the longer the testing and treatment (if necessary) is delayed, the increasingly harder school will get. Secondly, children act out of their forming self-image. If their experience at school and elsewhere teaches them that they are “not smart” (actually people with ADD tend to have higher than average intelligence), or are “trouble-makers”, they will increasingly see themselves as such and act accordingly. Finally, practicing denial, in turn teaches denial and the consequent hopelessness and giving up that are toxic to growth, achievement, and success in life for the child.

We mentioned that medication is not the only effective treatment for ADD. There is a treatment that corrects the problem for life, as well as adding a sense of self-determination and success for the child. This method of treatment is Neurofeedback, an effective, drug free, painless procedure in which the child leams to re-train the attention mechanisms of their brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary.

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 29, 2008 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Ways To Improve Self-Esteem In Children With ADD – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

Self-esteem, or self-image is a critical determinant of who we are, how we feel about ourselves and how we operate in the world. When an individual has a disorder which interferes with their ability to perform and/or behave properly, such as ADD, self-esteem takes on a far more important role in how much they succeed in, and enjoy life. With this in mind, here are some methods for protecting and nurturing the self-esteem of a child with ADD.

  1. Alter Your Belief System. Prior to the improving their self-esteem, the adults in their life need to alter the way they view the child. Separate the child from the behavior, and separate the child from the disorder. These are not ADD children. They are good and valuable children who happen to have ADD.
  2. Don’t Be Reactive. Damaging responses such as blame and anger diminish when you stop, look, listen, and think,… then respond.
  3. Catch The Child Being Good. Give the child lots of praise, encouragement, recognition, and positive attention. Reward the child for the expectations they do meet. Never shame, embarrass, mock, or ridicule a child.
  4. Nourish The Child’s Sense Of Competence, Self-Confidence and Responsibility.
  • Identify their strengths and capacities
  • Based on the above, determine realistic expectations
  • Play to the child’s strengths, create and structure activities-opportunities with high chances for success
  • Assign special jobs
  • Nurture special interests (hobbies, collections)
  • Establish activities and goals, which are well within their reach
  • Reward them for success in the above immediately and frequently
  • Play with your child. Let the child choose and direct the game. Quite frequently (not too obviously) let them win.

While all of these methods are effective in helping children with ADD, the greatest way of helping them would be to correct the condition, thereby removing the problem entirely, and letting them achieve their true maximum potential.

Many parents resist identifying and treating attention deficit disorder because they, understandably, are not in favor of subjecting their children to the side effects and rigors of medication. There is, however, a successful alternative to this scenario. Neurofeedback is a non-drug, painless, side effect free, procedure in which the person learns to retrain the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.

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 19, 2008 at 1:14 am Leave a comment


Dr. Ferrari’s Website