Posts tagged ‘drug free treatment’

Teenagers and ADHD

Attention Deficit/Hyperactiity Disorder is behind lots of problems for those who struggle with it, as well as for their parents and families. For most of these individuals, and their uninformed parents, they can lose sight of the fact that these problems are caused by the disorder, and not an indication of their true personality, desires, or abilities.  In fact, most individuals with ADHD (ADD) have a higher than average I.Q., though they usually have significant difficulty expressing it fully.  This results in the blaming of themselves (and not the disorder), and causes lowered self-esteem, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression.   

For a teenager, with their heightened (over?) sense of self consciousness and perhaps self doubt, these negative feelings can be overwhelming to both the teenager and their parents.  The following are some frightening statistics that bring into focus the serious problems confronting these teenagers and their parents.     

  *Teenagers with ADHD have 400% more traffic accidents and traffic tickets than teen without ADHD. 

   *Twice as many teens with this disorder will run away from home (about 32%) than teens without ADHD. 

    *As many as 50% of the teenagers in juvenile detention facilities have untreated ADHD. 

     *Teens with untreated ADHD are three times more likely to be arrested for arson (16%) as those without ADHD. 

     *Teenagers with untreated ADHD are ten times more likely to get pregnant, or cause a pregnancy, than those without the disorder. 

    *Teens untreated for ADHD are 400% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease than those without ADHD. 

    *Teens untreated for ADHD will average two arrests by the age of 18. 

   *Approximately 20% of teenagers with untreated ADHD will be arrested for a felony. 

In addition to the above, teenagers with ADHD suffer from increased amounts of anxiety, a sense of being overwhelmed, and depression.  Depression can look very different in teens from its appearance in adults.  Since as many as 25% of teenagers with ADHD suffer from depression, let’s take a moment to describe it.  Teenagers with depression can be anti-social and overly negative.  Sometimes he or she may stop caring about personal appearance, and there may be an increased sensitivity to being loved (unloved?) and accepted.  There may also be the more usual signs of adult depression. 

It is critical to a teenager with ADHD that the disorder be treated properly to avoid these pitfalls, and allow them to experience success and gain confidence.  Unfortunately, many parents avoid testing for and treating this disorder because they fear the rigors and side effects of medication.  There is however a very successful alternative to this scenario.  Neurofeedback is a highly effective, drug free, safe, non-invasive and painless procedure in which the patient learns to retrain the brain, correcting the problem.  Once training is complete, 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

March 19, 2009 at 12:40 am 2 comments

“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

Are Parental Guilt and A Child’s Struggle Necessary Costs of ADD? – By Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

A parent’s natural instinct is to protect their children from all of the dangers, inequities, and hardships of life. We know, however, that we too have our limitations and unfortunately cannot shield them from all that life hands out. This zeal can become misdirected, as our hearts often do not follow out minds. As we blame ourselves for failing to protect them from those things which we cannot, we often suffer, as this zeal turns inward into unwarranted guilt. This guilt hampers our effectiveness as parents and can disrupt other family dynamics.

A prime example of this mistake is ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). The cause of this disorder (or its symptoms: inattention, with difficult homework and academic performance; hyperactivity, impulsive behavior problems; or both) is often mistakenly taken to be poor parenting, lack of involvement, or some other “parental” type cause. This could not be more untrue. ADD is a neurological disorder, plain and simple, and as such is specifically not attributable to any of the above mentioned causes, although there are plenty of sources (both internal and external) that are ready to tell you otherwise, and cause this inappropriate and very counter-productive guilt problem.

Children also struggle with these same untrue, inward-blaming tendencies. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder blame themselves; form inaccurate low self-images which they act out of; and in time, will give up on school, learning, and themselves. The sadness and frustration of behavior problems and/or poor academic performance this disorder can cause, if untreated, wear children down too. Each year that goes by, the child can get further behind and/or further labeled, and the problem can seem unbeatable. You as a parent may find some of these feelings present in yourself as well.

The guilt, struggle, and failure brought about by this disorder are particularly heartbreaking when this is a problem that is most often simply corrected, without the unwanted side effects and complications of 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 8, 2008 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment


Dr. Ferrari’s Website