Posts tagged ‘EEG Biofeedback’

Can we still rescue this school year?

This is the time of year when many parents whose children have struggled with school start to either despair or panic.  Most parents will say: “We’ve done everything we can; we’ve talked to him (or her), we’ve encouraged him, we’ve pushed him as hard as we can, we’ve even tried tutoring and counseling, hoping for the best, and nothing seems to have gotten better.  The school is talking about holding him back and/or putting him in a special class”.

 Most of the time, as I inquire further into the child’s problems, I will hear that he (or she) is having significant problems academically and can’t seem to focus or retain what he’s learned at home, or is having lots of behavior problems at school, lacks confidence, is isolated… or all of the above.  

This question actually has two parts to it.  For the first part: No, it is definitely not too late to get help for this school year.  It is at the end of the school year that the evaluations and decisions are made as to what is best for the child in the coming year and we are definitely not at that point yet.  I have worked with many teachers, and I am consistently told that if they see significant improvement in academics and/or behavior before the end of the year, it can definitely effect their decisions.

Parental attitude toward this question is also critically important to their child.  Your decision to accept these problems as unavoidable and/or to give up on this school year, as opposed to not giving up and continuing to find the solution to your child’s difficulties, makes an indelible impression on how your child sees themselves and their approach to solving problems.  If you take the first option, things will probably get worse for them as they will sense you’re giving up, and they will too.  They will also think less is expected of them and they may put forth less effort.  If you choose the second option, and ground that for them firmly in the fact that the problems do not represent their true self or abilities, and that they are worth these extra efforts to solve the problems, then you have the opposite effect and their self esteem and effort climbs. So does your chances of final success for the school year. 

The second part of the question regards whether or the not the proper underlying cause of the problem is being addressed.  While tutoring and counseling definitely have their place, the problems mentioned here are more likely stemming from ADHD.  Furthermore, the effectiveness of tutoring, counseling, and many other interventions will be significantly reduced if the underlying ADHD is not treated first.  This is a disorder that many parents reject testing for and if present, treating, because they understandably fear what they think is the unavoidable use of medication with its undesirable side-effects and rigors.  There is, however, a much preferable alternative to this scenario, and that is neurofeedback.  

Neurofeedback is an effective, drug and side-effect free procedure in which the individual learns to retrain the attention and/or impulse control mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition.  Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary. 

In conclusion: No, if the parents don’t give up on the school year (or their child), and the true underlying cause of the problem is identified and corrected, it is definitely not too late  to save this school year, and the decision to do so is critical for your child.

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April 11, 2012 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

Successful Treatment Planning for Attention Deficit Disorder

If you, your child’s teacher, or someone else significant suspects your child may have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or AD/HD), by this time of  the school year you really need to get something going to help them as soon as possible.  What is really needed is to first, find out definitively if it is really there, and secondly, get started immediately with a good plan, before it is too late to salvage the school year.  

Schools vary widely in their ability and willingness to assist the parent in this matter. My brother is an elementary school teacher, and a good one, as are many of his peers.  However, there is a wide range in the ability of teachers, as well as schools, in assessing and working with children with this disorder.  

Some teachers are judgmental in their opinions regarding ADD.  They may believe a child willfully misbehaves.  Everyone knows a “dangerously” little amount about ADD.  School personnel are often more objective than parents, as they can compare the child to hundreds of children in their professional experience.  However, teachers listen to the popular press, have family members with ADD, glean information from other sources, and often base their opinion on what they have heard, and not on the true facts.  With good intentions, school personnel may believe or imply to parents that bad parenting, low ability, and or emotional problems are behind the difficulties.  Some teachers have been known to tell parents not to treat the problem, rather, just to employ harsher punishments, and that indeed is a very bad answer.  Finally, most schools are often very slow to actually do any testing (6 months to a year is not at all uncommon).  Furthermore, the results are frequently too vague, yielding results such as “learning disorders” or “learning disabilities”.

 The proper thing to do, therefore, is to have your child tested by an outside, independent professional.  There are two types of testing, those that based solely on symptoms, observed or reported (the most common form of testing), and those that based on testing the actual source of the problems (a specific brain function), through EEG-analysis.  As there are other problems which can cause ADD like symptoms, it is essential to test right at the source of the problem:  the brain (EEG-analysis).

Medication and Neurofeedback (EEG-analysis and treatment) are the only methods of treatment which actually address the underlying cause of the problem (a minor misalignment in the brain).  Medication is usually effective (unfortunately, teachers will often advise that this is the only answer). However, possible side effects and the necessity of the life long use of these drugs are often understandably very discouraging to parents.  

Neurofeedback is a drug and side-effect free, painless procedure in which the child learns to re-train the relevant attention and/or behavioral mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition.   Once training is complete, no further treatment is necessary.  It is an excellent alternative to the often dreaded medication scenario.

February 15, 2012 at 1:23 am Leave a comment

ADHD Basics

ADHD (ADD) is an abbreviation for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  There is some confusion with the initials and names used for this disorder.  ADHD actually means Attention Deficit, with or without Hyperactivity, Disorder.  Some people think that attention and hyperactivity (and/or impulsivity) need to be present in order for the disorder to be there, and this is a mistake.  There are actually three sub-types of this disorder: Primarily Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive (either or both), and the Combined Type (all three).  When speaking with true professionals who specialize in this disorder, these misconceptions and misunderstandings should not be a problem.

ADHD is one of the most common childhood behavior disorders.  Of all children referred to mental health professionals, about 35% are referred for ADHD – more than any other condition.  It is estimated that approximately 9% of all children are troubled with this disorder. 

The first step to take in determining if this disorder is present is to do the proper testing, usually, once again, by an independent professional.  Frequently, it is very unfortunate that medication and treatment are prescribed based solely on a parent’s or anothers opinion or observation.  While these may be well intentioned, they are usually not based on the proper criteria or knowledge.  In the cases where testing is actually being done, it is based largely only on symptoms.  While symptoms are important, and indeed are the true “real world” problems, there are other causes than ADHD that can bring about ADHD-like symptoms.  The only way to determine if ADHD is truly present, in conjunction with the symptoms, is to look at the organ in question, which in this case is the brain.  This is done through brain monitoring (EEG analysis), which is a painless non-invasive test.  This is the only objective way to determine if the disorder is present.

There are basically three forms of treatment.  Therapy or cognitive-behavioral treatment: These forms of treatment mostly offer support in learning to live with the disorder.  Since ADHD is a neurological disorder, and not an emotional or psychologically based problem, these treatment options are quite limited in treating the disorder.   Medication: Usually effective in treating the disorder, however, there are frequently unwanted side effects, and, since the medication is only effective while it is in the bloodstream, the medication needs to be taken for life.  Neurofeedback:  An effective, side-effect free treatment in which the child retrains the underlying mechanisms that cause the disorder.  Once treatment is complete, no further sessions are necessary.

Many parents avoid testing and/or treatment for ADHD because they understandably fear the side-effects and need for lifetime use of what they mistakenly think is the only remedy to the problem, medication.  There is, fortunately, an alternative to this scenario.  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.

January 26, 2012 at 1:57 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

Early Treatment of ADD Arrests Worsening of Learning and Behavior Problems – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

The degree of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) present in a person, unless treated, usually remains relatively stable throughout their lives. However, to most people, the disorder appears to get worse as the years go by, especially while in school or advancing in a career. The reason for this lies in three important factors.

First, as each advancing school year increases in the intellectual and behavioral demands it makes on the student, the attention and /or behavior problems caused by this disorder become more and more apparent.

Secondly, each school year builds on the foundation of the preceding years. If a child’s attention and/or behavioral problems interfere with the learning of this foundational material, it becomes increasingly difficult, each year, to master the required material. Tutoring may help, however, that learning is also hampered by this disorder, and it is often a catch-up effort that never quite manages to sufficiently fill the gap.

Finally, and in some ways most importantly, is the matter of self-image. The child who suffers under these deficits usually forms a self-image of being “not too smart” (the opposite is true, most children with ADD have a higher than average intelligence) and/or a “trouble-maker”. Children (as well as adults) have a tendency to “act out” or to fulfill their self-image. The longer they live under that self-image the stronger it becomes, and performance and behavior often deteriorate accordingly.

These same factors usually apply to job and carrier advancement, and come to bear significantly in forming and maintaining adult relationships as well.

Since all of these elements can make the problem worse with each passing year, if your child, or a child you know has or is suspected of having ADD the sooner they are evaluated and/or treated the better.

One method of treatment is neurofeedback, an effective, drug free, painless procedure in which the child learns 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 28, 2008 at 4:59 am Leave a comment

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