Posts tagged ‘Self-confidence’

A Short But Effective Summer Remedy for ADHD

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.

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May 16, 2013 at 12:24 am 1 comment

The “End Game” at School- its importance for children with ADHD

If you have a child in your family who has, or you suspect may have ADHD (ADD), and they are not currently getting the proper help with the disorder, there is obviously a problem that needs to be fixed.  It could be that they are on medication and it is not solving all the problems, or that the side effects of the medication are causing their own set of problems, or they are causing a compliance problem, or a combination of the above. It is also possible that no treatment is engaged and parents are employing strategies to help the child cope with the disorder, instead of correcting it, and this is not doing enough for the child to realize their true potential.

Although it may be clear that a solution is needed, what may not be obvious is the importance of the “end game” of the current school year for your child. How this school year ends is of critical importance to how the next school year will start, to both your child and your child’s teacher (both this years’ and next’s). Improvement at the end of the year shapes your child’s current teacher’s decision for advancement and classroom placement for the next year. It also shapes the comments this year’s teacher will make to the new teacher about your child’s perceived (not actual!) personality, intelligence (most children with this disorder actually have a higher than average I.Q., although the disorder can make it seem the opposite), attitude, and in some cases even the parent’s skill at parenting! These comments and reports are very powerful in shaping your child’s school experience next year.

Furthermore, when a child actually experiences that school is really getting better at the end of this year, they will transfer that confidence over onto the start of next year. This makes a tremendous difference in their self-expectations and level of success for the new year to come. Both this year’s teacher’s ending perception of your child, and its effect on next year, and the confidence “carry-over” from this year to the next, is why the “end game” of this school year is so important.

The way to actually make this very important “end game” successful is to actually correct the ADHD (ADD) now at the end of this school year. The most effective way to do this, and at the same time avoid the side effects, stigma, and life-long rigors of medication is through Neurofeedback Treatment.

By utilizing a treatment called Neurofeedback, a child can re-teach the sensory functions of the brain, including processing, to ameliorate the disorder.  Neurofeedback is a painless and effective process, where there is no side effects and no maintenance or re-training is needed after treatment is completed.  It allows for focus, task completion, organization, and a variety of other symptoms to be controlled and become the way they should be.

Please feel free to contact Alta Neuro-Imaging for additional information in regards to Neurofeedback, or to set up a consultation with Dr. Ferrari at his Placentia, CA office.

April 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Difficulty at the Start of the New School Year?

For most parents, the new school year brings the feeling of accomplishment and pride of seeing their children grow and mature in aptitude, knowledge, and social skills. For some parents, however, it only brings long nights of homework, calls from the teacher, frustrated and discouraged children, and parenting fights about whose fault “all of this” is. There is also the pain of watching your child sink into believing they are not smart, are a “bad boy or girl”, or are not worth much. No parent or child should ever have to experience this.

A typical school year requires sustained attention, sitting quietly, and refined social skills. Some children are not capable of this. A mother recently told me, “I’m worried… Sammy is having such an awful time in school this year.” Sammy is being grounded in the classroom with no recess because he is behind in his work. “We are constantly doing homework and he is still behind,” she continued. To add to his academic problems, Sammy is spending most of his time at school in social isolation; even when he is free from being “grounded” in the classroom, he is the last one picked for teams and the first one to be teased.

A very significant possibility exists that the conditions described above (some or all) are being caused by a disorder called ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder). This disorder is caused by a minor neurological imbalance (not parenting style!) and, for the vast majority of those with ADHD, can be corrected relatively easily. What makes the aforementioned tragic self-image even more unacceptable is that fact that the opposite is usually true. Individuals with ADHD (ADD) typically have a higher than average IQ and, although sometimes hidden behind the disorder, a very pleasant disposition.

Whenever such problems are occurring, it is extremely important to determine if ADHD is behind them as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your child’s first report card to initiate testing or treatment. By then, your child is already significantly behind. If there’s one thing harder for a child with ADHD than school, it is the downward sliding struggle to catch up.

Unfortunately, many parents of children with ADHD, or those who suspect it might be present, avoid testing and treatment because of their understandable dread of what they think must be the inevitable “drug” solution. Fortunately, for most individuals, there is a much better alternative.

This treatment is called neurofeedback, 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.

October 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

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.

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

Homework Problems… And Solutions

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.

November 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

Children with ADHD Often Rejected by Peers

Enjoyable and healthy peer relationships are essential for a child’s normal development .  A child’s peer relationships have also been found to be an important predictor of adult success and fulfillment in their social relationships and occupation.  Difficulty in finding friends leads to feelings of low self-esteem, and this in turn worsens the other problems a child with ADHD may be encountering: academic difficulty, behavior problems in class, and a variety of problems at home.  In addition, children with poor social skills are at increased risk for delinquency and school drop-out. 

The child with ADHD often lacks the ability to learn the social skills that are essential to succeed in life.  These children may become socially inept, and their lack of interpersonal skills can cause them many important difficulties.  For a child, positive relationships with friends is an essential component of a happy childhood, and furthermore, provides a critical buffer against stress and helps to protect them from psychological and psychiatric  problems.  ADHD children can lack these positive interactions and thus are at risk for a number of emotional problems.  Approximately 65% of these children suffer from peer rejection, and are less likely to be chosen as seatmates, activity partners, and best friends. 

As these children grow older, these problems seem to get worse.  Inappropriate behavior, or simply difficulty in connecting, and the resulting sadness, hopelessness, and resignation can lead to further social rejection.  As adults, they often have difficulty finding and maintaining successful careers.  Relationships and familial matters usually suffer significantly as well.  Problems with the law are much higher for these individuals too.  Approximately 70% of the inmates in California penal institutions have been diagnosed with ADHD.         

 Causes of Rejection

It is difficult to determine all the factors that make a child unpopular.  There are three sub-types of ADHD: inattentive, impulsive-hyperactive, and the combined form (a combination of the previous two).  There are subtle social cues people exchange when interacting, such as tone of voice, the look in one’s eyes, and posture.  When there is a deficit of attention, these subtle cues are missed, and the inattentive child doesn’t know to adjust their behavior appropriately to make and keep a good connection with the person they’re relating to.  Inattentive children become bored more easily and may become disruptive to the class, and have a hard time adjusting their behavior as situations change in the classroom.   They may also be less “tuned in” to activities and games, and this limits participation, on which social connections are made.

Children with the impulsive-hyperactive and combined forms of ADHD often behave inappropriately and/or aggressively, they may engage in more fighting and interrupting of others.  They are more likely to want to dominate play, run, yell, tease and make rough physical contact inappropriately.  These behaviors can make others uncomfortable, and set up a process of peer rejection.  Furthermore, these children will often attract other children with similar behavior, and they may reinforce each other’s bad behavior, making the problems worse.

Remedies

Unfortunately, some parents will not get their children the help they need and deserve.  Many parents deny the possibility of their child having ADHD, and the need for testing and treatment, because they understandably fear the rigors and side-effects of medication. 

An 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.

November 24, 2010 at 1:52 am Leave a comment

A New School Year…A Time to Learn or a Time to Dread?

Ideally, for most parents, a new school year brings the pride and feeling of accomplishment of seeing their children grow and mature in aptitude, knowledge, and social skills.  For some parents, however, it only brings long nights of homework, calls from the teacher, frustrated and discouraged children, and parenting fights about whose fault “all of this” is.  There is also the pain of watching your child sink deeper and deeper into believing that they are not smart, are a “bad boy or girl”, and as a person, are not worth much.  No parent or child should ever have to experience this.

A typical school year requires sustained attention, sitting quietly, and refined social skills.  Some children are not capable of this.  One mother from Orange County recently told me:  “I’m worried… Sammy had such an awful time in second grade last year.”  Sammy had spent the year grounded in the classroom… no recess, no field trips, no parties, all because he constantly was behind in his work.  ” We were constantly doing homework or tutoring, and he was still behind,” she continued.  To add to his academic problems, Sammy had spent most of second grade in social isolation, even when he was free from being “grounded” in the classroom.  He was the last one picked for teams, and the first one to be teased.  This downward spiral in confidence, spreading from one part of life to another, is tragic.

A very significant possibility exists that some or all of the conditions described above are being caused by a disorder called ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder).  This disorder is caused by a minor neurological imbalance (not parenting style!), and for the vast majority of those with ADHD (as we shall see shortly), can be corrected relatively easily.  What makes the aforementioned tragic self-image even more unacceptable is the fact that the opposite is usually true.  Individuals with ADHD (ADD) typically have a higher-than-average IQ, and although sometimes hidden behind the disorder, a very pleasant disposition.

Whenever such problems are occurring, it is extremely important to determine if ADHD is behind them, as soon as it is possible.  Don’t wait until your child’s first report card to initiate testing or treatment because, by then, your child is already significantly behind.  If there’s one thing harder for a child with ADHD than school, it is the downward sliding struggle to catch up.

Unfortunately, many parents of children with ADHD, or those who suspect that it might be present, avoid testing and treatment because of their understandable dread of what they think must be the inevitable “drug” solution.  Fortunately, for most individuals, there is a much better alternative.

This treatment is called neurofeedback– 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.

As parents, we do have a choice as to whether this year will be a time for learning, full of  joy and pride, or another year of dread… for both our children and ourselves.  What will your choice be?

October 15, 2010 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

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