As this is the start of a New Year, it’s a wonderful time for a new start for your child with ADHD. We all can benefit from new beginnings, chances to start over… a fresh re-start. When an opportunity to begin again, with new abilities and strengths, is granted to us, a difficult, previously failure-stricken activity (school, for example) can often start to see some success, which can build confidence and hope. The downhill slide starts going up at last.
This is particularly true with children. They have a natural innocence and an ability to easily believe in something if given a little bit of evidence that it’s true. The key to this turnaround for children with ADHD is to remove the obstacle that was getting in the way (the ADHD), and to stop working at things that were not really helping.
Erroneously believing drug company advertisements or pressures from elsewhere that tell them medication (with its unwanted side-effects and rigors) is the only way to treat this disorder, parents often mistakenly refuse to have their children tested, and/or if diagnosed, deny that it exists. In my opinion, this is failure to exercise the proper protection and care encumbent on parents who love their children. As a further result of this misunderstanding, there are many things that parents try (often in vain) to help their child.
During my 19 years of ADHD neurofeedback practice, I’ve often heard about martial arts classes, on-line brain exercises, nutritional supplements, ADHD coaches, tutoring, restricted diets, counseling, special parenting classes, and so on. While some of these have their own inherent value and may help your child “live with” the problem, it must be remembered that ADHD is a neurological disorder (not an emotional disorder or “too much energy” and so on) which can be corrected, and correcting it, as opposed to “living with it,” is by far the best solution.
As mentioned above, the other part of this much-needed new start is removing the obstacle (and correcting the disorder). Fortunately, there is an alternative to the medication scenario. Neurofeedback treatment for ADHD is an effective, drug and side effect free, painless procedure in which the child learns to re-train the attention and impulse control mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is complete, no further treatment is necessary
Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari is the director of Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback