We just experienced a season of bells. Bells had been ringing to celebrate the birth of Christ, Hanukkah, and the start of an untarnished New Year.
Bells are also ringing us back to school in a new year. Is it a return you dread? If so, read on. As with everything new, a new year gives us the opportunity for things to be fresh; different; better. For ADHD (ADD) families, it can be an opportunity to leave behind old ways of trying to cope with a problem that haven’t worked and adopting a new solution that does.
This can be the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and discard old, ineffective strategies such as arguing, threats, false optimism, supplements, medications, and constant parental struggles.
Parents can often be frozen into inaction regarding this disorder by fear of the side effects and rigors of medication, well-wishing (“he or she will grow out of it”), denial of the problem, or a desire to avoid conflict. Also, having made one or more additional attempts to fix the problem, e.g., tutoring, harsher discipline, rewards, etc., parents are often tempted to give up and decide these limitations on their child are unavoidable. Furthermore, since ADHD is often hereditary, a parent who may have had similar problems might decide they “did OK” with their problems and so their child will, too. While this may be true, when we think about it, just “doing OK” isn’t what we really want for our children. We want them to succeed at their highest level, reach their maximum potential, and learn and grow to go as far as they possibly can.
While parents are hoping the problem will go away, it’s actually getting steadily worse. A child’s deteriorating self-image and academic foundation (each year builds on the previous year) often combine for a steady decline.
A fresh start and a chance to be free from the past is what’s needed. A fresh start can usually be relatively easily obtained, for a change that will stay with them the rest of their life.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) symptoms (inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity, or a combination of the two) are neurological in basis and can be corrected through a type of neurological training. Neurofeedback is an effective, drug-free, painless procedure in which the child learns to retrain the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary.
Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari is the Director of Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback