“My child has struggled in school all year. We’ve tried working with her, but it didn’t help. During the school year, with work schedules and the kids’ afterschool activities, there’s never time to try to find the root of the problem and correct it. What can we do?”
Your child struggles in school. The teacher complains they don’t complete their classwork, can’t follow directions, and frequently daydream. You know they’re intelligent, yet their grades are below average. Homework takes forever and is a constant battle. As if this weren’t enough, they may be 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. You always dread the start of the next school year, and things seem to be getting steadily worse.
There’s a good chance your child may be suffering from ADHD. The resulting 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 as many parents, thinking the side effects and rigors of life-long medication is 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.
Children possess a natural sense of optimism and innocence about them that allows them to genuinely feel problems will naturally get better on their own (even when there’s no real reason to believe so). 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 that have a more magical effect on a child’s self-confidence than when something actually does happen to change their circumstances and bring that about. An increase in their ability 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’s wonderful to see. A child in this situation can truly take off and soar!
Summertime (vacations not withstanding) provides a wonderful solution to this problem. Schedules are more flexible, the pressures of school and homework are loosened, and it’s easier to accomplish a special project. Testing and treatment can be completed in as little as two weeks to two months.
To actually change the ADD child’s circumstances or abilities, we need to take this time to test for, and if necessary, correct the disorder. This can be done through Neurofeedback Training, a safe, effective, drug-free procedure which corrects the underlying imbalances that bring about ADD. Once the training is completed, no further treatment is necessary – and you know what? Your child actually was right to believe in themself – next year actually is better!
Dr. Stephen Ferrari is the Director of Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback