Using (A Little Bit of) Summertime to Make the Next School Year Better
“My child has struggled in school all year. We’ve tried working with him, but it didn’t help. During the school year, with work schedules and the kid’s after-school activities, there is never time to try to find the root of the problem and correct it. What can we do??”
It’s hard when your child is struggling in school…the teacher complains that they don’t complete their classwork, can’t follow directions, and are frequently daydreaming. Their grades are below average, yet you know they are intelligent. Homework takes forever and is a constant battle. If this were not 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 is a good chance 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. Many parents, thinking that the side effects and rigors of lifelong 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.
Children have a natural sense of optimism and innocence about them that allows them to genuinely feel that problems will naturally get better (even when there is no real reason to believe so) on their own. 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 more magical for a child’s self-confidence than when something actually does happen to change the circumstances and bring that about. An actual increase in their abilities 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 is wonderful to see. A child in this situation can really 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 is a time to more easily accomplish a special project. Testing and treatment can be completed in anywhere as little as two weeks to two months.
The way to actually change the ADD child’s circumstances or abilities is to take this time to test for, and if necessary, correct the disorder. This can be done through Neurofeedback Training. Neurofeedback is a safe, effective, non-drug procedure that corrects the underlying imbalances which bring about ADD. Once the training is complete, no further treatment is necessary. And you know what? Your child actually was right to believe in themselves, next year actually is better!!
Dr. Stephen Ferrari, Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback