You know your child has ADHD, they are unfocused, can’t follow directions, and struggle with being distractible, but there’s something about all this talk of medications that just doesn’t sit right with you. As you review the list of possible side effects and your pediatrician talks about tweaking dosage, there’s a feeling in your gut that just won’t go away.
Is your beautiful bundle of energy really going to spend the remainder of their life taking some high-priced chemical concoction? Is the only solution to controlling their emotional breakdowns, constant chatter, and random impulses contained in a plastic bottle chaining them to a regime of pills lest they suffer academically and socially?
Isn’t there a better way? The answer is… YES!
The term ADHD refers to a chronic condition known as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is more than just not being able to stay focused. ADHD is a complex neurological disorder comprising a combination of issues that may include difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, as well as poor executive functioning.
ADHD symptoms include more than just distractibility. Many people assume that ADHD means a child can’t focus. What they don’t realize is that hyperfocus is one of the symptoms of ADHD. When the ADHD child demonstrates a deep and intense concentration on an area of interest, parents think, “My child can focus when he likes something, so he doesn’t have ADHD!” Which prevents identification and in turn, denies the child much-needed ADHD treatment. These kids are often so verbal and bright that they often compensate at school with their communication schools.
The terms Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are often used interchangeably. In the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the manual reclassified ADHD into three subtypes, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation, and Combined Presentation. This classification essentially makes ADD a subtype of ADHD that presents without the hyperactivity and lack of impulse control.
ADHD is the second most common children’s mental health issues. In 2016, according to the CDC, 6.1 million children had been diagnosed with ADHD, and that number continues to rise. One out of every ten children is identified with ADHD. Data from 2017, shows a 42% increase in ADHD diagnosis over the past several years, with 4% of American adults dealing with ADHD daily.
Neurofeedback is a powerful non-invasive, medication-free ADHD treatment. Some people liken it to a gaming experience but proper neurofeedback in more like a good round of exercise. Think of it as a fitness workout for your brain. By using your mind during a neurofeedback therapy session and reinforcing your subconscious, you teach your brain to change its behavior. Unlike medication, neurofeedback side effects are few and largely benign. The most common side-effect is some mental fatigue, which makes sense. After a solid physical workout, you feel a bit fatigued. Naturally, if your brain experiences proper exercise, it will be tired as well.
Instead of using mind-altering medication, Neurofeedback acts as a personal trainer for your brain waves. The type of waves produced by your brain change based on whether your mind is in a focused state or not. Neurofeedback is designed to teach your brain how to shift into a state of concentration state more efficiently by learning to produce the brain-waves associated with focus. Your coach, so to speak, cheers you on as your brain learns to act in a healthy way that increases focus, motivation, distractibility, impulse control, which means fewer calls from the teacher and sibling brawls and better relationships at work or school.
Neurofeedback training is grounded in the principle that by helping the brain self-regulate over time, your brain becomes trained to produce a healthy combination of brainwaves. This results in lasting changes that make you feel calmer, more focused, and in better control of your whole self no matter what age you are.
The First Step to beginning Neurofeedback is to get a QEEG Brain Map. A quantitative EEG (QEEG) Brain Map is a helpful diagnostic tool that looks at brainwave patterns within different regions of the brain. In very simple terms, QEEG is a computer analysis of the EEG data, which is a measure of the surface electrical of the brain by placing a cap on a person’s head that collects EEG data. The EEG activity is recorded and statistically analyzed, and the data is compared against a database. It is a visual way to see brain functioning regarding brain waves. A QEEG gives information about the formation of brainwaves and certain brainwaves are associated with certain conditions. Unlike traditional mental health treatments, which never “checks under the hood” and only relies on guessing, a QEEG brain map gives clear diagnostic information so you can get the right diagnosis and treatment.
Thousands of research studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Neurofeedback over the last five decades. Neurofeedback is a time-tested, proven treatment of ADHD. any studies show significant and long-term improvements after neurofeedback. As much as 90 percent of people that do neurofeedback for ADHD symptoms, show improvement in attention, impulse control, and distractibility. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, safe, research proven, effective, and natural therapy for both children and adults.
If you have heard me speak, then you may know the story of why I even began using neurofeedback with my patients… it all began with a little boy named Alec.
There I was sitting in my office in Ridgefield, CT, tapping my pen on my desk wondering how I was going to help this boy that was struggling so hard with ADHD. If I looked away, Alec literally would be climbing the walls and contorting his body to the point that he looked like he was having a seizure. At the tender age of eight, he got in trouble practically every minute at school. His mother came to me out of desperation looking for a way to help her bright, blue-eyed boy.
Even though I was personally holistic, my traditional training was psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, so I recommended a consult with a psychiatrist thinking that I was going to help this little cutie pie and his worried family. He was unfocused, couldn’t put his thoughts down on the page, and always on the red light on the behavioral chart. Alec began a course of treatment with several psychostimulants that resulted in frightening side effects. His heart rate increased His energetic personality went flat. He no longer enjoyed anything. The drugs made him cranky and reduced his eating which was worrisome since he was already a wiry kid. Then there were so many sleepless nights to boot.
His parents were beside themselves, but they were determined. In those early days of the internet, they found neurofeedback and were elated at the possibility of something natural with decades of research behind it. Off they went, seeking treatment. Within a few months, Alec’s best features began to shine – not only was he focused but he was able to put his thoughts together, connect with others, and joyous laughter came for the first time! He was happy that he wasn’t in trouble all the time. The impulsive, unfocused Alec was gone and I was a believer! Neurofeedback became my passion too. My eyes were opened to the deep healing that happens with natural therapies that support the brain and body.
And ever since I got to meet Alec, I made it my mission to help thousands of children and families. At my office, that is just what we’ve done! Every day, we use evidence-based holistic therapies to cultivate happiness, hope, and change in children, individuals, and families.
If you’re a worried parent, and you want to see your child go from a stressed out mess to a happy and focused kid call our office. Take a few minutes and speak with one of our client specialists or come to one of our free workshops. Your child and their future are worth it.
To make an appointment with Dr. Roseann to discuss how our center can help your failure to launch child or how one of our clinically effective and natural therapies for anxiety, depression, Dyslexia, LD, and ADHD such as Neurofeedback, Biofeedback, Executive Functioning coaching, parent coaching or behavioral support can help you or your child, or to meet with one of our psychotherapists call 203.826.2999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Live out of state? We work with children, individuals, and families at our clinic through our intensive therapies 360° Reboot® Program.
Dr. Roseann is a Psychologist and Therapist and our center provides expert-level care for children, adults, and families from all over the US, supporting them with research-based and holistic therapies that are bridged with neuroscience. She is a Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS) and Epidemic Answers, Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), Connecticut Counseling Association (CCA), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
©Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2019