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ADHD and Neurofeedback

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!

What is ADHD?

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 hyper focus 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  such as neurofeedback and supplements. These kids are often so verbal and bright that they often compensate at school with their communication schools. 

ADD vs ADHD?

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. 

How Common is ADHD? 

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. 

What is Neurofeedback?

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.

How Neurofeedback Helps ADHD?

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.

How Do I Get Started With Neurofeedback?

The First Step to beginning Neurofeedback is to get a QEEG Brain Map or a brain check if you live far from our center are doing at home neurofeedback. 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. 

Neurofeedback Research

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.

Why We Do What We Do… HOPE!

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 webinars. Your child and their future are worth it.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime.


Are you looking for SOLUTIONS for your struggling child or teen? 

Dr. Roseann and her team are all about solutions for kids with ADHD, so you are in the right place! 

There are 3 ways to work with Dr. Roseann: 

You can get her books for parents and professionals, including: It’s Gonna Be OK™: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health, Teletherapy Toolkit™ and Brain Under Attack: A Resource For Parents and Caregivers of Children With PANS, PANDAS, and Autoimmune Encephalopathy.

Are you a professional who wants more training from Dr. Roseann? 

Purchase her book, Teletherapy Toolkit™: Therapist Handbook for Treating Children and Teens

 

If you are a business or organization that needs proactive guidance to support employee mental health or an organization looking for a brand representative, check out Dr. Roseann’s professional speaking page to see how we can work together. 

Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of  media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.” 

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), 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), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2021

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