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Inattentive ADHD Treatment: Exploring Natural Solutions, Behavioral Interventions, and Parent Training

Inattentive ADHD Treatment
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Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Among the various mental health challenges parents may encounter, ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder must be the most common. It affects the lives of many young people and their families as they struggle with the effects of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and poor executive functioning, focus, and attention.

It's crucial to note that there are different types of ADHD. One of them is Inattentive ADHD, also known as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. This type manifests as difficulties with focus and attention. There's also hyperactive-impulsive ADHD and the combined type that involve both symptoms. Each type presents unique challenges, so understanding your child's subtype is essential for effective treatment.

I know of a young adult named Linda who struggled with inattentive type ADHD. Her mind often wandered, making it challenging for her to focus on tasks and complete them promptly. Despite her best efforts, Linda often felt overwhelmed and frustrated by her inability to stay on track. She tried conventional ADHD treatments, but they didn't make her feel better. On the contrary, its side effects weighed her down even more. 

Diagnostic Criteria for Inattentive ADHD

 

 

Exploring the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria that healthcare professionals use to identify and diagnose ADHD allows us to gain clarity and a deeper understanding of its challenges. The following symptoms are common among children with inattentive ADHD:

1. Inattention

 

Kids with inattentive ADHD often have difficulty sustaining attention and are easily distracted. They may need help to follow through with tasks and appear forgetful or disorganized. They may also make careless mistakes and need help paying close attention to details or staying focused on activities or conversations (Goth-Owens et al., 2010). They often do poorly on inattentive ADHD tests and tasks. 

2. Poor Organizational Skills

 

Children and teens with inattentive ADHD may struggle with time management, planning, and organization due to poor executive functioning. They may need assistance prioritizing tasks, managing deadlines, or tracking their belongings. These challenges can significantly impact their daily routines and overall productivity. An ADHD 504 plan can be helpful for students to get the school accomodations they need. 

3. Lack of Sustained Mental Effort

 

These kids may also find it challenging to engage in sustained mental effort, especially when the task could be more stimulating and interesting to them. They may feel mentally tired or have difficulty engaging in activities requiring prolonged concentration.

Natural Treatment for Inattentive ADHD

 

While stimulant ADHD medications are commonly prescribed to manage symptoms of ADHD, some parents may prefer natural treatment options for their kids to complement their developing brains and promote overall well-being.

Incorporating natural approaches into an overall treatment strategy can yield positive results and enhance the quality of life for those with inattentive ADHD. Supplements such as magnesium can help a brain become more alert and enhance concentration and thinking. It is a great cognitive enhancer. 

One of the key areas to address when considering natural treatment options is lifestyle modification. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, engaging in regular physical exercise, and adopting a nutritious diet are simple adjustments that can significantly impact symptoms of inattentive ADHD. Prioritizing self-care and implementing stress management techniques, such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises, can help children manage their symptoms effectively.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider the impact of digital devices and screen time on individuals with inattentive ADHD. Limiting excessive use of electronic devices and establishing healthy boundaries around their use can help reduce distractions and enhance focus. Encouraging regular breaks and engaging in activities that promote physical movement and social interaction can further support individuals in managing their symptoms.

In addition, alternative therapies and interventions have shown promise in treating inattentive ADHD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can equip individuals with valuable skills to improve focus, organization, and time management (Braswell & Bloomquist, 1991). 

CBT provides tools to challenge negative thought patterns and develop effective coping strategies. Other alternative treatments include neurofeedback, which aims to regulate brain activity (Hodgson et al., 2012), and PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy, which may help alleviate symptoms and promote overall well-being.

Linda stumbled upon alternative treatments for ADHD. Intrigued, she delved deeper into her research and discovered natural solutions that piqued her interest: neurofeedback and PEMF therapy. 

Excited by the possibilities, Linda decided to explore these natural solutions further. She began with neurofeedback, a technique that trains the brain to regulate its activity. Linda tried the therapy where electrodes were gently placed on her scalp to monitor her brainwaves

Through a series of neurofeedback sessions, Linda engaged in activities that required her focused attention. Whenever her brainwaves showed signs of distraction, the neurofeedback system provided immediate feedback, guiding her toward a state of greater focus. Over time, Linda noticed significant improvements in her ability to concentrate and sustain mental effort.

Energized by the positive effects of neurofeedback, Linda turned her attention to PEMF therapy. This non-invasive treatment involved exposing her body to low-frequency electromagnetic fields, which were thought to stimulate brain activity and improve overall functioning. 

Linda used a portable PEMF device that emitted gentle pulses. She found the experience soothing and rejuvenating, and gradually, her symptoms of inattention lessened. Linda felt more alert and engaged in her daily activities.

Behavioral Interventions for Inattentive ADHD

Behavioral Interventions for Inattentive ADHD

Behavioral interventions are essential to the comprehensive treatment plan for individuals with inattentive ADHD. These interventions address the specific symptoms and challenges associated with inattention, aiming to improve daily functioning and quality of life. Let's explore some effective behavioral interventions for inattentive ADHD.

1. Behavior Therapy

 

This therapy helps individuals develop strategies to manage their symptoms and improve their executive functions. It involves teaching techniques such as goal setting, self-monitoring, and problem-solving. Mental health professionals can deliver behavior therapy, working closely with individuals to tailor interventions to their needs.

2. Parent Training

 

Parents play a critical role in supporting children with inattentive ADHD. Training programs provide parents with the knowledge and skills to manage their child's behavior effectively. These programs teach strategies such as setting clear expectations, using positive reinforcement, and implementing consistent routines. By empowering parents, these interventions create a supportive environment that fosters positive behavior and enhances the child's functioning.

3. School-Based Interventions

 

Inattentive ADHD symptoms often impact a child's academic performance and social interactions in school. Collaborating with teachers and school staff can help implement strategies such as creating structured classroom environments, providing visual aids, and utilizing assistive technologies. IEPs and 504 plans support the child's organizational skills, time management, and sustained mental effort, enabling them to succeed academically and socially.

4. Behavioral Modification

 

Behavioral modification techniques focus on rewarding desired behaviors and discouraging problematic ones. Positive reinforcement motivates individuals to engage in behaviors that promote focus, attention, and task completion. Strategies like token economies, where individuals earn rewards for meeting specific goals, can effectively reinforce positive behaviors and reduce inattentive symptoms.

5. Environmental Modifications

 

Modifying the individual's environment can reduce distractions and enhance their ability to concentrate. Creating a dedicated study or work space, minimizing the use of electronic devices, and providing visual support such as to-do lists and daily planners can all contribute to improved focus and organization. 

Parent Training for Inattentive ADHD

 

Parent training is a practical and effective approach for managing and supporting people with ADHD, particularly those with the predominantly inattentive type. Equipping parents with the necessary skills and strategies empowers them to understand better and address their child's inattention symptoms. Parents can help in the treatment of inattentive ADHD, as they are often the primary caregivers and have a significant influence on their child's daily life.  

This training also helps parents better understand treatment options, such as natural solutions and behavioral interventions, to make informed decisions in collaboration with healthcare providers.

During parent training, various aspects of managing inattentive ADHD are covered. Parents are taught practical strategies to enhance their child's organizational skills, time management, and ability to complete tasks.

They learn how to create structured routines, develop to-do lists, and effectively use daily planners to support their child's executive functions. Implementing these strategies allows parents to create an environment that fosters positive behavior and helps their child thrive daily.

In addition to teaching parents specific techniques, parent training programs focus on enhancing communication and social skills within the family. Parents learn how to strengthen their relationship with their children, foster effective parent-child interactions, and promote healthy social interactions. They also receive guidance on managing impulsivity and improving impulse control, which can significantly impact a child's behavior and relationships.

One of the significant benefits of parent training is that it offers support and guidance to parents of children with inattentive ADHD. It provides them a platform to connect with other parents who share similar experiences, fostering a sense of community while reducing feelings of isolation. Support groups and educational programs can be excellent resources for parents, allowing them to share strategies, exchange advice, and gain emotional support.

The Role of Family Members in Inattentive ADHD Treatment

 

When treating inattentive ADHD, family members play a significant role in supporting and implementing various treatment options. While a healthcare provider may want to prescribe stimulant medication to help manage symptoms, family members must be aware of harmful side effects.

After parent training, family members can assist in implementing structured routines and using tools such as to-do lists and daily planners to enhance the child's executive functions. They can provide support and close attention to their child's homework assignments, helping them stay focused and complete tasks more effectively. Additionally, reducing distractions, such as limiting the use of electronic devices, can significantly benefit individuals with inattentive ADHD.

Family members can also facilitate the development of social skills and help improve relationships. They can provide guidance and support in social interactions, helping their loved ones navigate social situations more successfully.  

Linda embraced the natural solutions of neurofeedback and PEMF therapy, which are included in the BrainBehaviorResetTM Program. She witnessed a profound transformation and became more present and attentive during social interactions, which blossomed her relationships. Her performance at work improved, and she felt a renewed sense of confidence and accomplishment.

The BrainBehaviorResetTM Program was pivotal in Linda's journey toward relieving her inattentive ADHD symptoms. This comprehensive program, focusing on cognitive training, lifestyle changes, and personalized strategies, provided Linda with the tools and support she needed to transform her life. 

Through the program's emphasis on optimizing brain function with science-backed natural solutions, Linda gained improved focus and attention and discovered a newfound sense of empowerment and fulfillment. It became a guiding light, illuminating a path towards a more balanced and fulfilling life and reminding her that with the right approach, it is possible to overcome the challenges of inattentive ADHD and thrive.

Parent Action Steps

 
  • Educate yourself about the symptoms of inattentive ADHD.
  • Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare provider.
  • Maintain open communication with healthcare professionals.
  • Use positive behavior management techniques.
  • Encourage regular physical exercise.
  •  Seek out local support groups or organizations.
  • Answer this quiz to know if your child has ADHD. 
  • Take our Solutions Matcher to get personalized help for your child.

Citations 

Braswell, L., & Bloomquist, M. L. (1991). Cognitive-behavioral therapy with ADHD children : child, family, and school interventions. Guilford Press.

Goth-Owens, T. L., Martinez-Torteya, C., Martel, M. M., & Nigg, J. T. (2010). Processing Speed Weakness in Children and Adolescents with Non-Hyperactive but Inattentive ADHD (ADD). Child Neuropsychology, 16(6), 577–591. https://doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2010.485126

Hodgson, K., Hutchinson, A. D., & Denson, L. (2012). Nonpharmacological Treatments for ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 18(4), 275–282. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054712444732

Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

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

Dr. Roseann and her team are all about solutions, 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.

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 media page and 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.” 

Dr. Roseann - Brain Behavior Reset Parent Toolkit

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 2023

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. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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