Hope For ADHD & ADD
The Distracted Spectrum that characterises ADHD and ADD
Those who have a loved one on this spectrum will be familiar with the cornucopia of symptoms in varying degrees associated with the disorders, the most common being impulsivity, hyperactivity and distractibility.
The disorder is generally inherited but can be made worse with minor brain and birth injury, emotional trauma, dietary factors and sleep deprivation.
ADHD/ADD affects 3-5% of school going children and during the struggles to cope with difficult behaviour we must remember it is not caused by wilful actions but by an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain. With no single mainstream diagnostic test, it is currently accessed by rating symptoms on a scale.
A more severe form of ADHD which is less common is called Hyperkinetic disorder.
Living with ADHD/ADD
Children and adults suffering from ADHD are impulsive, easily distracted and very often hyperactive. Organising or planning activities becomes hard or sometimes impossible.
Plagued by feelings of restlessness, they are prone to impulsive actions with no thought to consequences. The feeling of restlessness is commonly marked in adults who never got help with the condition as children.
There are sometimes specific learning disabilities associated with the condition and a variety of other symptoms that affect different individuals. Trouble with sensory perception. Difficulty processing tasks. Problems with speech. Dysregulated sleep. Bedwetting. Nightmares. Sleep walking. Sleep talking. Grinding teeth. Frequent headaches. Motor or vocal tics. Immune system problems like ear infections, allergies and dietary sensitivities. Inconsistent and variable academic performance.
Sometimes symptoms are accompanied by mood disorders like anxiety and depressions, behavioural disorders or obsessive-compulsive behaviour.
Studies show when they get older those with ADHD are more likely to have an earlier onset of smoking and be attracted to drugs, illegal activity or suicidal tendencies.
In adults the condition is disruptive to social and work relationships. Several different thoughts may plague them simultaneously and in quick succession. They tend to seek out novelty may display abnormally low responses to punishment situations. Mental flexibility and psychomotor speed may be impaired. Studies have also found a relationship with depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug dependence.
The deficiencies of Medical interventions
There are health concerns relating to current levels of success treating ADHD/ADD. Medication is helpful in 60-70% of the cases but the medication does not help specific learning disabilities or academic skills disorders, speech, processing and sensory perception. Often patients, like those on Ritalin, are plagued with side effects like insomnia and loss of appetite. Also, there have been no studies carried out on long-term cardiovascular and neurophysiological effects of these medications.
Sometimes there is lack of compliance. Furthermore, stimulant medications cannot be given late in the day and benefits are therefore restricted to school hours. Furthermore, the stimulants while improving behaviour and attention do not as effectively help academic and social performance.
Some studies showed that parenting style affected the expression of behavioural symptoms at home but not at school. The most important thing to note is that the positive effects of the medication stop when the medication is discontinued.
Why Neurofeedback for ADHD/ADD
Robust research has been conducted into the effects of neurofeedback training on ADHD on both objective and subjective measures under controlled conditions. Numerous studies have also been conducted comparing neurofeedback medical treatments for children and adults suffering from ADHD. After neurofeedback training attentive behaviours improved significantly and at rates higher than medication. Hyperactivity ceased. Sleep problems improved. Motor skills improved by 40%. Headaches disappeared. Behavioural problems improved and improved markedly when combined with complementary family therapies. Grades went up. There was an increase in measured IQ of 23 points. Even adults were able to overcome attentional and cognitive disorders. Medication was no longer necessary. Studies have shown that neurofeedback was as effective in reducing symptoms of ADHD as children taking methylphenidate medication, but… Only those who had received neurofeedback training sustained gains when tested without medication. The most inspiring finding for us as practitioners was something which was not even sought in the research – Parents consistently mention a significant improvement in the self esteem of their child. It was apparently the most common finding.
The Brain Collective Approach
On an EEG map ADHD/ADD is characterised by a brain in disarray. The EEG of a child suffering from ADHD tends to be of a larger amplitude with dysregulated cortical activity. It looks like that of a younger child.
We do not diagnose the condition or agree with any prior diagnoses. We treat the root causes of individual symptoms by helping the individual or child control and change the storm in his or her brain. This is what improves their self esteem!
Case Study – Jason’s triumph with ADHD
For the first 12 years of his life Jason played alone, avoided eye contact and never socialised. He couldn’t concentrate or pay attention to anything properly. He was struggling in school. Mainstream medicine put Jason on the maximum dose of Ritalin. Jason’s parents Stan and Sue were resolute in researching solutions amidst balancing the pressures of life.
After a decade’s quest, they found the Brain Collective and got Jason mapped. We were able to determine the neurological roots of the problem and Jason began therapy.
Jason is now a teenager and has been in therapy over a year. He is completely off the medication.
He’s enjoying making friends, showing off his wicked sense of humour and according to his parents, displaying a scary amount of teenage independence.
His parents believe the therapy has changed his life. And theirs.
If you have a child suffering from ADHD, you will be very familiar with the myriad symptoms including inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsiveness and little sense of danger. You will also be familiar with the many pressures this puts on your entire family and the functioning of the family as a whole…
At the Brain Collective, we are experienced in helping clients with ADHD greatly reduce these negative symptoms and begin to enjoy a fuller life…
Evidence in Support of Neurofeedback for ADHD
All facts above are based on existing research. Below are the findings of research conducted on the value of Neurofeedback to help ADHD:
The Effects of Stimulant Therapy, EEG Biofeedback, and Parenting Style on the Primary Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder [abs.] by Monastra VJ, Monastra DM, George S
EEG Biofeedback for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Siegfried Othmer, Ph. D, and Susan F. Othmer, B.A. October 1992.
Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Neurotherapy [abs.]by Nash JK
EEG Biofeedback in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Washington State toxicology laboratory.
Electroencephalographic Biofeedback in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder [abs.] by Monastra VJ, Lynn S, Linden M, Lubar JF, Gruzelier J, LaVaque TJB
Review of the Literature Regarding the Efficacy of Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [abs.] by Lingenfelter JE
Neurofeedback treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children: a comparison with methylphenidate. Fuchs T1, Birbaumer N, Lutzenberger W, Gruzelier JH, Kaiser J.
To protect our clients identities names and photographs have been changed. If you wish to talk to one of our clients about their experiences, we would be delighted to arrange this.