Find Help for ADD & ADHD
What is ADHD?
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurologic developmental disorder.
The Core symptoms of ADHD:
ADHD (Inattentive type)
- Easily Distracted
- Difficulty finishing tasks such as homework without supervision
- Poor short term memory ( i.e. difficultly following a series of instructions)
ADHD (combined type including hyperactivity and impulsivity)
- Inattentive symptoms (as listed above)
- Impulsive (acting without thinking of the consequences)
- Hyperactive (fidgety and/or difficulty sitting still)
ADD was renamed ADHD in 1994. The name ADHD can be misleading because many children diagnosed with ADHD are not hyperactive, have no behavioral problems, but have significant problems with staying focused, being easily distracted, and completing tasks without being monitored. The disorder is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls. Children with ADHD may continue to struggle with the “inattentive” symptoms into adulthood and are at increased risk for academic underachievement, resultant low self esteem, car accidents, alcohol/substance abuse, and relationship problems.
We all have difficulty at one time or other in our lives when we can’t sit still, pay attention, or control impulsive behavior. However, for some children and adults this problem can be so overwhelming that it interferes with their daily lives at home, at school, at work, and in social settings. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattention, and in some cases, hyperactivity. It is most often diagnosed just on observed behavior.
Parents with ADHD children can find their behaviors difficult to endure. At the same time those who are suffering with ADHD symptoms can find it is a huge blow to self-esteem. Until recently, it was believed that children outgrew ADHD in adolescence. However, it is now known that ADHD symptoms can continue into adulthood. In fact, ADHD does not develop spontaneously in adults. If you have ADHD as an adult then you had ADHD symptoms as a child even if they went undiagnosed.
It is common that children and adults who are affected by ADHD are quite bright. Children with ADHD become bored quickly, can’t sit still, and are always moving. They often act first without thinking. These actions are commonly diagnosed as ADHD. However, the same actions and behaviors can be seen with those extremely bright children who are not being challenged enough by school or their environment. In some instances children are both ADHD and gifted. In these cases they are referred to as “Twice-Gifted” or “Twice-Exceptional.” These children have unique problems. High intellect can cause ADHD to go undiagnosed. The ADHD too can cause giftedness to go unnoticed.
Our Integrated Neurotherapy
For years the BrainAdvantage non-drug program with integrated neurotherapy has replaced EEG-based neurofeedback as the premier method to help ADHD. The reason we prefer our system over EEG is that we can work directly on the frontal lobes where most ADHD issues lie. No worry about eye blinks, muscle movement, etc. that can create “noise” in the signal. Our system works directly on the area affected providing results in roughly half the time of EEG without messy gels and sticky electrodes.
We have over 40 years of research, knowledge and clinical expertise. Our clinicians and trainers are licensed and certified in every technique in the BrainAdvantage program.
What about medication?
We are committed to helping ADHD patients with our non-drug ADHD treatment. In our medical program we work with highly qualified medical professionals. They could prescribe medication for ADHD children, but for clinical effectiveness and safety, choose our non-drug ADHD treatment for their own families as well as their patients.
Unlike drugs used for ADHD treatment, our integrated therapies do not cause negative side effects. In addition, they can produce long term improvements which drugs cannot. The drugs can only produce a bandaid or short-lived improvement if at all. Furthermore, our program is very empowering to the ADHD child, and helps restore their self esteem by enabling them to develop the neurological resources and skills necessary to succeed. Our clinical staff of therapists provides much needed support throughout the program so the parents can help facilitate the child’s improvements and integrate them into their everyday lives.
What can we do?
Historically, the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is based on a cluster of behavioral symptoms without looking at brain functioning, though the symptoms are neurologically based. ADHD includes a large range of symptoms and can be different for each individual. Although someone may be diagnosed as ADHD, the diagnosis itself tells you nothing about the root of the problem. Only studying brain function and looking at other issues that mask as brain-based issues can an accurate picture of the true issues be revealed.
Non Drug ADHD Treatment using BrainAdvantage is individualized based on our extensive assessment. “One size does not fit all”. Although a QEEG or “brain map” can be very helpful for those with traumatic brain injuries or degenerative disease, we rarely use it for ADHD clients. A brain map, after all, is a snapshot of activity this moment. For some of our ADHD clients, their brain map will look different this morning than this afternoon. We get more reliable information using a combination of other testing at a lower cost.
In addition to training the client, the successful Attention Deficit Disorder Treatment also includes providing support for the family.
Why Can’t My Child Stay Focused?
The frontal region of the brain generates energy/neural activity so you can concentrate for as long as you need to in order to complete a task. In ADHD the frontal region of the brain is typically underactivated (thus underfunctioning). As a result the child is not able to generate enough energy in the frontal area of the brain to sustain concentration on routine, mundane tasks which include academic tasks.
This under activation also causes the child to act on their impulses spontaneously (interrupting, blurting out) without thinking of the consequences. They are behaving normally for their brain, but their brain is not inhibiting their impulses. This is the only way their brain has ever worked, so they may not understand why they are being criticized. Thus, they may feel they are being criticized unfairly which can eventually lead to argumentative behavior.
If you or a family member need help, please fill out our Contact form or call 434-529-6781 (Virginia). BrainAdvantage will contact you promptly to arrange a free telephone screening consultation with a member of our clinical staff to determine if we can help you with your ADHD treatment.
ADHD Client Story
Alex was diagnosed ADHD at the age of six. Her father was a physician and made sure she received all the best that allopathic (standard) medicine had to offer. Over the years she was prescribed all known attention deficit drugs hoping to regulate her symptoms. When she was not taking her meds, she would become overly active, loud and boisterous. Her voice would boom louder and louder until medication was forced back upon her.
As she grew older, she continued to have trouble coping with the medications and her life. She was a charming girl and very talented in many areas. However, she frequently missed school and it was hard for her to fall asleep at night. Once asleep, she found it difficult to awaken in the mornings. She was constantly depressed.
Alex was even placed in medical facilities to “regulate her meds,” but by age 15, she was no better. At that point she was re-diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder. She was then placed on anti-psychotic drugs, eventually as many as three at once. When she could no longer sleep at night, Alex was also prescribed sleeping medication. At this point, she became even more depressed and suicidal. She began to hallucinate and cut her skin with razor blades. She was ashamed and riddled with guilt at the hurt she imagined she was causing her parents.
Her mother brought her into our office for medical and neurological testing. The first day she was asked, “Do you want to get better?” She responded, “No.” I was dumbfounded. How could she say that? Finally she said, “I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t on drugs. I’m afraid of how it will change me.” But she agreed to the therapy. She was assessed with medical, behavioral and neurobiological tests. The results were astounding. Not only did she not have any symptoms of ADHD or bipolar disorder, she no longer had feeling in her skin over 80% of her body! This was a notable discovery, as she had been asked why she had cut her skin, and her reply had been, “Sometimes you just have to feel something.”
The assessments showed that Alex was hyper-sensitivity to sound and light. What sounded to everyone else like tiptoeing sounded like thunder to her. It was impossible for her to ignore any external sounds. Her tendency to become increasingly louder when off medications was interpreted as a defense mechanism to drown out the world around her. She was also determined to be allergic to a variety of foods and in need of amino acids and supplements. She was placed on a limited diet and given vitamins and nutritional supplements. Twelve weeks of neurotherapy was also prescribed to help her to regulate her auditory and visual processing and to enhance her brain’s ability to regulate her symptoms. Early on in her treatment, she noted how quickly her depression had been alleviated.
At the end of twelve weeks, Alex was off all her medications and she returned to school. She is now 26 years old. She finished her college career and has taught young children in both th UK and Japan. She was recently married. She is doing extremely well and much better at coping with her life than she ever was before therapy. She says she has been given a second chance at life and she’s going to live it to the fullest.