What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition in which a person has trouble paying attention and focusing on tasks, tends to act without thinking, and has trouble sitting still. It may begin in early childhood and can continue into adulthood. Without treatment, ADHD can cause problems at home, school, work, and with relationships. In the past, ADHD was called attention deficit disorder (ADD).

What are the symptoms?

The three types of ADHD symptoms include:

1. Trouble paying attention. People with ADHD are easily distracted and have a hard time focusing on any one task.

2. Trouble sitting still for even a short time. This is called hyperactivity. Children with ADHD may squirm, fidget, or run around at the wrong times. Teens and adults often feel restless and fidgety and are not able to enjoy reading or other quiet activities.

3. Acting before thinking. People with ADHD may talk too loud, laugh too loud, or become angrier than the situation calls for. Children may not be able to wait for their turn or to share. This makes it hard for them to play with other children. Teens and adults seem to “leap before they look.” They may make quick decisions that have a long-term impact on their lives. They may spend too much money or change jobs often.

Dealing with ADD/ADHD

There is a new approach to to helping both children and adults learn to self-regulate their brain waves to improve their concentration. This educational approach is called Neurofeedback or computerized EGG feedback. Feedback involves

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giving information back to a person. The computer conveys information about what the person’s mind and body are doing at a particular moment in time. Are they relaxed and paying attention or tense and tuning out? Feedback lets the person learn. Then they can try to better that state. With 40 to 60 sessions people can acquire the skill of producing brain wave patterns which are associated with focusing and concentrating

Unlike stimulants, Neurofeedback training appears to have a direct long term effect on increasing the child’s ability to remain focused (decreased slow wave activity) and spend extended periods of time concentrating in a problem solving manner (increased fast wave activity). There is a significant decrease in the phenomenon of tuning out (associated with Alpha and/or Theta activity) when the child is expected to be carrying out an assignment or listening intently in class.

In addition, Neurofeedback appears to have a similar effect to stimulants in that it increases the child’s “natural guards” to inhibit or avoid impulsive actions. Children already taking medication can continue while training. In most cases it is possible to gradually reduce the dosage as self regulation is mastered. Frequently the need for medication is eliminated

The Food and Drug Administration approves Neurofeedback as an alternative treatment for ADD/ ADHD. Read more

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