From Testing to Treatment
SPONSORED BY: The Brain Wave Center
Attention-deficit disorders (ADD/ADHD) are one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in America today. It’s not hard to see why, as the symptoms associated with the diagnosis (easily distracted, impulsive, lack of attention or focus, can’t sit still, anger issues) are very common in many other conditions. In fact, ADD/ADHD is highly comorbid with other conditions and with a host of academic achievement difficulties.
Generally speaking, children struggle at times to pay attention, sit still, follow directions or listen. The struggles happen more often and can be more difficult with kids with attention deficits. By and large, there are three categories for signs of ADHD and they can present symptoms from one,
two or all three groups.
Inattentive- Having trouble focusing concentrating or staying on task. Very easily distracted.
Hyperactive - Easily bored, rush through tasks making mistakes, fidgety and restless. Without realizing they may disrupt others.
Impulsive - Acting before thinking and without asking permission, finding it hard to wait. Emotions may be too intense for the situation.
In reality, defining ADHD is not that simple. It’s normal for little kids to be distractible, restless, impatient, or impulsive but, it does not always mean that a child has ADD/ADHD. Generally, attention deficits cannot be diagnosed with a physical exam or a lab test, such as blood test or simple scan, or observation alone. Instead, health professionals use an evaluation process to diagnose the probability of an attention deficit disorder.
Typically, testing platforms combine standard tests and rating scales to detect the presence of ADHD. Programs may include a Clinical Review, Parent Questionnaire, Parent and Teacher Rating Scales, and Psychometric Test Data. Advanced programs include Electro Physiologic Measures (EEG, qEEG or Brain Map) to validate the findings and to identify other potential problems. A physical exam is also encouraged to rule out medical problems that can mimic ADD/ADHD symptoms, such as thyroid issues.
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the next step is to assist families to develop an intervention program. Interventions are in two categories, drug and non-drug. Whether or not medication is used, research indicates that some combination of medical and non-medical interventions represent the best-practice approach to managing ADD/ADHD. Medication can reduce symptoms severity, while non-medical interventions teach new skills and new ways of managing life’s challenges.
Non-medicine treatments can include behavioral therapy, parent coaching and school support. Attention deficits can improve when children eat healthy food, get enough sleep and exercise. Studies have shown that neurofeedback can also be an effective non-drug, non-intrusive modality.
When choosing a health care professional be sure to ask about their assessment procedures to be sure that they engage in a comprehensive ADHD evaluation process.
At the Brain Wave Center our interventions include Brain Mapping, Neurofeedback, Psychotherapy, Nutrition Counseling, Lymphatic Drainage, Craniosacral Therapy and more. For more information or to schedule your free consult call 941-552-4500 or visit our website at BrainWaveCenters.com.