How can I help my ADD/ADHD child without medication?

Child ADHD Drugs and Medication

Has your child been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD? Are you concerned about the risks involved with drug-based ADD/ADHD medications? Clinically backed, non-drug based treatments for children with ADD or ADHD are available.

While ADD/ADHD medication has shown to help adults and children control their symptoms, recent studies suggest that these drug-based interventions do not make lasting improvements in attention deficit behaviors or treat the ADD/ADHD itself over the long-term. Most families must go through a process of trial-and-error and face a long list of side effects before they find a medication that effectively controls their child’s symptoms. Understandably, more and more parents are hesitant to subject their children to the risks often involved with drug treatment. If you are seeking a healthy, non-drug based ADD/ADHD treatment, neurofeedback therapy can make a meaningful change in your and your child’s life!

Neurofeedback is a proven, highly customizable treatment that targets and retrains the specific brain responses responsible for your child’s ADD/ADHD. Our comprehensive behavioral protocols will eliminate both the causes and symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

At Neurozone, we specialize in non-drug ADD and ADHD interventions to reduce and eliminate symptoms of ADD/ADHD and its related behaviors in children.

What is ADD/ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders children experience. Without adequate treatment, attention deficit behaviors will continue into adulthood. Children and adults with ADD and ADHD struggle with learning and behavior. ADD/ADHD is characterized by inattention, poor impulse control, disorganization, hyperactivity, anxiety, lack of motivation, and emotional instability. If a child or adult is exhibiting a pattern of these behaviors in at least two different environments, a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD may be made.

ADHD testing can begin as early as 6 or 7. While the composition and severity of each case are unique, Sohlberg and Mateer (1987) developed a useful model to improve ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Their model assesses a child’s ADD/ADHD based on their behavior when asked to hold focused, sustained, selective, alternating, and divided attention. Based on the child’s specific attention issues, they may be diagnosed with Hyperactive-Impulsive, Inattentive, or Combined Attention Disorder.

You can learn more about the types of ADD/ADHD here.

If you are looking for an ADD/ADHD treatment that is appropriate for your child’s specific case, and are concerned about medicating your child at a young age, neurofeedback therapy is a safe option, with proven results!

Research on The Effectiveness of ADD/ADHD Medication

Recent research calls the role of ADD/ADHD medications into question. A 2017 MTA study conducted over a 16-year period suggests that ADD/ADHD Medication will treat the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, but will not make any long-lasting changes to the child’s health or function. The study concluded that there was no long-term improvement in symptom severity, but there was a noticeable difference in the height of the test groups. Children who consistently took the ADD/ADHD medication were on average shorter than the non-medicated subjects by as much as two inches.

The decision to include medication in an ADD/ADHD treatment plan is up to personal preference and patient response. If your child is currently taking ADD/ADHD medication, it is not recommended that your child suddenly discontinue use of their medication until you consult with their prescribing physician. Some families find that medication is a useful tool that benefits their child as they undergo other behavior interventions, while other families prefer a treatment method that is drug-free and guaranteed effective. In many instances, a combination of the two strategies is the best solution.

ADD/ADHD medication is only effective while the patient is taking it. Neurofeedback, on the other hand, is an effective, long-lasting, and side-effect free treatment. Studies show that children who received neurofeedback therapy to treat ADD/ADHD did not see a resurgence in their symptoms over a ten-year period.

Side Effects of ADHD Medication

Currently, about 2:3 of adults and children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have been prescribed a stimulant alongside other medications.

Common Sides Effects of Stimulant ADD/ADHD Medication Include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Moodiness
  • Nervousness
  • Increased irritability when the medication wears off
  • In some cases, personality changes or tics may develop

Common Side Effects of Non-Stimulant ADHD Medication Include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood changes

ADD/ADHD medications come with a long list of side effects. Neurofeedback is substance-free and has no negative side effects!

What is Neurofeedback Therapy?

Neurofeedback Therapy is a drug-free method of retraining the brain’s neural responses to eliminate undesired behaviors and achieve more desirable cognitive states.

Unlike medications and other therapies, neurofeedback therapy targets learning and behavioral problems at their source. Neurozone combines Quantitative (QeeG) Brain Mapping and neurofeedback therapy with performance-tracking diagnostic tests in order to identify the brain activity directly responsible for behaviors like inattentiveness, hyperactivity, anxiety, and any other number of responses associated with neurodevelopmental conditions like ADD/ADHD. Once these functions have been identified, your child will be ready to begin their customized treatment protocol.

During your child’s neurofeedback therapy, your child will participate in an easy, enjoyable task like watching a movie or playing a game, while the brain’s activity is read real-time every second. Our neurofeedback treatments are adaptive: every session will be tailored to your progress and treat your brain in its present state. When undesired brain activity associated with ADD/ADHD symptoms occur, the neurofeedback system will use rewards and stimuli to encourage alternative, healthier brain function.

How Does Quantitative EEG (QeeG) work?

At Neurozone, we use Quantitative EEG (Qeeg) to assess brainwave function and determine a clinical solution for your child’s ADD/ADHD. A QeeG will read signals from 19 or more channels of the brain. The QeeG data provides information on brainwave frequency, location, reactivity, amplitude, occurrence, and waveform shape. Once the raw data is collected, it is compared against a database of “normal” brain activity to determine where brain function differs.

Your child’s QeeG data will be analyzed alongside the results of Neurozone’s additional performance evaluations. Armed with this comprehensive information, we can accurately determine the neurological causes of your child’s attention deficit behaviors and know the specific locations of the brain where our targeted treatment will be most effective.

In order to collect brainwave data, a QeeG brain cap with multiple electrodes will be attached to the head and/or behind the ears. QeeG Brain Mapping is safe and effective for all ages! No electricity will be transferred to the body. The reading can be completed within 30 to 45 minutes as your child is sitting comfortably.

The Right Treatment for Your Child

No two brains are the same, just as no two children are the same. Everyone we treat at NeuroZone will receive a comprehensive assessment to determine which interventions will remediate his or her ADD/ADHD. We combine QEEG/ brain mapping with additional evaluations to identify the cognitive processes responsible for your child’s attention deficit behaviors.

Evaluation methods that we use when determining treatment protocols include:

  • Questionnaires
  • Standardized Tests
  • Integrated Visual and Auditory continuous performance tests
  • Clinical interviews
  • Observation in a classroom setting

Our assessments are designed to help us gain comprehensive information about your child’s attention, memory, visual-spatial function, emotional control, mood, personality, mental processing, and motor skills. We will also take your child’s detailed medical history and your personal preferences into account when determining their best remediation options.

It can take time to find the right medication for your child’s ADD/ADHD symptoms. Neurofeedback’s responsive nature even enables us to detect and treat common comorbidities that can occur alongside ADD/ADHD. This results in significant improvements in mood and performance. Drug-based treatment methods will not deliver the targeted, customizable treatment possible with neurofeedback therapy!

Attention Deficit Disorder and the Brain

While every child’s case is different, research shows brain function in individuals with ADD/ADHD shares certain similarities. ADD/ADHD-associated brain activity often occurs in the frontal lobe. When doctors look at QeeG readings of individuals with ADD and ADHD, the readings demonstrate that their brain’s nervous response is sleepy or slow, also known as the “under-aroused state.” An under-aroused state is characterized by too little of a certain brainwave known as Beta or too much Delta, Alpha, or Theta brainwave activity. Beta is associated with high cognitive function and stress, while Delta waves promote deep relaxation or sleep. An excess of Alpha waves can increase daydreaming and reduce focus; Theta brainwaves are associated with a strong emotional response. By bringing these brainwaves into balance and healthier function together, you will see a major reduction in attention deficit behaviors!

Attention Deficit Behaviors Treatable with Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback therapy, when incorporated as part of a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral treatment plan, will completely eliminate ADD/ADHD symptoms, including:

  • Inattentiveness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Distraction
  • Disorganization
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of energy
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Irritability
  • Incontinence
  • Persistent Hyperactivity

These behaviors can negatively impact a child’s development and performance over the long term. Reduce your child’s anxiety and improve their ability to focus, without negative side effects, thanks to neurofeedback therapy.

Non-Drug-Based Treatment for ADD/ADHD

Research shows the difference that Neurofeedback makes on ADD/ADHD. While many doctors will praise medication as an ADD/ADHD solution, recent studies suggest that medication does not have the impressive results promised by initial research.

The best ADD/ADHD treatment results are often seen with a combination of Neurofeedback Therapy and talk therapy, also known as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Vitamin supplements have also shown to improve mood and behavior.

In additional to therapies that address cognitive behavior, there are many ways that you as a parent can create an environment that will help your child control their ADHD symptoms.

Consider trying these four ways to help your child get through their day:

Create a Routine: Studies show that ADHD children respond well to structure. Break down their daily routine in a set of steps to make it easier for them to focus and stay organized.

Set Clear Rules: Use charts and easily-understood methods of outlining your expectations for their behavior. Reward your child when they behave well and follow through with the consequences of misbehavior. Clear limits and communication are proven helpful with children with ADD/ADHD.

Exercise: Athletics, dance, and other active extracurriculars have shown to improve mood, concentration, and sleep quality in children with ADHD.

Diet: Some ADHD children can have a tendency to forget to eat, leading to dips in energy, mood swings, and poor diet choices when the child is finally hungry. Give your child a balanced diet to improve their ability to focus and help them get through the day at their best.

Our custom, comprehensive protocols have enabled both children and adults with ADD/ADHD in the Los Angeles area to make a long-lasting, meaningful change! If you would like to learn more about Neurofeedback Therapy at Neurozone, contact us today.

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