We all know the kids: they’re bouncing off walls, unable to wait their turn, so easily distracted that they just can’t focus on the task in front of them.
Do they have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD? Or is it possible they lack visual skills which make them look away and look distracted? Perhaps an auditory processing problem makes them appear to “not pay attention” to what parent or teacher instructed.
Few challenges of parenting are tougher than confronting the possibility of ADHD. The questions seem endless. How can you know if your child really has ADHD? How should you approach school about it? Are stimulant medications, the most common treatment, safe? What else works?
Children and adults with ADHD fall somewhere along a spectrum, from severe to mild. Some have the inattentive ADD without the “hyper” behaviors. Many have a combined type where they show hyperattentiveness at some times and other times “zone out.”
Brain Ways has seen children walk into the office and touch every thing in sight in the first two minutes who really do have ADHD. Others have come with Ed-Psych evaluations that have labeled the child ADHD or Dyslexic, and it turned out the child had a Vision Processing, Auditory Processing, or Sensory Integration Dysfunction.
At Brain Ways, we work with the learners as we evaluate. We check Auditory Processing, Sensory Integration, Visual Skills, as well as give learners specific exercises to do from our first meeting, so that the client begins working to bring about change right away.
One of the areas where ADHD or ADD shows up in any age client is the prefrontal cortex where many of the Executive Skills are developed (or not).At Brain Ways we approach those skills systematically, providing schedules, logs, and roles for parents to play,
1. Response Inhibition: The ability to think before you act. It is the ability to resist the urge to say or do something to allow time to evaluate the situation and how a behavior might affect it.
2. Working Memory: The ability to hold information in memory while performing complex tasks. It involves drawing on past learning or experience to apply to the situation at hand or to project into the future.
3. Emotional Control: The ability to manage emotions in order to achieve goals, complete tasks, or control and direct behavior.
4. Sustained Attention: The capacity to maintain attention in a situation or task in spite of distractibility, fatigue, or boredom.
5. Task Initiation: The ability to begin projects or tasks without undue procrastination.
6. Planning/Prioritization: The capacity to develop a road map to arrive at a destination or goal, and knowing which are the most important signposts along the way.
7. Organization: The ability to arrange or place according to a system.
8. Time Management: The capacity to estimate how much time one has, to allocate it effectively, and to stay within time limits and deadlines. It involves a sense that time is important.
9. Goal-Directed Persistence: The capacity to have a goal, follow through to the completion of the goal, and not be put off or distracted by competing interests along the way.
10. Flexibility: The ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes. It relates to adaptability to changing conditions.
11. Metacognition: The capacity to stand back and take a birds-eye view of yourself in a situation and to be able to understand and make changes in the ways that you solve problems.
12. Stress Tolerance: The ability to thrive in stressful situations and to cope with uncertainty, change, and performance demands.