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ADHD Experts Endorse Alternatives to Medication

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ADHD Alternatives to MedicationExperts: Teach Desirable Skills and Behaviors to Kids with ADHD for Lasting Results

Some members of the ADHD research community are coming forward to endorse alternatives to medication like behavioral and skills training for kids with symptoms of ADHD. Rejecting conclusions from a study conducted in 1999, experts are now realizing that while medications may control symptoms of inattention and impulsivity, they can not offer kids the skills they need to be successful adults through self-managing their own behavior long-term. (Click here to read more about the original study and its conclusions.) A recent article from The New York Times shares the following about this paradigm shift from ADHD researchers and experts, including some of the authors of the original study:

“’Medication helps a person be receptive to learning new skills and behaviors,’ said Ruth Hughes, a psychologist and the chief executive of the advocacy group Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. ‘But those skills and behaviors don’t magically appear. They have to be taught.’

Most recently, a paper from the study said flatly that using any treatment ‘does not predict functioning six to eight years later,’ leaving the study’s original question — which treatment does the most good long-term? — largely unanswered.

‘My belief based on the science is that symptom reduction is a good thing, but adding skill-building is a better thing,’ said Stephen Hinshaw, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the study researchers. ‘If you don’t provide skills-based training, you’re doing the kid a disservice. I wish we had had a fairer test.’”

As more and more experts endorse alternatives to medication in response to an ADHD diagnosis, what should parents do now to help their children? A study from The University of California–Davis Center for Mind and Brain shows that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have areas within their brains that fail to connect when they attempt a task that measures attention. This connectivity issue is called functional disconnection syndrome, an imbalance in hemispheric brain communication that causes developmentally inappropriate behaviors.

Since the right hemisphere of the brain regulates impulsivity, attention, and socially appropriate behavior, a child with decreased right brain activity may be hyperactive, oppositional, disruptive, and even aggressive. The Brain Balance Program® combines individually customized sensory-motor and cognitive activities that improve right brain connectivity leading to a reduction or elimination of the behavioral symptoms associated with ADHD. Furthermore, our nutritional guidelines are supported by recent research that underscores the importance of a healthy diet in decreasing symptoms. Our program offers a whole-child approach to wellness and is not a band aid that simply masks difficult symptoms and behaviors. Contact us today to learn more about alternatives to medication for learning and behavioral disorders!

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