In an earlier post, some common drug-free treatments for ADHD were discussed. As mentioned in that article, parents whose children have been diagnosed with ADHD may be reluctant to put their child on medication for many reasons, if not for the side effects and potential for drug abuse. While medication is a very popular and effective treatment, there are a number of drug-free treatments for ADHD as well.
Biofeedback, and in particular neurofeedback therapy, have proven to be an excellent alternative to drugs for the treatment of ADHD. Only two years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed neurofeedback as a viable option for treating the disorder. While it is a relatively new form of therapy, it is completely safe, totally non-invasive and highly effective. In a culture in which we can be quick to medicate, alternative options such as neurofeedback are a welcome treatment option.
Essentially, neurofeedback trains kids to become aware of how their body responds to stimuli. In particular, children learn how to take control of their frontal lobe, which is responsible for decision-making and other executive functions. Children are made aware of their brain’s activity through electroencephalography, or a recording of their brain waves. Sensors are placed on the child’s scalp to record brain waves, which are displayed immediately on a screen for the child to view. Through auditory and visual cues, children are asked to concentrate on maintaining the proper wavelengths for ideal functioning.
Neurofeedback also allows children to build frontal lobe strength. Children with ADHD generally lack regulation from the forebrain, which accounts for the impulsivity, inattentiveness and other trademark symptoms of ADHD. Neurofeedback helps build better neural connections between the frontal lobe and other areas of the brain, thereby improving executive functioning and reducing symptoms associated with ADHD.
Developing new neural connections and enhancing existing ones is the primary focus of other drug-free treatments for ADHD. The Learning Breakthrough Program relies on the brain’s capacity to grow and change (referred to as neuroplasticity) in order to bring about improved functioning for children with ADHD. Similar to neurofeedback, the Learning Breakthrough Program seeks to seize upon the brain’s neuroplasticity to improve brain functioning. This is achieved through balance exercises that coordinate movements along the midline. Doing so serves to recalibrate the vestibular system and improve integration of visual, auditory and kinesthetic information. The result is reduced ADHD symptoms.
If your child has ADHD but you are reluctant to try drug therapies, consider one of these drug-free treatments for ADHD. For more information about ADHD and the Learning Breakthrough Program, visit https://learningbreakthrough.com/specific-challenges/drug-free-add/adhd-alternative-treatment.