“I want to know how to help ADHD without medications. Can you tell me how to do it?” As you can imagine, I hear this alot. This is a true story of when I had to tell a lovely set of parents how to help ADHD without medications because their school told them they have to medicate their child.
This truth is that medications do not help ADHD. They only help when they are in your child’s body. Many parents assume they do. Medications are band-aids. They mask the symptoms but do not provide real relief of the underlying problem. That means that your child will have to continue to take medications forever.
Do you wanna know how to help ADHD without medications? Neurofeedback helps ADHD and Anxiety without medications. It is proven by science. As a long-term solution, it can mean forever.
When Leon joined us at Leigh Brain & Spine it was toward the end of last school year. He was preparing to take his end of grade exams and the difficulties he had with test taking were creating extreme anxiety as he continued to prepare. His anxiety created mood challenges and he began getting in fights on the playground. He was in fourth grade. This story is familiar.
His teachers had told Leon’s parents that they need to medicate him. It is understandable that teachers are super busy people and they need every ounce of help that they can get in keeping things smooth and controlled in their classrooms. The medication is really for them even if they have the child’s best interest in mind.
Leon’s parents did NOT want to medicate him and instead came to see us. He came to see us for Neurofeedback 2x per week all summer and added home neurofeedback in August. He just went back to school and his teachers assumed his parents put him on medication. I love it when that happens. There is only one difference medications do not fix the underlying problem for kids with ADHD and Neurofeedback does. Yes! Another Neurofeedback success story
Before the talk of medication, there really was no other major discussion about Leon’s learning challenges and how the school would support him. He had no IEP and no 504 Plan. The plan was one of giving him a pill to make life easier on his teachers, not help him over the long haul. Not only did Leon did accommodations in the short run, he need a better plan in the long run.
I have seen this story play out over and over in my professional career. This is where education, on part of the parents, and inspiration to gain strength in their journey began. Medication does not fix the underlying problem for children with ADHD and other learning challenges. It only masks the problem while it grows bigger and stronger underneath.
How to Help ADHD Without Medications.
Let me shed some light on what causes ADHD and learning challenges. Our brains are programmed to process information at a certain speed. If focus, attention, and learning are easy for you, your brain is programmed at the proper speed. If it is hard for you stay tuned in, if organizing and executing are painful for you, then most likely your brain is programmed to process too slowly (a qEEG Brain Map could show you for sure).
What Causes Anxiety that goes along with ADHD?
Anxiety happens when your brain is programmed to run too fast. For people who struggle with ADHD, many times your brain kicks its processing into overdrive to offset the slowness and you end up with anxiety on top of ADHD. Sometimes people then become depressed. This means your brain has shifted its processing into neutral. It really is remarkable how your brain works.
How to Make Your Brain Work Better
If your brain is running too slow and you suffer with ADHD, the easiest, most effective thing to do is to have it re-programmed to work better by speeding up its processing speed. Neurofeedback does just that by teaching your brain to process information at the ideal speed, not too fast and not to slow. It is completely non-invasive since it is a learning tool for the brain that uses Operant Conditioning.
What Do ADHD Medications Do to My Brain?
A stimulant medication essentially speeds up your brain. This is o.k. for those people who only have too much slow speed. For those with too much fast speed too, this can create extreme anxiety. Other side effects are loss of appetite, sleep problems, and anxiety since the body’s natural rhythms are thrown off by the medication.
Science shows that long-term use of ADHD medications can create blood pressure and heart problems. The longest study of ADHD medication use showed that most children who were put on medication by their parents took themselves off. Why? They did it because they do not like how it makes them feel. This can create worse problems for the child in the long run.
Neurofeedback “brain training” does the opposite. It optimizes brain performance early in a child’s lie which allows the new better brain pattern to be locked in and become the new operating mode for that child as he grows and develops. This is a plan for long-term success to help kids reach their full potential. If you know me, then you know that is why I am in this business.