We have had many requests to provide information about non-medicinal treatments for ADHD and its co- existing conditions, and so this month we focus on this topic, also bringing you information, research, news and worksheets that have to do with managing ADHD.
Because of its topic, this is a longer-than-normal
newsletter, but we hope you'll find it worthwhile
Melissa Orlov, editor
Q: I am a mother in Mexico, looking for Driven to Distraction in Spanish. Can you tell me how to get hold of it?
A: Driven to Distraction was published in Spanish by Paidos. Contact the publisher for details of where you can get it. We are in the process of updating and overhauling the drhallowell.com website and will include on it a listing of all foreign-language editions of his published books. The revised site with the information should be up in December.
Q: What's the best way to get feedback from my child's teacher on his behavior in the classroom?
A: Personal contact with your son's teacher, so that you are working as a team, is the best approach. We have also seen at least one "worksheet" that is aimed at getting feedback across a consistent set of indicators that could also help. This is a weekly (or monthly) form developed by David Rabiner, a research scientist at Duke University. The teacher fills it out for parents (and guidance departments). A link to this form is below.
Given how detailed the monitoring system is, we think it is important that you develop a strong relationship with the teacher(s) before asking whether they would be willing to fill it out. For the same reason, we think it might be better suited to elementary school settings (where you have only one teacher) rather than for older children. Nonetheless, it is a useful tool for your "aresenal" of ideas for helping you child with ADHD.
There are a number of non-medicinal approaches to treating ADHD, learning disabilities and other co- existing conditions (anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, etc.) At the Hallowell Center we often try medications as a first approach to treatment because these medications have a long and proven record for treating ADHD and tend to help more than 80% of our patients. However, many patients have undesirable side effect to medications. Others simply prefer a non- medicinal or supplemental approach. All of the treatments listed in this article can be used in additional to medications or can be used alone.
The Basics #1: Exercise, Sleep and
As for nutrition - there is an entire chapter in
from Distraction" on the topic (and another one on
Omega-3 fatty acids.) But here are some quick
Here are a few of the recomendations
The Basics #2 - Education and
Low Energy Neurofeedback (LENS)
The Hallowell Center offers LENS neurofeedback because it works more quickly than other forms of neurofeedback (takes about 1/4th the time) with the same durability of treatment. Research shows that it does help a wide variety of issues. LENS is used to treat ADHD, bipolar, depression, anxiety, OCD, migrain headaches and Asperger's. You can get more information about how it works at the LENS website.
The Hallowell Center in Sudbury offers LENS therapy and can also provide more information about the topic. Call Rebecca Shafir at 978-287-0810 with your questions. If you want to get more information on the internet, go to the site at the link at the bottom of this article.
Cerebellar Stimulation / The DORE
We have found the Dore method extremely promising for people with ADHD and dyslexia as well as reading issues created by difficulties in eye tracking (so much so that we offer Dore in our Sudbury center). Another form of cerebellar stimulation is provided as Brain Gym. Unlike DORE, we don't have direct experience with it, but have anecdotally heard good reports.
Cogmed Working Memory Training
Cogmed Working Memory Training can be done in your home, and takes about 30 minutes a day, five days a week for five weeks. The Hallowell Center is one of the medical centers authorized to offer this program. Happily, because it is computerized, the Center offers it to people around the world via phone and internet, not just local patients. If you are interested in participating in the program, call Anita Pliner, neuropsychologist, at 978-287-0810, x111.
The Cogmed website offers an overview of the research on the effectiveness of Cogmed at this link.
Every once in a while a new book comes out that we are just VERY, VERY excited about. Your Child's Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them by Jenifer Fox, M.Ed. is one of those books. Ms. Fox, who is head of the Purnell School, has done nothing short of outline a completely new approach to how education should be provided for our children.
Dr. Hallowell read an advance copy of Your Child's
Strengths and had this to say:
The book, which will be released on Feb. 28 of 2008 can be preordered at the link below.
Brains of Children with ADHD do not Mature at Same Rate as Non-ADHD Counterparts: Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health did an extensive study that suggests that the brains of kids with ADHD reach "peak thickness" on average 3 years later than those without ADHD (age 10.5 vs. age 7.5). For more information about this study, s ee a BBC news article at this link.
NIH Publishes Study Supporting Combined
for Adolescent Depression:
U.K. Study Suggests that Bipolar Disorder is Often
Misdiagnosed as Depression:
Mayo Clinic Offers Tips for Stress Reduction: We, of course, think our free weekly CrazyBusy tips are the best, but here are some stress reduction tips from the Mayo Clinic.
Thinking about what to give to members of your extended family this year? If one of your kids has ADHD, consider giving a copy of "Delivered from Distraction" to grandparents, aunts or uncles. This will give your relatives a positive introduction to the subject, and will aid in supporting your child (and you). The more the people who love your kids know about ADHD, the better.
Do you know someone who might like to receive this email? If so, forward this to them and suggest they sign up at www.drhallowell.com or at the link below.