Prevalence of ADHD
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder- “ADD” or ADHD- affects approximately nine percent (9%) of the children in the United States. It is one of the more prevalent, and most studied, of all childhood psychiatric disorders. A new study reports that only about a third of them are getting proper treatment.
“There is a perception that ADHD is over diagnosed and over treated,” says lead researcher Dr. Tanya E. Froehlich, from Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. “But our study shows that for those that meet the criteria for ADHD, the opposite problem- under diagnosis and under treatment- seems to be occuring. Interestingly, Froelich commented further that “…girls were more likely to be under diagnosed.”
Also of importance are the findings of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers found that of the children who met the criteria for ADHD, only 47.9% had been diagnosed with the disorder, and of these, only 32% were being treated consistently with medications.
There are three sub-types of the disorder: primarily inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined (a combination of the two previous types). Attention Deficit Disorder is not a trivial problem; it can have a serious, detrimental impact on a persons life in terms of learning, social relationships, and self-image, as well as success and happiness in adult life. In addition to the negative impact the disorder has on the individual, it can wreak havoc on family dynamics.
As we saw earlier, approximately fifty percent of the actual cases of ADHD are identified, and of these, only a third are receiving proper treatment. One of the major reasons for these unfortunate facts is parents’ understandable fears of the serious side-effects and rigors of medication. Fearing that medicating their children is the unavoidable response to testing them, or, if the disorder is already present, thinking that medication is the only treatment available. Many parents avoid testing and treatment altogether and abandon their children to their fate. This is a distressing scenario.
The good news however, is that medication is not the only, and certainly not the most successful, form of treatment for ADHD. There is an alternative to this scenario.
The alternative is Neurofeedback. It is a drug-free, painless procedure which a child or adult does to re-train the mechanisms in charge of attention within the brain. Neurofeedback is permanent; once treatment is complete, no further treatment is necessary. Parents no longer need to avoid testing and/or treatment for fear of the “drug solution”. They do not have to be forced to accept poor grades, endless hours of homework, calls from the school, and feelings of hopelessness.
They can get help for their children if they so need.
If you would like more information about Neurofeedback, please contact Dr. Ferrari at his Southern California office, Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback.