Do ADHD Drugs Really Work?

That’s the real question, isn’t it? Your child has trouble focusing, and you want to help. But are drugs really the answer? There has been an incredible surge in ADHD diagnoses and drug prescriptions in the last decade. In fact, 41% more children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the past ten years, and there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention deficit disorder in the past 30 years. What is even more surprising is that the drugs prescribed for ADHD are not showing positive academic results. In 2013, the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at nearly 4,000 students over an average of 11 years and found that students who took ADHD drugs actually performed worse than students with similar symptoms who did not take the drugs. In addition, increased drug use was associated with increased unhappiness, worse relationships with parents, increased anxiety and depression...

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How Keeping a Beat can Unlock your Child’s Potential

 Can you “keep a beat?”   Some of us can do it more naturally than others.   But we didn’t know until recently that it’s a very important skill that affects brain processing speed, working memory, focus and attention.  Research is showing us that your ability to keep a beat actually measures something called “neurotiming,” which is an integral part of brain development, especially in elementary school-aged kids.  And the best part is that neurotiming is a skill that can be learned, which means that kids aged 6-12 can improve their focus and attention over time, making them more effective learners and more successful adults.Studies done on children using a training program designed to improve neurotiming have shown improvements in attention and concentration by as much as 30%, and improvements in math and reading scores by as much as 20%.The idea of neurotiming may not seem intuitive, but think about it:  we...

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Meditation, Kids and Better Grades? It May Not Be As Far-Fetched As You Think

“Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every moment. Make the connection.” – Oprah Winfrey When Oprah Winfrey touts the benefits of meditation, the practice has truly gone mainstream.   Asking an 8-or 9-year-old to meditate?  That seems like something outside the realm of possibility.   But giving your kids the opportunity to experience the centering positive aspects of meditation without actually expecting them to meditate is something most parents might consider.  Especially since research shows meditation increases activity in the brain regions used for paying attention, making decisions and academic performance. In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, college students who did meditation training designed to help them focus and stay present had higher accuracy scores on the GRE and scored higher on working memory tests when compared to their peers after the training. Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the...

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A Less Distracted Kid Today May Mean A More Successful Adult Tomorrow

Did you know that research from Duke University shows that the strongest predictor of future success in children ages 6-12 is the ability to focus and concentrate? And that kids who lacked focus were more likely to struggle as adults? There is also evidence showing that kids who lack focus at age 5 are more likely to have problems in school by the age of 12.According to Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, “the area of the brain that governs focus and executive functioning needs to have the experience of sustained episodes of concentration in order to build the mental models that create someone who is well educated. This means that we need to be even more intentional about teaching kids given all of the day-to-day distractions and competition for their attention.”Another study, from Oregon State University, confirms that one aspect of executive function skills in children,...

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Focus and Self-Control Linked to Future Success

Self-control—the ability to regulate our attention, emotions and behaviors—emerges in childhood and grows throughout life, but the skill varies widely among individuals.   Studies show that focus and self-control can be linked to future success, and that these skills can be learned and improved upon from childhood to adulthood.  Below is an excerpt from Scientific American discussing the importance of learning how to focus and improve self-control and its impact on our children's success as adults. A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA tying childhood self-control to health and well-being in adulthood suggests that everyone, not just those most lacking the skill, would benefit from a self-control boost. Psychologist Terrie E. Moffitt of Duke University and her team focused on the self-control of a group of 1,037 children born in 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand. The investigators observed the children and took reports from parents...

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BrainBeat Conquer Helps Improve Reading Skills

One of the things many parents notice after their child uses BrainBeat Conquer is an improvement in his or her reading skills.  Some children may have had difficulties reading from the start, and others may not, but some improvement was often still observed by parents or teachers. Many parents have asked us what is going on in the brain as a result of using BrainBeat that is improving their children's reading skills.  Research suggests that performing exercises that require kids to keep a consistent beat helps improve the internal time clock in the brain. Timing in the brain, or what scientists call “temporal processing,” is responsible for focus, attention, reading comprehension, remembering information, processing speech and motor coordination. By training the brain to improve brain timing you can actually improve performance in all of these areas. Our own research has shown this as well.  Children who used BrainBeat Conquer at a Boys...

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Improve Multi-tasking Ability with Interactive Metronome

The ability to multi task is a very important skill that we learn at a very young age. Typically when we enter a classroom, we are required to listen to a teacher while filtering out extraneous noises or while writing notes. This skill requires a tremendous amount of good quality focus that can be held even through distractions in our environment. When I work with school aged children, this is something that I try to stress during the end of their treatment span with me. Initially, it’s VERY difficult, and every ounce of their focus is used to just remain on the beat. A good analogy that I heard once was recalling how difficult it was when starting to learn to drive. Every ounce of your being is focused on holding the wheel, using the gas and break pedals and following the rules of the road – talk about multi tasking!...

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I WANT to get my homework DONE!

Wow, did you ever think you would hear those words come out of your child with ADHD’s mouth? Homework tends to be a struggle with our kids affected by ADHD. Afterschool can be rough in  general, as they have held it together all day long in school, and then there is the issue of their  medication wearing off around that time. No matter what, homework tends to stretch into the evening  hours as you work with your child to get all of their homework done. This is such a bad cycle, as then t  he kids don’t have time to go outside and play or to just be a kid! One of the children I have worked  with really struggled with his homework time. There was crying, lying, procrastinating, hunger, thirst,  fatigue – you name it, he would use it to try to get out of doing his homework. So...

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“Everything is much easier for me now. It’s much easier to do my homework than it was before”

Molly, a 10-year-old 5th grader, had a recent diagnosis that included ADHD, and she was said to be showing signs of High Functioning Autism. Molly’s mother noticed that her daughter would regularly forget things at home and school, and was unable to keep her belongings organized. She had trouble focusing, and even doing the smallest amount of homework was a daily battle. When a school test was over, she would regularly forget most of what she had worked so hard to learn. As Molly moves into her junior high school years, she would be required to memorize more writing and reading, and Molly’s mother was anxious that she could only spend limited time assisting Molly with her studies. She wondered how her daughter would make her way through this seemingly overwhelming challenge. When Molly’s mother saw the Interactive Metronome (IM) website, she read the content with a certain level of suspicion and...

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Featured in Specialneeds.com: Hardy Brain Camp Helps Learning Disabilities

"I get all A’s now and I can hear the television when I’m two rooms away!" The school day was over, but in a classroom tucked away at a far end of Rio Real Elementary School in Oxnard, CA, a group of 10 students were just getting started. Many of them were hovering around two rows of computers being set up with cables connected to a white box, strange-looking hand sensors and mats. At least, they were strange-looking to me. These kids, ages 7 and 8, were part of the Boys and Girls Club Hardy Brain Camp Training Program, and this was their last day of 20 training sessions. An animated little girl named Naveah greeted me and quickly launched into an explanation of what was going on. "It’s like a game," Naveah told me. "You hear a sound and you clap and then it tells you how close you get." She’s talking about...

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