(VIDEO) ADHD Solutions for Children & Adults (with & without Medication) -
ADHD is a "family condition" where treatment and adaptations will be required from each member of the family. In this 90-minute class Dr. Zachary will share briefly on the traditional understandings we have regarding ADHD and then spend the majority of the class diving into NEWER territory regarding ADHD treatment & holistic health options. The class outline is posted below the video. Enjoy!
ADHD CLASS OUTLINE Dr. Edward Hallowell describes ADHD as having a “a race car brain with bicycle brakes”
Gift vs Disability?Neurotypical vs Neurodiversity?-Your viewpoint on this is largely dependent on what your society values and/or personal values Dr. Zachary experience with ADHD:clinical, familial, parent, partner, personal What is ADHD?Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition (some label as neuropsychiatric or neurobehavioral) that is characterized by issues with inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD impacts the executive functioning pathways of the brain including:
Short-term recall (working memory)
Starting and completing tasks
Attention to detail
ADHD said to be:
Below per the American Academy of Pediatrics: Are there different types of ADHD?(See ADHD Types Handout for a different approach)Not all children with ADHD have all the symptoms. They may have one or more of the symptom groups listed in the table below. The symptoms usually are classified as the following types of ADHD:
Inattentive only (formerly known as attention-deficit disorder [ADD])—Children with this form of ADHD are not overly active. Because they do not disrupt the classroom or other activities, their symptoms may not be noticed. Among girls with ADHD, this form is more common.
Hyperactive/impulsive—Children with this type of ADHD show both hyperactive and impulsive behavior, but they can pay attention. They are the least common group and are frequently younger.
Combined inattentive/hyperactive/impulsive—Children with this type of ADHD show a number of symptoms in all 3 dimensions. It is the type that most people think of when they think of ADHD. ADHD is a "family condition" where treatment and adaptations will be required from each member of the family. In this 90-minute class Dr. Zachary will share briefly on the traditional understandings we have regarding ADHD and then spend the majority of the class diving into NEWER territory regarding ADHD treatment & holistic health options. The class outline is posted below the video. Enjoy!
What are the symptoms for Dx? To be diagnosed with inattentive ADHD, your child must consistently exhibit six of the following symptoms for at least six months:
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
Often has trouble sustaining attention
Often doesn't appear to listen to what's being said to him
Often doesn't follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores (not out of rebellion or failure to understand)
Often has difficulty organizing tasks and other activities
Avoids or strongly dislikes tasks (such as schoolwork or homework) that require sustained mental effort
Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (such as pencils, books, and sports equipment)
Is easily distracted by the world around him
Is often forgetful
To be diagnosed with hyperactive-impulsivity ADHD, your child must consistently exhibit most of the following symptoms for at least six months:
Has trouble keeping still and may run about in situations where that's inappropriate
Has difficulty working or playing quietly
Often blurts out answers before the whole question has been stated
Has difficulty waiting in lines or waiting turn
Often proceeds in a headlong or rash manner
Symptoms of ADHD must be apparent by the age of 7, though the disorder is most frequently diagnosed when kids are between 8 and 10.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, half of all children with ADHD also have oppositional defiant disorder, which is characterized by stubbornness, outbursts, and belligerent behavior. Symptoms/Signs in Teens/Adults:
Can’t sit still
Get into a relationship & forget to go to class or work or eat
Bite nails, click pens
Long Term goals change monthly
Lazy or doing everything
Email has 25k inbox messages
Watching multiple videos at same time
No files - just piles
Listen vs daydream (with a soundtrack)
Credit card for ER (& it’s all an ER)
Late on bills even though money in bank
Everything is exciting - then “I’m bored”
Chaos - clutter - don’t throw anything out
What’s the Cause? (from AAP)Research to date has shown:
ADHD is a neurobiologic condition whose symptoms are also dependent on the child's environment.
A lower level of activity in the parts of the brain that control attention and activity level may be associated with ADHD.
ADHD frequently runs in families. Sometimes ADHD is diagnosed in a parent at the same time it is diagnosed in the child.
In very rare cases, toxins in the environment may lead to ADHD. For instance, lead in the body can affect child development and behavior. Lead may be found in many places, including homes built before 1978 when lead was added to paint.
Significant head injuries may cause ADHD in some cases.
Prematurity increases the risk of developing ADHD.
Prenatal exposures, such as alcohol or nicotine from smoking, increase the risk of developing ADHD.
There is little evidence that ADHD is caused by:
Eating too much sugar
(This does not mean that these items can’t negatively impact someone who HAS ADHD...for example, give your ADHD kid sugar and see what happens?)
What are the treatment options?Three conventional treatments: family therapy, behavioral therapy, and medication. (See Dr. B notes for additional options) Some medical experts feel that family counseling and behavioral therapy are enough to treat ADHD. Kathleen Holton of American University has written in the Journal of Attention Disorders that a "healthy lifestyle" could be used in place of medication to combat ADHD. Her "prescription" includes 1) no more than an hour a day of screen time; 2) getting enough sleep (9 to 11 hours); 3) drinking 7 to 10 cups of water a day; 4) getting at least an hour of exercise each day. Other experts have suggested using "nature therapy" -- that is, taking your child for hikes in parks and other natural settings -- to manage symptoms of ADHD. One study found children were able to concentrate better ("shockingly better," as one researcher put it) after taking a walk in the park rather than suburban streets. Other experts believe in using medication to control the disorder. If a drug is part of the treatment plan for your child, you'll have to work with his physician or psychiatrist to find the right dosage. ADHD drugs: serious side effectsIronically, the drugs most often prescribed are stimulants, including methylphenidate (better known by its brand name, Ritalin) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine). Another drug used for ADHD is Adderall, an amphetamine; its slow-release formulation means kids don't have to take a second dose while they're at school. Both classes of drugs have the potential for serious side effects, including heart rhythm problems, addiction, and psychosis, as well as others such as trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and dizziness. The FDA directed the manufacturers of all ADHD drugs like Adderall, Dexedrine, or Ritalin to include a medication guide with their products. The guide warns of the risk of cardiovascular complications and psychiatric problems -- such as hearing voices and paranoia -- in patients with no history of them. If your child develops these symptoms, talk with your doctor immediately about changing the treatment. Patients or parents of children taking these drugs should talk to their doctors before altering or discontinuing treatment, however. The FDA has also issued an advisory on atomoxetine (Strattera), a non-stimulant ADHD medication, warning of an "increased risk of suicidal thinking" in children and teenagers taking this drug. Researchers believe these medications help modulate levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Side effects can include loss of appetite, stomach pain, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat. Long-term use of stimulants in children has been associated with slow growth, so the doctor will monitor your teenager carefully if she prescribes these medications. However, stimulants can be habit-forming , so you may want to think about your long-term plan; some parents use medication to address immediate needs but see behavioral therapy as the key to a smoother road for their kids as they mature. (Long term use increases risk for depression) Finally, be sure to keep an eye on your child's medication. Adderall, for example, can cause high blood pressure, stroke and other problems if misused. Many teens with ADHD have illegally sold their Adderall medications at high school, and it is a "study drug" of choice on college campuses, according to various news reports. Emergency room visits due to Adderall also rose 156% over a 5-year-period, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. What is the Cost? Expectation? Immediate Gain vs Long-Term Consequences? Best PARENTING approach I could advocate for is to decide:Are we going to make you fit in?vsAre we going to make life fit you? Real-life StuffDon’t outgrow it - but symptom management can greatly improve (develop coping skills) Overly critical parenting can be a negative Kids more often teased, bullied, corrected more often, can have major issues in school (later work) & a great deal of pain & shame (told “too sensitive”, “space cadet”, low self-esteem) One ADHD person described it as being the “smartest - stupidest - most motivated - laziest person in the room all at the same time” RX don’t cure - only manage symptoms Gifted & highly intelligent students can also have ADHD - and these two issues (2e) can hide or mask one another “Pills Don’t Teach Skills” - get helpWill need to learn:
Transitioning between tasks
IT’S A FAMILY ISSUE (disease, illness, injury) Tips & Tricks:Jumping back & forth like a dance (with tasks)Hyperfocus with a timerFB/Social Media (blessing/curse)Radical Honesty - own limitations “Gamify Life”Make the boring stuff a fun challenge to “level up” and get “rewards”
Habitica (ADHD Guild)
AskJan.org - job accommodations (remember school & college too!) Those with ADHD will often “self-medicate” to fire up dopamine centers which can include everything from creating conflict to risky behaviors to drug use Those with ADHD will get “fired up” when they are engaged in an activity (or person, or situation) that fits a personal interest, is challenging, is new or unique and has a tight deadline. (Although they may lack the executive functioning ability or coping skills to meet the deadline). Money management, clutter, hoarding, relationships & personal interactions at work or work performance can all be issues in adulthood when dealing with ADHD. Often seen as an “Invisible Disability” Need to shift attention to PLAY TO STRENGTHS (difference in teaching a CHILD this early on vs trying to reprogram an adult and undo decades of damage!!!) One ADHDer described it as an issue of REGULATING ATTENTION between “random” and “15” (on a scale of 1-10) Kids with ADHD develop executive function SLOWER (in fact, many gifted children develop asynchronous) but you need to know that the “screw up” is NEVER INTENTIONAL and this is maddening to everyone PLUS a source of SHAME for the ADHD kid - it’s a family issue because the parents have to get educated, be a SAINT (you won’t be perfect) & fight for your kid until you can teach the child to become their own advocate Some ADHDers describe their working memory as a “whiteboard with big writing which then gets quickly erased” - therefore multi-step tasks is an issue Myth - “we all have ADHD sometimes” - not true - it has to be consistent & significantly impact life in a number of areas Neurological disadvantage or disorganization (neurodiversity) - accommodations necessary, must exhaust all conservative/natural/lifestyle treatment options, train for coping skills, rule out/treat/co-manage any & all gut health or hormone issues, ideally modify life to fit the child/adult, use medication as a last resort but do use if indicated - make sure treating physician is diligent and manages usage/dosage & monitors for immediate and long-term side effects Some of the GIFTS of ADHD
300% more likely to start their own business
Enthusiastic (big hugs, happy)
Full of surprises
Focus on what’s RIGHT vs what’s wrong WATCH THE “GUT HEALTH” VIDEO!!!http://tinyurl.com/BadGut ADHD blend handout - ASK THE OFFICE TO EMAIL THIS HANDOUT TO YOU - TEAM@BodyLoveCafe.comADHD TYPES & TREATMENT handout - ASK THE OFFICE TO EMAIL THIS HANDOUT TO YOU - TEAM@BodyLoveCafe.com Some content excerpted from:American Academy of Pediatrics - ADHDHealthyChildren.org - ADHDAttention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Ages 3 to 6By Beatrice MotamediHow to ADHD (personal interviews) by PatreonADHD - HyperkinesisBrett Thornhill ADHD coachBody Love Cafe - Dr. Zachary's personal & clinical experience