It use to be that everybody knew somebody who had contracted Polio. I don’t think that my children could even tell you what Polio is. However, if you asked them if they know somebody with ADHD, they could probably list off a few of their classmates with that diagnosis.
I was reading a news release, short article from the Mayo Clinic titled, “Q&A: High energy, lack of focus don't necessarily mean your child has ADHD”.
It was very helpful in laying out some basic questions that a parent could use to determine if they needed to look into getting some professional help for their child or if their child was just going through normal development.
Here are a few of those questions:
Is the child often easily distracted?
Is he constantly on the move?
Does she fail to think before acting, to the point that it raises safety concerns?
Do issues with inattention, distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity significantly impair daily life?”
The article recommends that if a parent can answer yes to these questions then “an evaluation with the child's primary care provider is in order.”
There Is Hope
My question would be, what happens next? The usual treatment I have seen recommended is medication. Let’s look at your child’s default future, flash forward 7 years from now. Is your child still on medication? Has anything been done to address the cause of the problem and not just treat the symptoms? Are you or your child frustrated with taking medication or multiple medications?
So here is the good news! Research shows that the human brain is ever learning and changing. The brain feeds off of stimulation at any age.
Brain Works Approach
What can be done to increase concentration and jump start learning.
Targeted exercises rich in sensory stimulation engage specific weak neuro-pathways. The more engagement these neuro-pathways receive, the more it will increase neuro-connections. The brain then increases its capacity to process information. Similar to how a sit-up or push-up builds muscle and increases a persons physical capacity, these exercises build up neurological connections needed to learn and concentrate.
Going back to the article there is a line I would like to quote: “Children should never be classified as having ADHD just because they're different from their friends or siblings.”
If we resist a need to label behaviors and attack problems with solution focused mindset we can build a foundation for learning, which builds a future for a child.
For a free assessment on your child's particular challenges take our ten question survey.
Eric is an owner of Brain Works Idaho and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).