Research has shown that people with ADD/ADHD have a greater number of “alpha” brainwaves. Subsequently, they have difficulty producing higher frequency or “beta” waves associated with better concentration and enhanced performance. Because they possess a decreased state of brain arousal, children and adults with ADD/ADHD are constantly seeking outside stimuli making it difficult to remain focused on any one task.
What can I expect as I begin treatment?
Prior to actual therapy for ADD/ADHD, a careful patient history is taken and a Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) is conducted. A QEEG is an advanced diagnostic tool that provides the doctor with a detailed brainmap. QEEG results are used along with the symptom profile to design an individualized treatment plan.
Behavioral Associates is one of the few practitioners currently offering QEEG as part of the screening process for ADD/ADHD patients. QEEG takes much of the subjectivity and guess-work out of making the diagnosis for ADD/ADHD and gives the doctor the ability to formulate a more targeted treatment plan.
If I am diagnosed with ADD/ADHD which treatments are most effective?
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an important part of treating ADD/ADHD in children and adults. CBT often helps individuals acquire better organizational strategies, improving social skills and greater awareness of work habits. Through such methods individuals are able to improve work and school performance, as well as enhance interpersonal relationships.
Biofeedback techniques have long been used as a clinically effective method for increasing awareness and improving levels of physiological functioning. EEG biofeedback, more commonly referred to as neurofeedback, uses computerized electronic measurement devices placed in the surface of the head and earlobes to monitor brainwave activity. The computer “feeds back” important information relevant to ADD/ADHD. Through guided experience, the patient is taught to significantly increase “beta” brainwaves associated with stronger focus and enhanced mental performance. Over time dysrgulated brain wave patterns are replaced with healthier ones and the patient learns to create “better” brainwaves automatically, a skill which is quickly transferred to every day life.
Video games specifically designed to help children with ADD/ADHD can be used to facilitate the process. The patient only does well in the game when the “good” kind of brain waves (beta waves) are activated, therefore making it possible to learn to increase healthy brainwave activity simply by playing a video game.
Following neurofeedback training, patients have reported numerous positive changes such as better attention span and concentration, increased impulse conrtol, mood stability, improved sleep and decreased anxiety and hyperactivity. Neurofeedback has physiological effects that are similar to those created by medication, but has no side effects, is painless and provides long lasting results.
Do you provide medication for the treatment of ADD/ADHD?
Medications, such as Ritalin and Aderall, can be used to stimulate brain activity or arousal, which can allow for greater focus on individual tasks. Drawbacks of medication may include side effects and re-occurrence of symptoms following discontinuation of use. During the initial consultation at Behavioral Associates you will be matched to a therapist who specializes in treating ADD/ADHD patients.
After a careful QEEG analysis, your therapist will devise a treatment plan to target your specific symptoms. If at any point during treatment it becomes evident that you might benefit from medication you will be referred to a staff psychiatrist who will help determine whether or not to introduce medication to your treatment plan.
Contact us or call our office at (212) 860-8500 to schedule your initial consultation.