Attention and Concentration Disorders (ADD/ADHD) in Children
It is difficult to describe what we experience as parents when we encounter an attention and concentration disorder in our children. Many of us feel helpless, lack the necessary information, and find it extremely difficult to deal with our children’s teachers, the school principal, and the education system as a whole. To make matters worse, we are then required, relatively quickly and without any previous knowledge, to select a form of treatment and to understand the implications of each and how each will impact our children’s health and quality of life?
Important Information for Every Parent regarding Attention and Concentration Disorders (ADD/ADHD)
Attention and concentration disorders (the most prominent of which are ADD and ADHD) impacts 10% of all children and typically first appears during childhood, usually between the ages of 3 and 7. In most cases, it lasts until adolescence and adulthood. Attention and concentration disorders are developmental conditions that result in symptoms such as academic failure, the inability to concentrate, the inability to be consistent, social behavior that differs from that of others (and in some cases is extremely unusual), impulsiveness, problematic long-term memory, difficulty dealing with large amounts of information and informational noise, etc.
- An inability to focus on details and errors stemming from inattention, particularly visible in academic settings
- An inability to concentrate and frequent sudden subject changes
- An inability to understand instructions in their entirety, or following only part of the instructions
- Constant restlessness
- Lack of organization of activities and tasks
- Closedeness and immediate and total detachment from the surroundings
- An awareness of “myself” and a total lack of awareness and consideration of the surroundings
- Frequent refraining from tasks that require mental effort, such as doing homework
- Decline in academic performance; an inability to contend with errors that require focus
Common Signs of Hyperactivity as an Element of Attention and Concentration Disorders
- Restlessness manifested in movement of the hands and feet and constant movement while seated in a chair
- Inability to remain in one place, as in the case of children who walk around a lot in class and frequently leave class to use the bathroom
- Excessive activeness at any given time
- Noisiness and the excessive use of shouting instead of talking
- An inability to concentrate
- Frequent sudden subject changes
- Difficulty delaying gratification, needing things here and now
- The repeated disturbance of activities of others (such as conversations and games)
- Quick and extreme mood changes
- Ravenous, frenetic, and disorderly eating
In this condition, attention is a negative engine causing radicalization of the child’s behavioral and developmental fabric. In practice, the community, the home, the school, and friends are all typically unable to understand and to accept the abnormal behavior of children suffering from attention and concentration disorders, which only serves to exacerbate their condition. Such children experience a childhood that is different from the childhood of other children and are forced to contend with challenges that are too difficult to bear at their age, such as the unfulfilled desire to please their parents, low self-esteem, social rejection, recurrent dealing with failure, etc.
Types of Evaluation
If your child has been having ongoing difficulties in school that have impaired his or her normal functioning, you may be in need of an alternative treatment or an evaluation for attention and concentration disorders in order to help your child. Below you will find information on the existing diagnoses for different needs.
Two widely used computerized diagnostic tests are the TOVA and the BRC.
The TOVA (Tests of Variable Attention) test is a computerized assessment of extended attention functioning that tests the attention faculties of the individual vis-à-vis the standard norm for his or her age group. The aim of the TOVA test is to serve as an auxiliary tool for the diagnosing physician in selecting a medicinal treatment. Once the other evaluative steps have been completed, the results have been assembled by the physician, and a determination regarding the existence of an attention and concentration disorder has been made, the focus shifts to the selection of a treatment method.
Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation
Although this is not a common evaluation, it is performed in the event of concern regarding the existence of a personality disorder or mental illness. A comprehensive psychiatric evaluation consists of a series of psychological tests and report questionnaires aimed at confirming or ruling out the existence of a serious psychological disorder, and is conducted by a psychiatrist.
The primary medications prescribed as treatment for attention and concentration disorders include:
Ritalin is the common name for methylphenidate. It is a stimulant which, instead of producing a more active state, causes enhanced concentration and attention in individuals suffering from attention and concentration disorders. Ritalin was first identified as a stimulant over half a century ago. It was first used to treat depression, but after it became evident that it also alleviates the symptoms of attention and concentration disorders and improves concentration, it was decided to use it to treat adults and children who have been diagnosed and found to be suitable to take it.
How does Ritalin affect the body of someone suffering from an attention and concentration disorder?
Information regarding the side-effects that can result from the use of Ritalin:
Adderall is a medication from the amphetamine family used for treating attention and concentration disorders (particularly ADD/ADHD). It is related to Ritalin but distinctly different. Adderall is a prescription drug in use in the United States, Canada, and other countries. It has been in use for more than three decades and is taken by millions, yielding extensive experience with its use.
Adderall has a long-term effect on attention and concentration disorders. Some of its active ingredients begin to work two hours after taking it, and others after four hours, accounting for the long-term impact achieved by taking only one pill. Moreover, its side-effects are minor, as it is taken at a low dosage. Adderall is effective for 5-6 hours, as opposed to 4 hours in the case of Ritalin.
The side-effects associated with the use of Adderall are similar to those of Ritalin but are less common, causing only some of those who take it to report them. They include: stomachaches, loss of appetite; headaches and irritability; disturbance of sleep; mood swings; dizziness; dry mouth; and heart palpitations.
Strattera is a relatively new medication for the treatment of attention and concentration disorders and is the first medicinal treatment for this condition that is not a stimulant (as are Ritalin and Adderall). Strattera is a prescription medication in use in the United States, Canada, Germany, England, and many other countries.
Strattera begins to take effect one week after the onset of daily treatment and reaches full effect one month after the onset of treatment. After approximately one month of daily use, the effect of the medication can be felt for most of the day, as opposed to Ritalin, the effect of which is more limited in duration. Strattera does not disrupt normal sleeping patterns, which makes daily functioning under its influence easier. Two noteworthy advantages of this medication are that it does not result in decreased appetite and also serves to reduce anxiety.
At the Ora Golan Center, we can also treat attention and concentration disorders in children being treated by medication.
One of the most common causes of attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD or ADHD) is the formation of an emotional block in the child in the fetal stage or at some other point in the course of his or her development. Such blocks form as a result of the absorption of a crisis or trauma by the child and its translation into a means of emotional survival that serves to bypass emotional loads.
Using the method developed by Dr. Ora Golan (a doctor of chiropractic), the therapists at the Ora Golan Center locate the emotional block or blocks that are responsible for the attention and concentration disorder by means of muscle memory. The blocks are then eliminated, restoring the child’s right to a live without an emotional block and the ability to contend anew with his or her condition. We also treat many patients who have undergone didactic and psycho-didactic evaluation and have taken the TOVA test, as well as patients taking different dosages of various medications to treat attention and concentration disorders.
Reasons for Seeking Treatment at the Ora Golan Center
- Difficulty dealing with noises
- Inattention to detail
- Difficulty studying for tests independently
- A child who is inattentive to things said to him
- Difficulty doing homework
- A child who gives unrelated answers to questions asked of him
- Difficulty organizing academic material
- Difficulty beginning tasks
- Difficulty filtering stimuli and focusing on the main issue
- Difficulty finishing tasks
- Difficulty maintaining extended focus (45-50 minutes) in class
- An inability to repeat what was said
- Difficulty distinguishing the main issue from tangential information
- Procrastination and avoidance of performing tasks
- Recurring careless errors
- Scattered and lost belongings
- Forgetfulness, even regarding everyday routine events
- Excessive movement and restlessness that is often abnormal and disturbs others, such as standing up in the middle of class
- A tendency to get bored quickly and difficulty keeping busy
- Difficulty sitting quietly
- Excessive talkativeness
- Impatience, restlessness
- Frequent sudden subject changes
- Difficulty planning
- Difficulty respecting social codes
- A tendency to get into arguments and to get into trouble
- Lack of perseverance
The Ora Golan Center’s treatment for attention and concentration disorders represents a significant change for children suffering from such conditions, and its results have been startling on all levels.
The Treatment Consists of Two Main Stages
Stage 1: A six-part emotional treatment geared towards the improvement of self-image, capabilities, and behavior.
Stage 2: A brief and focused series of structural/physiological chiropractic treatments by Dr. Ora Golan.
In the course of treatment we assess:
- The child’s degree of difficulty reading, listening, and writing
- Reading comprehension
- Spatial orientation and sense of time, distance, and weight
- The ability to contend with solving verbal and numerical mathematical problems
- The impact of disorder and disorganization on day-to-day functioning
The completion of treatment for an attention and concentration disorder (such as ADD or ADHD) at the Ora Golan Center is followed by significant visible improvement, including:
- ⦁ A change in your child’s self-image as a result of the improvement in his or her organization and thought processes.
- ⦁ Improved interpersonal communication with classmates and family members.
- ⦁ Improved grades on tests and school assignments.
- ⦁ Schools have also reported significant behavioral, ethical, and communicative improvement.
- ⦁ In the case of many children and teens, the manifestations of the disorder do not return.
Measures that can be taken at home to ease attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD):
- ⦁ Emphasis on ensuring an adequate amount and quality of sleep for the child
- ⦁ Aerobic athletic activity that requires coordination, balance, and spins (such as dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, etc.)
- ⦁ Regular diverse and nutritional meals containing proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruit, and vegetables
- ⦁ Meditation, guided imagination, and other kinds of relaxing activities
ראיון של ד”ר אורה גולןמתוך “התכנית מקצוענים”: