In speaking with parents, teachers, even other doctors, a common belief I hear is that, given time, most children will simply grow out of ADHD. They will somehow learn to focus, follow multi-step instructions, complete tasks, and somehow overcome all the symptoms that plague attention deficit sufferers in youth.
The science is clear…
Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. A recently published study concluded the following, Sixty percent of children with ADHD demonstrated persistence of symptoms into their mid-20’s, and 41 percent had both symptoms and impairment as young adults.1
While adults can learn tactics to “work around” the inattention and distraction they still tend to experience attentional issues which often negatively impact their employment, social interactions, and personal relationships. I commonly see college students who struggle to complete their assignments or organize themselves. Disorganization and lack of task completion have caused more than a few to pause their educational endeavors until we address the underlying lack of focus.
Another belief is that ADHD is simply a behavioral problem. The psychology goes something like this: my son would be fine in school if he would only apply himself, or she is just being defiant and needs more discipline, or he is just lazy. It’s no secret that ADHD children can be labeled in these terms.
It is possible that a child expressing ADHD-like symptoms may need better parenting or psychological intervention but it is more likely their ADHD is a BRAIN PROBLEM.
Simply put ADHD is caused by poor wiring in the brain. And a large portion of those with ADHD will never outgrow that wiring issue without some outside help.
We are born with 100 Billion neurons (brain nerve cells) that reach out to make several 100 Trillion connects during the first 6-7 years of life. That “wiring process” is known as neuroplasticity. If the brain doesn’t knit itself together correctly ADHD, Autism and a number of other neurobehavioral conditions can occur.
So how do we know if ADHD is due to a neurologic vs. behavioral reason?
We use objective testing to discover if there is a neurological reason behind poor attention, memory or anxiety issues by measuring the electrical signals coming from the brain. This special test is called a brain map (a.k.a. qEEG). Brain maps are 15 minute, non-invasive, computerized evaluations of brain function. Studies demonstrate they are as accurate as an MRI and provide a functional understanding of the brain.
Positive results show areas of poor brain function and allow targeted, non-drug management of the problem areas with neurofeedback, nutrition, and advanced brain rehab exercises. Once care is completed and discontinued studies demonstrate benefits can last decades, if not a lifetime.
Call our office to learn more 630-357-2299.
- Margaret H. Sibley, James M. Swanson, L. Eugene Arnold, Lily T. Hechtman, Elizabeth B. Owens, Annamarie Stehli, Howard Abikoff, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Brooke S. G. Molina, John T. Mitchell, Peter S. Jensen, Andrea L. Howard, Kimberley D. Lakes, William E. Pelham. Defining ADHD symptom persistence in adulthood: optimizing sensitivity and specificity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12620