ADHD and brain training? You must be joking! Well, believe it or not, the Canadian health authorities cover this type of treatment, called the ALERT system under their national health scheme. You can actually get a prescription from your health provider there, if you opt for this type of treatment.
Let us go back and see how all this developed because it is a fascinating story. I always like to think of the ADHD brain as having rather faulty wiring. The communications system between the neurons is defective. That means that messages, sensory perceptions and so on are not getting through or take rather a long tortuous route to get there.
The pharmacological solution
Along come all the ADHD drugs which are nothing more than amphetamines which stimulate these brain transmitters and the child begins to concentrate, is calmer and has a greater attention span. He or she even gets better grades at school. The medical authorities say that behavior therapy or basically effective parenting skills are the most important part of any treatment plan. But nobody takes much notice of that advice. Ritalin for breakfast and once your kid takes his meds, he will be fine!
The problems with ADHD drugs
Let us face it. ADHD drugs are great for a quick fix and they have been compared to a band aid for temporarily relieving some of the most irritating and annoying ADHD symptoms. The effects do not last and they do not rehabilitate the brain in any way, neither do they help you to acquire vital life skills for the rest of your life. There are numerous problems with side effects and worries about long term health risks.
Success with brain training
Exit the drugs for savvy parents and enter brain training. I was fascinated to read Nicky Vanvalkenburgh’s book called : ‘Train Your Brain, Transform Your Life: Conquer ADHD in 60 Days Without Ritalin’. She suffers from ADHD and was convinced that Ritalin was not the answer. She started to investigate brain training. After all, if we break a leg, we have physiotherapy to get back the full function of that limb. The brain is similar and if it is not working properly, a little training will work wonders. She based her research on the following facts:
* the defective brain neurons can actually be rehabilitated with the right sort of training