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    It isn’t always ADHD

    submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net

    Lucy (not her real name), as an intelligent and energetic high school freshman, enjoyed the non-academic school atmosphere more than her studies.

    She began neurofeedback with a long history of ADHD treatment with stimulant medication.

    Initially, neurofeedback treatment addressed many areas of ADHD, but she still lacked the academic focus that matched her ability.

    Her parents expressed concern because she seemed to lack purpose, initiative, motivation and real goals for all things academic despite her ability. 

    A brain map was used to determine if there were any problem areas of brain activity.

    Those results showed that she still had several processing problems.

    With processing problems, brain efficiency is compromised and the information does not pass satisfactorily between areas of the brain for proper functioning.

    Lucy began a treatment plan that addressed those processing deficits.

    The remediation allowed her to improve the communication between areas of her brain and the functional skills that were a frustration for her.

    Gradually she became more motivated, more organized and she began to speak proudly of her academic successes.

    Improved test grades, homework and class work scores were evidence that she was becoming a successful and happy student.  She looked forward to her neurofeedback sessions and began to develop confidence in her new career goals.

    Looking at and visiting colleges that offered a career of her interest were now on her radar.

    Her parents were very happy with the shift in her attitude towards school and her higher career goals.

    She will soon graduate from neurofeedback and high school with a bright future and confidence in her ability to be successful. 

    Very often ADHD behaviors are symptoms of other problems. A rush to judgment of ADHD can lead to an unsuccessful treatment path.

    Proper diagnosis is necessary to rule out other problems that may exist in order to get maximum benefit from treatment.