Growing numbers of people, particularly children, are being diagnosed with attention-deficit disorders including Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recent surveys show that:
- Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
- The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.
- Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 [Read article] and an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.
- Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
- The average age of ADHD diagnosis was 7 years of age, but children reported by their parents as having more severe ADHD were diagnosed earlier.
- Prevalence of ADHD diagnosis varied substantially by state, from a low of 5.6% in Nevada to a high of 18.7% in Kentucky.
Children with attention-deficit disorders may have low self-esteem, difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships and suffer from poor academic performance. While symptoms will generally decline with age, in some cases people never completely outgrow the disorder. However, nearly everyone suffering from ADD or ADHD can be treated with natural therapies that can help them successfully manage their lives.
It’s important to remember that it’s normal to occasionally be forgetful, to daydream, or to be fidgety. I often tell my patients with ADD or ADHD that they have a gift. Finding ways to harness the speed and creativity of their thoughts is the key. The gift of attention-deficit disorders becomes a problem when inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity consume your day and prevent you from achieving your goals.
What Causes ADD and ADHD?
The definition of a neurological or behavioral disorder can be as simple as cellular miscommunication. Properly functioning cells communicate efficiently. Dysfunction occurs when there is a breakdown in this system of communication. Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) indicate that the area of the brain responsible for focus may be functioning sub-optimally. Consequently, the brain’s ability to focus cannot keep up with the demands of daily living.
Typical physical manifestations of people with ADD and ADHD may include:
- Lack of focus
- Easily distracted
- Poor performance at school or work
- Poor listening skills
- Emotional difficulties
- Sleep disturbances
- Social isolation
Children, adults, and families faced with navigating the complicated gift of ADD or ADHD are often overwhelmed with conflicting messages about treatment. However, there are three basic treatments: 1) train the brain to focus, 2) optimize brain function and 3) change brain chemistry.
A synergistic approach of neurofeedback, dietary changes, meditation, hormonal balance, cognitive therapy, anxiety reduction, nutritional supplementation and, at times, medications, can be a powerful way to regain focus. Attempting to treat ADD and ADHD with only one method is like sitting on a one-legged stool. You may get some short term benefit but long term sustainable balance and focus are unlikely.
At The Center for Optimal Health, we guide children, adults, and families through comprehensive diagnostic and both holistic and traditional treatment options for attention-deficit disorders . After a comprehensive evaluation we will make recommendations specific to your needs. You will understand which testing options would be most revealing and which treatment options should be initiated for the best results. The doctors at The Center for Optimal Health have extensive experience treating patients with ADD and ADHD. Certainly a natural approach is favored, but occasionally medical treatments must be added to achieve optimal balance.
For further information, please contact The Center for Optimal Health at (517) 324-9400.
Written by Dr. David Pawsat and Sarah Tavakoli
March 4, 2015
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Data & Statistics
The Creative Gifts of ADHD, Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American
Are Children With ADHD Gifted?, Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, Mayo Clinic
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), National Institute of Mental Health
Follow us on: