Mind Alive Blog
Thursday, June 16, 2011
With the new website design on the horizon, I've discovered some cool things, one of them being the AVE_Session_&_Protocol_Book, which has great information about which sessions to use for different situations. It's a bigger book, but definitely well worth the read. Here's the section of the book that pertains to working with kids who have ADD.
Working with Children
1) It’s very helpful to assess behavior every couple of weeks. The best and easiest way is with the Conner’s ADD Rating Scale for the parent(s), the Burk’s Behavior Index or other behavior indexes. Never look at a previously filled out questionnaire until the present one is completed, then compare notes. This approach is not perfect, but it will help to more objectively assess the child’s behavior and lessen the influence of the moods of the parent(s) and his/her beliefs about the child’s behavior.
2) Many well-meaning parents get into yelling matches and disciplinarian mindsets with their ADD/ADHD children, particularly if the child also has oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). These children can be particularly distressing to parents, and at times, even drive some of them “stark-raving” mad! This parental backlash can invoke anxiety in both the parent and child making the family dynamics even more difficult and stressful than usual.
3) The symptoms of anxiety are much the same as ADD: inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. Therefore it is important to pay close attention to the family dynamics to note to what degree family related anxiety and true ADD symptoms are present. It is extremely important that the parent(s) plan for a smooth, relaxed lifestyle. It is easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of life so SCHEDULE relaxed family time (movies, walks in parks, etc.) and also make personal time to relax. I have witnessed parents working long hours to get the nice car, pay down the mortgage, get the time-share resort condo, buy a nice boat and so on.
While these things are nice to have, the family may pay a far greater price than the parent(s) may realize. If a special-needs child is in the family then everyone pays a costly price, if the pace is too hectic.
4) If anxiety is present, then both the parent(s) and the child should use the alpha (10 Hz) or slow-alpha (7 to 9 Hz) sessions, such as the heart-rate variability (HRV) Schumann and the HRV 10 Hz alpha sessions. These sessions are meant to be used while awake although it is fine to fall asleep. See above for more information about HRV.
5) If the child or the parent experience difficulty falling asleep, the “Dissociative Schumann” is particularly effective in bringing about the onset of sleep. This is mainly due to the “dissociative” aspect of the session. The alpha /theta session also works well.
6) After a week or two of using AVE and the child is more relaxed, it is time to begin the morning sessions. These sessions are higher in frequency and are meant to stimulate the brain to a higher level of arousal. It is best to use these sessions before noon (and for the oppositional children, it’s best to run the session before they wake up and are not yet in an oppositional state of mind). The early morning AVE session is generally the most convenient approach for most parents and children.
7) If the child is quite anxious by nature, begin with the SMR session for a week or two. Observe the child daily. As the child responds, increase the stimulation to either SMR/Beta, the Brain Brightener or the Joyce ADD session. The Joyce ADD session may be the better choice if the child doesn’t seem to become “absorbed” in the session. Watch to see if the child is squirming or playing with his/her fingers or has shallow breathing. Breathing should become deep, slower and relaxed. Sessions may be alternated for variety. It can be also helpful to use a CD of relaxing music or nature sounds during the session. Do not play pop, rock or country music along with the session, and stick mainly to music without lyrics.
8) Results normally begin to appear within a week or two and improvements should continue to show for a few months. After a few months the improvements will begin to taper off. The number of sessions of AVE needed to produce maximal improvements seems to correlate fairly closely with that of neurofeedback, where most of the gains will have been made in about the first 40 sessions. Sometimes children may be weaned down to just one session per week or even not at all, while other children must maintain continued frequent use.
by Sima Chowdhury - June 16, 2011