Flickering Lights and ADHD

By Dave Siever

Sunlight shining through row of trees

A family was driving to the lake to visit some relatives. They decided to take a pleasant drive along the lakeshore road instead of the highway because of its beauty and stress-free 30 km (20 mph) speed limit. The trees were all along the roadside. Little Johnny (LJ) was his usual self that day. He took forever getting his bag with his swimsuit, towel, and personal effects packed. He got into a fight with his sister and father and then decided to punish everyone by pouting in the back seat and ignoring everyone (which they enjoyed much more than LJ realized).

During the 20-minute drive down the quiet lakeshore road, the sunlight flickered through the trees in the morning sun. Unknown to LJ, the light was flickering at all kinds of frequencies in the upper brain wave bands. He found it very relaxing and soon closed his eyes which made the stimulation even more vibrant. Soon, LJ was fast asleep. At the end of the 30-minute drive, LJ was much calmer than usual. His parents were delighted that LJ didn’t cause any scenes, was polite, and everyone had a wonderful time.

The next day, when they departed for home, LJ made sure that he was on the other side of the back seat, so he could catch the flickering afternoon sun through the trees across the road. He didn’t know why, but he liked it.

After that, LJ often requested that his parents drive down streets where there were plenty of trees that would flicker the sun on his face. When his report card came out a month later, his parents were delighted that LJ’s grades had improved. During the parent-teacher meeting later that month, LJ’s teachers asked his parents if LJ was on medication because he was more attentive, gentle with other students, and he showed more empathy and patience.

No one would have ever thought that flickering sunlight through the trees could have such an impact on LJ’s brain. Who would imagine brain “therapy” could be that easy?

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