What is ADHD/ADD and what can Encinitas Learning Center do to help?
Most people have heard of ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) but there is a lot of confusion about what it is and how it affects children and adults. There are three types of this problem: ADHD which includes hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors, ADD with inattentive behavior, or a combination of both. This is a very common childhood brain disorder and there is confusion about whether it is a learning disability or a psychiatric disorder. It is officially considered a psychiatric disorder because it interferes with basic executive function skills:
Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses. (Center on the Developing Child; Harvard University)
“ADHD is not considered to be a learning disability. It can be determined to be a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), making a student eligible to receive special education services. However, ADHD falls under the category “Other Health Impaired” and not under “Specific Learning Disabilities.” (Learning Disabilities Association of America)
Twenty to thirty percent of those diagnosed with ADHD also have learning disabilities of some type. People with ADHD/ADD generally have higher than average I.Q. They also tend to be procrastinators, due to the disorder, and have difficulty prioritizing tasks. This condition can be very disruptive for the person and their families.
Although causes for ADD/ADHD are still being studied there are scientifically proven treatments available to help organize the brains of children and adults with ADHD/ADD. Encinitas Learning Center is experienced in providing a number of brain training programs that improve quality of life for those with ADHD/ ADD (and relieve stress within the family as well!)
What is an Interactive Metronome?
At Encinitas Learning Center in Encinitas, California, Interactive Metronome is one of the programs that has been proven to provide positive test score results and have lasting benefits. Empirical evidence shows that this rhythm and movement-based training helps to reorganize neural synchronization. Children and adults with ADD that use this training show improvements in:
- Attention to task
- Processing speed and response time
- Attaching meaning to language
- Reading comprehension (decoding)
- Auditory process, tactile, social, and emotional processing
- Reduction in impulsive and aggressive behavior
Improvements like these have been shown to happen after only fifteen one-hour training sessions. Once these improvements occur, learning struggles decrease tremendously. A 1999 study done by Kuhlman and Schweinhart documented a significant correlation between timing (as supported by Interactive Metronome) and academic performance in:
- Reading and mathematics
- Oral and written language
- Motor coordination and performance (Interactive Metronome, 2018)
Interactive Metronome Therapy Example
One young girl was having difficulty in her Junior High School when changing classes. There were so many people in the hallway at the same time, she was sure people were bumping up against her “on purpose” and she was lashing out at her classmates, ending up at the Principal’s office. It turns out, her timing was so compromised that she was unable to match the gait patterns of those around her and SHE was walking into people rather than the other way around! Once we were able to help retrain the timing in her brain, there were no more trips to the Principal! She no longer felt bullied and picked on and was able to move better in the crowd and get to her classes without incident.
Interviews with participants of this therapy revealed better sleep patterns where before the training it was difficult to get to sleep and enjoy deep REM sleep. The Interactive Metronome program improved the circadian rhythm that helps regulate the brain’s breathing patterns and that timing correction made all the difference! Finally able to sleep through the night and awaken the next morning refreshed and well rested was life changing.
If we look at the Social Emotional aspects of a disability, much of the day’s angst is revisited during that twilight time between awake and drifting off to sleep. If it has been a particularly trying day, inability to drop off to sleep quickly and easily just compounds issues and facing the next day with lack of nurturing sleep affects social interactions and the strength to tackle more difficult interactions.
Contact Encinitas Learning Center, 760-634-6886 to learn more about this program for to get you up and moving to the beat!