Fueling our Brains & Bodies

Luke 2We know that ADHD is linked to higher incidence of Executive Function deficits. And, Executive Function supports our ability to make decisions about the foods we eat. Think about it. Do you ever eat as a reaction to stress, boredom or over-stimulation? Are you prone to emotional overeating? Are you waiting until the last minute to fix lunch?

People with ADHD do have difficulties with planning. And, they tend to be impulsive. It makes sense that a last minute impulse would lead to poor choices in what foods to eat. There is some evidence that ADHD is linked to impulsivity eating disorders like Binge Eating and Bulimia. Other studies suggest that a “Western” diet may contribute to a rise in ADHD symptoms in the study population. So, “energy-dense, heavily processed foods rich in saturated fat, salt, and sugars…” may contribute to ADHD.

Harvard Medical School says that certain foods MAY...

ADHD and School Sports

Boy Baseball SmSchool has started, or is around the corner, for most of us here. There is the usual flurry of activity. Clothes shopping, school supplies, schedules, meeting teachers, and traffic that just always seems to get worse. But then there is the tap-tap at your elbow, and your littlest one hands you a form with imploring eyes. “Join the Football Team”, it reads. And there at the bottom, where your little angel is pointing, is where you are supposed to sign on the dotted line.

If you are at all like me, then the fearful visions of injury and nights spent in the Emergency Department of the local hospital with a leg in traction are just the first of many horrific reveries. There may be reason to pause and consider potential injuries and whether your child has a greater risk. Children with ADHD often are also diagnosed with Dyspraxia, the comorbidity with ADHD is so high that it has been argued...

It only took one session for me to decide that we need this system at home!

IMG 8903 225x300We started using the Play Attention suite of games for our seven year old son, Eli during the spring of his kindergarten year. Eli was born with Down syndrome. He struggles with global developmental delays and especially struggles with poor impulse control as well as hyperactivity. In addition, Eli is a very restless sleeper. I have longed for him to sleep more deeply knowing that it would give his impulsive brain a restful break. We have used different supplements throughout the years to calm him. Eli also sleeps under a weighted blanket. While I’m certain none of our attempts have been harmful, nothing seems to show long-term benefit. As a mother on a mission, I have researched therapies, supplements, dietary changes, and calming techniques for years. When I discovered neurofeedback, I knew I had to try it for Eli. We used a system with a local psychotherapist and realized very...

ADHD and Teen Pregnancy Risk

VoetjieWe already know from former studies that ADHD is associated with a higher incidence of risky sexual behaviors. In addition, The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry has recently published an article (1) that asserts there is a higher risk of teenage pregnancy in children with ADHD. Compared with individuals without ADHD, those with ADHD were significantly more likely to become parents at 12 to 19 years of age, females and males are 95% more likely to become pregnant. Obviously “it might be appropriate to target this group with an intervention program that includes sexual education and contraceptive counseling.” But, talking to teens about sex has never been an easily broached topic. How do we engage our children so that they understand the weight of consequences?

“We were expecting to find an increased risk, but not of this magnitude,” said lead study...

ADHD, Memory, and Depression

Education Building 768x473An interesting study done at the University of North Florida, published last year by Tracy Packiam Alloway and John C. Horton in the Journal of Applied Psychology, explores the relationship between our ability to encode, store and retrieve data, and how we regulate our emotions. They assert that Working Memory plays a role in our coping with negative life events. “There is a growing body of research supporting the role of working memory in emotional regulation. We know that those with clinical depression have difficulties in suppressing irrelevant negative information, while those with high working memory are able to ignore negative emotions,” said Alloway.
This presents families dealing with ADHD with a unique clue.

We know that ADHD is often comorbid with depression, and that depression is often a cause for irritable “acting out.” But, this study shows that if we are able to attain a...

Focusing is hard! Brain response to reward in ADHD

Carrot Prize 300x169Scientists decided to have their findings reviewed by both scientists AND students! Which is odd, certainly. But, it’s also very exciting to see students engaged in new ways. The object was to encourage students to get involved with science and to train them to read scientific journals. The study was titled “Focusing is hard! Brain responses to reward in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” The researchers found that when measuring activity in the part of the brain associated with rewards/pleasure, called the striatum, the “students without ADHD to be much more active in anticipation of the reward, potentially helping to focus onto the task at hand knowing reward was likely to follow. Students with ADHD however displayed the opposite pattern: receiving the reward triggered higher activity in the striatum compared to the anticipation of the prize.”

Russell Barkley, PH.D, says in...