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2005_10_Washington Parent & ADHD

2005_10_Washington Parent & ADHD

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Published by: Meditatia Transcendentala Romania on Feb 01, 2012
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02/01/2012

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Oming in on ADHD
Transcendental Meditation May Help
By Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D.
 
Your 10-year-old child's teacher says he is havingtrouble with attention and behavior and insists that  you consult a child psychologist for evaluation of  ADHD. After a battery of surveys and questionnaires,the psychologist recommends some behavioral approaches and suggests you consider medication.You go with the behavioral approaches, but they don’t seem to be working. You're wondering what to do.
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 Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), adevelopmental disorder, is the most commonbehavioral and psychiatric disorder among children.Children with ADHD have impaired executivefunctions of the brain, creating difficulty incontrolling their attention and behavior. The disordercan have a significant effect on a child's ability tolearn and progress in school. And attention deficitoften continues into adulthood, causing a lifetime of frustration and difficulty succeeding in the workplace.
Transcendental Meditation Instruction
 Introductory Lecture 1.5 hours Preparatory Lecture 1.5 hours Personal Interview 10 minutes Personal Instruction 2 hours
                 !
Verification & Validation 3 days/ 2 hours each dayThe TM technique is practiced twice a day, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC), 56% of children diagnosed withADHD are on medication, and many will remain onmedication throughout their lives. In making thechoice about treatment options, there is much toconsider. Behavioral approaches for ADHD aresomewhat effective, and the combination of drugtreatment and behavioral approaches is more effectivethan either alone. But medication is often onlypartially effective, can cause side effects andsometimes even exacerbates or creates new ones. Themore you know about ADHD and the effectiveness of treatment options, the more comfortable you can feelabout the decisions you make for your child.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
There is no test for ADHD.Though the diagnosis is made by a doctor, it isbased on subjective information gathered fromparents, teachers and the child.According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,because the diagnosis is based on subjectiveinformation rather than an objective diagnosticmeasurement, a definitive diagnosis can be difficult tomake. Children change rapidly. Additionally, atyoung ages, it is common for children to express signsof impulsiveness, hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
 
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What might naturally be immaturity can be mistakenlydiagnosed as ADHD, especially in boys.
Are There Non-Drug Options?
Several non-drug options have been suggested,including biofeedback, dietary and nutritionalalternatives, acupuncture, etc. While there may beanecdotal evidence that some of these alternativeswork, there is very little scientific data to support theeffectiveness of most of these approaches.However, there is a very simple, natural alternativewith a strong scientific basis that can have a profoundeffect on ADHD. The Transcendental Meditation®(TM) technique is a simple and natural form of meditation that is showing great promise in helpingchildren with ADHD and related disorders such aslearning disabilities, Asperger's (or autism) and mooddisorders.There have been more than 600 scientific studies inthe past 35 years examining the effectiveness of TMfor improving cognitive skills, moral reasoning andbehavior, academic performance and stress-relatedproblems. Now groundbreaking research shows itseffectiveness specifically with ADHD.There are many types of meditation and mentaltechniques, but not all techniques have the sameeffects. Just as different medicines work differently,different forms of meditation work differently. OnlyTM has a large body of documented research aboutbrain development and learning, as well as the effectson brain chemistry.TM doesn't just treat the symptoms, it can actuallytreat the cause, which means its use doesn't just createa temporary effect but can improve the conditionpermanently.
ADHD, Brain Chemistry and TM
ADHD is caused by improper levels in the brain of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The medicationscommonly prescribed for ADHD work by increasingthe neurotransmitters in the brain. But these drugs arenot a cure.The amphetamines in the ADHD medicationartificially increase the amount of dopamine andnorepinephrine in the brain, speeding up the brain(thus the term "speed" for amphetamines). Thismakes the frontal area of the brain more active. Sowhen the child is on the drug, the communicationnetworks are temporarily improved.But when the drug wears off, so does the improvedbrain networking. Not only is the underlyingimbalance still there, but it's not uncommon to see a"rebound" effect, aggravating the symptoms when thedrug wears off. The child may be "wilder," lessfocused and even more difficult to control than beforethe medicine was started.Research shows that TM naturally creates balancein the brain chemistry, spontaneously improving thesymptoms of impulsivity, attention and self-control,by balancing the levels of the neurotransmitters. Inother words, TM can create a similar effect in thebrain as the common ADHD drugs without thenegative side effects.ADHD medication temporarily manages thesymptoms, only during the hours the drug is in thesystem. When the drug wears off, the problem is stillthere. TM treats the root cause of ADHD, improvingbrain integration. Additionally, the positive effectcontinues into daily activity and improvementincreases over time.
Can A Child with ADHD Really Meditate?
The TM technique is a specific, unique form of meditation. It is a simple, natural process that allowsthe mind to settle down to a condition of "restfulalertness." As the mind settles down, the bodybecomes deeply relaxed. As thinking settles down,the mind transcends the busy mental activity andexperiences deep silence. Not only does this create amental quietness that an ADHD child so rarely gets toexperience, but it also creates physiological andneuropsychological changes resulting in integrationand coherence of brain functioning.The technique involves no concentration or controlof the mind, nor does it involve adopting aphilosophy, religion or change of lifestyle. Thetechnique is so simple and effortless that it is easyeven for children with ADHD.
How Does TM Improve ADHD?
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain thatcontrols impulsive actions, judgment and social cues.Children and adults suffering from ADHD haveimpaired function of the prefrontal cortex. Thismeans the communications network that serves as anatural filter for keeping us from acting impulsively orenabling us to focus is not yet fully online.The effects of TM’s “restful alertness” on brainfunctioning has been documented for 35 years. Theresearch shows that the TM technique creates a moreintegrated functioning in the frontal areas of the brain.This integrated functioning, in turn, strengthens thecircuits, creating better communication from one partof the brain with another and integrating all parts of the brain into a whole.These physiological changes have not beendemonstrated in any other systematic meditation orrelaxation technique. Dr. William Stixrud, a clinicalneuropsychologist in Silver Spring who specializes in

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