family, Health, Uncategorized

Living with ADD/ADHD

CaptureI may have mentioned this in the past but many of you may be unaware that one of my sons is showing signs of ADD (Attention Deficient Disorder). For the past month or so his focus has really gone downhill and his school work has taken a turn for the worst. He is being withdrawn in class, isn’t participating and cannot focus on the task at hand.  There are many times when I will give him instructions and if asked to repeat them he cannot name all of them.  When doing his homework, he fidgits while reading and cannot sit still working on spelling words.  There are times when we have to do activities WHILE reviewing his spelling words.  This now third grader has always struggled but now it’s time to get him tested to see if there is something more going on.

Driving to work today I was listening to Chalene Johnson’s podcast The Chalene Show and on this particular episode she was interviewing an ADD Specialist named Dr. Amen. Dr. Amen is a physician, psychiatrist, teacher and New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Director of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and San Francisco, California, Bellevue, Washington, Reston, Virginia, Atlanta and New York City. Dr Amen performs scans on the brain to determine if individuals do in fact have ADD/ADHD.  He also has a website with a questionnaire that you can take however as with all medical issues, please consult your physician.  

While I was listening to this podcast, I was having so many AHA moments that my brain just couldn’t keep up. The one that struck out the most was when Dr. Amen was discussing how injuring the frontal part of your brain can cause individuals to show ADD symptoms. For example, sports like Football or Soccer where your head is used as part of the ‘equipment’ can increase these symptoms based on how much the front of the head receives. Then it HIT me!

When my son was younger, he was ninety-five percent deaf in his right ear which we did not find out until we took him to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. His history of chronic ear infections led to a build up resulting in hearing loss, speech delay, out of control eczema and lack of hair growth. Before his surgery, anytime that my son would become stressed, frustrated or angry because he could not communicate with us, he would pound his forehead on the floor or wall until he would have a black and blue knot on it. Of course we would pick him up, move him to the couch or bed for him to throw his tantrum but he would do this often which caused a permanent bruise on his head.

 My son underwent his ear surgery where the Specialist cleaned out his sinuses and inserted tubes into his ears. Here is the amazing part. When this child woke up from his surgery, I could physically SEE the clarity in his eyes! I could SEE him hearing new sounds that he never heard before, or hear my voice without straining.  Over time his eczema started clearing up and his hair started to grow. We still had to battle the speech delay therefore we started speech therapy twice a week along with incorporating sign language.  Sign language was our savior because while we were working on sounds, he could still tell us what he wanted, how he felt, etc.  He is currently 8 years old and still has some speech issues however we are working through them and each day he is getting better.

 Back to the head pounding…..it dawned on me that all of that head banging he was doing had possibly caused serious damage to his frontal brain. Now, do I think this is the root cause of his symptoms? No, I do not. He will be tested and the proper care will be given according to our family views but I’m sure that this has played a part.  He goes for his testing in a couple of weeks and I promise to keep you updated on the diagnoses as well as the plan of action if he does in fact have ADD/ADHD. 

If you or someone you know is living with ADD/ADHD I highly recommend taking a listen to this podcast. I have also included other links that I have found to be helpful and who knows…you may too!

Dr. Ame’s website 

Dr. Amen’s ADD quiz

The Chalene Show ADD Podcast Episode

ADD Nutrition

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