AN ADHD CASE STUDY
by Barry Belt
David (not his real name) was a thirteen year old, eighth grade student who had reading and math skills one to two years below grade level. He was failing every subject and seemed destined to repeat the eigth grade. His teachers described him as disruptive and oppositional in class and stated that he had difficulty paying attention during structured and unstructured activities. The school administrators contacted his grandparents and suggested that he was likely suffering from an Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They recommended that he be taken to his pediatrician and placed on Ritalin, a Class II prescription drug classified as a stimulant much like speed.
Even at home David was rebellious. His father had abandoned him virtually from birth. His mother, overwhelmed by the task of raising him and his two sisters without spousal help, relapsed into drug and alcohol abuse. She was frequently drunk and around David she was moody and volatile. He ran wild. He refused to obey her curfews, going to bed late at night and failing to rise for school in the morning. Intermittently he wet the bed. He never helped the family with housekeeping or yardwork chores. His mother’s parents, sensing that she needed help with David, and having been advised of his problems at school, intervened.
Even though David attended a good school in an affluent district, his grandparents doubted the wisdom of placing David on drugs. They thought it would only compound his problems. When they sought the advice of the family pediatrician, they asked for an alternative to Ritalin being concerned about David’s potential for developing a substance abuse problem like his mother. They were referred to A Center for Educational and Personal Development (CEPD) where they could find a balanced, non-pharmacologic treatment approach which used as its cornerstone brainwave-based biofeedback, also called Neurofeedback.
Upon initial evaluation Barry Belt, Director of the Center, and a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Neurotherapist, found David so hyperactive that he could only sit still for a minute. When he measured David’s brain functioning, specifically his ability to attend to a task, he found that he had too much slow- wave activity and not enough fast wave activity. In other words, his brain wave activity revealed that his brain was daydreaming instead of paying attention far too much to allow him to learn effectively.
During the interview David described himself as dumb but cool. He hung out with older, rebellious students like himself to compensate for his feelings’of inadequacy. He loved his mother but was struggling to maintain a relationship with her. He hated his father and wanted nothing to do with him. With his grandparents he had a solid and positive relationship and he especially respected his grandfather.
Barry Belt assembled the CEPD treatment team and planned an intervention for David. It was decided that David should be sent to an alternative school for children with learning disabilities. He was enrolled in individual counseling to improve his self-image. The nutritionist cut out his caffeine, reduced his sugar intake, and helped his mother plan and cook well-balanced meals. His mother began counseling with a CEPD Substance Abuse Counselor and Psychologist who helped her stop abusing drugs and alcohol, enhance her mothering skills and strenthen her role in the family. Mr. Belt met with David’s now school teachers to develop an educational plan which would work in tandem with CEPD’s efforts.
Perhaps most importantly, David began to use Neurofeedback which trained him to alter his brain functioning so that he daydreamed less and paid attention more through the use of special software and computer enhanced techniques which allowed him to monitor his progress in a videogame format.
At first, David couldn’t sit still for his Neurofeedback sessions. After the third session he began to enjoy the sessions. By his tenth session his mother remarked that he was more attentive at home and less oppositional. After his fifteenth session he was helping with household chores. After his twentieth session he stopped wetting the bed. By his twenty-fifth session his grades and behavior in school had remarkabley improved. After forty sessions his attention span had increased from less than one minute to approximately forty-five minutes.
Within six-months his reading and math scores had progressed one grade level. He was on the honor roll at his new school and his behavior at school was described as excellent. He began to see himself as a bright young man who had learning problems. He was looking forward to returning to his regular junior high school class at the appropriate grade. He had become a happy, communicative and responsive young man who could express his feelings instead of act them out. His self image no longer required him to be cool, but rather was based on his self-perceived capability to achieve his goals in school and in life.
David continued to make grade-appropriate progress in school but would have occassional setbacks. Intermittently he would return to the center for Neurofeedback sessions and counseling.
The key to David’s progress was CEPD’s multifaceted treatment approach, anchored by Neurotherapy. One can only ask what would have become of David if his chance to straighten out his academic life and his family life had depended solely on a drug.
A Case Study for Adhd Students
4596 WordsAug 18th, 201119 Pages
A Case Study for ADHD Students
Peter John Bakas
January 17th, 2011
As in any situation with any student that is special or gifted or that IDEA, IEP, and 504 Plans, have to be the first and foremost concern for all parties involved. “Education For All Handicapped Children Act Passed in 1975 Guaranteed and enforced the right of all children with disabilities to receive free and appropriate education Considered the foundation of special education in the United States; 1990- Law renamed to IDEA. What is an IEP? Individualized Education Plan Written plan that describes the program and special services a student requires to be successful Developed by parents and educators Individualized- plan specifically developed for a child’s special needs…show more content…
The psychological effects associated with ADHD may last into adulthood. The main recognized psychological characteristics as recognized by educational medical professionals are (What Are the Psychological Effects Associated With ADHD?):
* Low Self-Esteem-Many patients with ADHD may suffer from low self-esteem as a result of the disorder's symptoms. Nicole Crawford, author of the article "ADHD: A Women's Issue," points out that when women do not get their ADHD treated, they suffer from chronic low self-esteem. The low self-esteem can stem from problems in school, which can occur with all of the symptoms of ADHD. For example, with the inattention symptoms, the MayoClinic.com notes that patients have problems finishing work, make careless mistakes and are easily distracted. They may also have organizational problems and dislike schoolwork. With the impulsive and hyperactive symptoms, patients have problems staying still during class and may interrupt others. The problems in school can lead to failure in school, which may cause underachievement in patients. The underachievement can add to patients' low self-esteem.
* Depression-Some ADHD patients may develop depression, which MedlinePlus notes that parents should alert the child's doctor if they see signs. With depression, patients have a noticeable change in mood, such as persistent sadness and feeling helpless. Patients may have unusual guilt, which can make