Tips to Stay at Your Best
Summer is coming. Thankfully, right. As the mother of 5 kids, 3 of which are now teenagers, I can’t wait to settle into easier days. So, what does this change in season mean for our kids and their ADD/ADHD. At Leigh Brain & Spine we call it “Summer Brain vs. Semester Brain” because all kids brains chill out significantly during the summer time. Kids with ADHD and subsequent anxiety can have a large shift in brain pattern between the seasons of the year.
A Difference That Can Be Seen
We can see the difference in the computer graphs that are produced, of each child’s brain pattern, during every Neurofeedback session. The difference is between Neurological Dysregulation and Regulation. When kids come in for Neurofeedback Therapy we can see the ADHD pattern reduce across the school year toward a regulated pattern. During the school year (Semester Brain), ADD brains work harder than other brains much of the time. So, they are more tired, struggle to stay focused, and can be more anxious. A “Semester” brain pattern can make kids with ADD moody, irritable, less likely to go with the flow and combative (oh joy). These behaviors seem obvious, but few people understand the origin, within the brain pattern, and the devastating impact on brains of kids with ADD/ ADHD.
Science shows that when kids with ADD/ADHD are in environments or situations that tax their systems, their brain pattern shrinks back to the more negative version of itself. This can easily be seen in kids that bomb tests but know the content. The testing situation pushes their brain to the limits and even though in a relaxed home environment they can pull the information out, during a test they cannot. Neurofeedback Therapy keeps the brain pattern in the better version throughout the school year helping the child to perform his best even when things get rough.
During the summer months (Summer Brain), kids brains relax a bit more, are less strained from overuse, and get time to recuperate from the school year. This ebb and flow helps their neurological system from overload. A summer brain pattern is closer to the best version of that child’s brain pattern. This can make for a really powerful transformation in brain functioning and performance when a child with ADHD embarks on a summer Neurofeedback program. The brain pattern shifts quickly and the child can return to school with a better brain pattern for a better school year.
Tip for ADD/ADHD Brains for the End of the School Year
As the end of the school year approaches, kids with ADD/ADHD tend to have brain patterns that start shrinking back to the worse version of itself. This is due to overwhelm of the amount of work that is culminating and impending end-of-grade exams. This is Semester Brain at 110%. What to do about it? Help your child with ADD/ADHD keep his brain as close to a Summer Brain as possible. I know, you are thinking that is impossible. It is not. Here are 3 easy strategies. (1) Lots of sleep. Unplug your teens early and they will go to sleep earlier. This will prevent the fatigue pattern that is at the root of Semester Brain. (2) Help your child pace himself. Your child’s organizational skills may begin to tank at this point (overwhelm, remember) and they may need help. Don’t offer it, provide it. (3) Keep drama low. This means you have to keep yourself regulated here. Keep yourself calm and relaxed to help your child do so. You can do it. Summer is almost here!
Dr. Patricia Leigh is a Neurodevelopmentalist and specializes in helping children and adults overcome their struggles. Find out more:
leighbrainandspine.com // (919) 919-401-9933