Do You Or Your Child Struggle To Focus?
If your child has been experiencing symptoms of ADHD, you may understandably be concerned. Perhaps they’ve had difficulty focusing on a task. They might have trouble sitting still for any length of time. Or maybe they struggle to keep up with tasks and have a perpetually messy room.
Their teachers may have expressed concern about their study habits. For instance, your child may have difficulty finishing homework on time or listening during class. Maybe these problems spill into the home, where they struggle to focus on the instructions you give them, causing frustration for both of you.
Childhood ADHD often continues into adulthood. Perhaps you’ve started to notice some of these symptoms in yourself. You may have learned coping habits as a child that are no longer effective in the adult world. Perhaps inattentiveness, impulsiveness, or emotional outbursts have started to strain your career and relationships, and you’re not sure how to handle the symptoms anymore.
While the ADHD brain can offer wonderful advantages, if someone with this developmental disorder doesn’t know how to manage their symptoms, it can cause problems. You or your child may have already received a diagnosis, or you may just have suspicions. Either way, you want to find avenues to really help them—or yourself—listen and focus in order to thrive.
ADHD Is A Common Issue, But Maybe Not For The Reasons You Think
ADHD is an extremely common problem. Studies have shown that 9.4% of children and 4% of adults have ADHD. Ideas about the origins of ADHD vary, but recent research has shown that sensory perceptions may play a part.
One study showed a positive correlation between ADHD and issues with processing stimuli such as sound. The study also showed that ADHD symptoms predicted other sensory problems. Another study examined how similar ADHD and other developmental disorders were to auditory processing disorder. That study found that there was a significant amount of overlap between the developmental disorders and sound processing abilities. This suggests that there is a significant connection between ADHD and sensory perception difficulties.
According to Dr. Alfred Tomatis, our listening abilities begin to develop in the womb. There we listen to the first voice we attend to: our mother’s voice inflections, rhythm and tones. After birth, we develop the cognitive listening abilities we’ll need in everyday life. However, different causes can disrupt these processes, such as ear infections, emotional distress, and sensory deprivation or overload. These disruptions can lead to our brains instinctively trying to find ways to cope—in the case of many individuals, the easy distractions and mismanagement of ADHD.
According to this information, a major factor in the development of ADHD is the brain’s inability to process sounds in an accurate and timely manner. This may make it seem like the negative symptoms would be difficult to overcome. However, these listening problems can be rectified in children, teenagers, and even adults.
Auditory Training May Be What Could Make A Difference
Because sensory perception can play a major role in ADHD, I’ve created a systematic approach that focuses on training the part of the brain that processes sound. My program involves a three-step process to help determine an individual’s status—both if they have ADHD and if an auditory processing disorder has to do with the problems they are experiencing—and to help retrain them so that they can function.
As a first step, we will schedule an evaluation so that we can evaluate the origin of your or your child’s difficulties. This initial evaluation is paramount since it helps determine what direction intervention and family consulting should take. If auditory processing dysfunction is not a part of the issue, then I can offer accommodations and referrals to make sure the most appropriate help is provided. If it is, then we’ll move on to the next step of the process.
The second step is intervention. This is where much of the sound training comes into play. Once I know what areas most need improvement—based on the in-depth testing—we can focus on those areas specifically. Using individualized sound-based techniques, we can help train the brain to better focus on listening, discriminating and paying attention until these skills are sharpened to the level of a matured function.
The last step is consulting. This is the stage where I teach your family to help the child learn real-world strategies so that they can take these skills far beyond my office. For example, your child will learn ways to help them keep things more organized. Each strategy I create is personalized for the individual based on what the evaluation reveals.
I have been working with ADHD and auditory processing issues for almost 25 years. I am a researcher in my field and did my doctoral dissertation on ADHD and how auditory processing plays a key role in optimizing attention. Essentially, I have dedicated my life to this study and have worked with many individuals with listening challenges, including those who have hearing-based issues, such as teens with Cochlear implants.
Managing ADHD can be difficult for adults and children alike. It can be even more trying when traditional therapy isn’t sufficient. However, with the addition of Alfred Tomatis’ sound-based techniques offered at our center, you or your child can address some of the root causes and attain further success.
You May Still Have Some Questions About ADHD And Auditory Processing…
How can you treat a disorder with music?
Many people use music to help focus. In fact, music is often used in a classroom setting to help calm children and encourage learning.
There have also been several studies on the benefits of auditory training. For example, this study shows that music can help improve the performance of children with ADHD in learning-related tasks.
I don’t think myself or my child can change.
The brain is incredibly malleable at all ages. By making thorough evaluations and taking standardized measurements, we can lay out an ADHD treatment plan that works best for your child or for you. The changes will be subtle yet measurable at first, showing that gradually, we will be able to help your child or you not only manage ADHD symptoms, but make changes in the ability to process and attend to tasks, whether in the classroom, at work or at home.
I don’t want to have to deal with a long, drawn-out process.
We understand that this is something that’s not doable for everyone. Therefore, we try to work with families (for children) or adult individual clients to see what’s most suited for them. We can do an evaluation at any point in time to focus on what is relevant and easiest for you or your child. Our intervention process is rather short but intensive. You won’t have to worry about spending a long time in therapy.
Learn More About ADHD And Auditory Processing
If you’re ready to take the next step, I offer a free 30-minute consultation. You can call me at 206-522-8873. You can also attend our Free Monthly Presentation for Parents to learn more about our evaluations and therapy approaches. Together, we can help you or your child work towards developing listening skills and attaining success.