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       Friday, September 15, 2006

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New Hope For ADHD Sufferers

For decades, professionals in various fields who work with children suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, have wondered just how to handle them.

According to Dr. Jeff Nalin, a Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of ECHO Malibu Youth Treatment Center, , "both anecdotal evidence and informal studies support the idea that ADD and ADHD are highly correlated to individuals who have suffered some type of significant trauma in their lives. The syndrome of behaviors that make up the diagnoses called ADD and ADHD, are really primitive defense mechanisms related to these traumas."

He further states that adolescents support these claims, "We see, time and time again, young people saddled with these diagnoses, on high doses of potentially harmful pharmaceuticals, who are not getting any better with these current treatments. We also find that once we begin to conduct trauma work with these youth, dramatic behavioral, social, and emotional changes take place, and their ADHD symptoms begin to subside."

Steven Sager M.D., a worker at the center says , "The treatment outcomes were the telling sign that we were on the right track. We see a great number of trauma victims who recover nicely without medications, and many of these clients’ symptoms closely resemble those of our ADHD clients. Once we made these connections, and began treating the traumas in our ADHD clients’ lives, we realized that for many of these young people, we had found a different kind of answer for them and their families."

Dr. Nalin goes on to state that, "in much the same way that many young people become addicted to drugs, so too do young people who have suffered trauma become habituated to respond to the world in a defensive, hyper-vigilant way. These types of defenses, that once probably served to protect them, are now getting in their way of developing socially, emotionally, and intellectually. If we confront these defenses by uncovering their source, mainly their past traumas, we see the need to remain defended sharply decline. As a result, we see the behaviors associated with ADD and ADHD resolve themselves, and resolve themselves without medications."

Sager adds, "The bottom line is that if you are talking about at-risk youth, any added stressor can serve as a trigger for the development of ANY disorder, substance abuse, ADHD, depression, PTSD, or other problem behaviors. Parents should watch for signs that indicate that their child might be in trouble. Some of the signs parents should look for include: changes in sleeping habits, social isolation, avoidance, or retreat, changes in dress or appearance, a change in friends, irritability or outbursts of anger, or loss of interest in pursuits that have been of importance. It isn’t always easy for parents to determine the nature or severity of an emerging problem."

The center has 24 hour support for kids and families, and also offers counseling services and parent training sessions for families of ADD and ADHD students.

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posted by Tammy at 10:25 AM  


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