ADHD: Treating Weak Attention Skills

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By Heather Lovell; LearningRx
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If you’ve ever seen a child struggle to sit still or pay attention, you’ve got a general idea of how the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) manifest. But beyond the squirminess and lack of focus is a deeper issue: weak learning skills.

While weak learning skills may not seem like a big deal in second grade, it’s important to understand that attention deficits don’t generally fix themselves. And because tutoring is about instruction in a particular subject (such as history or math), not strengthening weak brain skills, extra study help won’t make a difference. Sure, there’s stimulant medication, but all medications run the risk of side effects and studies show that ADHD medications only work in about 70 to 80 percent of people. Besides, medication doesn’t do anything at all to actually eliminate attention struggles; it simply masks the symptoms with a short-term fix.

Understanding what’s behind ADHD

So what is the solution? To answer that you first need to understand what ADHD is.

ADHD is now the accepted umbrella term for the three types of ADHD, which include Inattentive Type, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type and Combined Type. But in general, the umbrella term refers to attention deficits in one, two or all three types of attention: sustained, selective and divided.

The high cost of not treating ADHD

Getting in trouble for yelling in the library or not turning in math homework will seem like small change once you consider the long-term risks of not treating the root cause of ADHD. Here are just a few symptoms you could see throughout school, college and even into adulthood:

• Low self-esteem

• Poor grades

• Difficulty getting into college

• Anxiety and/or depression

• Significant time-management challenges

• Difficulty managing money

• Chronic disorganization

As you can see, these patterns can have a significant impact on one’s entire life. And untreated ADHD can lead to major crises, including unemployment, divorce, bankruptcy, substance abuse and chronic health problems.

Treating the root cause – not the symptoms

So where does that leave the child with attention problems who is destined to struggle to learn throughout school and beyond? The only proven, scientific solution is treating the root cause of weak attention skills is cognitive skills training.

Unlike digital brain training games, intensive, one-on-one brain training uses the brain’s plasticity to rebuild neural connections, find faster routes to process information and increase the processing speed of existing neural connections. Brain training can treat the weak attention skills of ADHD that threaten to diminish a child’s potential to learn and thrive. Why risk your child’s future when there’s a scientifically proven method to make him a stronger, faster, more confident learner? The cost is too high to not get help. Treating the root cause of attention struggles will always pay off!