ADHD

Like AS, ADHD is a collective term for several things, the main three being attention ‘deficit’ (difficulty/difference), impulsivity and hyperactivity.

All of which, in my opinion, can be either innate or environmental, or a combination of both) and be either useful or limiting, depending on circumstances. Like Aspies, ADD-ers have advantages in some situations and disadvantages in others.

This is not a homogenous group; in fact, the two dominating ADHD types are often at opposite sides of the scale:

1. The inattentive (ADD or ADHD-i) type is often hypo-active, introvert, passive, intuitive, dreamy, artistic and extraordinarily sensitive. They tend to be hypersensitive to medication too and mainly just need a very quiet, stress-free environment, teaching suited to their learning style, and inspiring things to do.

2. The hyperactive (ADHD-h) type can be divided into those who are naturally & innately so, and those who are more HSP/AS/ADD but become hyperactive from environmental factors.

“ADHD-i is more common in girls than in boys. They often get their diagnosis late, since they haven’t caused any trouble for anyone but themselves. (I’ve heard a school psychologist say that the student doesn’t need a neuropsychiatric evaluation because she doesn’t constitute a problem in class.) ADHD-i combined with giftedness is the trickiest to detect.”

“So, to make a gross generalisation, boys with ADHD-h are noisy and run around. They get help when someone gets tired of them. Girls with ADHD-i daydream. I would think many of them seek psychiatric help due to depression and anxiety.”

Agatha, ADHD/Aspie from Sweden

It is very common for both types to co-occur with AS, despite DSM-IV saying that you can only have AS or ADHD. Many get misdiagnosed for this reason.

“[Researchers] now believe that about 75% with AS also have ADHD. Often you don’t see the AS until the ADHD is medicated.”

Lotta Abrahamsson,

ADHD/Aspie teacher & author from Sweden

These two types correspond fairly well with the two main types identified by Gordon Neufeld at the Neufeld Institute and says one is hypersensitive and reacts on a disturbing environment whereas the hyperactive type is driven mainly by unconscious fear of loss of acceptance.

Unfortunately, the hyperactive type often behaves in a way that causes what it most fears. Gordon Neufeld says scolding such a child won’t work as the fear makes its brain filter out what it cannot bear to hear. Only firmness and clarity combined with reassurance that the love has not been removed, will have any success of reaching through that unconscious filter.

The Hunter Theory

Some believe ADHD to be evolutionary traits of the typical hunter. Thom Hartmann is the originator of the hunter vs farmer theory and probably the most well-known advocate for this view. Others have expanded on it.

Evolutionary Models to AD/HD

“1. In relation to evolutionary theories of psychology and biology, the premises must be explored evolutionary perspectives explain the presence of AD/HD traits. Given the current estimated frequency of AD/HD being prevalent in 3% to 5% of the total population, it is unlikely that such a “disorder” could be as pervasive in the human species if it were not maintained within the species by selection forces. Forces that conveyed certain survivability advantages of AD/HD characteristics and their associated traits.

“2. AD/HD is characterized as a classic trio of symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. What most modern research has failed to observe is that each of these perceived “symptoms” are adaptive traits in most occurrences. Researchers just as often overlook the importance of creativity in primitive humans, and that same trait’s correlation in those who possess the AD/HD traits. What these adaptive traits are, and the survival problems they solved are:

Increased Motor Activity (Hyperactivity)

“For an organism to adapt successfully, it must constantly explore the environment for threats and opportunities. Increased motor behavior and hyperactivity is useful to assist in effective foraging, spotting of new opportunities, anticipating dangers, etc. Furthermore, increased motor behaviors serve to create more permanent and stronger neural connections within the brain, in ways that better fit the environment one must survive in. Perceived hyper behaviors stimulate the development of muscle, motor skills, and dexterity. Animals that have adapted to food-scarce environments show these same high degrees of motor behavior. Adaptational motor behaviors are expressed when it serves adaptation and survival, and is suppressed when it does not. When given sufficient time for evolutionary and selection forces to encode the behavior within the species’ genome.

Attention Processes (Scanning and Rapidly Shifting Attention)

“Vigilance is necessary to monitor dangers and threats. Over focused attention is quite impractical in high-threat environments. Animals that are preyed upon, or are in environments with a high ratio of predators to prey will have the increased scanning behaviors. Animals raised in higher-threat and/or high stimuli environments show high scanning levels, even when this is no longer necessary to further development. Adaptive reasons for the behavior exist within those species’ genome. Environment shapes the tendencies of a species to express responses such as increased scanning behaviors, or inattention to a single, repetitive stimuli.

Impulsivity

“Impulsivity as an organism’s quick response to environmental cues. These responses are relatively automatic and reflexive. Though an organism can learn to adjust the threshold and timing of the responses based on the likelihood of survivability and opportunity as a result of the immediate, delayed, and whether the response is a correct one.

“The species without the ability to adjust timing-dependent, opportunity dependent, response thresholds are less likely to adapt to different environments. The result being an organism will more than likely be unable to pass its genes on to the next generation. The organism that does not quickly pounce on a potential prey or dodge a potential predator will statistically not get another chance to do so. The relative danger, either perceived or real, can easily be outweighed by the disastrous results of missing a critical cue in dangerous, and resource scarce environments. In such environments an organism will evolve and adapt to responding on a relatively low threshold of stimuli.”

Chris ‘Redstar’, adult with ADHD from USA

7 ADHD Types?

Edit 2014: Dr. Daniel Amen at the Amen Clinic has identified 7 different types of ADHD types, based on brain scans. Each type requires a different treatment according to Dr. Amen.

LINKS

ADHD Wikipedia

Born to Explore Teresa Gallagher’s extensive alternative ADHD info-site & discussion board

Thom Hartmann books, radio show & discussion board exploring ‘Edison gene’ and ‘Hunter’ theories of ADHD.

ADD Consults ADHD resources

Focused Distractions Terry Matlen’s ADHD blog

AD/HD and other “Invisible Disabilities” Lisa’s funky ADHD page.

BOOKS

ADD & ADHD for Dummies

The ADHD-Autism Connection: A Step Toward More Accurate Diagnoses and Effective Treatment

The Gift Of ADHD: How To Transform Your Child’s Problems Into Strengths

The Myth of the A.D.D Child:50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion

Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD: Beyond Piles, Palms, & Post-its

Dreamers, Discoverers & Dynamos: How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored and Having Problems in School (Formerly Titled ‘The Edison Trait’)

The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child

Thom Hartmann’s Complete Guide to ADHD: Help for Your Family at Home, School and Work

Different Minds: Gifted Children With Ad/Hd, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits

Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your Add Child

Healing ADD Revised Edition: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of ADD 

1 Comment »

  1. Management and treatment of hyperactivity and ADHD, without drugs.
    Hyperactive syndrome and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment, from the perspective of the holistic method of Maria Summer, Rankweil/Austria.
    Applied Speech therapy (Angewandte Logopaedie)
    Hyperactive syndrome includes the following: intense myokinetic activity, attention disorders, irritability, impulsiveness, communication deficit, of children.
    These children are constantly changing their mental mood. Sometimes, they exhibit behavioral disorders, even aggression.
    Helmut Remschmidt, in his book “Kinder und Jugend Psychiatrie”, reports that this disorder is associated with disturbances in the developmental stages.
    This hyperactivity can be due to organic brain lesions, or be a consequence of neglecting the child.
    Child hyperactivity leads it to chaos, because it moves in space without purpose.
    The great educator Maria Montessori in her book “The receptive mind” (1978), refers extensively in motion with educational purposes.
    She writes that movement promotes the child’s spiritual growth and personality development.
    “In nature, chaos would reign if every movement stopped, but the same would happen if the movement of beings lacked purpose.” Maria Montessori
    Hyperactivity is characterized by high kinetic activity of the child, but this is without purpose, with children going from one task to another.
    It’s a mental mess, and this leads to lack of concentration-attention, as observed in children and adults with increased impulsivity and irritability.
    This child is not receptive; it is not able to accept the commands of a parent, a teacher, or a speech therapist.
    Since it is not paying attention, the child can neither be positively affected, nor proceed to knowledge. His/her perception suffers, negatively affecting behavior.
    Children with hyperactivity, when they were infants, had shown some predisposition, being restless and irritable.
    As toddlers, no one could employ them in a game for a long time.
    At 6-10 years of age, they still do not know how to play.
    Playing is very important for spiritual growth and personality formation for a child.
    These children leave unnecessarily their position in the classroom, disturbing others, creating discipline problems.
    “Without movement with purpose, there is no perception, learning or knowledge.” Maria Summer (1984)
    In hyperactivity, we should bring the child to movement with purpose. For this to happen, and for the child to learn to observe, they must first come into harmony with their breathing, experience tranquility and relaxation.
    Perception is a continuous process, which is constantly changing with the addition of experience (5-6 years of age), with the ability to discriminate, with the development of abstract thinking.
    So, perception is an important prerequisite for the development of cognitive processes-functions.
    Vision and hearing play an important role in perception.
    A hyperactive child is not growing spiritually, only physically.
    It is wrong to be severe or punish hyperactive children, as this may exacerbate the problem and their disorders.
    Management and treatment of hyperactivity and ADHD, without drugs.
    When affecting the movement of the child, there is a problem in soul-body-breath.
    In our view, hyperactive children should be treated as a whole, holistic method of treatment (ganzheitstherapie).
    This method, developed and perfected by Maria Summer in Rankweil Austria, is for quick and effective treatment of disorders of speech, voice, breathing and learning, in approximately 60 sessions, without medication.
    A child with hyperactivity is constantly anxious and presents respiratory tension, with characteristic high respiration (hochatmung).
    The first steps in treatment are to bring peace, relaxation, harmonious breathing for the child.
    In the beginning, we only try to make the child relax and pay attention, even for a second.
    When we achieve this, we start reinforcing training exercises.
    Later on, when we acquire attention for a longer duration, we assign some simple tasks to perform.
    With relaxation and achievement of diaphragmatic breathing (i.e. low breathing), the child acquires a new boldness-presence.
    Then, we can switch over to different exercises, targeting the acoustic and visual perception.
    Important role in what we do with a hyperactive child plays the pause. A couple of seconds or longer breaks are necessary for the positive outcome of any treatment.
    Without the break, there can be no perception, attention-concentration, or learning.
    The child must learn to wait.
    Movement with purpose and pace precede, and are closely related to the development of speech, perception, spiritual evolution.
    Early perception is that of motion.
    Myokinetic exercises invented and perfected by Maria Summer are not gymnastics, rhythmic exercise, yoga, or meditation.
    Operators should experience exercises themselves before passing knowledge to others.
    Furthermore, the therapist-educator or psychologist should remain calm, without any stress, with proper diaphragmatic breathing, in order to have a positive impact on the child.
    Importantly, he/she should always remain lower in height, or below the height of the child.
    We describe herein some exercises for hyperactive children with ADHD. Proper execution of these exercises is more important than quantity. Proper implementation is difficult to describe and must be experienced by each therapist in practical training sessions.
    Position hedgehog (der IGEL) leads the child to complete relaxation, fetal position, cutting off most external stimuli, allowing it to concentrate on himself.
    With chin to chest, head between legs, body curled forward, arms at sides, the child is kneeling in front of the therapist.
    The therapist, at posture IGEL, is kneeling in front of the child’s head on the floor.
    With his/her fingers perpendicular, remaining perfectly calm, the therapist makes vibrations along the spine of the child, just aside of the vertebrae, from the bottom up to the head, whispering a hum (summen), in various tones.
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…
    mmmmmmmmoooooooooooooooo…
    etc
    The child, after a break of some seconds, repeats the hum, mimicking his therapist.
    At IGEL posture, the child must slowly be rolled forward. When rising up, after completion of the exercise, the child must slowly stretch initially the lower vertebrae and finally the head.
    A big break, of 2-3 minutes, follows, on the floor, on a hard surface, no cushion, chin to chest, cheek leaning down, arms close to the trunk aside of the body, palms facing upward, feet very open, relaxed.
    At this posture of complete relaxation-peace, we observe the child’s breathing. We can spot the characteristic high respiration (hochatmung), by the vibrations of the back and shoulders of the child.
    In this case, the expert therapist intervenes with various exercises and techniques in order to restore diaphragmatic breathing.
    All this is done on the ground, on a hard orthopedic mattress, in a well-ventilated room, with the child wearing overalls and not clothes that restrict his/her movements.
    All exercises for proper breathing function should not be conscious for the child, at whom we never mention the word “breathing”.
    At cobra posture, the child, from the ground face down slowly lifts his head, keeping the chin attached to the chest, and focuses his gaze, for a few seconds, at a distant point.
    When tired, the child returns to the posture of complete relaxation-peace on the ground.
    After a few sessions, when we observe improvement, we pass to attention-concentration exercises, on a wooden table.
    Therapist and child are sitting side by side on a wooden table, with legs at right angles, hands one over the other at the edge of the table, their foreheads resting on their hands.
    The wooden table is a good conductor of pulsations (resonanz) to be transferred from the therapist to the child.
    With hums (summen) in different tones and styles, vibrations are transferred to the child from the therapist.
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…
    mmmmmmmmoooooooooooooooo…
    etc
    In turn, the child, having learned to wait a bit and listen, begins to repeat the hum mimicking his/her therapist.
    Later on, we proceed in short-term tasks, like learning words, concepts, etc.
    In some cases of hyperactivity the swing posture is appropriate. The child is hugged in our arms, in the fetal position, and slight oscillation is performed.
    The therapist must remain completely calm, without breathing wrong.
    In this hug, while gently shaking, the therapist murmurs hums, mainly with the letter mmmmmmmmm.
    Maria Summer would return in the early stages of development when she understood that a child did not have the right experience.
    Conflicts of interest
    Athanasios G. Chasapis, Psychologist-Specialist speech therapist using the holistic method.
    Stavros Saripanidis, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
    Chasapis Athanasios studied, for many years, at the speech therapist Center and Institute of breathing run by Mrs. Maria Summer, and participated in many seminars for Advanced Speech Therapy abroad.
    He then transferred and extensively used these practices of the holistic method (speech-voice-breathing-attention-learning disorders-etc.) in his speech therapy Practice in Greece, from 1982 until now.
    He is the author of a forthcoming book in German, which describes extensively the pioneering holistic method of Mrs. Maria Summer, who died in 2007, without leaving a textbook behind.


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