|Wednesday, February 14, 2001||Bucks County, Pennsylvania|
Yardley Biofeedback Specialist
"Ritalin is taking the place of patience in schools," asserts Barry Belt, director of Attention Deficit Specialists in Yardley, Pennsylvania. "Our brains are not equipped to do what we do in our society, working a 40-hour work week, handling the stresses that bombard us daily. In my opinion, Ritalin should be the last resort, only after other approaches have been tried. Medication only masks the problems that exist. We are, in essence, training a child to be a drug addict." Belt believes that adults and children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems have the capacity to learn and succeed, in school and work, without the use of medication. Clients are helped to lead a drug-free life by blending neurofeedback with proper nutrition and behavior modification.
According to Belt, research on ADHD shows that brain waves in affected individuals contain an excessive amount of slow (theta) brain waves, and not enough fast (beta) brain wave activity during activities requiring concentration and learning. He asserts that this research has shown that once the brain learns to regulate itself, it will continue to do so. This is accomplished by using a computer-based EEG monitoring system that processes signals from the brain and gives the individual immediate feedback by means of images on a computer monitor. It's like playing a video game with your brain. "Changing (a person's) physiology is the cornerstone of what we do," says Belt, a certified neurofeedback practitioner.
"Training one's attention is the only way we have of manipulating our environment," says Belt. "No one ever teaches you how to pay attention. Biofeedback does essentially what Ritalin does for the brain; it raises your arousal level. But with a difference." That difference, says Belt, is the cumulative effect of biofeedback, administered in treatments of 30-60 sessions. Ritalin, on the other hand, only works as long as it is in the system.
Belt considers himself a pioneer in what he describes as a growing treatment approach. While there are currently fewer than 1,000 practitioners across the country using brainwave biofeedback for ADHD, there are thousands doing so in peripheral ways. It's a solution that goes much deeper than the potency of a four-hour pill. "There is something relentless and immutable about a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD to a child. It says, 'This is who you are.' Our success with biofeedback demonstrates that children need not be the perpetual victims of their diagnoses."
For families, teachers, and others who work with children, Attention Deficit Specialists offers a free monthly seminar where you can learn more about this treatment method. More information, articles and case studies can be found at their website, www.addsolutions.com.
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