ADD Treatment without Drugs

ADD Treatment: Why the Drake Institute Chooses Neurofeedback Over Drugs For ADD Treatment?

For 34 years the Drake Institute has made biofeedback or neurofeedback the centerpiece of our non drug ADD treatment programs. There is a learning curve in acquiring clinical expertise in utilizing neurofeedback and biofeedback . Our having helped more than 12,000 patients over the past 30 years has produced a level of knowledge and clinical expertise that could not have been acquired in any other way.

For the past 2 decades, we committed to helping ADD patients with our preferred non drug ADD treatment. As a medical clinic we could prescribe medication for ADD children, but for clinical effectiveness and safety we choose our non drug treatment for ADD.

Unlike drugs in treatment of ADD, neurofeedback used properly does not cause negative side effects. In addition, brainmap guided neurofeedback can produce long term improvements which drugs cannot. The drugs can only produce a short-lived improvement. Furthermore, brainmap guided neurofeedback is very empowering to the ADD child, and helps restore their self-esteem by enabling them to develop the neurological resources and skills necessary to succeed. Our clinical staff of therapists provides much-needed support for the parents to facilitate the ADD child’s improvements integrating into their everyday lives.ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a neurologic developmental disorder.

ADD was renamed ADHD in 1994. The name ADHD can be misleading because many children diagnosed with ADHD are not hyperactive, have no behavioral problems, but have significant problems with staying focused, being easily distracted, and completing tasks without being monitored.

The disorder is diagnosed more frequently in boys than in girls. Children with ADD may continue to struggle with the “inattentive” symptoms into adulthood and are at increased risk for academic underachievement, resultant low self-esteem, car accidents, alcohol/substance abuse, and relationship problems.

Core symptoms of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)


  • Difficulty sustaining attention in academic tasks
  • Easily Distracted
  • Difficulty finishing tasks such as homework without supervision
  • Poor short-term memory ( i.e. difficulty following a series of instructions)
  • May have difficulty with organization or time management
  • Can be forgetful in daily activities.

Proper Diagnostics Are Essential For Proper Non Drug ADD Treatment using EEG Biofeedback.

Historically, the diagnosis of ADD is based on a cluster of clinical symptoms without looking at brain functioning, though the symptoms are neurologically based. ADD is not a single disorder and the diagnosis itself tells you nothing about the origin of the symptoms. Only studying brain functioning can provide those answers.

Using modern brain science the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine utilizes qEEG brain mapping to better pinpoint the areas/brainwaves that are causing or contributing to the ADD symptoms.

Non Drug ADD Treatment using EEG Biofeedback (neurofeedback) is individualized based on the patient’s brain map. “One size does not fit all”. A brainmap for an ADD patient is as important as an EKG (electrocardiogram) is for a heart patient. The more information the physician has on what is causing the patient’s symptoms, the more effective an ADD treatment plan can be developed using brain map guided Neurofeedback.

As is true with any medical test, the brain map findings need to be correlated with the patient’s clinical symptoms and evaluation to determine optimal EEG Biofeedback protocols. In addition, the successful ADD Treatment of a child also includes providing support for the parents.

  • Underfunctioning of the frontal regions of the brain can result from too many slow brainwaves (delta or theta) or too few fast brainwaves (beta).
  • Difficulty with impulsivity tends to show more frequently in right frontal lobe abnormalities.
  • Children with ADD who have difficulty with social cues frequently have abnormalities in the right posterior region.

Why Can’t My Child Stay Focused?

The frontal region of the brain generates energy/neural activity so you can concentrate for as long as you need to in order to complete a task. In ADD the frontal region of the brain is typically underactivated (thus underfunctioning). As a result the child is not able to generate enough energy in the frontal area of the brain to sustain concentration on routine, mundane tasks which include academic tasks.

However, stimulating activities (video games, tv) can hold their attention for 2 hours without the frontal region of the brain being activated. Unfortunately, most academic tasks are not so stimulating, thus the ADD child is unable to sustain concentration on them effectively. So, the ADD child can be significantly disadvantaged in school though they may be very intelligent.

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