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Is ADHD Curable? Do Children Grow Out of ADHD?

Parents with ADHD children will undoubtedly ask themselves from time to time, “Will my child outgrow ADHD?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question for many kids is simply no.

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published an article by Drs. Volkow and Swanson discussing the realities surrounding ADHD. In short, ADHD typically does not disappear as children grow up; it just expresses itself differently.

Although many adults may report that they’ve overcome their ADHD symptoms, this belief is often fueled by the assumption that, because they’re no longer hyperactive, their battle with ADHD and ADD is over.

While patients may outgrow the hyperactivity associated with ADHD, these behavioral issues are only a part of the ADHD equation. The difficulties with focus and sustained concentration are less likely to resolve with age, and will continue to impact an individual’s abilities to sustain relationships or function in the workplace.

Though we do believe that some children with ADHD or ADD will outgrow it, long-term studies have reported that up to 60% of children will continue to be afflicted with negative symptoms well into their adult lives, potentially causing performance problems at work and family issues at home.

So, what does this mean for children suffering from ADHD?

It means that children with ADHD should be treated as soon as possible, rather than take a “wait and see” approach. The sooner children can overcome their ADHD symptoms, the sooner they can start achieving more in school and transition to a healthy and productive life as an adolescent, and eventually as an adult. Treating these issues early is also essential to minimizing the consequences these difficulties have on an individual’s emotional state and self-esteem.

For 40 years, the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine has pioneered non-drug, non-invasive treatment protocols for a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD, Autism, Stress, General Anxiety, PTSD, and Panic Attacks.

And because our ADHD treatment protocols are do not require pharmaceutical drugs, patients don’t have to worry about experiencing negative side effects from stimulant ADHD medications or becoming dependent on medications to experience symptom relief.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the problems associated with ADHD, including if children can outgrow it, whether or not it can be cured, and how the Drake Institute uses advanced technology to provide therapeutic relief for ADHD symptoms.

For immediate assistance, please fill out our contact form or call us at 800-700-4233 for free consultation. Our medical professionals are standing by to help with your child’s ADHD symptoms.

What is ADHD?

To understand how ADHD evolves, it’s important to know what ADHD is and how its symptoms manifest.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with an inability to focus, pay attention, control impulses, and self-regulate.

The presentation of ADHD and its symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and while some children may have hyperactive symptoms and exhibit major behavioral problems in school, others may only struggle with attentional deficits.

Patients with ADHD can typically be categorized into 1 of 3 distinct subtypes: Predominantly Inattentive presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive presentation, or Combined presentation.

These subtypes break down as follows:

ADHD – Inattentive Presentation

Inattentive ADHD symptoms typically include:

  • Inattention
  • Easily distracted
  • Lack of sustained focus on non-preferred tasks
  • Difficulty finishing tasks such as homework without supervision
  • Poor short-term memory (e.g., difficulty following a series of instructions)
  • Often forgetful such as forgetting homework or turning it in
  • Poor listening skills

ADHD – Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

Hyperactive-impulsive presentation symptoms typically include:

  • Impulsive (acting without thinking of the consequences, blurting out answers, interrupting, experiencing difficulty waiting for one’s turn)
  • Hyperactive (fidgety and/or difficulty sitting still)

ADHD – Combined Presentation

ADHD combined presentation symptoms typically include:

  • The presence of both inattentive symptoms along with significant hyperactivity/impulsivity

Can ADHD be Cured?

For parents wondering if there is a cure for ADHD, the short answer is no, there is no “cure” for ADHD. 

While the treatment protocols utilized at the Drake Institute have proven to be effective in many cases, no treatment protocol works 100% of the time for every patient.

Our process, however, has been shown to be successful in over 90% of patients, leading to symptom reduction and improving patient quality of life.

Do Kids Grow Out of ADHD?

The symptoms of ADHD are typically caused by an underlying dysregulation of the brain, and this dysregulation does not usually fix itself with age.

Instead, children with ADHD simply evolve into adults with ADHD, although as mentioned, the manifestation of their symptoms may change over time. 

This is because brain activity is something that is “hard-wired” into our nervous system, and without external influences (effective ADHD treatment), it’s difficult for ADHD children to overcome their symptoms on their own.

Their brains need to be guided or “retrained” to handle non-preferred tasks, and the non-drug treatment protocols utilized by the Drake Institute are designed to do exactly that!

Treating ADHD at the Drake Institute

While the symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person, brain dysregulation is still the “root” of the problem, which is why treating this underlying condition is at the core of all treatment protocols at the Drake Institute.

With the help of advanced treatment technologies like qEEG Brain Mapping, Neurofeedback, and Neuromodulation, patients at the Drake Institute can recognize when their brain is performing at a reduced capacity and alter their brain functioning to complete non-preferred tasks like homework, chores, etc.

What’s more, with time and repetition, this new response becomes hard-wired into the patient’s nervous system over time, resulting in long-term symptom relief that doesn’t regular office visits or extra maintenance.

Brain Mapping

At the core of everything we do is qEEG brain mapping, which provides our medical professionals with a clear “window” into how the patient’s brain is functioning and where the dysregulation is occurring.

With the help of qEEG brain mapping, we can identify whether children are producing too many slow brainwaves (Delta and Theta) and/or not enough fast brainwaves (Beta waves), as well as where any brain dysregulation is occurring.

In children suffering from ADHD, this dysregulation is often located in the Frontal Cortex, Limbic System, Basal Ganglia, or in the Reticular Activating System.

For optimal brain functioning, the patient’s brain needs to be producing the proper amount of both types of brainwaves; otherwise, the patient will experience reduced functioning capacity and ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity or inattentiveness.

Once the patient’s brainwave activity is mapped, the results are then processed through the FDA-registered normative database to identify deviations from “normal” activity. These regions of the brain are then targeted through Neurofeedback and Neurostimulation to produce healthier brain functioning and symptom reduction.

And since treatment is dependent on the patient’s brain map, every patient at the Drake Institute receives a custom treatment protocol tailored to their needs and unique situation.

Neurofeedback

Biofeedback and Neurofeedback treatment is a non-invasive, non-drug treatment protocol designed to retrain the patient’s brain for healthier functioning.

What does non-invasive mean?

During neurofeedback treatment, the brain is not stimulated and drugs are not administered. All that’s required are a few sensors that are placed on the patient’s head to record his or her current brainwave activity.

These sensors provide real-time analysis of the patient’s brain activity, but more importantly, they display the patient’s brainwaves in a visual form patients can easily see, interpret, and learn from. This treatment protocol helps patients identify when their brain is working at a reduced capacity and allows them to correct the issue and promote self-regulation.

An example of neurofeedback used at the Drake Institute involves displaying the patient’s brainwaves as a car driving down the highway. When the patient’s brain shifts into a more normal functioning pattern, the car moves and stays within the proper lane and an auditory tone goes off.

This auditory tone is then repeated every half second so long as the patient remains in a focused state. This treatment protocol teaches patients to recognize when their brain is working at optimal levels, which eventually leads to symptom relief.

With practice, this response becomes hard-wired into the patient’s nervous system, and unlike ADHD medications, subsequent improvements do not require continued maintenance. Finally, to ensure our patients are doing well, our medical professionals follow every patient for 12 months after discontinuing sessions to check on their progress.

Neuromodulation

The Drake Institute also uses Neuromodulation therapy to support, enhance, and accelerate therapeutic improvements achieved through biofeedback and neurofeedback.

First used to facilitate neuroplasticity and recovery from brain injuries like strokes, Neuromodulation therapy (also known as transcranial direct current stimulation or tDCS) has shown to have positive effects on treatments for a variety of conditions, including ADHD.

This treatment technology has proven to be so effective that it’s now used around the globe in many world-renowned medical centers, including Harvard University School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and UCLA School of medicine.

How does it work?

Like Neurofeedback, neurostimulation trains the neurons of the brain to operate at a more optimal functioning pattern. Neurostimulation is also effective at increasing the speed and efficiency of information processing.

All of this is accomplished by using neurostimulation to guide the patient’s brain to mimic healthier functioning.

Contact the Drake Institute Today

If you or anyone you know is suffering ADHD or any other type of neurodevelopmental disorder, please don’t hesitate to call us at 800-700-4233 for a free consultation. Our non-drug treatment protocols have provided many patients with long-term symptom relief.

Contact Us Today

To get the help you or a loved one needs, call now to schedule your no-cost screening consultation.

dr david velkoff headshot

“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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