The Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine is an internationally eminent ADHD and Autism treatment center with over 35 years of experience helping patients from all over world. We use the most current, state-of-the-art technology in each of our highly successful non-drug treatment programs.
As a medical clinic, our ADHD testing and ADD evaluation processes are performed with a more in-depth level of knowledge, improving the accuracy of each patient’s evaluation and the efficiency of each patient’s treatment plan.
Having successfully treated more than 10,000 patients, we’ve developed an unparalleled clinical database to draw experience from, increasing the effectiveness of our treatment for even very complex cases.
Our ADD/ADHD evaluation is a 2-1/2 hour procedure which allows time for a complete clinical overview of our prospective patients and includes an extensive diagnostic interview. A key part of our ADD evaluation is a battery of standard assessments along with brain mapping that help us to better understand linkages between behavior patterns and brain activity.
Because many of our patients have additional overlapping disorders in addition to their ADD/ADHD, we know the importance of thoroughly assessing the difficulties that they face. This allows us to develop the most efficient, effective, and comprehensive treatment plan possible.
By evaluating all of these elements, as well as the negative impact the patient’s ADD/ADHD has had on family dynamics, we’re able to determine the degree to which the family will require support from our staff during the patient’s treatment process, maximizing their clinical improvement.
Since approximately 70% of patients with ADD or ADHD may have a coexisting learning disorder, additional psychoeducational or auditory/language testing may be warranted (depending on patient symptoms).
Our test for ADHD in kids is different than the typical adult ADHD test. In our children’s ADD/ADHD evaluation, we include an extensive diagnostic interview with their parents.
During this interview, we cover the child’s medical history, along with their medication history, possible drug side effects or interactions, family history, pregnancy, labor and delivery, infancy and other developmental milestones, childhood illnesses, school history, social history and behavioral concerns.
Our clinical staff, under the supervision of our medical director, also assesses the added stress of the child’s ADHD on family dynamics, helping them to come up with the best recommendations for providing family support during the child’s ADD/ADHD treatment program. This process has proven to help optimize clinical improvement for the ADHD child, but it also provides much-needed support for their parents.
During ADD/ADHD diagnostic testing we have the child undergo a baseline neurofeedback training session to start them down the path of beginning to learn how they can effectively self-regulate and improve optimal brain functioning.
Many of our patients come to the Drake Institute with additional overlapping disorders along with ADD/ADHD, including:
Scientific research has shown that up to 70% of patients with ADD and ADHD may have a coexisting learning disorder. Further testing and/or treatment of these comorbid or secondary disorders is included in the treatment plan for each child.
ADHD symptoms in children manifest differently than they do in adults, with approximately half of children with ADHD presenting hyperactivity and impulsivity as core symptoms, which produce overt behavioral difficulties. Hyperactivity and impulsivity are much less common in ADHD adults.
Struggles with homework and academics are especially problematic in ADHD children and adolescents, whereas typical adults with ADHD struggle primarily with the inattentive symptoms that produce problems with executive functioning (time management, organization, procrastination, prioritization, etc.), job performance, relationships, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
One essential part of our diagnostic evaluation is that every child undergoes a quantitative EEG brain map analysis to identify the abnormal patterns and regions of brain activity linked to the child's symptoms and behavioral difficulties.
Many clinics do not offer this service, but it is an extremely important test; one that the Drake Institute has offered since 1992 because it’s essential for accurately analyzing brain functioning linked to symptoms. We use the results of this test to determine the proper course of action for achieving an effective, long-term reduction of ADD/ADHD symptoms.
To increase the chances of helping a patient reduce or resolve their symptoms, the physician needs to be able to evaluate the organ that is producing those symptoms, thus with ADD or ADHD, brain functioning itself must be analyzed.
The brain mapping procedure is no different from a physician performing an EKG (electrocardiogram) on an adult patient with chest pain and a shortness of breath. The more information that the physician has at their disposal, the better they are able to treat the patient, improving the prognosis for the child with ADD/ADHD.
There are major differences between the child and adult ADHD evaluations. With adults, the diagnostic interview is done with the patient, instead of with the parent, but information is also obtained from a spouse or significant other (if one is available).
The quantitative EEG brainmap is also conducted for the adult ADD/ADHD patients, as it’s still needed in order to help develop the most effective neurofeedback protocols by linking primary symptoms to relevant areas of the brain with abnormal activity on the brain map analysis.
One distinct advantage at our clinic is that our treatment of adult ADHD patients may include additional stress testing with biofeedback instrumentation – something typically not done with ADHD evaluations for children. This is especially important for those patients who have developed some degree of anxiety or depression due to the stresses of their ADHD challenges.
Elevated levels of tension detected by the stress testing can be linked to anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, digestive problems and high blood pressure to just name a few. Whatever they’re linked to, these abnormal tension levels can be reduced or eliminated through stress biofeedback resulting in symptom reduction.
With that said, the main difference between our adult patient’s treatment and our children’s treatment process is that many of our adults patients will also be receiving stress biofeedback training in addition to the brain map guided neurofeedback. Patients undergo stress biofeedback training first to reduce their elevated tension levels, making it significantly easier for them to transition to neurofeedback therapy later on.
Our success rate for reducing or completely eliminating symptoms in both child and adult patients is approximately 80%. Typically, our child patients experience significant improvement for both behavioral and academic problems, whereas our adult patients experience improvements in their emotional well-being, job or career performance, and relationship skills.
Our medical director also performs medication titration for our patients, typically finding that he is able to at least reduce if not eliminate medications without sacrificing sustained clinical improvement.
While we utilize a great deal of advanced technology and neuroscience based treatments at the Drake Institute, each and every one of our patients is treated with compassion, respect and the utmost of care.
To get the help that you or a loved one needs, please call us at 1-800-700-4233 to schedule a no-charge screening consultation.
Interview with Dr. David Velkoff
Interview with Dr. David Velkoff
Spanish News Feature
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“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 Behavioral Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Behavioral 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 Behavioral 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 Behavioral Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”