Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
by Tracy Barnes, DC, Kentuckiana Children's Center
Observe any of the classrooms at Kentuckiana and at first glance all the children might appear to be "normal" school kids. But look a little closer into classroom one: there in the back at a table all his own is Chris. Chris' legs are constantly moving, his hands are always busy and his teachers have a difficult time keeping him focused on his work. He continually blurts out answers and pesters his classmates.
Chris is a 10-year-old student who was referred to the Center after being unable to perform in a mainstream public school. He tripped fellow students, played pranks on them and started a number of fights. Yet through all of his problem behavior, he seemed unwilling to take any personal responsibility for his actions. Chris is far from a dull boy. He has an IQ in the superior range relative to his peers.
Chris is a classic example of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, unlike many of the other children diagnosed with ADHD, Chris is not medicated. In his three years as a student in the Kentuckiana Special School, and as a patient in the Kentuckiana Clinic, his progress has been characteristically, "four steps up, two steps back; three steps up, two steps back," says Roberta Davis, M.Ed, director of Special Education at Kentuckiana. He is a prime example of the need for multidisciplinary care in cases of ADHD.
ADHD's main components are "developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity."
It has been estimated that some 5-10 percent of school-aged children are affected.
They are commonly diagnosed before four years of age with males being six to nine times more likely than females to have the disorder. Approximately one-third of all ADHD cases have manifestations that progress into adulthood, although the numbers may be much higher.
Work at Kentuckiana, as well as three known studies show the benefits of chiropractic adjustments on these children. The importance of the nervous system is certainly not to be overlooked. However, it has been our experience that the stability of chiropractic care is greatly enhanced when combined with other factors affecting the structural, chemical, and mental aspects of this complex disorder.
Among the many possible causes for ADHD, there are those that cannot generally be changed by the time these children enter our offices. The possible causes are fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effect (FAS/FAE) are
maternal prenatal smoking, genetics and vaccination
There are, however, other predisposing factors to ADHD that must be acknowledged and investigated to ensure maximal success in treatment. These causes include candida albicans proliferation, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, heavy metal toxicity, food sensitivities, environmental allergies, neurologic disorganization, hearing problems, visual perceptual disorders, and multiple aspects of psychological disorders.