Monday, January 09, 2006

Bookstores and ADD

While in Barnes and Noble yesterday, I stumbled across Daniel Amen’s book Healing ADD. Amen’s a psychiatrist who’s written several books on ADD and the brain.  He argues that ADD can be divided into six categories: classic, inattentive, over focused, temporal lobe, limbic, and Ring of Fire.  

I’m not sure we need six categories, and I don’t agree with Amen on everything.  Certainly don’t agree that ADD is a “disease.”  

But he does have some good coping suggestions, one of which is “focused breathing” to help kids calm down. It’s nothing more than breathing slowly and deeply. Kids can understand how to do this by putting a book on their tummies. When the book goes up and down, they are breathing deeply. This simple technique is quick and it works.

I was disappointed however that Amen didn’t address the need for movement. When children are encouraged and allowed to move in the classroom, ADD behavior often subsides. For example, a program called “Brain Gym®,” consists of specific physical movements and exercises that “wake up” the brain and help curb ADD “symptoms.”   The Wall Street Journal recently recommended Brain Gym as an effective non-drug treatment for ADD. Check out Brain Gym at

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