Susan (not her real name), a seven-year-old girl with severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), was about to enter first grade. Her parents were concerned that schools would not accept their daughter due to her extreme hyperactivity and inability to concentrate.
Susan had been taking the widely used ADHD drug Ritalin for the last year but her parents had significant concerns. Side effects such as a loss of appetite and problems sleeping were coupled with a concern over possible cardiac risks associated with the drug. Furthermore, Susan’s parent saw no end in site with Ritalin temporarily helping the situation, but offering no long term solution. On top of all this, Susan simply didn’t feel herself when she was on the drug. She was far more subdued and in many respects, a different person.
However things changed when Susan’s parents met Dr. Amnon Gimpel, a Board Certified psychiatrist and neurologist, who has just published a book called Brain Exercises to Cure ADHD. As the title of his book suggests, Gimpel has created methods to treat ADHD at its core and empower parents to help their children overcome ADHD without the negative side effects of medication.
Gimpel teaches new techniques and strategies utilizing targeted mental and physical exercises that have been proven to reduce and even permanently eliminate the symptoms of ADHD in children, teenagers and adults. Through his counseling and seminars, and now with the publication of his new book, Gimpel gives parents the skills to coach their ADHD child to enhance memory, concentration and decision making, and to control hyperactivity and impulsivity.
In Susan’s case, it became apparent that she loved to jump rope. Applying Gimpel’s methodologies, it was suggested that Susan use this passion as an exercise to develop new brain cells, ultimately leading to significantly improved concentration and decreased hyperactivity.
With each new rope-jumping trick Susan learned and each new technique she mastered, her brain was forced to create new pathways to accomplish these challenging tasks. Simultaneously, her behavior improved immensely and she finished the school year at the top of her class, without any medication.
ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in school-aged children with over four million under-18s in the United States currently suffering.
To treat the condition, more than two million prescriptions for Ritalin–methylphenidate–are written each year, despite the myriad number of problems associated with the drug.
“The difficulty with this particular disorder is that, despite being recognized more easily by professionals in recent years, most physicians and therapists do not have a long-term solution to ADHD,” said Gimpel.
“Furthermore, medications, such as Ritalin, cannot solve the problems associated with ADHD alone, nor does it result in any permanent changes in the brain. As soon as Ritalin use is stopped, the symptoms of ADHD return.”
In his ground breaking book, Gimpel details mental and physical exercises to stimulate brain growth in precisely the areas where the ADHD brain is developmentally delayed, treating the cause of ADHD at its core. Through Brain Exercise Therapy, Collaborative Problem-Solving and other strategies, parents can take charge and correct the problem without interfering with the child’s personality, creativity or talents. Parents who are resistant, resentful or simply uncomfortable with continuously medicating their children can now find permanent solutions through mental and physical exercises that stimulate permanent brain growth and development for a calmer, more focused person, thereby diminishing or eliminating ADHD symptoms as well as the use of Ritalin and other ADHD medications.
“Gimpel has had extensive experience treating patients with ADHD and argues forcefully that parents can do more than just medicate their children.” said Dr. Isaiah Wexler, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Head of Pediatric Endocrinology at the Hebrew University School of Medicine. “He provides parents with a variety of behavioral techniques, including brain exercise therapy, that are designed to empower both the child and parent, allowing them to control ADHD rather than vice versa. This is a ‘must read’ book for families coping with ADHD and health professionals treating this complex and challenging disorder.”