There’s an interesting article about a boy using an alternative to prescription drugs to deal with ADD. Most of the article has to do with his struggles to find a solution. There are quite a few statstics thrown around pretty carelessly, that I would love to see some sources on.. They claim that there “every year, about 17 million US children are diagnosed with some form of ADD.”

The article does have a few valid points though. It points out that there are many children who are misdiagnosed with ADD far too quickly. I can attest to this because I’ve seen it happen on multiple occasions. I remember a child in Iowa that had some behavioral issues. The parent sent in a survey for the teacher to fill out concerning certain behaviors that may or may not be indicative of ADD. The teacher didn’t even read the survey, simply ran down the “Strongly agree” column and checked every line. The next day the child was on Ritalin. That simply disgusts me. Ritalin is a stimulant that has been shown to help people who have a specific medical condition. However, I can only imagine what sorts of detrimental effects it could have on students who don’t need it.

“Ritalin is a form of speed, a stimulant in the same class as cocaine,” Lawlis said. “We’re seeing kids commonly being given these drugs at the age of 3. There’s a report from the American Medical Association citing 5,000 cases of parents giving it to 1-year-olds. This week, there was a prerelease of research on Ritalin that showed 20 out of 20 cases had chromosome damage.”

Lawlis is Frank Lawlis, the author of “The ADD Answer” and Dr. Phil’s primary contributing psychologist. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really do much for me in terms of considering him as an expert in the field. However, I do agree with some of his points. I can’t even fathom how you could diagnose a child three or under with ADD. Perhaps you could figure it out with an EEG, but with so much development still occuring providing them with a stimulant like Ritalin can’t possibly be beneficial to their growth.

The headphones piece was mentioned at the end of the article. Along with diet modification, Lawlis reccomended that they boy use a Bio Accoustical Utilization Device (BAUD).

Through headphones, the instrument emits sonic waves that stimulate brain frequencies, accomplishing the same objective as commonly prescribed medicines, Lawlis said. Austin takes the device with him to school.

“We know what frequencies would stimulate Austin’s brain because we’ve checked this out on an EEG (electroencephalogram),” Lawlis said. “You can begin to see effects in about 10 minutes. By stimulating the brain, you increase your ability to focus and you also get a heightened feeling of well-being. You can think of it almost as music can affect a person in the same way. This is just a tool. It’s not intended to be a panacea, but it’s been shown to work pretty well.”

Sounds interesting. I found the BAUD website and it looks like it’s Lawlis’ baby. His book is on the page and interestingly enough, the address is listed at Lawlis Lane. Coincidence? I’d love to read about some actual case studies of people who use it or some other psychologists who have experience with it. I can almost get behind the idea of it, but it sounds a little too much like science fiction to me. I’m just not sure that sound waves could really have a direct impact on brain activity in specific lobes. For some reason or another, it just feels like another fad remedy for a very real problem.