Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ernest Dempsey Chats with Kerin Bellak-Adams about ADHD Therapy for Children

Category: Issue 18

Kerin Bellak-Adams is accredited through ICF with an ACC certification and has years of experience as a highly respected coach, speaker, and expert on AD/HD. She has taught elementary school children with ADD and is the daughter of world-renowned psychiatrist Dr. Leopold Bellak, a 1960s pioneer in ADD.. She is often compared to her father for being equally passionate and ambitious in helping others with AD/HD challenges. Bellak-Adams’ overall goal is for people not only to gain a basket of concepts and strategies, but also to become independent as they absorb her passion, persistence, and patience.  In her latest book, AD/HD SUCCESS! Solutions for Boosting Self-Esteem/The Diary Method for Ages 7-17 (ISBN: 9781615990245, Loving Healing Press, 2010), Kerin Bellak-Adams book provides solutions and exercises for children with AD/HD to attain the self-esteem that leads to success. Here is my short e-conversation with Kerin Bellak-Adams.

Ernest: Kerin, what kind of children are most likely to get ADHD?

Kerin: Many boys are prone to getting ADD or ADHD, statistically more than girls. Genetics plays a large role. Childhood traumas such as parents getting divorce can create symptoms that mirror ADHD but in reality they do not have ADHD.

Ernest: What are the known causes of ADHD?

Kerin: Genetics, and sometimes head injury during the birthing process can contribute to ADD or ADHD.

Ernest: What are the main problems associated with ADHD?

Kerin: Lack of focus, impulsivity, hyper activity, lack of organization, low self-esteem, self-centeredness, poor concept of time and its management, sometimes learning issues which include auditory processing disorder.

Ernest: And what are some of the symptoms and signs of ADHD affected children?

Kerin: Easy distractibility, disinterest in anything that is not immediately of interest, daydreaming, fidgeting, interrupting conversations, daydreaming, depression, anger, getting into trouble, etc.

Ernest: In your book, you suggest a Diary Method for treating ADHD. Please tell a little about it.

Kerin: By answering the prompts and inquisitive questions on a daily basis, kids can begin to focus on areas that they need to pay attention to, while also feeling good about the accomplishments that that are achieved once they acknowledge what they have achieved each day in and out of school that they think of and check off on the diary pages. They also log their feelings on certain pages that reflect just how good or not so good they feel each day about themselves. This promotes self-awareness.

Ernest: How long does it usually take this method to bring about significant improvement in an ADHD child?

Kerin: This is an individual thing. It will vary. Hopefully after a few weeks. It really depends on how often the diary pages are worked on. It can all be reinforced if schools use these diary pages in classrooms.

Ernest: And is this method somehow more effective than other kinds of therapies/treatments?

Kerin: There is no other diary type method, and it is very hand-on and interactive which separates it from therapies.

Ernest: In your practice, what are some of the helpful tips that each parent of an ADHD child should follow?

Kerin: Pick your battles, take a gratitude attitude towards any efforts that are demonstrated by their son/daughter, make sure to show appreciating for efforts and any growth no matter how small. Be patient and lower your expectations so that they can feel happier and more easily satisfied, and understand that as slow as growth can be, that is how fast growth can take place when a parent least expects it.

Ernest: Do you treat ADHD patients of any age?

Kerin: Yes adults and children.

Ernest: How can interested readers and parents of ADHD kids reach you for help?

Kerin: They can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 201-248-2707. I offer coaching to parents and families by email, phone, and skype.

Ernest: Many thanks Kerin for sharing your knowledge!

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