by Bill Handel
In the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, doctors thought a possible cause of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or “hyperactivity” as it was called then, was exposure to lead and other environmental toxins, possibly fetal alcohol syndrome, or even fetal exposure to drugs. Although in some cases this may have been a correct assumption, for the majority none of these possible causes was a factor. There were many theories as to the cause and/or causes of ADD, but researchers really had no idea. Even today, modern medicine has no real clue as to what causes ADD.
Attention Deficit Disorder is generally described as an inability to hold focused coherent thought for more than a few seconds to a minute or two. It is usually associated with difficulty learning, reading, and memorizing, and may be accompanied by acting out, poor socialization, feelings of inferiority, and a lack of emotional control.
There are many good ideas being investigated right now, and quite a few research studies being conducted by major medical institutions, pharmaceutical companies, universities, hospitals and independent researchers. But no one has nailed down the real cause…yet!
Types of ADD
According to Michael and Lynda Thompson, and pediatrician William Sears, who co-wrote “The ADD Book,” there are three main categories of children diagnosed with ADD, with some smaller variants.
1) Free Spirit ADD. These kids DO NOT HAVE ADD!
These are bright, creative, and energetic kids who think, act, and learn differently. They are exhausting for parents, challenging for teachers, and inconvenient for society. They do not do well in a school environment that rewards sameness and undervalues difference. They are not tolerated well by authoritarians, and they may need a different style of teaching and or parenting. They definitely need a different style of learning, and certainly don’t need a label. These bright wonderful children may be geniuses; don’t stifle their potential with drugs and oppressive learning therapies.
2) Situational ADD
These kids have some type of problem in their environment; either at school, at home, after school, at a relative’s house, or somewhere else. The problem causes them to act out and creates ADD-like symptoms that are very real. They have ADD to be sure, but it is caused by something external; something is bothering them or hurting them or worse. Something could also be happening to a family member or a friend; it doesn’t always have to be happening to them. Children are very empathetic.
3a) Neurobiological ADD—Excess Theta Brainwave Production
This type of ADD is also believed to be the most common, where the child (or adult) has an overabundance of Theta waves in the left hemisphere of their brain—the logical half most involved in the traditional learning process. If theta brainwaves are prominent when a person is sleeping, he or she is dreaming. If the person has a prominence of Theta waves when they are conscious, they are daydreaming, and although this happens to everyone occasionally, it generally only lasts from a few seconds to a minute or so. Imagine if you were that way all of the time…you can see how that would be a problem, especially in a classroom trying to learn.
The chart above lists the approximate brainwave frequency range for various physical activities, and shows a graphic representation of what the various brainwaves look like on an EEG readout. You can see an obvious difference between the high frequency Beta brainwaves at the top of the chart and the much slower Theta brainwaves, which are below the Alpha relaxation range and three to six times slower than that required for traditional learning.
Even though a child (or adult) with ADD may be conscious, awake, speaking and socializing, Theta brainwaves are still much slower than what is needed to concentrate on specific subjects for more than a few minutes, and to properly store and retrieve memories. These people can be forever locked in a daydream state that constantly interferes with the traditional learning process.
Every brain is an advanced bio-computer that uses electricity and neurotransmitter chemicals to communicate internally. If the electrical charge represented by the overall brainwave frequency is not high enough, the neurotransmitter chemicals won’t be able to jump the gap between brain cells (or not enough of the neurotransmitters will make the jump), resulting in no signal or a weak signal that confuses nearby brain cells. For a brain to operate properly it must have the right balance of neurotransmitters and electrical charge; if that is off even by a little bit the brain does not work properly. It really is that simple!
3b) Neurobiological ADD—Alpha Brainwave Deficiency
There is another type of ADD, which is less common, but it should be mentioned in order to have a complete understanding of the ADD syndrome.
This particular type of ADD is called “Alpha Brainwave Deficiency,” caused by stress or anxiety that prevents the brain from producing enough Alpha relaxation brainwaves. Therefore, even when the individual rests, the mind and body are not resting, which in turn leads to brain fatigue, which leads to more anxiety, which leads to less alpha production…resulting in a never-ending spiral.
In order to combat this problem, we recommend using binaural relaxation CDs approximately one to three times a day to promote relaxation and greater Alpha brainwave production. If the CDs prove beneficial they can be used as necessary until anxiety is reduced, and then every few days as a refresher to focus on relaxation and maintain Alpha brainwave production.
Individuals who find that CDs don’t work, or find the relaxation effect only lasts a short while after listening, may need additional help. Some great additions are yoga, stretching, meditating, massage, music, herbal teas, walking, deep breathing, acupressure and even acupuncture.
ADD is similar to a computer with a weak power supply; you can turn it on and boot it up but some components don’t always work as they should. And there are always intermittent problems. Over time a weak power supply can erode an entire system and cause the dreaded “blue screen of death,” requiring the replacement of major components.
Although humans don’t have power supplies or replaceable components, and we hopefully won’t have the “blue screen of death” for quite a few years to come, you get the idea. The best and safest way to make a major change in brainwaves, without affecting the delicate balance of neurotransmitters within the brain, is by using binaural beat CDs.
My Personal Journey with ADD
As a parent, receiving the diagnosis that your child has ADD is a bittersweet message. You are heartbroken for your child, but at the same time you probably suspected that something was wrong for a while. It can be a relief finally knowing why there are problems with school, homework, grades, behavior, etc.
Our search for an ADD alternative began when one of our children and the children of several friends were diagnosed with ADD within a short time of each other. There was no doubting the kids’ educational difficulties as we battled through the homework process, and the lack of responsibility regarding everything every day. As a parent who is also a martial arts instructor, I resolved to find anything and everything that would help my kids and my students naturally and without medication.
I was encouraged by the fact that binaural beat tapes and CDs had been used successfully over the past 50 years, and the fact that millions of people had good experiences with them. The first success of the Anti-ADD System was with my own ADD child, who had quite an interesting variety of problems in high school. But use of concentration CDs, supplements and changes in diet eventually led to a graduation with honors. The next successes were with some of my martial arts students with ADD, whose parents I convinced to try these “cool new concentration CDs.” The overwhelmingly positive response from parents and teachers, along with the success of the students themselves, encouraged me to put together the Anti-ADD System so that others could benefit too.
By combining the power of binaural beat CDs with information on natural anti-ADD supplements and nutritional support, we have given children and their parents a tool they can use to achieve greater results than they could have on their own. Binaural CDs are not toys, a gimmick, or pop culture fad. They are a safe, powerful and non-invasive tool that changes the way the mind and brain operate. If they did not work so well, and provide such great results, they would have died out years ago.
Bill Handel is founder of the Binaural Education Company, which offers the “Anti-ADD System” combining binaural beat CDs with dietary and lifestyle changes to make a powerful new program that helps children suspend the symptoms of ADD so they can concentrate and learn. For more information visit www.binauraleducation.com.