By James Paicopolos
Psychologist – Lawrence Public Schools
MA License No. 196730
The purpose of this summary is to report the results of a pilot project that was undertaken to demonstrate the effectiveness of treating ADD/HD through the Infinite Potential Program. The pilot project was funded by a grant of $150,000 received from the Rhode Island Legislature for their 2004-2005 budgetary year. All of the funds received, less an administrative fee, were used to purchase capital equipment and materials that provided free treatment to ten children diagnosed with ADD/HD. We are grateful for this grant and believe that the results of this pilot program demonstrate that the confidence, commitment, and generosity of the Rhode Island Legislature were justified.
Dr. Russell Barkley states that many children with ADD or ADHD lag behind their peers developmentally by as much as 30 percent in certain areas, translating into a delay of 4-6 years for teenagers. Resultantly, they may present as irresponsible and immature.Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S. notes that in the classroom setting this manifests itself as the student being less likely to remember their assignments, complete their homework independently, acting or speaking out impulsively before thinking and being variable in the amount of learning they can experience from day to day. They will consequently often result in underperformance.
The treatment of children with Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/HD) has been problematic because methylphenidate (MPH) — the most commonly used drug to treat ADD/HD — has been linked to hand tremors, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, stunting of growth, damage to the cerebellum and tachycardia. Higher doses of methylphenidate, the chief ingredient in Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall and Adderall XR, have been linked with brain atrophy. A warning label has also been placed on another drug, Strattera, that is used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity Disorder is linked to liver damage.
The Infinite Potential Program employs Cortical Integrative Therapy or CIT to treat ADD/HD, which is a dysfunction of the frontal lobe of the brain that interferes with the expression of many important functions. Particularly cognition, executive function, ability to stay on task, focus, concentration, eye movements and conversation are controlled by the frontal lobe. Cortical Integrative Therapy via the Infinite Potential Program utilizes a non-pharmacological, non-invasive treatment program to treat this malady.
GOALS OF THE PILOT PROJECT WERE:
1. To purchase capital equipment and materials necessary to provide treatment for ten (10) children previously diagnosed with ADD/HD,
2. To demonstrate the effectiveness of Cortical Integrative Therapy, as delivered by the Infinite Potential Program, as a primary treatment modality for ADD/HD,
3. To demonstrate the cost effectiveness of the Infinite Potential Program and potential savings to Rhode Island taxpayers by utilizing Cortical Integrative Therapy as a primary care modality for attentional disorders.
Applicants for this pilot program were selected on a “first come, first served” basis following a public service announcement aired by WJAR 10, Rhode Island’s NBC television affiliate inviting applicants to participate in the study.
Ten children were selected who had a prior diagnosis of ADD/HD from their primary health care physicians. They were carefully evaluated using a variety of neurological and functional tests including: T.O.V.A. (Test of Variables of Attention), Conners’ Rating Scale, Video Nystagmography, C.A.P.S. Balance Assessment, a clinical neurological examination and a functional medicine examination.
Upon completion of the above intake evaluations, which determined the functional deficit of each child, participants began a 12-week treatment program designed to remediate their specific dysfunctions.
In simplistic terms, the treatment program stimulates the cerebral cortex — the outer layer of the brain — with a variety of sensory therapies. These modalities may include vestibular, oculomotor, kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and olfactory stimulation. The frequency, duration and intensity of these therapies are UNIQUE to each individual and predicated on the initial evaluation.
The program included educational sessions for family members. Parents were a critical component because changes in home environment – changes in diet and nutrition and enforcement of “homework” — must be made in order to convert short-term goals into long-term, permanent gains. The pilot commenced September 1, 2004 and was completed on May 10, 2005.