SpecialNeeds.com is pleased to have this Q&A session with Dr. Kevin Ross Emery, a Certified Catalyst and author of books about ADD/HD. Read further for Dr. Emery’s discussion of his practice and revolutionary ideas about ADD/HD.
Q: You studied both Eastern and Western philosophies–what examples can you give of each, and how do you integrate both disciplines in your work?
A: From the Eastern philosophies, I use the approach of prevention, incorporating techniques such as meditation, visualizations, and grounding exercises. From the Western philosophy, I advocate for action-consequence based parenting, critical thinking based education models, and combining learning and education styles.
Q: You introduce the idea that ADD/HD is a step in the evolutionary process–can you explain your theory and how you came to this conclusion? What scientific reasoning do you have to back it up?
A: Myself and many other experts have discussed that the architects of the 20th century, if assessed by today’s standards, would fall into the ADD/HD category. Clearly we are seeing this is an expanding group who has touched every area of humanity in the 20th century and into the 21st century.
My hypothesis came out over a dozen years ago based on my observations and personal experiences with my clients. There is emerging scientific evidence that supports my hypothesis, but I am not a scientist so we will have to let them speak for themselves.
For a further exploration of this concept, please refer to my book: Managing the Gift of Your ADD/HD Child.
Q: What is a Synergetic Catalyst? How does one get trained in this field?
A: I created this method using techniques from over the last 30 years in the business and personal industries taking aspects of counseling, coaching, empowerment and self-awareness work and combining it with aspects of Eastern and Western philosophies.
Q: Are your services covered under insurance? How can parents finance this treatment?
A: No, my services are not covered in this country under insurance though I have been covered in other countries such as Switzerland, Great Britain, and France.
Q: How do you feel about giving individuals with ADD/HD medication? What are the pros and cons?
A: I freely admit ADD/HD medications have shown in studies to help children memorize. However, given the extensive side effects, I feel the medications overall effectiveness in learning or understanding the information in any meaningful way need to be fully examined. I do want to make clear, as always, I am not a medical doctor and am not in a position to be able to tell people to go off or on medication. I also recognize the benefits in other areas of children and adults live through the use of pharmaceuticals and I am not anti-medication on a large scale.
However if this is truly an evolutionary process, which is being turned into bad behavior through factors such as poor diet, educational and parental skill issues and a lack of understanding, then why would a drug be appropriate?
Q: What advice can you give to parents of children with ADD/HD or adults with ADD/HD? One mother asks: My son is 10 yrs old and still very impulsive will the impulsiveness get better with age?
A: In both my books on the subject, I make recommendations from diet and action-consequence style parenting to how to support and guide and how to present information.
The impulsivity will get better with age as long as the right diet is in place, the right tools are being used, and the right skill sets are being developed.
If your child is eating things that are triggering him, it will keep him in a highly impulsive state. As his cognitive abilities get better through the use and development of critical thinking skills, impulsivity can be improved.
Q: What are you doing to shift the negative stigma of ADD/HD to a more positive way of thinking? What can parents, caregivers, individuals with special needs, therapists, teachers, and the general public be doing to promote this positive approach?
A: I have spoken throughout the U.S. and Europe and have taken every opportunity on T.V. and radio to challenging the stigma. I have been silenced by people who benefit from the medication loop. I always look forward to an opportunity to speak on this subject in a positive light. In the near future, I am coming out with a 3-DVD set on the subject. I continue to be outspoken about my views and to create services and products for those groups to support them.
To those whose lives have been impacted by ADD/HD, I strongly urge you to be willing to challenge the status quo and to understand your child (or you) may be truly gifted, but that those gifts may be compromised.
If you feel my message on ADD/HD is correct, then these are the things you can do: spread the word, “like” my fan page to increase and strengthen the community, read my blog, pass out my books to people you know, particularly anyone who you feel would benefit from this perspective.
Also, I am available to do in-services in schools and to speak to parent groups. I will be offering monthly group teleseminars so people can ask their questions directly to me which helps to make this information affordable and available.
The more steam my message gets and is heard, the more it is questioned, the more support those in the ADD/HD community get.
Photo by jhritz