ADHD? Brain Injury? Can You Tell?
I got riled up this morning over yet another article in today’s newspaper about football leading to brain injury. Even if there’s no concussion or traumatic brain injury, repetitive hits to the brain take their toll, especially without concussion protection. So let’s have a frank discussion about ADHD brain injury.
Why the heck are people so casual about protecting their brains? Especially their kids’ brains? Is school soccer, football or any other game where the brain takes frequent hits that important? Add into the mix ADHD with a brain injury, and you have a host of challenges.
Why is a coach talking about ADHD Brain Injury?
While I do coach clients who have ADHD brain injury, not all the clients I coach have an ADHD diagnosis. Some are scattered entrepreneurs needing better focus so they can make more money. Others, and the most challenging clients I’ve had, are adults who can’t focus and follow-through because of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
You see, brains are soft; picture jiggly jello. The inside of the skull is strong and ridgy. You’ve got this soft brain rattling around in a rough, tough skull. Seems like a design flaw to me but it’s what we’ve got to work with, hence my cry for ADHD brain injury awareness and concussion protection.
In his books, Dr. Daniel Amen reveals how brain injuries show up on SPECT scans years after they happened, causing lifelong emotional and brain functioning challenges.
A serious TBI can totally screw up an otherwise good life, with symptoms often mirroring ADHD. The memory is shot and thoughts process slowly. Mental flexibility is gone. ADHD brains may be all over the map, but at least they’re flexible and can learn and adjust.
ADHD-like symptoms resulting from a traumatic brain injury however, are not so fixable. If a brain injury is bad enough, the person is stuck. Relationships, life, and employment are out-of-the-park difficult. Coaching can help ADHD brain injury some, but progress is slow.
Do me a favor will you? Don’t take wild risks with your brain. Get proper concussion protection, or better yet, avoid ADHD brain injury altogether! Living with ADHD is enough of a challenge without adding a brain injury to the mix. Life doesn’t have to be so hard.
The Last Word in ADHD Success…
My daughter’s soccer coach didn’t like me very much. You see, I was the mom who wouldn’t let my girl head the ball. Frankly, when Coach Will lead drills in heading the ball, I’d start ranting about brain scans and prefrontal cortex functioning and make Aja sit out.
Coach Will thought I was a micromanaging, crazy woman. “I’ve been heading the ball my whole life and it’s never hurt me,” he’d say slowly with a glazed look in his eye. Yeah. Right.
I’m not suggesting you sit on life’s sidelines. I think Dr. Amen is a bit extreme when he says pingpong is the only safe sport to play. But consider the long-term impact of brain trauma on your child’s life. Is heading the soccer ball to win a game really that important? How about repeatedly rattling injuring the brain in football practice?
Broken bones heal; ADHD brain injury not so easily.