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Multimodal Behavior Program for ADHD Incorporating Yoga and Implemented by High School Volunteers: A Pilot Study

DOI: 10.5402/2011/780745

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A low-cost resource approach to ADHD therapy would be a practical approach to treating children in developing countries. Research has shown that ADHD is prevalent in all areas of the world, and yet treatment for children in more impoverished countries is still lacking. The approach taken was to combine yoga and meditation combined with multimodal behavioral therapy program for children ageing 6 to 11. The program was kept low cost by using trained high school volunteers and integrating the program within the public school. After 6 weeks of the program, 90.5% of children showed improvement as measured by their performance impairment score, a measurement of academic performance. Parent and Teacher evaluations of behavior also found improvement as 25 of the 64 children (39.1%) improved into the normal range as measured by the Vanderbilt questionnaire. Moreover, children could successfully learn both yoga and meditation from high school students irrespective of their age, ADHD type, or initial performance impairment. The results demonstrate efficacy of a multimodal behavioral program incorporating yoga and meditation. The use of high school volunteers from schools in the area demonstrates an effective low-cost and universally applicable approach. 1. Introduction Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that affects 5.3% to 20% of the children worldwide [1]. US studies have shown a prevalence of 8.7% in 8–15 years old (Froehlich et al. 2007) [2]. Specifically in India, studies in hospital or outpatient clinics, with referral bias, suggest prevalence of 5.2% to 29.5% [3–6]. The condition generally leads to poor academic performance and problems with behavior at home and school. Children with this disorder often have other problems such as anxiety, depression, and learning disabilities. As they reach adolescence, these children are also at greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse and other issues such as increased rate of motor vehicle accidents. Children with ADHD also suffer from higher levels of temper-tantrums, tics, and problems with family and peer relationships. If the condition remains untreated, it can continue into adulthood and prevent the person from achieving their maximum potential [7]. With proper medical attention and care, children can generally learn to cope with their disorder. Both medication and behavioral therapy may help. Current treatment involves a multimodal approach that includes medicine along with behavioral therapy. Drugs, which usually consist of stimulants such as methylphenidate and

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