Xander's new therapist is a disciple of this man, who I've seen on PBS discussing the function of the brain. She wants me to have this "scan" done of Xander's brain: harmless enough until you consider the $6,000.00 fee. His psychiatrist is not in favor of this at all and feels that we can diagnose according to his behaviors alone.
Meanwhile my son continues to flounder through his little life and falls farther and farther behind the other kids.
Does anyone know anything about Dr. Amen and his system?
I'm so fucking lost and exhausted I just can't think anymore ...

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Amen's work is interesting and quite fascinating. He has helped our understanding of the multiple syndromes of ADHD and, to some extent, Asperger's.

But I would go with your doctor's suggestion. The cost of Amen's procedures are prohibitive and it is not covered by insurance. (That should put you on alert.) Your doctor is correct: you will not learn anything that is practically useful in terms of management of the condition. You can get the same type of information from trained clinical observation.
I've read "Healing the Hardware of the Soul" by Dr. Amen. It was really interesting, and showed cool pictures of people with various brain conditions (including OCD, which I have) but that price tag!

Have you exhausted other means of diagnosing and managing your son's symptoms? Your local library might have some of Dr. Amen's books and maybe after reading those you (and his father if that's a factor for you) can decide how to move forward.
Yes. Researched him at one stage. Theoretically fascinating but practically useless for us :-)
PS. I have a professional background in this sort of stuff.
OK. I looked a bit at Dr. G. Amen.
He makes claims that cannot be and are not backed up. He does NOT publish in any peer-reviewed journals. His methods have been commented on by professional organizations, and these organizations quite diplomatically say things like, "The methods are speculative." and "We cannot confirm or recommend these methods as efficacious."
Conclusion. He is a quack, a charlatan, a knowledgeable but unscrupulous opportunist who is using his credentials to WOW the unknowledgeable.
FYI, I'm a researcher who now creates biomedical educational materials. I've written pieces for MDs that discuss brain imaging methods.
I don't think he's entirely a quack. It is more that he is grossly overselling services which help his research but don't provide anything particularly useful to the client, once you remove the hype and hard sell.
I took another look at Amen's clinic information. Yikes! It wasn't that crazy last time I looked. The man is definitely away with the fairies these days. His "advice" for some of the conditions he lists is really WAY off.

The most outrageous example was a chap with a SPECT scan showing left temporo-occipital damage: the sort which would probably affect language comprehension, object naming of things he sees, anger management, and probably a few spatially related tasks, including mathematics. Apart from the anger management problems and the frustration resulting from not understanding spoken language, his personality is likely to be intact. Amen, however, says that the main symptom was that the guy's personality changed and his marriage fell apart. His response to "treatment", with barometric O2 and the likes, was asserted to be so dramatic that it was rated as something which could have saved his marriage if it had occured earlier. BULLSHIT! Did the next scan show that this section of the brain had grown back? If so, then he has made medical history.

Another outrageous story was the person with what looked like multiple infarct dementia which Amen diagnosed as being the result of working in the vicinity of toxic chemicals. That is possible, but there are heaps of other more likely possibilities. According to Amen the problems cleared up when the guy changed jobs. Entirely? No residual effects? Pull the other leg. It plays jingle bells.

Then there was the person with a brain dysfunction who apparently got better within days of the SPECT scan. WHAAAAAAAT!!!! Who does he think he's kidding? Oh, right, desperate relatives with no neurological background.

These kinds of "miracles" defy scientific explanation. But then his diagnoses don't appear to be more than weakly associated with the Scan patterns he presents.

I think Amen needs to get his minions to give him a SPECT scan. If they find any residual functioning brain in there it needs to be fed a steady dose of anti-psychotic medication or be removed before it can do any more harm. :-)
Thanks, friends, and Leo I appreciate the legwork because I googled him and he's flooded the internet with his publications and I really don't have the brainpower to sift through it all.
I also feel as if this particular therapist is like some kind of "salesperson" or "franchise" for his services, even though she genuinely believes his stuff.
I'm probably gonna have to find a new therapist, which is just too hard because no one will touch ADHD/bipolar.
Rosemay may be some help in pointing you to folks who know ADHD/bipolar. I gather you're not far from Sacramento and San Francisco. Bound to be some good people in San Fran.
In a quick search I found a doctor Janet Wozniak is one of the nation's leaders in combined ADHD/bipolar disorders in kids. She's at Harvard, but maybe her office can point you to who's who in your area.
Cowpunk's page lists her as living in Wilton, USA. All the Wilton's I google-mapped are on the other side of the known universe :-)
That's supposed to be Wilton CA but I can't figure out how to fix it.
I'm about 15 minutes south of Sacramento and 1-1/2 hr. from San Francisco




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