Chris Kaman Reveals Childhood Misdiagnosis on ESPNs "Outside the Lines"
The Clippers center attributes improved play to Neurofeedback technology
On Sunday, January 13th Clippers' center Chris Kaman revealed on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that as a child he was misdiagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Kaman, who is in the midst of an All-Star caliber season, is averaging a career-high 17.9 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. He attributes his improvements on the court to his ability to focus, thanks to the use of Neurofeedback technology with the company Hope139 (www.hope139.com).
Kaman learned from Dr. Tim Royer that he does not have ADHD, but rather what Royer calls "an anxious brain." Kaman's brain was working too fast, not too slow as implied by his previous ADHD diagnosis.
The Clippers center has been working with Royer and Neurofeedback technology since last July. The technology requires Kaman to sit in front a computer screen that monitors his brain waves. This exercise helps him learn how to regulate his brain waves so that he can focus, which he attributes to the career season he's having.
Clippers.com sat down with Kaman for an exclusive one-on-one interview on Wednesday, January 16th.
Kaman chatted online with fans about his experience with Neurofeedback technology, the 2007-08 season and more on Clippers.com on Tuesday, January 22nd.
Clippers.com: How did you got involved with Dr. Royer and Hope139?
Chris Kaman: My cousin goes to the same school that I went to. They have a program at her school that works with kids who struggle with paying attention, concentration, etc. She started using the Neurofeedback technology for a while, then her grades started to improve and her whole demeanor started to change in a positive way.
My uncle, who I really admire and I trust his opinion, gave me Dr. Royers number. We met, and I didnt really get it at first, but once I figured out how it worked, I liked it and wanted to try it.
Clippers.com: I heard that you were skeptical at first. Why?
CK: They (Dr. Royer) tried to explain it to me, and usually I understand things right away, especially when it comes to electronics and technology. It was just weird - putting something on your head to see whats going on in your brain it just didnt make much sense to me. I was real skeptical about whether or not it was going to work or if it would work for some people and not others. But then I found out that everybody could do it.
Clippers.com: What were your thoughts when you first discovered you were misdiagnosed?
CK: I was frustrated. My whole life Ive struggled getting through school, I was taking all of these pills, I wasnt getting good grades, I couldnt pay attention when I was supposed to, I got yelled at a lot, and I got into a lot of trouble. So I was frustrated; I went through a lot.
Now thinking back, Im in a position now where Im able to help people who were like me when I was younger. I wouldnt change the past because of where Im at now Im really blessed.
Clippers.com: How did your family and friends react?
CK: They didnt believe that I wasnt ADHD because growing up I was always so wild and getting in trouble. They were frustrated with me my whole life. Right away they just coulnt believe it. My mom didnt know what to think, and my dads still a little skeptical.
Clippers.com: What has been the most noticeable difference in your behavior both on and off the court?
CK: Concentration, and Ive taken a lot of the impulse stuff away. Im a very impulsive person and by concentrating more, it allows me to think through things a lot better. I can see if the end result is going to be good or bad, so now half the time I wont do it where normally I would just jump right into something and not think twice about it.
Clippers.com: You said in an interview that youve put your own resources into the company. What made you decide to do that?
CK: Initially they (Hope139) wanted to see if they could help me. Once I started doing (the Neurofeedback technology) for a few months, it changed my life, the way I act and the way that I think, and its helped my game so much. I have a platform being in the NBA and the resources that Im able to help out and get the word out.
Were working with schools all over the country to get kids into the program. We can help them with test scores, IQ scores and grade point averages. Its benefited a lot of kids, so I thought I needed to get involved.
Clippers.com: What kind of feedback have you received since the story aired on Outside the Lines?
CK: My guys got a lot of emails from all over the world I guess, but I only talked to them once since the show aired. But I hear theyre getting e-mails from all over the world saying that this could help their son or their daughter.
Clippers.com: Can you recall any specific instances in your past where, had you been using Neurofeedback technology, the outcome of the situation would have been different?
CK: Thats why I said I wouldnt want to change it (the past). What Ive been through the good times and the bad made me who I am and put me where Im at today. I dont want to look back and try and change things, but Im sure it would have been different for me growing up. It would have made my schoolwork and classes a lot easier for me and I probably wouldnt have gotten into as much trouble. Im satisfied with where Im at, and I dont want to change anything.
Clippers.com: Before Neurofeedback technology, were there certain game situations where you felt more focused, like for instance at the free-throw line?
CK: Ive been an okay free-throw shooter my whole life... I still struggle a little bit. I dont know. I think a lot of it (the improvement) has been defensively for me this year - Ive been a lot better at rebounding and blocking shots. And Eltons not out there, so that makes a difference when Im rebounding.
Clippers.com: You mentioned on the Outside the Lines interview that you had no self control when it came to spending money. What kind of purchases did you used to make before you started using the Neurofeedback technology?
CK: I have four houses now, I had five. I just sold one. I had purchased more than 12 or 13 different cars, I got a $2 million boat just a lot of stupid things that I call BDs Bad Decisions. Im looking to try and change all of that.
Clippers.com: Your name has been mentioned as an early candidate for both All-Star selection and Most Improved Player. How do you feel about that?
CK: I think all thats great talk, but I dont know if that will happen. This season I definitely improved a lot more than I thought I would. I wasnt sure what was going to happen this year honestly, with Elton being out and the struggle I had last year. I just wasnt sure.
Clippers.com: Do you think youre game will change at all once Elton returns to the lineup?
CK: My numbers will probably change, but my game wont. Ill get fewer shots, hell be taking some of the rebounds and my minutes will probably decrease a little bit against teams like Phoenix that have a small lineup. Other than that, Ill still play the same way and put the same energy and focus that I give now.
Clippers.com: I know youre a huge Guitar Hero fan; has this helped your ability to play?
CK: I dont know, maybe! Im just good. Im usually good at video games either way. Once I get something new I just stick to it until I get it figured it out and try and master it as best as I can.
Clippers.com: Have you mastered it yet?
CK: Im good, Ive definitely beat a few levels but its just getting real hard. Im at a new level and its going real fast for me right now, but its coming. I dont play it as much as I used to, Im kind of bored of it now.
Want to know more about Kaman's experience? Kaman chatted online with fans about his experience with Neurofeedback technology, the 2007-08 season and more on Clippers.com on Tuesday, January 22nd.
Read Local Clips:
- Kaman recalls frustrations of childhood - by Jonathan Abrams, L.A. Times
- Kamans reflection - by Art Thompson III, O.C. Register
To learn more about Neurofeedback technology, visit Hope139's web site at www.hope139.com.