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Autism no match for neurofeedback

submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net

Richie (not his real name), an eight-year-old autistic youngster from Warminster, was referred for an evaluation by a family friend.

Among his parent’s concerns were sensory processing difficulties, lack of focus, extreme anxiety and emotional instability particularly in times of stress.

Some of Richie’s other issues were poor eye contact, hyperactivity, impulsivity, forgetfulness, poor task completion and restlessness.

He had some stimulus seeking behaviors, rocked frequently and fidgeted with his hands and feet.

Parents describe his distractibility as 100%. He had difficulty managing frustration, and got very anxious well in advance of any upcoming events.

He was a “worrier” and had difficulty letting go of issues. He is described by parents as argumentative and demanding his own way.

Parents wanted to improve his cognitive and behavioral skills.

When Richie first came to the office, he had poor eye contact and sat quietly, and spoke practically in a whisper.

As part of his evaluation, a Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) was administered, which enabled a specific treatment plan.

Shortly after starting treatment, Richie reportedly slept better, had better concentration, appeared happier, and was more awake and alert.

Parents began to report a reduction in stimulus behaviors such as flapping and jumping, and calmer response to upcoming events.

At Christmas, parents reported Richie sat and concentrated enough to put a large Lego set together with minimal supervision. 

In session, Richie is more talkative, has better eye contact and reports he feels calmer.

Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, rewards the more desirable brain waves.

As training progresses, the brain responds by producing more of the desirable brainwaves, resulting in more permanent desirable behaviors and emotional states.

Neurofeedback and counseling therapy together can produce the most desirable results for the individual to continue to progress towards a happier lifestyle.