submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net
Dennis (not his real name), a middle school student from Buckingham with Autism had difficulty with severe anxiety, fear of being alone, social skills and vocal tics.
Parents had pursued other remedies including counseling and medication, none of which have helped with remediation.
According to Dennis, the medications made things worse.
His difficulties included being unable to have overnight scouting events or enjoy friends with sleepovers.
Social interactions and not reading social cues were an issue.
Parents and Dennis were frustrated with his not being able to make progress because other therapies had limited success, and were seeking a modality to help with a smoother transition to high school.
On his first visit, Dennis was very talkative but some of his interpretations differed somewhat from his parents. He was cooperative and willing to begin treatment.
After his first treatment, he reported that he had more energy, better concentration, felt more awake and alert.
A quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG) was administered in order to help with developing a more comprehensive treatment plan.
Those results identified specific areas of difficulty with brain wave amplitude as well as disconnects between those brain areas affecting his behaviors.
During treatment, Dennis was able to make progress and improve his sleep issues, fears and tic behaviors.
He now appears happier, is less anxious and has fewer racing thoughts.
He reports improving social skills but due to the school closings, measurable changes are difficult to assess.
He has learned to practice calming strategies that help with stress and falling asleep at night.
Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, is a noninvasive treatment that rewards the brain for producing the desirable brain waves which results in positive changes in emotions and behaviors.
Over time these new behaviors generalize and become permanent.
With the proper diagnostic procedures, the treatment can be individualized for maximum long-standing benefits.