Oppositionality easily calmed with neurofeedback

submitted by Maria Di Donato DEd, BCN, PA Licensed Psychologist, PA/NJ Certified School Psychologist

Joseph (not his real name) a seven-year-old from Levittown, displayed impulsive, non-compliant and oppositional behaviors that were a frustration to his parents and teachers. Mother was not happy with the results of trials of medication especially at his young age.

Behaviors reported include a short attention span, being easily distracted, getting bored easily, difficulty completing tasks, failing to see consequences of behaviors, frequently interrupting others. She reports that Joseph is always on the go, moves excessively, appears driven, talks excessively, and is very excitable.  Mother also reports that he defies rules, refuses adult requests, must have his own way.

Mother also reports Joseph is socially awkward. By history, Joseph’s birth was difficult, and he was delayed in all early milestones, he has difficulty interacting with other children.

Mother’s main concern was for ADHD. At intake, Joseph was very attentive to the therapist and had difficulty staying in his seat.

By the end of the session, with neurofeedback, Joseph appeared calmer with less movement and requiring less redirection.   Parental reports after the first session indicated that Nicholas was excited to learn and was proud of his achievement in session.

Mother also reported that he slept better, was calmer and more relaxed, less hyper, had better concentration, appeared more awake and alert, and felt physically better. Joseph now comes to the sessions smiling and cheerful; he sits calmly next to his mother before being called into session.

During the sessions, Joseph enjoys talking to the therapist and doing neurofeedback. He is happier and more cooperative with the treatment.

His pediatrician is very happy with the results. As the training lasts longer and longer the intervals between treatment can be increased resulting in more permanent improvement.

Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, is noninvasive and rewards the waves that are consistent with more positive behaviors. The brain learns the new waves which result in more positive behaviors over time. 

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