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Neurofeedback And Attention Deficit Disorder


Attention Deficit Disorder is actually an aggregate of symptoms that occur as a result of genetic effects as well as trauma to the brain.  It is often difficult to determine what  exactly is the root cause.  What complicates matters even worse is that anxiety or depression can also result in attentional problems.  Consequently, many children who appear to have an attention deficit problem actually have depression or anxiety problems.  Some are improperly medicated as a result of this confusion.  Having a qEEG Quantitative Brain Map done on your child can help to avoid this problem.  Training with neurofeedback can also help reduce the problems related with combinations of these disorders.

Having a child with AD/HD can be overwhelming.  Their behavior can severly disrupt the flow of family interaction and even the stability of the family itself.  To parent a child with AD/HD, you don't just have t be a good parent, you have to be the best parent you can be.  Thats why we train parents in special techniques to win their child's co-operation in creating a secure and supportive family enviroment where they can thrive.   Research shows that no one approach to AD/HD is sufficient to do the entire job.  A biopsycho social apporach appears to works best.  Research also tells us that parent training is critical to obtaining the best result and should be used in conjunction with neurofeeback.

In addition to the above interventions we recommend a review of your childs diet and an investigating to see if they have any food sensitivities or allergies.  Frequently addressing these issues alone can make a significant improvement in your childs behavior.  In our 30 years of combined experience we have found that parents who persue an approach that includes neurofeedback, behavior management training, and diet consistently have the best results.  We also find that the reserach continues to support this strategy.

In most cases, but not all, AD/HD and related attentional problems involve a slowing of brainwave activity in the front part of the brain. when a child attempts to focus on something.  This usually means that the area is underactivated and is using less fuel , such as glucose and oxygen, than it should.  The less exciting the object of focus is, the more slowing occurs in the front of the brain.  This is the region where attention, short term memory and emotional evaluation occurs.  Their ability to function in all these important areas is hampered.  Although we all have some difficulty attending to things that don't excite us, these children have a problem of a much higher order.  Some of them will fall asleep in 90 seconds if forced to attend to a boring stimulus.  The agitation they experience when forced to attend to a low value stimulus, such as homework, is physically painful for them.  When they do pay attention ,it is like trying to watch a mystery where someone keeps changing the channel back and forth.

Adults and children with this problem are constantly getting into trouble because they don't absorb important information and frequently make errors, like forgetting important assignments or requests.  It is difficult for them to observe and understand how and where their problem is coming form.  They often feel as though everyone is out to get them or that they are always getting unfairly picked on.  They often become hypervigilent, angry and defensive.   Knowing these things about them can help a spouse or parent understand their situation better and treat them with more patience.

When we train individuals with ADHD using neurofeedback, we place a sensor on the scalp over the area of the brain that has too much slow brainwave (theta brainwaves) acitivity.  By getting feedback in the form of a game, the individual can be trained to increase activity in that region and improve their attentional skill and performance.  It is a form of mental exercise that strengthens the brain's ability to attend.  Individuals learn to use areas of their brain that they had difficulty using before.  Once learned, like riding a bike, this ability remains permanently.  Research shows that permanent changes in the brain 's structure take place.