Neurofeedback is an intervention used in ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders
aimed at training individuals to better regulate the biological functioning of their
brains, leading to reduction in symptoms and functional improvement.

Multiple Brain Areas Affected

Research has shown that symptoms of ASD are the result of brain dysfunction
within multiple areas in the brain. These findings have been documented with
neuroimaging and electroencephalography (EEG) testing in individuals suffering
from ASD.  Results have shown neurologic problems to be related to abnormal
neural connectivity problems, displaying both excessively high connectivity as well
as deficiency in connectivity. Some areas of the brain are in “hyper-communication
mode,” while other areas fail to communicate normally.


Connectivity Guided Therapy (QEEG)

Neurofeedback is essentially brain exercise. Through the use of sensors, applied
externally over various regions about the scalp, brain activity can be measured.
This is also known as Connectivity Guided Therapy or Quantitative
Electroencephalography (QEEG).

With QEEG, a computer processes brain waves and the clinician is able to
interpret which areas of the brain are either over or under – stimulated, in turn
tailoring neurofeedback exercises accordingly for each individual. The patient
learns to enhance desirable EEG frequencies and to suppress undesirable
frequencies at selected locations in the brain. Adjustments in therapy are made as
progress is attained and the brain begins to be able to self-regulate. Self
regulation is necessary for optimal brain function, emotional control and
physiologic stability.

A typical course of EEG biofeedback therapy involves 20 half hour sessions,
administered over a six to twelve week period of time. Neurofeedback and QEEG
are well-established, non-pharmacologic and non-invasive therapeutic modalities
for ASD with documented effectiveness and minimal adverse effects. Results of
Neurofeedback are maintained over time and do not reverse after treatment is
withdrawn.  (taken from
Autism Treatment Center)

Caroline's Experience

Caroline visited Neurohealth Associates in Lombard, IL.  The results from the EEG
are below.  She followed up with about 10 treatments and her sleep and OCD
became worse.  We decided to discontinue Neurofeedback.  Other families have
reported great success and we don't discourage giving it a try!
Shortly after this photo, the enchantment with the
yellow shower cap ended.  While they filled the
sensors with gel and attached the ear clips, the smile
turned to tears and she wanted to be done.  However,
we stuck it out and she ended up doing great.
Neurofeedback for ADHD and
ASD: Retraining the Brain - a good
explanation of how Neurofeedback
works and what happens in a
typical session
Too Much Theta

People with ADD/ADHD [inattentive
ADD/ADHD, as opposed to other types
of ADD such as overfocused] exhibit
too little Beta (thinking) activity and too
much Theta(dreaming) activity. This is
the classic inattention for ADD.

With ADHD, hyperactivity keeps people
from falling asleep.  In essence, the
person is combatting the high Theta
activity and keeping themselves
aroused (by increasing their Beta
activity).
Theta & Beta Explained
Theta/Beta Ratio

Too much theta compared to beta, can
cause attention problems and
hyperactivity.

It seems counterintuitive that too much
slow wave can cause a child to be
hyperactive, but because the brain is
operating too slowly and not getting
enough stimuli, the child seeks
external stimulation to reward his brain.
Too Much Beta

Beta Brainwaves kick in when we think
logically, solve problems, and confront
external stimuli. Beta often races and
brings panic at times. Used too often,
you run the risk of thinking deeply
about little, and tiring yourself out
about much…Beta has it’s place but
must be helped to slow down at times
and reflect.

Too much Beta can cause significant
problems by increasing muscle
tension, raising blood pressure, and
creating a state of anxiety for the
individual.  While it is possible to teach
the highest level cognitive processing
and complex artistic expression,
attention must also be paid to assist
the individual in  achieving a degree of
physical relaxation.