From my experience, neurofeedback is not a very commonly talked about therapy in the autism world but one we have personally had some good success with. It wasn’t anything I had specifically looked into myself but something that we just sort of heard about through some business relationships and decided to give it a try, and I’m really glad we did! For anyone who wants to know more about neurofeedback, here is what I can tell you:
The place that we were introduced to and that we have had Damion receiving services from for the past year and a half is known as Executive Function LLC, which is owned and operated by Erica Lyme. Executive Function LLC offers two services: Tutoring and Neurofeedback. You have the option to do either or a combined service of both. For Damion we are currently only participating in the neurofeedback services. Executive Function LLC. has two locations, one in Sidney, Ohio and one in Tipp City, OH.
What is it advertised to do?
Neurofeedback is essentially like a brain training exercise that is completely non-invasive. It works through a machine hooked to a video player and linked to specifically placed EEG electrodes on the patient’s head. Depending on your goals and specific areas of the brain that you work during your sessions, you can reduce stress, improve focus, attention, sleep, anxiety, etc. The parts of the brain targeted during a session can be changed based on where the electrodes are placed. There is no exact number of sessions or amount of time needed to achieve the goals you hope to reach, just as any other therapy or training would be, it can vary depending on the person.
Who can benefit from it?
You do not have to be autistic like Damion or have any type of disability at all to see the benefits of neurofeedback. It is great for helping anyone of all ages. Well, anyone that is able to sit for the amount of time required with the EEG sensors in place at least. For those of you worried that your child would not be able to put the sensors on or tolerate sitting still for that long I can say that Erica is great to work with and will do her best to help you work through this issue. Damion was 8 when he started, and it took a few sessions to build up his tolerance. The machine they use works alongside a DVD player, and they have a variety of movies that the kids can choose from to watch while they do their sessions.
Just like any other therapy, the success we attribute to Damion’s neurotherapy sessions was not seen overnight. Damion participates in neurotherapy once a week and I would say it took at least a couple of months to really see the progress he was making. Part of that may also have been because it took us some time to build up to a full session. Our main targets for Damion were for focus, attention, and for him to be less reactive. I can happily say that we have seen progress for him in all of those areas.
If neurofeedback services seem like something you would be interested in for your child or even yourself be sure to check out Executive Function LLC’s site here and send them a message to get services started!