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ADHD and Neurofeedback

I receive more and more phone calls from parents about concerns regarding their child’s inattention/hyperactive behavior. Teachers often throw around the term ADHD and parents begin to panic about how this will impact their child’s academic success. Often times the parents and pediatricians first instinct it to look into what medications will best target the specific symptoms being exhibited by the child. However, there are other options, including neurofeedback.

What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We show that information back to the person. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure. Neurofeedback is also called EEG Biofeedback, because it is based on electrical brain activity, the electroencephalogram, or EEG. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. It is simply biofeedback applied to the brain directly. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function. Self-regulation training allows the system (the central nervous system) to function better. What Can I Expect With Neurofeedback and ADHD Symptoms?

During the diagnostic interview, the doctor will work with the parents/individual to identify the specific symptoms that are causing problems in the child’s/individual’s life. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different behaviors, so it is essential to understand how the disorder presents itself in each client. Once there is an understanding of what symptoms are hoping to be eliminated, the neurofeedback protocol is developed to target those problematic symptoms.

Through the use of neurofeedback, clients have demonstrated a decrease in impulsivity and hyperactivity, as well as a dramatic increase in attention and focus, memory retention and recall, and the ability to sit still during the demands of the academic/occupational environment.

Neurofeedback is not a quick fix and may not work as quickly as medication. While some clients recognize the benefits of neurofeedback treatment after their first session, others may not see noticeable results until they have completed a higher number of sessions. However, the speed at which the results occur should not always be the primary drive for treatment, as neurofeedback can be a medication-free treatment option. There have been many clients who have come into treatment using medication and were able to decrease and/or stop medication all together.

American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes Neurofeedback as being as effective as medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics placed Neurofeedback as a Level 1 “Best Support” Intervention for ADHD (Attention and Hyperactivity Behaviors). This affirms the success that we see in our clients with ADHD and is an important step forward in recognizing the powerful effects of Neurofeedback in providing a non-invasive, non-drug treatment for a wide range of cognitive disorders. Here is what you need to know about this recent report.. What is the American Academy of Pediatrics? The American Academy of Pediatrics is comprised of over 60,000 pediatricians. Pediatricians refer to the AAP for its positions on pediatric care and pediatric practice guidelines. When you see your pediatrician and ask your pediatrician questions, he or she is often informed by the policies, positions, and reports of the AAP. What does “Best Support” mean? How does the American Academy of Pediatrics make this determination? Every six months the AAP updates their chart of “Evidence-Based Child and Adolescent Psychosocial Interventions.” They evaluate the data and research that exist to determine what works and what doesn’t. This information is passed on to pediatricians so that they can better serve their patients. ”Best Support” indicates that the AAP has found that neurofeedback is an effective treatment for ADHD and should be recommended as a primary option

More information regarding neurofeedback and the treatment of ADHD can be read on the USA News and World Report website here.

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