Neurofeedback and Autism

Polly: Neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback is a training method for regulating brainwaves. In a study of 1,100 adults and children, Drs. Siegfried Othmer and David Kaiser found that 85% of those with ADD and other attention and behavior disorders were able to improve their attention ability after 20 sessions. However, the typical number of sessions employed for those with ADD or ADHD is around 50 to 200, depending on the severity of the problem. [39] Children on the autistic spectrum need many more sessions.

The procedure is rather simple and fun. Two electrodes are placed behind the ears to monitor the brain waves. The patient sits in front of a computer with what appears to be a Pacman game on the screen. However, instead of controlling the movement of the ball on the screen with a joystick, the patient controls the movement by adjusting his brainwave patterns. Daily professional treatments are usually two-15 minute or three-10 minute (younger children) neurofeedback sessions. It should be used at least 5 days per week. After about 10 sessions with a therapist, most people should be able to just purchase or rent a downgraded version of the equipment and continue treatment at home. [40] At home, you can continue with perhaps three half-hour sessions per day. Be patient, in some cases of ADD/ADHD it may take 20 sessions before you notice a difference.

The home units plug into your home computer. To give you an idea of the prices, the home model made by Lexicor of Boulder Colorado costs about $695 for one channel, or $995 for two channels, phone (303) 443-9944. The Brainmaster EEG Biofeedback Units start at $1000, phone (440) 232-6000. The Brainmaster units can be rented from EEG Biofeedback Home Training, phone 561-694-8516 and website //www.ADD-biofeedback.com. Many other companies are listed at //www.epub.org.br/cm/n04/tecnologia/recursos_i.htm

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