Monday, May 20, 2013

Is Neurofeedback the Solution for Your Child? Follow Our Journey: Part 2 The First 3 Sessions

The below post is from our friend “Marie.” She is sharing her story with us as she tries a brain-retraining program (neurofeedback) with her daughter who has ADD and severe memory issues.  This will be an ongoing series following their progress and success.  We hope you find it helpful as you search for solutions for your own children.

If you missed the first post, read it here: 
Is Neurofeedback the Solution for Your Child? Follow Our Journey: Part 1.

Part 2. The First Three Sessions:

Hello again friends. Well, my daughter and I have committed to the process and we completed our first three sessions.
How's it going?
The short answer is there has been no change in her focus that I, or her teachers have noticed. 
The long answer is that we shouldn’t expect any change yet. 
There are 30 sessions. In the first session she was introduced to all of the equipment and how to attach the sensors to her ears and how to put on the belt and finger sensor that measures her breathing and heart rate. 
Breathing…from what I am gathering, this is a big part of the ground work training. 
The first thing she had her do is some breathing exercises by looking at the screen. She was taught to breathe through her nose making her stomach rise then releasing it through her mouth. She was cued to do that by a graph that moved up and down on the screen for about 3 minutes. My guess is that it helps to relax the mind (makes sense right?)  The technician advised me to have her do those breathing patterns at night before bed so she gets used to doing it right and doesn’t have to think about it. She said a lot of people actually breathe wrong and do it backwards.
The next step was to put a DVD, any DVD that she is wants, in the DVD player. This part seems so simple, but is much more complex than my feeble brain can understand or explain very well. Here is the essence of the program. 
They have a sensor placed on top of her head that measures her brainwaves. As she watches the movie it monitors her brain activity. If she goes out of the norms that are set in a certain area, the movie pauses briefly. So over time it trains the brain to stop wandering “over there”.  Sounds a little like a dog with an invisible fence with a collar that trains him to quit wandering “over there” – except of course there is no shock. Instead it is just annoying. 
In fact that was the one comment my daughter had about her first session. “Mom the movie kept pausing, it was so annoying.” I said, “that is all a part of it honey. It is strengthening your brain and over time it won’t pause as much.” She happily accepted that and hasn’t complained about going again. In fact, she is happy to be trying the program.  She knows how the drugs we tried make her feel, and she totally owns the fact that her daydreaming can cause her problems.
As a side note while in the waiting room I was reading one of the books they had there. It was called HEALING YOUNG BRAINS The Neurofeedback Solution by Hill and Castro. The first chapter was about Autism and how it can do amazing things to help. I didn’t get very far in the book, but I am anxious to learn more.
I will check back in with you all after session 10!
Keeping you posted – “Marie”

 ( Do you have experience with this type of therapy? Let us know what you think! ~ John: FPR

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