Neurofeedback Helps ASD ?
(left is a note written by a parent)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the name for what were previously known as four seperate disorders including autistic disorder (autism) and Asperger’s disorder. ASD is a complex condition with a complex diagnosis process involving a lot of interpretation and judgement. ASD often co-exists with other diagnoses (called comorbidity by doctors). There is a striking overlap between ADHD and ASD symptoms, which causes confusion among families, as well as professionals. When a child is distracted and moves a lot at school or has difficulties to keep focused during a conversation, people often think of AD/HD. However, these symptoms might be confused with ASD symptoms. The first case study applying Neurofeedback to autism was in 1994, 20 years after it was first seen to reduce hyperactivity and led to the significant body of evidence for Neurofeedback for ADHD. Since then the evidence has grown, as described in this free report on Neurofeedback for ASD.
Neurofeeedback should be be embraced as the treatment of choice for ASD because it is connects the whole whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.
Symptoms of ASD
The important difference between AD/HD symptoms and ASD symptoms is best described as the ‘inability to relate to people and situations from early life’. Children suffering ADHD symptoms can have peer conflicts because they are too impulsive or they are inattentive. Children suffering ASD symptoms however, struggle to develop peer relationships, because they experience difficulties understanding and expressing non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions. The main symptoms related to ASD, as described in DSM-5 (the 2013 version of the reference book for ‘mental disorders’), are deficits in social communication and interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities:
Treatment for ASD
There is increasing interest in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for ASD, a behavioural training approach that aims to modify behaviour using ‘Operant Conditioning’ techniques whereby behaviour can be learned through rewarding the desired behaviour and punishing undesired behaviour.
I can tell you that “punishing” is not a bad word! In behavioral psyhology, it simply means reduce. It does not mean any physical or verbal or mental abuse.
There is no doubt that such approaches can work to change behaviour (early Neurofeedback was also based on the same principle), and animal trainers use exactly the same techniques, but these approaches only work to the extent of the behavioural scenarios specifically taught. However, note that the difference is if the behaviorist is a well trained and experience.
Neurofeedback should be the 1st step since we work at a much deeper level and later combined with behavioral modification as a way to assimilate and accommodate the social environment. Speech therapy can come later since we first require NF to activate speech! Simple logic, no sound nothing to train.
Neurofeedback and ASD
ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder for which Neurofeedback has shown to be very effective. With Neurofeedback the ASD symptoms are explained as a kind of brain deregulation in certain brain areas. By focusing on the specific areas of the deregulation.
Neurofeedback can change core deficits of ASD by enhancing physical and emotional calming and improving the ability to manage sensory input. For example, by training the right back side of the brain hyperactive behaviour can be reduced and sensory integration (‘better understanding of the world and more social awareness’) and body awareness can be enhanced. By training the right front side rages, emotional outburst and overall emotional expression – not words and grammar, but appropriate emotional communication – can be improved.
There are children that have shown an increase of common sense and a desire to communicate. Other children are supported in their ‘starting up’ language.
By training the left front side of the brain changes can be made in attention and obsessive compulsive symptoms, however, it is the right side training that has shown to be the most effective for ASD symptoms.
GOOD READ FOR PARENTS
Below a link to many researches proving neurofeedback works!
Video of 11 year old boy “planning” his new route after neurofeedback