The first step is to ensure that your child’s brain is working optimally.
How the Brain Works
In order to understand how neurotherapy works we first need to understand how the brain works.
In order for the brain to function optimally, the parts of the brain must talk to one another constantly. The brain accomplishes this communication by transmitting electrical signals along neurons that connect one area of the brain to another.
The electrical signals are expressed as brainwaves. These brainwaves can be measured using sensitive medical equipment such as an EEG (Electroencephalography).
EEG is the measurement of electrical patterns at the surface of the scalp which reflect cortical activity or “brainwaves”. ‘Quantitative’ EEG (QEEG) is the analysis of the digitized EEG averaged over a time period, and in lay terms this is often called “Brain Mapping”.
Utilizing a QEEG brain map is also the most accurate way to a diagnosis. Many symptoms may mimic ADD/ADHD, Aspergers and Autism and we don’t want to “guess” based on the symptoms. This comprehensive test will pin point which areas in the brain can be normalized without aggravating other areas of the brain, unlike medication which not only can affect the entire brain, but also often results in bodily side effects.
Once the QEEG is analyzed, a protocol is chosen based upon the patient’s specific brain map. The neurotherapist identifies specific parameters for brain waves to meet and inputs them into the computer system. Patients then have sensors placed on their head at the training sites associated with their areas of dysfunction. While viewing a video/DVD of choice, patients must maintain the brainwave states as defined by the neurotherapist to keep the video from fading (operant conditioning). When the brainwaves fall into the given parameters, the screen brightens (reward). When the brainwaves move beyond the parameters, the movie dims. Thus, a feedback loop in created, reinforcing positive shifts in brainwave activity time and time again, creating new neuropathways. This process to retrain the brain is called Neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is a painless brain retraining process that uses sophisticated technology to achieve significant, measurable results and provide relief of conditions associated with Neurobehavioural disorders. Neurofeedback permanently alters the active landscape of the brain, enabling children with developmental disorders to think, feel and respond differently because they are using their brain in a more effective manner.
Neurofeedback is non-invasive, and as such, is perfectly safe. None the less, as with any treatment it is important that the assessment and treatment is administered by a trained and licenced technician in order to maximise treatment results.
Many parents are wary about medicating their children, and that is what makes neurofeedback so special. It is a drug free, non-invasive treatment. There are a small percentage of people who unfortunately get no benefit from neurofeedback, (there is ongoing research to determine why this should be so) however, we usually can determine this early in the treatment.