Categories
ADHD Adults Anxiety Kids PanicAttacks Scz Sleep Trauma

Simon, 19, Bipolar, Psychosis

Simon, 19, Bipolar, Psychosis

Transformed in Two Months or 15 sessions

Simon is 19 years old.  He had attended an elite boarding school as a day student on a bursary, meaning he felt socially excluded from his wealthier peers while being aware of his privilege.  His mother had taken a controlling role in his education, choosing his university degree course, Spanish and Business, as well as any other facet of his life she could find.  Simon’s father had been managing his severe Parkinson’s with implants and fentanyl since he was nine.  Simon relished his first month at university.

Social and outgoing, Simon felt a new freedom.  He took to the newfound social scene and acceptance overly well, and despite no drug use, experiencing a manic episode.  Simon appeared to be friends with everyone and well-integrated.  However, he was starting to experience panic attacks and severe lows after nights out.  This rapidly transformed into paranoia and culminated with Simon being hospitalised (sectioned) within the first five weeks of university.  He spent a month in a psychiatric ward and began taking psychotropic medication.  He was diagnosed with bipolar depressive disorder and rehabilitating from psychosis. 

When he was released home, Simon did not endorse the idea of returning back to uni, and was staying in his room, watching movies and gaming when he was not asleep.  He felt generally monged, apathetic, and his self-confidence had eroded.  Avoiding social contacts, he would easily get annoyed at his mother, or at times even the slightest things, yet he was not violent.  His moods would fluctuate, and his focus was shallow.  There were no projects that could interest him, and this continued throughout what should have been his first year at university.  His mother was becoming increasingly concerned, as no medication was providing the necessary stimulus, and sought out complementary therapies.  Simon had tried to stop taking Abilify during this time and found he could not do it – the physical withdrawal made his body shake. 

EEG 19 channel recording of 19 year old on Ability, post psychosis, shows gradual and incremental activation of different site signals over time, commencing only after about two minutes, and showing the impact of human synchrony on brain activation
EEG recording, activation of brain areas starts after c.2min..

We began with a brain map.  Having ensured all connections were good, the first recording was concerning.  The signal was minimal, leading to a re-check that indeed, all connections were fine.  After almost two minutes, a motor area signal became particularly active, and a minute later an adjacent site.  Over the next three recordings, various sites ‘came alive’ in this fashion at different times, front, back, laterally, until after around seven minutes of recording time, all 19 sensors were showing healthy activity.  This development was corroborated by spectral plots of activity by frequency, and the functional connectivity charts reflected a resolving general hypometabolism, with intra-hemispheric connections notably weak at first.  There was no talking other than the minimal instruction “eyes open” and “eyes closed” for every three-minute recording, and no touch, only the presence of a new person in the room (myself). 

The brain map showed fluctuating indicators of vulnerability to psychosis, mood and physiological arousal control issues, trauma markers, distractibility, various sources of anxiety and hypervigilance, and an oversensitivity to perceived reputation or judgment.  We began working on Default Mode Network and other relevant sites with neurofeedback training.  Simon didn’t want to wear headphones and was comfortable with speakers that provided the sound to the movies, and with its slight and temporal variations in volume, the feedback for his brain.  We were able to do 2.5 hour sessions, watching a feature film and some series each time; two sessions per week. 

Initially, Simon felt as though he had just taken an exam, his head had gone through an exercise.  He slept well and remembered dreams.  Within two weeks, or four sessions, Simon felt more aware of his grogginess, a sign that the medication was too strong.  In consultation with his psychiatrist, he was able to reduce the dosage, first in stages and then to the minimal amount he would tolerate.  This proved successful, as Simon’s brain seemed less reliant on such numbing.  The first five sessions he describes as a difficult time, a transition between shame and motivation.  He looked forward to each of our sessions and enjoyed them, yet was left between hope and doubt after, an unsatisfactory feeling.  It contrasted with the solid numbing of his usual rituals.  When he saw that it seemed possible to reduce his medication, Simon reached a milestone.  He continued to improve in many ways: 

  • Felt a clearer head, less brain fog, more focussed
  • More motivated, started projects, study for resuming university
  • Social, contacted former friends, started to play football (soccer) again locally
  • More flexible in interactions with his parents

A further brain map confirmed these changes, and more.  Within two months, we had transformed Simon’s trajectory and helped him reduce his medication to minimal levels.  Fifteen sessions had changed Simon’s course from apathy to participation.

Categories
ADHD Adults Anxiety Kids Scz Sleep Trauma

Theo, 27, Psychosis, Psychedelics-Induced

Theo, 27, Psychosis, Psychedelics-Induced

One-Week Intensive Course for Grounding and Sense of Self

Summary:

Theo, in his late twenties, left his sales job in Australia to explore his true calling, primarily focusing on trading stocks and cryptocurrency while residing in Mexico. He struggled with screen addiction, tried alternative methods like an Iboga ceremony in Portugal, but found himself feeling exposed, raw, and misunderstood. Unwanted dreams, anxiety, and frustration began to overwhelm him. Cannabis use seemed to provide stability, but he recognized that he was retreating into his own world, feeling hypervigilant and aggressive.

Traditional methods like meditation and yoga didn’t resonate with Theo, and he realized his trading was akin to gambling. Concerned about his well-being, his parents agreed to fund neurofeedback treatment, which he underwent during a one-week intensive session in London.

The initial brain map revealed vulnerabilities, including relational thinking, trauma markers, anxiety, impaired mood control, distractibility, compromised personal space and social boundaries, hypervigilance, and imaginative tendencies. Timo engaged energetically in neurofeedback sessions, frequently changing content, but by the third day, he became noticeably calmer, experienced improved sleep, and felt more grounded.

The positive effects persisted, and Theo displayed increased focus, flexibility, and emotional insight. He became easier to work with, with better communication and reduced irritability. A remap confirmed these changes, turning his psychosis risk into the ability to consider different perspectives, and improving trauma, sleep, mood control, and thought disorder markers. Theo returned to Australia with renewed confidence, ready to meet his parents and take on an interim role as he prepared for his next adventure.

Theo's Full Story:

Theo was in his late twenties when he grew dissatisfied with his sales job and took some time out.  Basing himself in Mexico, he still spent most of his day trading stocks and cryptocurrency in an effort to sustain a more modest lifestyle than he was able to afford at home in Australia.  He had not overcome his screen addiction but was going through various alternative methods to find his true calling.  One of these was an Iboga ceremony he had undergone in Portugal, which promised to resuscitate his mind-heart-soul connection.  Only, it left him feeling raw, exposed, misunderstood and frustrated.  Dreams came back, yet the unwanted kind, and he felt cornered.  Highly self-conscious, his mind racing, he found it difficult to get to sleep, concentrate on projects or even just simple work-related task sequences, and became quickly annoyed when things didn’t work out to his expectations.  Easily riled, he found few friends in his chosen home near the beach, a small community of backpackers.  Using cannabis would make him feel more stable, yet he was aware that he was beginning to live in his own world.  He was hypervigilant and aggressive, feeling on edge most of the day, and knew he had to find some calm and direction. 

Meditation and yoga were never his thing, and any attempts would make him more aware of his situation, thus triggering additional frustration.  Theo also realised he was essentially addicted to gambling, despite calling it day-trading, and needed to cut his losses and refrain from further such activity.  His parents were worried, and had been since he quit his promising office job for an indeterminate future, and were not a source of solace and encouragement.  They did however agree to fund his neurofeedback treatment, a therapy they had heard of in Australia. 

Theo did a one-week intensive in London on his way back to Australia.  We began with a brain map, which showed vulnerability to psychosis – relational thinking, meaning every sensory input is perceived as pertaining to oneself, a highly stressful condition.  Trauma markers were present, as were numerous anxiety markers; mood control was heavily impaired, as was spacial attention, i.e. high level of distractibility; his sense of personal space and social boundaries compromised; hypervigilance and excess attention to his surrounding environment; and a tendency to be highly imaginative if not living in his own delusional world. 

Theo was energetic and direct.  We changed movies frequently mid-way as he lost his interest, or grew frustrated at something that triggered him.  Even sitcoms would upset him.  Nonetheless we filled two hours with interesting content, twice a day.  By day three, Theo was noticeably calmer.  He had gone to bed immediately after the previous day’s session, and slept through til the morning, something he hadn’t experienced for a while.  Still somewhat irritable, he did feel more grounded.  After that day’s sessions, he remarked that he felt really good about himself. 

This effect lasted until the next day, and beyond.  It was not a manic burst, which was a real possibility given his prefrontal dysrhythmia.  We did more sessions, having stabilised his Default Mode Network.  His communications, while still direct and minimal, were more pertinent and concise.  He would not get annoyed at the slightest discomfort anymore, and portrayed a new flexibility that made him significantly easier to work with, rather than around.  No longer was he forcing people to walk on egg shells in his presence, making snappy comments that could easily be perceived as hurtful; he would watch entire movies without demanding sudden changes, and commented on characters with emotional insight and consideration.  Theo reported feeling more focussed and purposeful, less raw and more accepted, and his dreams were wild yet no longer scary.  A remap confirmed these changes, having turned his psychosis risk into an ability to take on different perspectives; improved trauma, sleep and mood control markers; and the marker for his thought disorder had normalised.  There were still important sites to work on regarding social boundaries, some anxieties and focus and planning.  Theo returned to Australia, confident to meet his parents and resume an interim role he had been offered to save up for his next adventure.

Categories
ADHD Anxiety Kids PanicAttacks POTS Sleep Trauma

Victoria, 16, Trauma, ADHD, PoTS

Victoria, 16, Trauma, ADHD, PoTS

Elena, 15, had self-harm ideation which was resolved within twenty sessions of neurofeedback training

Panic Attacks, PoTS, Anxiety and Sleep Issues resolved in Two Months

Summary:

Victoria, a 16-year-old student, experienced panic attacks just before her junior year of school (Year 12). Isolated at home with her family during the summer vacation due to COVID-19, she eagerly anticipated returning to school and socializing with friends. However, she had been struggling with anxiety related to difficulties in processing written information and completing essays, which took her much longer than her peers. This issue had been masked by her family’s strict self-isolation protocols during the previous two years. The night before school started, she suffered a panic attack, leading to a visit to the emergency room.

Doctors prescribed mild sedatives and recommended deep breathing exercises, which helped manage her anxiety. Victoria’s mother insisted on her wearing a N95 (FFP2) face mask continuously during the school day due to COVID-19 fears. Her teacher in Biology had given her coursework to complete during the summer, which took her an excessive amount of time, causing significant worry about falling behind.

Victoria’s brain map revealed her positive traits, including emotional insight and a caring demeanor, but it also identified various sources of anxiety, trauma markers, hypervigilance, guilt, sleep, focus, and mood control issues. The brain map further indicated hypometabolism, showing a lack of necessary blood flow in critical areas and a lack of connectivity between the brain hemispheres.

After seeking medical attention and the neurologist’s opinion, Victoria’s panic attacks remained manageable, but she developed a deep distrust in her bodily functions. She struggled with PoTS-like symptoms (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome), which were not officially diagnosed. Victoria had a history of sleep deprivation, early trauma, and a difficult adoption process, which contributed to her challenges.

Victoria started neurofeedback training, attending two sessions per week for a month. Her panic attacks subsided, and PoTS-like symptoms became manageable. She enjoyed the social aspects of school, but her mother’s fears and restrictions caused her distress. After a break, she resumed neurofeedback training for the second term, which led to improvement in her symptoms.

In the midst of all this, Victoria’s mother’s intense involvement and overbearing behavior were evident. She had neglected her own social life and self-insight, causing stress within the family. This prompted her to begin neurofeedback treatment herself.

Victoria did a one-week intensive neurofeedback training, which significantly improved her well-being. When school resumed, she was back to her usual self, confident and thriving in her social and academic life.

Victoria's Full Story:

Victoria, 16, was experiencing panic attacks at the end of August, just before her junior year of school (year 12) was about to begin.  Hyperventilating, she was scared of her body’s overdrive, necessitating an A&E visit at 3am the night before her first day back.  Having spent much of the summer vacation isolated at home with her family, who a year post lockdowns was still exercising social distancing, she had been looking forward to socialising again, meeting her friends and embarking on the critical last two years of school.  Some anxiety had been building up due to her difficulties in absorbing written information in a timely manner, as well as when writing essays, which would take her substantially longer than her peers.  A homework assignment that should take an hour to complete would require four hours of her concentration, which would have taken a toll on her ability to socialise, though this aspect was masked by the family’s strict self-isolation protocols during the previous two years.  Once submitted, she usually achieved top marks, and her intellect and potential was apparent.  In Biology, a subject she aspired to study at higher level, her teacher gave her coursework in advance of the new school year to complete in view of this unexplained condition.  When she discovered how long this was taking her to do, the prospect of falling behind within a month instilled deep worry that weighed on her.  Things came to a head however the night before school started, and her body felt out of control. 

The doctors prescribed mild sedatives (beta blockers) and gave her a bag to blow into so as to help normalise her breathing.  This helped and became an important habit before and after school during the first week of term.  Her mother was still requiring her to wear a N95 (FFP2) face mask continuously during the school day out of fear of Covid contagion.  Victoria’s sister had recently started neurofeedback training for her depression and self-harm inclinations and was experiencing great results, while appreciating the non-invasive character of the treatment – no soul-searching talk sessions with a psychotherapist of the mother’s choosing, just watching her favourite new movies.  Victoria elected to start neurofeedback training on her third day at school, and we began with a brain map and two sessions per week.

Victoria’s brain map confirmed the pleasant core aspects of her character – emotional insight, a caring demeanour, desire to integrate and form social bonds, and the ability to take on different perspectives.  She also had multiple sources of anxiety, some trauma markers, a sense of hypervigilance and guilt, overpriming her environment at the expense of her own sense of agency, and sleep, focus and mood control issues.  Most worryingly, her brain appeared to be hypometabolised, meaning, lacking necessary blood flow in many critical areas, and a clear hemispherical division, that is, a lack of connectivity between the two brain halves, in virtually all functional areas. 

Having received medical attention frequently during the preceding months, the blood flow issues and structural findings of the brain map had not been flagged, and her mother took her to a neurologist for further investigation.  By this time, her panic attacks were more manageable yet Victoria had developed a deep sense of distrust in her bodily function, convinced something was wrong with her.  When she got up from her seat, her heart rate would frequently explode, and by her mother’s measurements and research, she could easily have met the diagnostic requirements for PoTS, or Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.  The neurologist would have none of this.  At the time, PoTS had not received much mainstream coverage, and itself appeared to be a fairly novel, yet real, condition.  He explained to her that what she was going through was mere psychological anxiety, or “somatisation”, and found no grounds for concern in his scans.  Nonetheless, physical exercise, even short walks, remained unworkable.

Victoria had a history of sleep deprivation and early trauma.  Adopted during infancy, her new parents took her on a trip to her country of origin when she was seven, and she was subsequently unable to sleep properly most nights, lying in bed with her eyes closed yet her mind racing, all night.  This had only improved a few years prior, though she had never recovered the energy and vivaciousness of her early years.  She had also changed school three times as a consequence of racially motivated bullying, together with her sister, and her mother had developed a paranoid cynicism that preceded all social interactions, as if to purposefully conjure up antagonistic reactions in an attempt to prove the worst and thereby achieve some sense of control and certainty.  Her mother’s combative approach contrasted with Victoria’s, and her sister’s, gentle and likeable demeanour.  The two girls’ friendships at school were carefully vetted, and their mother’s presence was felt in every fibre of their lives.  Team sports were discouraged, and class trips prohibited.  Birthday parties were curtailed after disappointments in their early years, and the family’s isolated lifestyle made meetings with friends outside of school hours rare and difficult.  Instead, the family engaged in weekend activities together, comprising music lessons, art and theatre appreciation, and outings to nearby parks.  Privacy from their parents was an impossibility, and in fact their mother, who had given up her own career, declared her increased devotion to “be there for them completely” during their important final two school years. 

Victoria did two neurofeedback sessions per week for the first month of school, and improved significantly.  Her panic attacks subsided, and her PoTS symptoms were manageable, though she still felt lethargic on the weekends.  The social side of school was emotionally invigorating, and her mother developed a new fear about the teenager’s natural interests.  At this point, Victoria had been made to share a bed with her distrustful and concerned mother, whose overwhelming presence had taken a toll on her marital relations, with her husband relegated to a separate room.  Victoria’s sister meanwhile prospered socially and academically, enjoying the relief of reduced maternal attention.  Her mother took to the idea of reducing the academic pressure on Victoria with typical fervour, contacting teachers regularly, and she was exempted from completing homework assignments and left to work at her own pace.  Victoria’s concentration had improved concurrently, a trend that was set to continue over the next months and culminated in passing her mid-term mock exams with good results, including biology that had triggered the initial episode. 

For the next month, we did weekly neurofeedback sessions, followed by a brain map after the twelfth session.  The hypometabolism had largely resolved and interhemispheric connectivity impressively occurred.  Marked sleep improvements were corroborated, as were reduced anxieties.  PoTS symptoms were no longer mentioned.  Motivation had increased, and the moving body pain was manageable.  Victoria felt able to complete her homework assignments, and school became a priority for the next month in preparation for her mock exams.  We did two more sessions and took a break from neurofeedback.

Shortly before Christmas, Victoria’s mother sought to resume neurofeedback training.  Victoria had done well in her mock exams and was coping with schoolwork – the initial issue of taking much, much longer to complete assignments than her peers was no longer mentioned.  Neither was PoTS, headaches or sleep issues.  Mask wearing, the N95 type, was still enforced by her mother, who did not entertain the idea that this could infringe on her ability to socialise or learning how Victoria’s facial expressions and reactions could impact those around her.  In addition to this censorship, her mother’s stated fear of Covid resulted in further constraints on social interaction, with the prospect of spending her birthday alone at home over the pending vacation.  Due to the six week gap since our last session, we started with a remap, which unfortunately showed some regression.  There were clear trauma markers, some anxieties came back, as did her hypervigilance, and in addition to a worrying lack of own perspective, a marker indicating the presence of an abuser, or someone Victoria paid particular attention and monitoring capacity towards, appeared for the first time. 

Victoria’s mother had spent the first term of the school year under severe stress, committing herself fully to support her adolescent daughters, and inserting herself further into every fibre of their lives.  She acknowledged that this was in stark contrast to how her brother managing his children’s transition into early adulthood.  Her own sleep had not been great to start the term with, and the built up worry, anxieties, and pre-existing mood control issues were exacerbated by the stress.  Afraid of losing control, and the pending next stage of her own life once her children were going to go to university and leave the house, she compensated with surrendering any own motivations to perceived helpfulness and dedication.  Scheduling every move and activity, she noticed when Victoria was spending time locked in her room, or even the bathroom in their weekday home where she was sharing again with her sister.  Any semblance of a social life from before Covid lockdowns had long gone, and she was feeling neither part of general society nor connected to former friends and family.  She was ever more convinced of intrinsic racism and antagonism towards any of her causes, and complained about the abolition of social distancing and other Covid measures that had happened over a year ago by now.  Her overbearing intensity was difficult to dispute, and it appeared that her children, and husband, were suffering from her lack of self-insight.  She would frequently break down when out of sight of her children, upset when her husband, himself suffering from Long Covid symptoms, found the occasional energy to call her ‘neurotic’.  It would take a year for her to commence neurofeedback training for herself (see Case Study).

We did a one-week intensive training, with one (long) session per day, over the course of a week, which provided significant relief throughout the social void of the vacation period.  When school resumed, Victoria was back in her element.

Categories
ADHD Kids SH Trauma

Elena, 15, self-harm

Elena, 15, self-harm

Elena, 15, had self-harm ideation which was resolved within twenty sessions of neurofeedback training

Self-harm ideation resolved within twenty neurofeedback sessions

Elena had already changed school multiple times due to bullying.  She was exceptionally smart, and creative, and found it hard to be accepted by different playgroups during her early teens.  Home schooling during the last years further reduced her social circle, and after returning to school for a year, her best friend was hospitalised following a suicide attempt.  

Meanwhile, she was having difficulties with body awareness and began questioning her gender identity.  Having voiced urges to self-harm, she began ‘cutting’ after a family vacaction she had long looked forward to turned out to be a disappointment.  They had gone on a trip abroad with friends of the parents and their teenage children, who had just finished their GCSE exams (10th grade).  While the others were celebrating the end of this intense study period, Elena was ‘encouraged’ (forced) to continue wearing an N95 mask in their presence, as well as in all public places.  Her mother discouraged her from mixing with the other teenagers without adult supervision, thus ostracising her physically and emotionally.  When Elena returned from vacation, she appeared deeply upset and broken, insisting on wearing her hoodie while training at first.  This lasted throughout most of the session and she was loathe to even make small talk.  The advantage of neurofeedback training became particularly apparent through this, as we don’t rely on, or even require, any deep conversations and instead work on training subconscious processes.  By the end of the session, she was relaxed and confidently pulled back her hood. 

Elena, 15, had self-harm ideation which was resolved within twenty sessions of neurofeedback training

Elena’s mother had made the well-intentioned decision to make herself available to her daughter in all forms of support.  This proved to be overly invasive for the teenager; it also caused issues with the school and other parents, and consequently with Elena and her acceptance by her classmates.  The mother’s intensity, mood swings and hypervigilant obsessions were not of emotional support to Elena, nor to the family in general:  Effectively still self-isolating, distrusting Covid-safety of public places and transport, insisting on the constant presence of racial hostility in all situations, and fostering an atmosphere of severe anxiety and hyper-vigilance instead of providing an emotional safe space and teaching the ability to rationally self-soothe.  She continued to insist on Elena’s wearing of an N95 mask in all public situations, including at school, which made Elena look physically different, prevented others from seeing her facial expressions, and her from appreciating the effects of non-verbal communications.  

We did twenty neurofeedback sessions over the course of three months, during which Elena cast away the cloud under which she had found herself and gained acceptance at school.  Her self-harm tendencies quickly abated and were no longer mentioned after a month.  Sleep improved, and her more bubbly, extroverted self came out.  She made friends with a group of students in a class above her.  Elena became more assertive, which led to some friction with her mother who still insisted on being a part of every fibre of her life.  At this point, or before, it would have helped for the mother to have done neurofeedback training herself; this way, we were working against substantial adversity in her immediate environment.  Instead, Elena was left to carve out personal space by herself, which she managed with a mix of rational argumentation and some emotional confrontations.  Her father was encouraged by this; he had been effectively relegated into a submissive side-role by her overbearing mother, and found new encouragement as Elena’s resolve strengthened.  This helped change some entrenched family dynamics and introduced a new optimism, consolidating her relationship with her dad who became a more pivotal go-to person in her life.

Elena enjoyed watching movies, which were part of her curriculum in a film studies class.  Her requests were well-researched, and she was quick to point out when a film was not capturing her full attention and needed changing.  

Categories
ADHD ASD Kids

Julian, 11, suspected ASD, ADHD

Julian, 11, suspected ASD, ADHD

julian, 11, shy and suspected ASD / ADHD with behavioral issues, all resolved within three months and twenty neurofeedback sessions, seen happy

Behavioural issues resolved within five sessions

Julian, just turned 11, introduced himself with “I’m Julian.  I have ADHD”.  His self-esteem was on the floor. 

Shy and well-behaved, his demeanour contrasted with the behaviour issues his mother deemed most pressing.  Her altercations with Julian were daily, prompted by incidences where things didn’t go as imagined or hoped for by him, and turning into a self-fuelling rage that would spoil the entire weekend.  His focus was poor, conversations marred by distractions (“jibberish”, in her words), relative maturity low for his age group and he fortunately attended a school that catered for his academic performance and social needs.  

A year of psychotherapy almost landed him with an autism assessment, and he hated the various other therapeutic procedures he had to endure that aimed at helping his physical coordination issues. 

 

julian, 11, shy and suspected ASD / ADHD with behavioral issues, all resolved within three months and twenty neurofeedback sessions

Within two weeks, or four sessions, his behaviour had taken a turn; in his mother’s words:

"I wanted to mention that we have noticed improvement with Julian.  

He is calmer, less reactive and when he gets frustrated he manages to calm himself down.  

Not sure if it's a temporary thing, but this weekend was all right :)"

Continued Training from Sessions 5-20

Far from temporary, his maturation accelerated noticeably in the following weeks.  

A family trip was described as “the best vacation we’ve ever had!” by his mother.  While on holiday, he learned to scuba dive, and his parents noticed that he was asking coherent, thoughtful and relevant questions during the instruction.  Anxieties and fears dropped noticeably, attention and focus improved, childish behaviour – such as “class clown” attempts at drawing attention – ceased, and he became involved in extracurricular school activities.  

Functional connectivity improves with neurofeedback training as measured with a brain map

Julian’s brain maps confirmed the transition he was going through.  He had skipped years of physical maturation that should have taken place, especially in his prefrontal cortex.  Functional connectivity of brain areas responsible for behaviour, focus and sense of self had improved substantially, as – notably – had his motor skills.  Julian’s trajectory has changed from spiralling into lower depths of special needs diagnoses, to establishing a confident, engaged and healthy risk-taking personality.  With these new acquired powers, he is able to shape his own future in a way that helps sustain his progress. 

Child behaviour improved after neurofeedback

Does it last?  Yes.  A year later Julian is thriving at school and socially.  

We all evolve, and life throws us challenges.  Key to improvement is being equipped with the right tools – cortical maturity and functional connectivity in this case – that help us create positive feedback loops within our environment.  

Twenty sessions helped liberate this young man immensely.  With neurofeedback training we can address developmental issues.

Categories
ADHD ASD Kids

Viktor, 15, autistic traits, ADHD

Viktor, 15, autistic traits, ADHD

Anusha, 9, autism and ADHD, playing a complicated jig-saw puzzle after 12 sessions of neurofeedback training that were transformative in her development

One year of neurofeedback training resolved autistic traits, ADHD and medication

Summary:

Victor, a 16-year-old student about to enter year 11 (10th grade), faced significant challenges in his life, particularly related to mental health issues. His parents were deeply concerned about his ability to start the school year at his boarding school. He had experienced panic attacks, engaged in excessive checking behaviors, and struggled to socialize, even with familiar individuals.

Victor had a history of mental health issues, including an ADHD diagnosis at a young age. He had been prescribed stimulant medication, which had initially been helpful but had lost its effectiveness over time. Additionally, Victor displayed several symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), such as deficits in social functioning, repetitive behaviors, inflexibility with routines, and difficulties with perspective-taking.

Neurofeedback training was initiated, and Victor’s brain map confirmed many of these traits, along with other vulnerabilities. He showed signs of sensory overwhelm and hypervigilance, as well as various anxiety markers, mood control issues, distractibility, and low self-worth.

As Victor underwent neurofeedback sessions while watching light comedies and series, he began to experience increased calm and self-assuredness. Notably, his mother expressed concern about his continued panic attacks and his ongoing use of stimulant medication. After discontinuing the medication, Victor’s anxiety significantly decreased.

By mid-term, Victor’s self-confidence had improved, and he had made friends at his boarding school. He began participating in extracurricular activities, which was a positive change from his previous social isolation. His parents noted his emotional progress and newfound maturity.

However, Victor’s academic performance was lagging, resulting in poor mock-GCSE exam results. To address this, he received additional support and guidance for self-study, as well as limits on his game console use. His parents worked to help him structure his self-study time, and they implemented sanctions.

The continuation of neurofeedback training from January through May focused on addressing Victor’s anxiety related to upcoming exams and improving his focus, motivation, and sequencing of actions. This effort paid off as Victor began studying more effectively, and his attention and interest in subjects improved. He successfully navigated his GCSE exams, and his parents organized an internship for him over the summer.

Despite his success during the exam period, Victor experienced conflict with his father, which resulted in a return of checking behaviors, difficulties sleeping, and apprehension about the upcoming internship. A few neurofeedback sessions helped him regain his composure and assert himself in expressing his desires and boundaries. Victor showed significant personal growth throughout this period, transforming from a shy, underperforming child into a more self-assured and confident individual.

Victor's Full Story:

Victor is 16 years old.  A year ago, his parents were extremely concerned about his ability to start the school year at his boarding school.  About to enter year 11, or 10th grade, he would be due to sit his GCSE exams that are hugely important for university application.  His self-confidence was decimated; he was suffering frequent panic attacks; engaged in checking behaviour regarding fire safety and other hazards; felt unable to socialise, even with familiar persons; and his constant anxieties were a burden on him and his parents. 

Victor had a history of mental health issues and his mother engaged both a psychiatrist and life coach since he was nine years old.  Diagnosed with ADHD at this early age, he was prescribed stimulant medication, which had initially boosted his confidence and raised his academic performance substantially; however the positive effects had abated in recent years as his grades slumped, confidence eroded and the (low) dosage was maintained.  Victor was also found to have three out of five assessed ASD symptoms:

  • Deficits in social functioning: Victor appeared oblivious to social boundaries and conversational cues, masked in part by shyness and hypervigilance, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.  His friendships were limited to peers he had grown up with and who were now in different schools, and on steeper academic trajectories that widened the gap in their interests and ambitions; at his boarding school, he showed loner qualities despite social encouragement from his housemaster and activity organisers
  • Mild repetitive, restrictive habits of self-regulation, such as resorting to playing console games for hours on end despite every effort to present him with social engagements and activites; and a hyperfixation on following his favourite sports of basketball and football (soccer), a motivation and interest that did not translate into any other subject areas, including school
  • Inflexibility with regard to changes of plans and daily routines; a need to understand exactly what new experiences such as travel and activities would entail, accompanied by a low appetite for risk, exploration and novelty; exacting requirements for food choice, preparation and presentation, for example having to clearly separate vegetables from meat on his plate, and limited options; and a complete lack of ability to sequence, plan and anticipate future developments, from daily time management, which was compensated by a tight school and after-school schedule with tutoring; to career choices and consequent school options, which contrasted starkly with his younger brother
Viktor, frustrated, medicated and suspicious of everybody; after a year of neurofeedback training, his autistic traits, ADHD resolved and he was able to quit his medication

 To his mother, Victor appeared to be living in his own fantasy world.  He was not learning essential living skills, which was not helped by possibly excessive attention and servants at home catering to his every need.  Her ambition for him to follow his father’s footsteps in attending a prestigious US university and becoming a successful banker seemed far removed from Victor’s lack of vision and engagement with his environment.  The immediate disconnect however materialised in his parents’ concern that he felt unable to commence this crucial school year. 

A few weeks into his first term, we began neurofeedback training with a brain map and a first session on a Saturday, as he had chosen not to take part in weekend activities at school and preferred to return home.  His brain map confirmed many of the traits above, and showed other vulnerabilities.  Of particular concern was a sense of feeling sensory overwhelm that contributed to his rigidity of thought.  He mentioned that he felt that at times he thought people were talking about him, when in fact they weren’t.  Various trauma markers showed up, as did social and general anxieties, mood control and motivation issues, severe distractibility, personal space and social boundary issues, feelings of guilt and a lacking sense of self-worth, organisational and executive deficiencies, self-absorbtion and tendency to prioritise internal content, a lack of sense for the intention of others and an active, unfulfilled search for being part of a group or greater cause.  Structurally, his brain had developed soundly and in line with expectations, which was encouraging.  

Victor enjoyed the neurofeedback sessions, choosing light comedies and series such as “Friends” and “Ted Lasso”, which he could watch for two hours at a time.  He began feeling calmer and more self-assured.  After the fifth session, his mother expressed concern that his panic attacks had not subsided, occurring especially when left to his own devices.  Victor was still taking stimulant medication prescribed for his ADHD diagnosis, and in consultation with him and his psychiatrist, he agreed to stop taking it, particularly as he felt they were no longer of any benefit to him.  Within two sessions, his anxieties had dropped immensely and he reported no further panic attacks.  It is noteworthy that a brain map after the tenth session showed a remarkable change in his ability to take on different perspectives and proneness to relational thinking, or the sense that everything is directed at oneself, which can be a precursor or constituent of psychosis.  We will never know whether it was the stimulant medication in the first place that instituted this vulnerability, and/or whether neurofeedback training made him more sensitive to the medication and thus helped him transition off it. 

Viktor finding acceptance and friendships after a year of neurofeedback training

By mid-term, Victor expressed that he “felt really good about myself”, and the family trip abroad went well, without the expected fallbacks.  He also enjoyed a much daunted school trip, getting to know other peers from different classes.  By Christmas, he felt free from anxieties and of particular note, had established a circle of friends at boarding school that gave him confidence and a sense of belonging.  He started to remain at school some weekends, joining the tennis team and other extracurricular activities.  Victor’s parents were delighted by his emotional progress.  In parallel, it was noticeable how Victor was maturing emotionally, exemplified by his choices of movies, and comments on their content and plot developments.  He asked his parents to talk him to theatre performances during this time, and was commended for his performance and initiative in his school drama class.

Victor’s academic performance however had been lagging, and the mock-GCSEs before his mid-term break produced atrocious results.  His mother was panicking, and his father upset.  Provided with every tutoring resource, Victor appeared not to be able to manage his own time, and although his tutors reported a new level of focus they had not seen in him before, this was still conditional on substantial guidance and ‘warm-up’ in each session.  It seemed that he was not provided with guidance and micromanagement of his self-study time, nor did Victor seem to feel accountable for his performance.  A new plan was instated to help him structure his self-study, as well as sanctions on his game console use. 

We continued with neurofeedback training from January through May, managing Victor’s natural anxieties regarding the upcoming exams, as well as working on sites relating to focus, distractibility, motivation and sequencing of actions.  His tutors found that this worked – Victor was studying more effectively by himself, and his attention and interest in subject matter were transformed.  GCSE exams are spread over the course of a month, and his mother was happy with his mental state, stating that he was “in a good space”.  Victor seemed to hold up under the pressure, and made sure to integrate as much sports and activity into his limited free time as possible for balance.  His parents were optimistic about his prospects, and organised an internship for him over the summer.

Viktor getting good school results after a year of neurofeedback training which resolved his autistic traits, ADHD and quit his medication

During the last week of exams, with the internship looming, Victor fell out with his father.  Their relationship had never been close, as Victor felt a sense of pressure and expectations he couldn’t live up to.  Suddenly, checking behaviour he had not shown for many months reappeared, and he had difficulties falling asleep.  The upcoming placement became a daunting prospect, and his father became angry at his lack of enthusiasm, culminating in various confrontations.  This contrasted strongly with the way Victor had managed his exam period.  We did three sessions before his summer vacation, which calmed him substantially and helped with the guilt and disappointment he feared to have caused.  Victor appeared to have been pushed too far by his father’s ambitions, stood his ground with respect to his desire, which was to relax and spend time with his friends after the stressful exam period, and asserted himself naturally.  There was a noticeably stronger sense of self, and Victor appeared to be a transformed person from the shy, underperforming child he presented as less than a year earlier.

Viktor happy with friends after a year of neurofeedback training
Categories
ADHD ASD Kids

Farouk, 9, autistic traits, ADHD

Farouk, 9, autistic traits, ADHD

Farouk, 9, a strong chess player, had autistic traits, ADHD and sleep issues, which resolved within twenty-five sessions of neurofeedback training

Twenty-five Neurofeedback sessions and Farouk's social problems resolved

Summary:

Farouk, a 9-year-old boy, exhibited a range of challenging behaviors, which prompted his parents to seek a psychiatric assessment. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and displayed subclinical autistic traits, and stimulant medication exacerbated his symptoms. Farouk’s mother had several concerns:

1. **Lack of Empathy:** Farouk often laughed at the suffering of his schoolmates, making him appear cruel and indifferent. This behavior led to hostility at school and issues at home.

2. **Loner Qualities:** Farouk had difficulty making friends and frequently exhibited loner qualities, both at school and in social settings.

3. **Inflexibility and Impulsive Aggression:** He insisted on getting his way and resisted compromise. This behavior caused significant friction at home, as everything had to revolve around him, leading to exhaustion for his family members.

4. **Attention-Seeking Behavior and Hyperactivity:** Farouk excelled in individual sports but struggled with team activities. He often received sanctions at school for disruptive behavior and became suspicious and hypervigilant.

5. **Mild Repetitive, Restrictive Behavior and Interests:** He could spend hours watching cartoons and had intense interests in collecting Transformers and performing magic tricks.

6. **Sleep Issues:** Farouk had difficulty falling asleep at an appropriate time and woke up early, which negatively affected both his rest and his parents’ well-being.

Neurofeedback training began with skepticism from Farouk’s parents, who had previously tried various approaches without success. However, Farouk’s interest in magic tricks and the promise of a reward eventually led him to cooperate with the training. Initial qEEG recording confirmed his behavioral traits and sleep issues.

During neurofeedback sessions, Farouk’s hyperactive and impulsive nature required a careful, authoritative yet accommodating approach. Sessions initially involved short content like cartoons, which he commented on, and progressed to feature films over time. Farouk’s parents organized physical activities around sessions to prepare him and reduce hyperactivity. Strict adherence to mealtimes was maintained.

After five sessions, Farouk displayed increased overall calmness, developed insights into his behavior, and expressed feelings of guilt and remorse for his pranks. Sleep issues persisted.

Subsequent sessions showed slow progress, but a remap revealed structural and mood control improvements. A change in protocols, focusing on sleep-related issues, led to significant progress. Farouk accepted the need for more sleep, which reflected positively in his behavior.

By the 25th session, eight months into the training, Farouk had made significant improvements. He was accepted by his classmates, no longer considered the “class clown,” and began forming friendships. His sleep substantially improved, and he exhibited emotional maturity, creating a more harmonious home environment. His parents were appreciative of the progress, and Farouk continued on a new, positive trajectory beyond the training.

Farouk's Full Story:

Farouk is 9 years old.  Growing up perfectly bilingual, he is an outstanding academic performer, excellent at chess and mathematics, and attends a strict school with structured after-school activities.  He was diagnosed with ADHD and some subclinical autistic traits, which stimulant medication exacerbated.  Highly energetic, Farouk was difficult to manage in his home environment, and his mother had the following concerns that led her to seek a psychiatric assessment: 

  • Lack of empathy: Farouk would laugh at his schoolmates sufferings, such as when someone fell or hurt themselves, or performed badly.  This made him appear cruel and indifferent at times, generating hostility at school and also at home with regard to his younger brother
  • Loner qualities: Farouk found himself frequently ostracised as a result, and also didn’t seek out friendships and alliances at school by himself
  • Inflexibility and impulsive aggression: Farouk consistently insisted on getting his own way, and when met with rational resistance, would persist out of apparent spite, unwilling to accept reason or engage in negotiation.  This caused much friction at home, as everything had to revolve around him, and his energy and persistence would wear down his family members to the extent that they learned to acquiesce and accommodate him in every way, often to their own detriment.  Farouk’s outbursts whenever he was confronted with any sign of resistance were compounded by his physicality, and induced weariness and hypervigilance in parents, while his younger brother was often not getting the attention he required.  The family had even moved home to accommodate his desire for a bigger room.  His mother felt unable to provide him with the requisite warmth and emotional support out of sheer exhaustion, which was a sensitive topic as she realised he felt underloved.  The father was largely absent and concerned with his business, and Farouk was often left in his room under camera supervision.
  • Attention seeking behaviour and hyperactivity: Farouk also excelled at individual sports such as swimming and karate, while showing no interest in team activities.  His school was strict and structured, and he frequently received sanctions as a result of disruptive behaviour.  He was also easily recruited into performing pranks to impress his schoolmates, leading to a suspension that compounded his adversarial outlook towards authority.  Farouk often felt betrayed, and not part of a group or bigger cause.  He became hypervigiliant and suspicious, and his moods fluctuated substantially
  • Mild repetitive, restrictive behaviour and interests: Farouk could watch comedy cartoons for hours on end and was very hostile towards curtailment of his screentime.  While his sports activities were varied and his intellectual capacity wide, he immersed himself into new passions with exclusive intensity; this included Transformers, the collection of which dominated his bedroom; and magic tricks (and pranks!) that he would perform to his parents’ and schoolmates’ exhaustion
  • Sleep was an issue: Farouk would not get to sleep before 10pm, and was awake at first light, which could be very early in the summer months.  Besides being inadequate rest for a 9 year-old, this also deprived the parents of their deserved recuperation.

When we began neurofeedback training at his home, his parents were wary of his willingness to cooperate, as well as the effect it could have, as they’d tried various approaches before, unsuccessfully, and were worn down by him to the extent it became a strain on their own relationship.  Farouk entered the room with suspicion, and seeing that someone new was willing to give him attention, began showing me some magic tricks.  We then suggested a brain map to him, and a knee-jerk reaction of “I’m not doing it!” quickly ceded to intrigue and interest.  He quickly relented, having built up some trust, and also with the promise of a reward and the threat of sanctions by his mother.  We did a twenty-minute qEEG recording, which confirmed the traits above.  It was also apparent that he was not getting the necessary sleep, and as a result some intra-cortical communication was inconsistent. 

Neurofeedback sessions with Farouk required special attention and presence:  He was thrilled at the one-on-one attention of someone he could present his latest tricks and insights to, and once settled, had to check the workspace for pranks, such as magnets under the table on which the equipment was set up.  We began with some youtube tricks, usually pranks, sports failures and cartoons, and he demanded my full attention to the content, which he would comment on.  Vigorous, unexpected jerky movements commanded another eye on the equipment and cables, and demanded a calming, authoritative yet accommodating presence.  We then eased into feature films, which he could watch for at most a half hour initially, losing interest in plot and character development.  This improved with every session, and his immersion evolved quickly.  Content had to be moderated to avoid repetition of a theme (Transformers) and over-activation, sometimes involving negotiation and distraction.  Still, we were able to do two-hour sessions that generally left him in a state of calm focus.  His parents would structure physical activity around the sessions to prepare him beforehand, and deplete any remaining hyperactivity after.  Strict adherence to mealtimes he was accustomed to had to be respected. 

Within five sessions, Farouk became noticeable calmer in general.  He began to develop an insight into some of his more adversarial behaviour, expressing feelings of guilt and remorse when he was reprimanded for attention-seeking pranks.  He was sensitive to his mother’s admonishments, and she too was able to engage more emotionally with him.  Sleep was still an issue.

We continued the weekly sessions, and for the next ten sessions, improvements seemed slow.  A remap showed considerable changes however, in particular with regard to structural maturation as well as mood control.  His parents were distracted by family and business matters, and his younger brother required more of their attention during this time. 

A change in protocols prompted by the remap let us address other issues that are usually more tangentially related to sleep, but proved highly effective.  Farouk began to accept that he needed more sleep and no longer resisted bedtime reminders and his habit of secretly reading and playing when the lights were turned off, as he admitted to his mother.  He also ‘overslept’, in his own words, and it became a competition with his brother as to who could wake up later.  This was a relative concept, as it still meant a 7am rise, even on weekends, though his sleep time would average in excess of eight hours for the first time. 

The remap had convinced the parents that progress was still being made, and the sessions were worth the investment.  By session twenty-five, we had been working together for eight months, including various vacation times.  The results were now evident:  Farouk had found acceptance by his classmates for whom he was, rather than ‘class clown’.  Friends (!) came to play with him at his house, and the long school bus trips were no longer incident-prone.  His sleep improved substantially, reflecting in his demeanour, composition, brain map and his parents’ ability to recuperate, all of which resulted in a noticeably more harmonious home setting.  He showed greatly improved emotional maturity and insights, and was entertaining his little brother in a constructive manner.  His parents were happy and appreciative, glad to have persisted.  Farouk was on a new trajectory that he maintained post training. 

Categories
ADHD ASD Kids

Anusha, 9, ASD/ADHD

Anusha, 9, ASD/ADHD

Anusha, 9, presented with ASD / autism spectrum disorder symptoms, including issues with sensory integration, social cues, turn-taking, motivation and focus, tantrums and anxiety, and resolved these with 12 neurofeedback sessions in a one week intensive with Daniel Webster

One Week Intensive to Resolve Autistic Traits

Anusha, a 9-year-old who had experienced multiple school changes due to an international upbringing, presented with behavioral challenges that seemed contrary to her intrinsic personality. Her parents, particularly her mother, a medical doctor, were hesitant to consider medication and sought an alternative approach for addressing her difficulties, which included sensory integration issues, social and executive functioning delays, distractibility, impulsive aggression, and anxiety.

The family decided to explore neurofeedback as an intervention. Anusha underwent a one-week intensive neurofeedback training course in the UK during a term break. The initial session involved conducting a brain map, during which Anusha displayed a remarkable level of maturity and keenness to understand the process and its objectives. The map identified various vulnerabilities, including issues related to social understanding, impulsivity, aggression, distractibility, and fear.

The intensive training comprised twelve neurofeedback sessions in seven consecutive days, with Anusha participating in two sessions per day, each lasting two hours. Her parents utilized the breaks for outings and to provide her with diverse international cuisines. Already, her mother noticed improvements during the training week, including increased calmness, better response to changes of plans, and a more rational assertiveness.

After returning to school, her parents observed significant positive changes in Anusha’s behavior, including increased calmness, patience, and persistence. Anusha also exhibited healthier assertiveness and improved interoception, allowing her to better express her feelings and bond more closely with her family. She successfully integrated herself into a schoolyard playgroup that had previously been hostile.

A follow-up brain map at the end of the week confirmed these positive transformations, and her brain’s structural maturity metrics had also improved. Following these positive outcomes, Anusha’s mother had originally intended to continue neurofeedback training during the summer vacation. However, a psychiatric assessment conducted a few months later did not find grounds for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis. Anusha felt accepted and motivated in her school and after-school environments, and the family chose to spend their summer vacation at Disneyland instead. The intervention was successful in bringing about positive changes in Anusha’s behavior and overall well-being, contributing to her improved social and academic experiences.

Anusha's Full Story:

Anusha, age 9, had changed schools numerous times as a result of an international upbringing, from southern England to Germany and recently to France, where she experienced bullying and was now in her second school there.  Gentle, vivacious and enthusiastic about every sport and music activity offered to her, she presented with various behavioural challenges that seemed counter to her intrinsic demeanour and harmed the development of both her social and academic potential.  

Her mother, a medical doctor, was loathe to medication and thus keen to try an alternative approach, while poised to present her for a psychiatric assessment.  Her father had recently been diagnosed with ADHD, and Anusha exhibited mild autistic traits since infancy that she had so far pushed aside out of fear of stigmatisation, hoping that a ‘regular’ upbringing would resolve these.  Anusha was fluent in French and English, relished the rural setting of her new hometown in southern France, and displayed an enchanting joy of life.  Her first school experience there was overshadowed by meanness from her classmates, some of which might have been attributable to teachers actually hitting students, as the parents learned only after two terms.  She was moved to a different school, where her performance was mediocre yet the environment more benign.  Still, she was experiencing various difficulties, not integrating ideally, and appeared not to fulfil her true academic and social potential.  

Anusha’s challenges presented as follows:

sensory integration issues were noticeable since infancy.  Anusha was sensitive to loud noises and rash movements.  Music had to conform to her wishes and her parents were constantly aware of the acoustic environment in every situation, both at home and in public.  She was also terrified of heights.

social and executive functioning was deemed delayed, and partly ascribed to the frequent moves and sometimes hostile environment, as well as being an only child.  Anusha had no concept of turn-taking, frequently interrupted in conversation while not showing awareness of social cues, and was not learning to work in teams.  Playgroups she longed to join chose to ostracise her, repeatedly in each school and after-school setting.

– naturally energetic, she had trouble focussing on tasks and was easily distracted.  Completing projects and assignments required supervision, and she often lost motivation, which reduced her self-confidence and willingness to persist, explore, take risks and explore

– when things didn’t go as she expected, Anusha would become impulsively aggressive, for example breaking her cello bow in frustration during a lesson.  Practicing skills had to be supervised with patience and persistence, helping her sustain attention and maintain a positive outlook.   She would become obstinate, ‘lose her rag’ and become aggressive when her idea of a planned activity did not materialise, and was relatively inflexible with regard to changes of plans, which took substantial negotiation and incentivisation to implement in the face of rebellion and emotional outbursts.  Often, this aggression would turn into sustained rage, which she would find hard to calm down from. 

– often anxious and nervous, with a heightened sense of hypervigilance, Anusha would self-stimulate from an early age, exercising mild repetitive habits for self-regulation, such as rocking in her seat. 

Anusha came to the UK during term break for a one-week intensive neurofeedback training course.  The prospect of watching her favourite movies all day was exciting for her, especially as her screen-time was strictly controlled. 

Anusha watching TV while doing neurofeedback training

 

We began with a brain map, while answering her questions as to what we were doing and looking to achieve.  She was satisfied with the answers, understanding the rationale of helping her to maintain her calm, improve her persistence and focus, among other, and she volunteered examples of situations she would like to master better – this maturity and keenness to improve was impressive. 

The brain map confirmed her vulnerabilities:  A lack of sense of being part of something bigger, loner qualities or lack of understanding of social rules, social invasiveness, impulsive aggression and rage, distractibility and mood control issues, hypervigilance and hyperactivity, auditory hypersensitivity and fear, a recent betrayal (which she described), and a general sense of not feeling emotionally safe and being able to expand or unfold her potential.  Structurally, her brain’s maturation was slightly behind age-matched peers. 

Anusha did a one week neurofeedback intensive and got to watch her favourite movies while seeing great results for her suspected autism and ADHD

We did twelve neurofeedback sessions in seven consecutive days, involving two sessions per day of two hours each, which she greatly enjoyed.  Her parents took her swimming, shopping and to other touristic attractions during her lunch break and evenings, when she got to choose her favourite international foods.  Already, her mother remarked that she found Anusha much easier to handle, and was surprised when she calmly accepted changes of plans when an outburst was expected.  Her parents were able to visit friends and spend time together during her sessions, a welcome relief and vacation.

After a week of having returned to school, her parents noticed substantial positive changes in her behaviour.  As her mother reported:

– She was definitely calmer and less explosive, not ‘losing her rag’ when parents were conditioned to expect this, something they had already noticed during the training week and a new behaviour that persisted

– spontaneously picked up a book and started reading, which was unheard of before; she took interest in illustrations, calmly sat in her favourite chair, and developed a passion for the story she was focussed on

– showed patience and persistence; for example, Anusha tried and completed difficult jig-saw puzzle, laughing when it became particularly hard

– demonstrated a healthy and rational assertiveness in many situations; she explained to her parents that she did not enjoy a certain after school activity and had only been doing it to please them

– had and improved interoception, or ability to understand and express her feelings, letting her parents into her realm of understanding how situations at school and interactions with peers made her feel.  This was as if an invisible shield had been pierced, and both parents felt they bonded more closely with her and as a family

– successfully negotiated herself into a schoolyard playgroup which had previously been hostile towards her, which led to the prospect of sleep-overs and new friendships.

A brain map at the end of the week confirmed these transformations.  Encouragingly, her brain’s structural maturity metrics improved too, which was a positive surprise for such a short and intense training period.  

Anusha’s mother had originally planned to make another trip to the UK during the summer vacation for further neurofeedback training.  The psychiatric assessment a few months after her neurofeedback intensive found no grounds for an ASD nor ADHD diagnosis, and Anusha felt accepted and motivated in her school and after-school environments.  The family went to Disneyland instead.