Kamran, 5, autistic, saw transformational results in six months and 50 neurofeedback sessions

Behaviour and Speech Transformed.


– repetitive rituals
– frequent tantrums
– aggressive, violent behaviour
– adherence to routine in all aspects, including food, play, daily events
– no understanding or care for consequences of actions, including physical ones
– fears and phobias
– no engaging play with others
– lack of speech development

Fifty sessions, over six months


– calmer, considerate, registers and respects others’ space
– engages in play with sister and carers
– more flexible with respect to changes in routine, novelty
– expressive speech, sentences, ability to communicate needs
– understands instructions
– reduced tantrums
– understands consequences of physical actions; remorse

Kamran's Full Story:

Kamran began neurofeedback training at age five, and he has made transformational progress since.

Since his infancy, Kamran’s mother knew he was developing differently.  Diagnosed with autism at the earliest point, his symptoms manifested as:

  • Inflexibility with regard to activities and actions counter to his strong determination. A sense of consideration for others, recruitability and adaptation never developed.  Any suggestion he did not like resulted in impulsive, aggressive outbursts and tantrums until he had his way.
  • Speech did not develop beyond a few favoured expressions he appeared to embrace mainly for their melodic prosody. Trying both English and Farsi, he took to neither, seemingly rejecting the use of language as a means of expressing his needs, and gesticulations were mainly aggressive and inconsiderate of the ‘other’, including his little sister.
  • Empathy and a sense for others’ feelings or emotions were absent, except for expressions of joy upon gratification of his needs and wishes, and overt dismay at not getting his way. His intrinsic positivity made it hard to infer cruelty either though when he pushed other kids over and they cried with pain.
  • Loud noises and sudden movements would cause him to freeze in a state of fright, followed by emotional outbursts and aggression that would take time to calm him down from and severely interrupt any planned activities.
  • Repetitive rituals enveloped him in a cloud of self-absorbed satisfaction. He could repeat a sequence of pretending to wash his hands and dry them under a hand dryer drawn on the bathroom wall tiles for a long time.  TV content was limited to his favourite youtube videos, mainly involving trains, although “Mr. Tumble” could provide some intermittent relief.  Doors were a particular fascination, as he repeatedly opened and slammed them with glee, to the extent that all doors inside the house had to be removed.

Physically, Kamran developed beyond milestones for his age; his coordination was good as was his sense of satiety.  He was highly energetic, jumping on sofas, running around the house making noises, and repeating his favourite act of sliding down the stairs (under close supervision) until exhaustion.  He became so strong by age five that his wanton pushes and punches were fearsome, particularly as they were unpredictable.  Kamran’s mother and two sisters were constantly challenged, and injury-prone; his mother had to cut her hair very short to avoid him ripping at it. 

The three sisters were challenged to the state of exhaustion each day, and had the additional stress of an inconsiderate neighbour who not only banged on the walls, which set Kamran off, but also expressed his intolerance by shouting abuse across the garden wall, confronted them physically, and smashed their car window twice.  The police were deemed unhelpful and the sisters took it upon themselves to document the terror and launch civil proceedings, finally leading to his prosecution and eviction years later.

School was a temporary relief, though frequent incidents required their premature attendance to pick him up and bring him to his familiar environment.  He was the highest physical achiever in his class, and they thought he had few role models there, despite its specialisation.  He was not advancing with regard to verbal skills, literacy or numeracy, and did not interact socially with others, though happy in his own world. 

Kamran had a fascination with doors that made it impracticable to start sessions in a new environment.  We started at his home, and his carers made sure he was in a suitable mindset.  This involved taking him to play in the park, bathing him twice, and sitting with his mother on the sofa while his aunts fed him pomegranate seeds with ice cream and another massaged his feet.  We eased him into the process by starting with his favourite youtube clip of an empty Underground on the London Circle Line, and set about getting him used to wearing three electrodes while doing ILF / Othmer method neurofeedback training for calming. 

After two such half-hour sessions, we felt confident enough to attempt putting a shower cap-like hat with 19 electrodes on his head for a qEEG recording.  He was familiar enough with myself and the process that this worked straight away, and we obtained sufficient recording material for a brain map analysis. 

The brain map revealed multiple sources of fear and anxiety; mood control and focus issues; Default Mode Network irregularities; and self/other distinction challenges.  

We began Default Network Training, a different, more powerful set of neurofeedback protocols than ILF / Othmer Method.  Kamran was able to last for an hour each of the next six sessions, spaced every two days.  He was noticeably calmer, appeared empathetic towards his younger sister, whom he engaged in play with, and was expressing himself in longer utterances that seemed like sentences, had they contained actual words.  Kamran’s sleep improved, as he was now waking up at 5.30 am instead of 3am, and he was going to bed without resistance after his sessions at 9.30pm. 

After the next six one-hour sessions, we were able to intensify the training protocols, no longer hostage to sporadic swiping off of the electrodes and the uncertainty of how long he would tolerate a session.  This produced immediate results.  He was much calmer the next day, and engaged in constructive play with his mother, prompting an ecstatic feedback notification by text.  

Session length increased for the next ten sessions to 1.5 hours, now spaced to twice per week.  His school provided positive feedback on his behaviour and engagement with his teachers and classmates.  His carers appeared more relaxed too, a clear sign that he was becoming significantly easier to manage and was on a transformed trajectory.  Wanton acts of physically violent behaviour had ceased, and he was beginning to show signs of empathy and a sense for consequences of actions.  Kamran was better able to express himself and his needs, though non-verbally, in a more elaborate, calm and less tantrum-driven way.  His demeanour had ceded from fright, reactivity, self-regulation through repetitive rituals and lack of empathy, to one of positive engagement, curiosity, risk-taking and increasing flexibility.  Two and a half months had passed. 

The next two months, we did a further fifteen sessions, two per week, and by now up to two hours, often with a short break inbetween.  Kamran was more flexible with regard to content, and in fact eager to see new variations of old themes (trains, Mr. Tumble), responding with curiosity and healthy determination (as opposed to tantrums) when he did not like the content.  He was more engaged with the stories, looking up for explanations when there were incongruences in his mind, and began copying some expressions he heard, albeit often incomprehensively.  Routines were no longer imperative, his adaptibility to situations improved, and he tolerated a wider selection of food.  During play, he actively recruited others, whom he no longer appeared to treat merely as objects, but took cues from. 

In the next ten sessions, Kamran’s speech took form.  Starting with more considered pronounciation of familiar words, his intent on forming sentences was noticeable, and with encouragement was able to repeat expressions accurately.  This came as a surprise to his teachers, who by now had witnessed a dramatic improvement in behaviour and temperament.  A speech therapist was enlisted, helping him practice speaking in sentences during the day, complementing the efforts made at home.  Kamran became exhilarated when his attempts to communicate verbally resulted in new avenues and rewards, and relished continued interaction to the extent that speaking became a new favoured pastime.  

By now, Kamran had become substantially easier to manage, freeing up attention for his younger sister, and providing respite to his carers.  The cumulative effect had not only induced hope in the early stages, but given the family a new perspective and confidence.  Kamran’s trajectory was transformed, and he was on track to being integrated into a more demanding, suitable school programme.