What is Neurofeedback for Autism?

Autism is a spectrum disorder that manifests in a great variety of forms.  With a Kaiser Neuromap we can identify individual weaknesses, and train these with Personalised Brain Training in a non-invasive, medication-free manner. 

Autism is a condition that makes it more difficult for a person to share their individual qualities with others to their fullest.  Key to expressing one’s needs and virtues is an ability to share a reality with others.  With neurofeedback training we enable a person to interact with others in the most efficient, and mutually beneficial way.  This creates a virtuous feedback loop that helps everyone to appreciate needs, recognise talents and to learn and evolve.  

Personalised Brain Training helps reduce fears and anxieties, quell feelings of detachment and dissociation, regulate moods and sleep, and to optimally recruit individual strengths.  As a result, quality of life improves substantially for the benefit of the individual. 

It is particularly beneficial to begin training early, setting the mind on an optimal trajectory to be able to benefit from social interactions and engage fully with one’s environment.  This mitigates the risk of frustrations, fears, and anxieties developing, that become self-reinforcing. 

Daniel Webster uses Othmer Method / ILF neurofeedback training for calming, and David Kaiser‘s Default Network Training to restore functional connectivity and improve brain maturation.  Personalised Brain Training is qEEG-brain map- based Default Network Training and in his experience takes the proven calming effects of the Othmer Method further in order to address behavioural, functional and maturational issues seen in autism.  He has extensive experience working with children, teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum. 

Neurofeedback for Autism is Evidence-Based

Neurofeedback is evidence-based complementary therapy with over 2000 PubMed peer-reviewed research reports

 Neurofeedback training has been shown to be a safefeasible, and effective therapy approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder across all ages

 Multiple studies confirm improved cognitive flexibility, improved facial recognition, and  better behaviour in every-day life as functional connectivity in the social brain regions improved. 

9 point improvement in IQ was reported alongside decreased ASD symptoms including attention, anxiety, aprosodias, social functioning, as well as academic and intellectual functioning. 

 Sensorimotor behaviour (posturography) improved in children. 

In Daniel Webster’s experience, Personalised Brain Training has accompanied functional and behavioural improvements significantly further than research has documented.

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

Case Study - Autism, Young Child

Tamy, 3.5 years of age, was suspected of having autistic traits by her parents.  She was not interested in playing with other children, solved hundred-piece puzzles and recognised chemical formulae.  Shy and sensitive to music, she would only want to watch one particular cartoon on her ipad and entered a state of rage in response to disturbance or change.  The family GP had told her parents to wait another year or two before applying for a diagnosis, saying that the symptoms were too mild to tell – she could speak already after all. 

Concerned, her parents decided to try neurofeedback.  A brain map revealed numerous and prominent sources of anxiety and fear, as well as auditory hypersensitivity, focus issues, impulsive aggression and mood dysregulation.  These features are common in autistic children, though non-specific with regard to categorisation.  

We worked on relevant brain areas in one hour stints, which Tamy became more and more accepting of.  Soon we were able to change the content from her favourite (and only) cartoon to comprise a variation of content.  She became calmer, more engaged and started interacting with others in ways her parents were positively surprised by.  Ten sessions had made a tremendous difference, and reshaped a trajectory that sufficiently reassured a young family.

Neurofeedback for autism is a non-invasive, medication-free complementary therapy.  It is safe, evidence-based and effective.  Moreover, it is an enjoyable process that simply involves watching movies or YouTube clips – feedback to our brain is merely audio-visual, as small changes in volume and picture size provide the brain with enough information to mature its behaviour patterns.

Personalised Brain Training respects neurodiversity. 

With a brain map, we identify areas of cortical immaturity and train these.

As such, we can improve group-minded thinking and the ability to thrive while preserving individuality. 

Areas where we can help include: 

– fear, anxiety, dissociation and detachment

– self/other differentiation

– verbal and non-verbal communication

– auditory hypersensitivity

– rigidity of thought and expectation

 – repetitive restrictive behaviour

 – vulnerability caused by excessive recruitability (“being too nice”)

 – motor function, mobility and coordination

 – empathy and emotional understanding of self and others

 – sense of self

 – awareness of surroundings and consequences of actions

 – social boundaries

 – dissociation, detachment and the feeling of needing to mask behaviour

 – focus, concentration and organisation

 – sleep: onset and quality

 

Neurofeedback training is safe and non-invasive shown in a picture using Othmer Method

Case Study - Autism, Young Child

Spectrum of emotional functionality in the autism spectrum including self-regulation, anger, anxiety, depression, rage, violence, sleep, trauma and focus, which can be addressed with neurofeedback

Karl is five, energetic and was unable to express his feelings or needs.  

He became aggressive and appeared to have no sense for the impact his violent outbursts have. 

Three ILF sessions induced enough calming and trust in the electrodes that we were able to do a qEEG brain map. 

Over the next ten sessions his sleep became deeper and he became noticeably more aware of others and their possible reactions. 

By now we were able to extend sessions to over an hour at a time.

Karl’s moods stabilised and his focus improved sharply.  He began to speak fluently in his mother tongue.  

After fifty sessions we reduced training intensity to once per week and do intensives instead during some school holidays.

With an improvement of the above we see concurrent calming, increased social interaction and group-minded thinking, and reduction in self-regulation and repetitive, restrictive behaviour. 

Priorities in working with autism are to reduce anxieties and enable social interaction and development.  Neurofeedback is a drug-free, non-invasive complementary therapy for this. 

With neurofeedback training we help shape important trajectories: 

Non-verbal young children become unable to generate meaningful interaction with peers.  An inability to express needs and emotions, combined with lack of self-awareness, results in impulsive aggression and rage.  Classroom function and school learning suffer.  As the child matures physically, medication is frequently added to control mood and sleep, often with considerable side effects.  

With neurofeedback training we can address sense of self, anxieties, verbal and motor skills.  Mood regulation, impulsive aggression, personal and social boundaries are also governed by cortical function, which we can train with Personalised Brain Training.  Every person is different, and a Kaiser Neuromap lets us identify areas of vulnerability and tailor training to this.

Neurofeedback for Autism showing toys in perfect order or repetitive, restrictive behaviour

Case Study - Autism (ASD), Trauma, Bullying

Jason, 22, suffered from trauma as a result of bullying at his workplace. 

He had been diagnosed ASD early in life and experienced the main following issues: 

 – anxiety

 – difficulty understanding conversations

 – lack of emotional and social awareness

 – low self-esteem

 – frequent intra-day mood swings

 – low sleep quality

Jason’s sleep improved after the very first neurofeedback session. 

By the fifth session, most issues had reduced by half in severity. 

 We continued through session 15, while Jason was finding a new work placement that suited him better.  Training effects were lasting. 

Two years later, Jason experienced a painful loss of a family member.  His condition deteriorated. 

We did five neurofeedback sessions; Jason subsequently held a confident talk at a mental health conference.

Spectrum of interpersonal functionality in autism spectrum disorder comprising verbal, social and situational awareness, social rules, boundaries and self / other differentiation, which can be addressed with neurofeedback training

 – Neurodiversity can give rise to exceptional performance and contributions, enriching the lives of others in many ways beyond what is objectively measurable

 – Simultaneously, people with autistic traits can become vulnerable to radicalisation as well as bullying and exploitation

 – With neurofeedback, we can reduce susceptibility by training a person’s ability to maturely interpret social rules, differentiate between self and other, become aware of social and personal boundaries, and regulate hyperfocus and emotions

Typical developmental trajectories often found in autistic persons include: 

 – an inability to express, understand and convey emotions and physical needs

 – increased frustration at not being understood, whether on a basic survival needs level or in more emotional / intellectual areas

 – impulsive aggression, potentially morphing into self-fuelling rage and violent behaviour

 – perceived lack of empathy and regard for the needs of others

 – generally being ‘misunderstood’, to the detriment being able to fully develop strengths and talents

With neurofeedback training, we can address these ultimately self-harming divergences and bring out the incredible potential in all of us. 

Spectrum of physical functionality in autism spectrum disorder comprising sleep, motor skills, body awareness, restricted focus and repetitive behaviour, sensory processing and hypersensitivity, which can be addressed with neurofeedback training

What Causes Autism / ASD?

 – Accelerated brain volume growth led by an expansion of the cortical surface before the age of two gives rise to atypical grey / white matter connections in autistic brains.  On average, ASD is diagnosed by age four, though higher functioning ASD (Asperger’s) is often diagnosed much later.

Abnormal Brain Growth in Autism due to cortical surface expanding quicker with same cortical thickness and its relation to neurofeedback
Altered functional connectivity in autism due to atypical grey / white matter connections before treatment with neurofeedback

– Every autistic brain is different and a qEEG brain map can reveal specific vulnerabilities, strengths and challenges which we can train with Personalised Brain Training neurofeedback

qEEG recording of brain waves is analysed to generate a brain map in form of a Kaiser Neuromap
Neurofeedback Training calms the mind and restores functionality and functional connectivity through personalised brain training in autism

 – Neurofeedback training is safe and non-invasive.  We provide the brain with real-time information about its own activity by rewarding certain behaviour. The reward is simply in form of regular volume; there is no stimulation via the electrodes. 

Sensors measure brain activity and are only for recording, nothing is transmitted into the brain.  The feedback is purely auditory and visual while watching a movie, as brain activity is analysed in real-time and feedback is delivered through subtle (NOT stop-start, INSTEAD minimal and fluid) sound / volume moderation and picture sizing. 

The preconscious brain uses this information to correct its behaviour and there is no direct stimulation.

neurofeedback is only visual and auditory feedback and no direct brain stimulation
Neurofeedback training is safe and non-invasive shown in a picture using Othmer Method

 – Neurofeedback training for autism is safe, evidence-based and effective

Research shows improvements in cognitive flexibility, facial recognition, social function, sensorimotor behaviour and overall calming.

Neurofeedback for autism is evidence-based treatment as shown in PubMed peer-reviewed articles
Neurofeedback for autism is effective, research shows improvements in cognitive flexibility, facial recognition, social function, sensorimotor behaviour and overall calming

– With Kaiser Neuromap qEEG brain maps, we can identify vulnerability to character traits.  Every autistic brain is different and individual.  A brain map serves as basis for Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps show character traits for neurofeedback
Every autistic brain is different and individual and a qEEG brain map using Kaiser Neuromap is the basis for Personalised Brain Training neurofeedback

Neurofeedback for Autism is Evidence-Based

 Neurofeedback training has been shown to be a safefeasible, and effective therapy approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder across all ages

 Multiple studies confirm improved cognitive flexibility, improved facial recognition, and  better behaviour in every-day life as functional connectivity in the social brain regions improved. 

9 point improvement in IQ was reported alongside decreased ASD symptoms including attention, anxiety, aprosodias, social functioning, as well as academic and intellectual functioning. 

 Sensorimotor behaviour (posturography) improved in children.

Why Neurofeedback for Autism

 – With autism, the ability to order and interpret emotions and develop awareness of body and space around it can be compromised, requiring particular educational attention and care 

 – Learning and development trajectories are critically shaped by effective therapy and an accommodating environment 

 – Neurofeedback provides personalised brain training aimed at restoring emotional and physical self-regulation, repetitive and restricted behaviour, focus and attention, self/other differentiation, ability to monitor consequences of actions

 – Neurofeedback training is safe, effective, non-invasive and drug-free

Daniel Webster has extensive experience in working with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Phone +44 (0)7966 699430 or daniel@neurofeedback.io for more information on Neurofeedback for Autism

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

High functioning autism or Asperger's with low support such as Bobby Fischer

ASD diagnoses are often problematic, in that the criteria below are extremely wide and subjective, while not accommodating the immense variability with which individuals present.  

Furthermore, once someone has been awarded a formal diagnosis, they are likely to be subjected to biased presumptions based on general characteristics expected to be found in autism, or SEMH in general. 

The range of ‘typical’ characteristics is tremendous, and many of these will not apply to any particular individual.  Personalised Brain Training provides a nuanced approach that respects individuality and targets individual needs.

Diagnosis runs the risks of focussing on behaviour, rather than needs.  With neurofeedback training we address the needs behind the behaviour.

With a Kaiser Neuromap we can identify areas of vulnerability and work on these with neurofeedback training.  

Autism comprises a spectrum of intensity regarding: 

    –  deficit in social communication and interaction; and 

    –  repetitive, restricted behaviour

Within autism, functionality ranges are extreme in this spectrum disorder, which includes Asperger’s Syndrome.  It ranges from high functionality / low support to low functionality / high support

What is common to persons diagnosed with autism is that their brain exhibits strong characteristics of a traumatised person prone to fear and anxiety.  Their brain maps additionally show a vulnerability to detachment and dissociation.  ‘Loner’ qualities – an immature perception and interpretation of social rules – are also seen.  Sense of self, the ability to self-soother and self-nurture, and a resultant excess recruitability – also manifesting in excessive stubbornness – accompany the picture. 

With neurofeedback training, we can work on brain areas relevant to essential social functioning, the process through which we share a reality, express our needs, and grow both emotionally and neurologically.     

Thank you for your time and interest in reading this.  To support further research and upcoming video content, Daniel Webster is open to donations by PayPal. 

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps and Brodmann areas

Brain Maps expose Individual Vulnerabilities

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify character traits, vulnerabilities and strengths. 

Different brain areas and networks govern our behaviour.  For example, there are parts of our brain which control mood regulation; spatial distractibility; physiological arousal; our sense of self; self-critical thoughts; anger and emotional attachment; and there are various sources of anxiety.

A brain map shows us which brain areas are behaving immaturely, and thus expose us to vulnerabilities or mental health issues.

Rather than fitting people into categories – diagnosis – we can assess vulnerability to behaviour patterns.  Every brain is different.  A brain map provides a more granular approach to understanding our strengths and weaknesses.

Neurofeedback process explained, illustrating real-time analysis of brain waves and feedback given

Personalised Brain Training with Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback lets us train dysrythmic brain areas.  With sensors comfortably fitted to the brain areas we want to train, we detect brainwave patterns real-time while watching a movie.  When these patterns are inefficient, the volume drops momentarily.  This is the feedback we are giving our brain, short and instantaneously.  

The brain area we are training recognises this – while our conscious mind is focussed on the movie – and adjusts its behaviour to restore the normal volume.  With repetition, throughout a session, learning occurs.  

Meanwhile our conscious mind is solely focussed on the movie; the training process is passive in this sense.    

The drop in volume is subtle, so we continue to understand the flow of the movie.  No current or electrical stimulation is fed to the brain; sensors simply read brainwaves and the feedback is purely audio-visual.

Neurofeedback is preconscious brain training aimed at enhancing our mental, emotional and spiritual health

Neurofeedback trains our Pre-Conscious Mind

 

Rather than engaging the conscious mind, which slows us down, we are training preconscious processes

This equips us with the ability to live in the moment and attain our potential (if we have to resort to conscious control, we are not living in the moment).

Personalised Brain Training is an advanced qEEG brain map-based approach to neurofeedback training developed by the founders of the field.  Taking Othmer Method / ILF training methods further, it employs Default Network Training protocols as developed by David Kaiser.

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based complementary therapy with over 2000 PubMed peer-reviewed research reports

Neurofeedback is Evidence-based

Neurofeedback training is an evidence-based complementary therapy.  Its efficacy was first demonstrated some 50 years ago, and with advances in technology, training protocols have become more efficient and the feedback method – watching movies – thoroughly enjoyable. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  It’s first application was discovered in 1971 when it was used to resolve intractable epilepsy. 

There are over 2,000 peer-reviewed research reports on PubMed demonstrating efficacy across a number of pathologies. 

In the US, it is an accepted complementary treatment for many challenges. 

Does Neurofeedback for Autism work?

Neurofeedback training has been shown to be a safefeasible, and effective therapy approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder across all ages.   Multiple studies confirm improved cognitive flexibility, improved facial recognition, and  better behaviour in every-day life as functional connectivity in the social brain regions improved.  A 9 point improvement in IQ was reported alongside decreased ASD symptoms including attention, anxiety, aprosodias, social functioning, as well as academic and intellectual functioning.   Sensorimotor behaviour (posturography) improved in children.

Neurofeedback training aims to address issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s Syndrome in a Non-Invasive, Drug-Free Way

Neurofeedback training for autism is personalised brain training aiming to improve physical and emotional self-regulation.  The autistic brain has not fully learned to order and interpret emotions, and develop its awareness of body and space around it.  Information is relayed unfiltered, leading to an overload.  With neurofeedback training, we can address both limbic self-regulation, as well as training particular areas of the cortex, as identified with a brain map.  

Neurofeedback London-Brighton uses two methods of neurofeedback: 

 – ILF / The Othmer Method for calming, and 

 – qEEG-guided Personalised Brain Training to improve functional connectivity and brain maturation.

Neurofeedback for Autism – Personalised Brain Training

Personalised Brain Training for autism is based on a qEEG-brain map.  A cap with nineteen sensors is fitted on the participants cortex to achieve a twenty-minute recording (ideally), which is then interpreted using advanced software developed by the founders of the field.  The output – not a diagnostic tool – indicates which brain areas are under- or overcontributing according to a specific metric, and when compared to a database of what are deemed ‘healthy’ brains.  We can then train these brain areas specifically.  This is Personalised Brain Training that can be added to the Othmer Method described above.

Brain areas contributing to the following character attributes can be addressed:

– Repetitive and Restricted Behaviour

– Attention and Focus

– Sense of Self

– Self/Other Differentiation

– Impulsive Aggression and Rage

– Ability to Self-Nurture and Self-Soothe

– Verbal Expression and Comprehension

– Joint Attention / Intention of Eye Gazes

– Monitoring Consequences of Actions

– Anxiety and Emotional Dysregulation

The process is similar to the Othmer Method in that the participant is watching a video of their choice, which captures their conscious attention.  Through visual and auditory feedback, the preconscious brain is shown a more efficient state of operation through operant conditioning.  Repeated training helps the participant to integrate these more efficient behaviour patterns into their life.   Training sessions are ideally longer, though many participants build up to this with time, as more cortical sites are trained during a session.   Training success depends on session feedback, training duration and frequency, and can vary significantly by participant.

Neurofeedback for Autism – The Othmer Method

The Othmer Method can be highly effective in reducing hyperarousal in Autism.  It can be done with as few as three electrodes to accomodate initial acclimatisation to the procedure, and has the ability to change content (e.g. YouTube) easily in session.  This is particularly useful when distractibility is an issue.  Furthermore, the visual inhibits it applies to the feedback,  i.e. the video being watched, can have a focusing effect, thus engaging the participant quickly.

In Autism, the brain has during its first  year of development not fully learned to order and interpret emotions, and develop its awareness of body and space around it.  Information is relayed unfiltered, leading to an overload.  From a neurofeedback perspective, this assessment suffices to implement training protocols:  By calming especially the right side of the brain, many symptoms can be alleviated or improved.  We can further add other right-side sites for training to address emotional reactivity and social interaction.  The Othmer Method of neurofeedback for autism aims to address the following:

 – Physical calming – improving body and spatial awareness, including coordination and appetite awareness.  This is generally observable in the first sessions(s).  The participant’s system is in a state of over-arousal, stress, due to an inability to control sensory input.  Once the four sensors have been placed and they are sitting in a comfortable chair fixated on the screen in front of them, we quickly see this stress subside as the training takes effect

 – Emotional calming – related to physical calming but different in that impulsiveness, obsessive thought and worry are targeted, which also reduces anxiety and improves confident interaction with others.  Emotional relating follows and is an incredibly endearing experience.  Having gone from a state of emergency and sensory overload to focusing on the video that’s playing as part of the neurofeedback training, the calming is quickly noticeable.  When this is followed by interaction with the content and questions about characters, we know we’re making progress in a new and encouraging way

 – Reading and expressing emotions – specific parts of the brain responsible for reading and interpreting facial expressions, as well as expressing emotions.  We train these progressively having laid the groundwork of physical and emotional calming.  This equips the participant with more tools to interact with their surroundings, reducing fear and anger inherent in an inability to communicate effectively and understand their environs

 – Physical coordination and learning – specific parts of the brain responsible for reading, writing, calculations, as well as fine motor skills, spatial awareness and sense of time.

 

Daniel Webster has extensive experience working with autism patients of all ages.  Contact Daniel on +44 7966699430 or daniel@neurofeedback.io to arrange sessions. 

Neurofeedback London-Brighton does not provide diagnosis nor medical interventions nor medical advice and is not medically trained.  By engaging in neurotherapy, you confirm that you have sought medical advice and are keeping your relevant medical professional informed of therapy progress.

Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine.  qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms.  It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.

What is Autism? What is ASD? What is Asperger's?

The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Autism state that the two key symptoms of

 (1) deficit in social communication and interaction; and 

(2) restricted repetitive behavior or actions; must be present in the early developmental period; cause significant functional impairment and are not better explained by intellectual disability.  

Symptoms in the DSM-5 are further exemplified here

Asperger’s Disorder is a form of high-functioning Autism that was subsumed into the definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the DSM-5, in turn separated into three levels of severity.  

Research into the condition often segments participants into Low and High Functioning Autism (LFA/HFA) using IQ measures, with 70 as an arbitrary boundary between the two.  Unfortunately, IQ doesn’t necessarily provide the best measure of intellectual capability, especially when that potential is hidden behind behaviour patterns the brain hasn’t overcome yet in its quest for social interaction.  

Nurture, or rather, effective therapy and an accommodating environment can shape verbal, mathematical, creative and physical skills.  The trajectories for personal development thus created can result in tremendous differences of outcomes, including but not limited to, the ability to perform on IQ tests.  Personalised brain training can help children achieve unforeseen potentials.

 

Does Neurofeedback for Autism work?

Neurofeedback training has been shown to be a safefeasible, and effective therapy approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder across all ages.   Multiple studies confirm improved cognitive flexibility, improved facial recognition, and  better behaviour in every-day life as functional connectivity in the social brain regions improved.  A 9 point improvement in IQ was reported alongside decreased ASD symptoms including attention, anxiety, aprosodias, social functioning, as well as academic and intellectual functioning.   Sensorimotor behaviour (posturography) improved in children.

Brain Differences in Autism and the Neurofeedback Approach

There are some detectable brain differences in people with ASD, including structure and connectivity.  These include:

 – Brain volume trajectory:  ASD brain volume growth appears accelerated, particularly in the frontal and temporal lobes, in early children around two to four years of age.  Adults on the other hand appear to show decreased volume or no difference, and it is thought that growth is arrested after around 10-15 years or age.  Led by an accelerated expansion of the cortical surface before the age of two, without concomitant increase in cortical thickness, this expansion of gray matter appears linked to lower maturation of the cortical white matter, giving rise to atypical connections.

 – Specific cortical regions have been suggested as being responsible for the various symptoms exhibited as they relate to language, social attention and behaviours, and repetitive and restricted behaviour, while accepting their heterogeneity

No two brains are are the same, and this holds true for ASD in particular.  A qEEG-brain map can show areas of dysrhythmia that could benefit form training in a personalised approach

 – Enlarged amygdala in autism, specifically a subregion responsive to both salient stimuli and threats.   The amygdala is a key subcortical element of the limbic system with strong links to certain cortical sites.  We can train these cortical sites with neurofeedback.

 – Grey and white matter volumes as well as gyrification in various brain areas are different in autism, including those involved in face and object recognition; intention of others; spacial awareness; internal organisation; language and expression of emotion. 

A brain map can help personalise the neurofeedback training.  With Neurofeedback, we can also train the white matter tracts.  

Neurofeedback Sessions for Autism

Neurofeedback training has been shown to be a safefeasible, and effective therapy approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder across all ages.   Multiple studies confirm improved cognitive flexibility, improved facial recognition, and  better behaviour in every-day life as functional connectivity in the social brain regions improved.  A 9 point improvement in IQ was reported alongside decreased ASD symptoms including attention, anxiety, aprosodias, social functioning, as well as academic and intellectual functioning. 

Neurofeedback for autism most likely involves ongoing training and can substantially improve lives.  Training sessions last about half an hour for ILF / The Othmer Method, and up to two hours (when tolerated) for Default Network Training.  A course of twenty hours usually indicates responsiveness to neurofeedback training.

Once the attention is captured with a video or game, resistance to touch (putting on electrodes) tends to disappear.  It is remarkable how many autistic participants are drawn back into doing more sessions without the often characteristic resistance to new or strange things.  Note however results vary and the first few sessions can involve acclimatising the participant to the process, for the benefit of further sessions where more training time is achieved. 

 

Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training

Kaiser Neuromap brain maps and Brodmann areas

Brain Maps expose Individual Vulnerabilities

With a Kaiser Neuromap, we can identify character traits, vulnerabilities and strengths. 

Different brain areas and networks govern our behaviour.  For example, there are parts of our brain which control mood regulation; spatial distractibility; physiological arousal; our sense of self; self-critical thoughts; anger and emotional attachment; and there are various sources of anxiety.

A brain map shows us which brain areas are behaving immaturely, and thus expose us to vulnerabilities or mental health issues.

Rather than fitting people into categories – diagnosis – we can assess vulnerability to behaviour patterns.  Every brain is different.  A brain map provides a more granular approach to understanding our strengths and weaknesses.

Neurofeedback process explained, illustrating real-time analysis of brain waves and feedback given

Personalised Brain Training with Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback lets us train dysrythmic brain areas.  With sensors comfortably fitted to the brain areas we want to train, we detect brainwave patterns real-time while watching a movie.  When these patterns are inefficient, the volume drops momentarily.  This is the feedback we are giving our brain, short and instantaneously.  

The brain area we are training recognises this – while our conscious mind is focussed on the movie – and adjusts its behaviour to restore the normal volume.  With repetition, throughout a session, learning occurs.  

Meanwhile our conscious mind is solely focussed on the movie; the training process is passive in this sense.    

The drop in volume is subtle, so we continue to understand the flow of the movie.  No current or electrical stimulation is fed to the brain; sensors simply read brainwaves and the feedback is purely audio-visual.

Neurofeedback is preconscious brain training aimed at enhancing our mental, emotional and spiritual health

Neurofeedback trains our Pre-Conscious Mind

 

Rather than engaging the conscious mind, which slows us down, we are training preconscious processes

This equips us with the ability to live in the moment and attain our potential (if we have to resort to conscious control, we are not living in the moment).

Personalised Brain Training is an advanced qEEG brain map-based approach to neurofeedback training developed by the founders of the field.  Taking Othmer Method / ILF training methods further, it employs Default Network Training protocols as developed by David Kaiser.

We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based complementary therapy with over 2000 PubMed peer-reviewed research reports

Neurofeedback is Evidence-based

Neurofeedback training is an evidence-based complementary therapy.  Its efficacy was first demonstrated some 50 years ago, and with advances in technology, training protocols have become more efficient and the feedback method – watching movies – thoroughly enjoyable. 

Neurofeedback is evidence-based.  It’s first application was discovered in 1971 when it was used to resolve intractable epilepsy. 

There are over 2,000 peer-reviewed research reports on PubMed demonstrating efficacy across a number of pathologies. 

In the US, it is an accepted complementary treatment for many challenges. 

Autism usually presents with significant comorbidities, both with regard to mental and physical health.  A brain map lets us identify cortical areas that would benefit from training.  As such it takes a more holistic approach, and training can be personalised and targeted.  There are brain areas responsible for fine motor skills and spatial awareness which we can train, as well as sense of time, reading / writing / calculations, and of course verbal skills. 

Physical well-being is particularly topical with autism due to the inherent immune dysregulation.  A number of interventions are discussed in “Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism”.  A chapter on neurofeedback is written by Siegfried Othmer:

 

Siegfried Othmer talks about the application of Othmer Method Neurofeedback Training in this video.  Having spent most of his life dedicated to developing a means to work on symptoms and improve the lives of countless sufferers of autism, his account is gripping and moving:

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