Amy Spenciner, LCSW

Ithaca Brain Training and Counseling

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ADHD and Neurofeedback Brain Training

What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, allows an individual to gain greater self-control over physiological processes (brain waves).  People learn increased self-regulation through computer interface with positive rewards of sounds or visual stimuli.  The overall goal is to improve mental flexibility so that mental states appropriate to a given situation can be produced. 

How does neurofeedback work?

An EEG sensor is placed on the scalp and the biofeedback equipment measures brainwaves which are then shown on a computer screen.  Clients learn to modify brain states by using audio or visual feedback.  Research-based protocols and a comprehensive ADHD assessment are used to determine placement of sensors and which brainwaves to work up or down.  Neurofeedback empowers people to shift the way they pay attention- to maintain focus and concentration where they might otherwise drift off or become distracted- by balancing the production of fast and slow brain waves.

Frequently asked questions

1.  What age group is served by ADHD neurofeedback training?  Training can benefit children as young as six years old through adulthood.

2. I'm not sure if my child has ADHD or just symptoms of something like ADHD.  A comprehensive clinical evaluation is performed to accurately assess ADHD and the likelihood of neurofeedback as a successful therapy.

3.  Is ADHD neurofeedback used in combination or as an alternative to medication?  It can be used either way.  If used in combination, the eventual reduction or even elimination of medication is common.

4.  My child only has ADD inattention symptoms.  Can neurofeedback help?  Yes.  Neurofeedback can assist with one or more symptoms of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Different protocols are used in treatment.

5.  What is the success rate?  Research has shown the success rate to be at least 75% in reducing core symptoms of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Average treatment length is 30 - 40 sessions and is largely dependent on ADHD severity. 

6.  Do results last?  Research has shown treatment results to be long-lasting.  Occasional boosts may be needed every few months.

7.  Is this a cure-all?  Neurofeedback is not a cure-all.  It is a research-based therapy that assumes a healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet, exercise and adequate sleep.  For children, family counseling may be beneficial as well.  It is not uncommon for benefits to include an increased IQ, improved grades and improved social functioning as a result of treatment.

8.  My child has ADHD and is struggling in school.  How can neurofeedback help?  ADHD neurofeedback addresses inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  Sessions can include metacognitive training to help students develop better thinking processes.  Counseling and parent education classes are also available.

9.  Is insurance accepted?  Many insurance companies will accept neurofeedback for ADHD treatment if it is done in conjunction with counseling and submission of research data.  Assistance is available in helping you to obtain insurance authorization.