Finding the best Neurofeedback provider for your child.
- Written by John N Demos
Neurofeedback training is widely used for children with ADHD, asperger's syndrome, migraines, Learning disorders, depression, anxiety and many other childhood problems. Parents will benefit from the following suggestions when seeking our the services of a neurofeedback provider in their local community.
Find a practitioner who is certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (www.bcia.org). If you are living in the United States your Neurofeedback provider should be licensed by the state as a professional health care provider. Finding a licensed and BCIA board certified practitioner is a first step. This step alone does not guarantee the quality of care, but it will help you to weed out amateurs who are not health care professionals. Many health care professional living outside the USA are also board certified by BCIA and they are duly recognized as professionals in their own country.
Professionals begin neurofeedback with an intensive evaluation which includes the following:
QEEG assessment (or MiniQ)
- Family assessment
- Establish Goals (What is the reason for your visit)
- Continuous Performance Test (CPT) such as IVA, TOVA or CONNORS
- Other Computer tests (as needed)
- Symptom Questionnaires
- Standardized tests for Depression, Anxiety or others (as needed)
What is the flow of a neurofeedback clinic
Initial Evaluation & Goal Setting > Testing > Training > Re-testing > Training > Termination
Let me explain about the importance of re-testing: After 10-15 training sessions it is essential to re-administer the key tests. For example, if your Goal was to improve your child's attention, then a CPT test would be administered before training begins and then about 10-15 sessions later to determine if it makes sense to continue training. Your child should have improved by "1" standard deviation. If he or she did not improve then there is no rationale to continue training. Neurofeedback is an incremental form of learning, that means that almost every session generates some improvement. It's like climbing a stair case. Each session is one step closer to reaching your goal at the top. If no significant changes have happened after 10-15 sessions, then it's time to cut your loses or seek a new practitioner. However, if your child has a pervasive developmental disorder or autism, the change will take place at a slower pace. But change will not all of a sudden kick in after 30-40 sessions, change is gradual.
Consider the following Continuous Performance tests results:
Our first parent came in with the goal of helping her child pay more attention and to improve his nightly sleep. His baseline score was 74 (100 point is average) and after 12 sessions his score was 107. [107-74=33 point increase]. "1" standard deviation is 15 points, therefore 12 training session yielded 2 full standard deviations. His attention score was well within the range of average.
Our second child was a teen who suffered from poor judgement making it difficult for him to master driving. It was difficult for this client to advance in math because of poor attention. Again we see a 2 standard deviation improvement within the 10-15th training session (102-70=32 points):
In both of the above cases Neurofeedback was successful. Continuous performance tests (CPTs) are computer driven and objective.
Choose a practitioner that uses CPT tests to demonstrate the effectiveness of his neurofeedback interventions.
QEEG Mapping (or MiniQ). When the practitioner creates Brain Maps before training commences it is possible to know in advance of training where to place electrodes