One of the most well known ways for individuals with autism to receive treatment is with Applied Behavior Analysis. This is a form of behavioral therapy in which a trained practitioner works one on one with the child to teach them cues for specific behaviors, appropriate responses, and then rewards the child when they engage in correct behaviors or responses. Applied Behavior Analysis is considered an evidence based treatment for individuals with autism due to the long history of research that demonstrates its effectiveness.
But what if Applied Behavior Analysis is only half of the story? The Autism Story website (https://www.autism-society.org/what-is/causes/) states that it is “generally accepted that [autism] is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function”. What if there’s additional interventions that can be used to directly target the function of the brain? Well guess what? There is! It’s called neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive treatment that can target the functioning of brain waves. Abnormal brain wave patterns have been linked to many different mental health conditions including ADHD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, just to name a few. With neurofeedback you are able to determine what areas of your brain are acting abnormally and directly address these areas to promote normal brain functioning.
More and more studies are demonstrating the effectiveness of neurofeedback for children with autism. Franziska Eller’s study The effectiveness of neurofeedback training for children with autism spectrum disorders conducted in 2015 found that neurofeedback, in addition to therapy, showed clinically significant improvement in prior abnormal brain wave activity and reduction in peculiar behaviors.
In Mirjam E.J. Kouijzer, et al.’s 2008 study Neurofeedback improves executive functioning in children with autism spectrum disorders, the researchers found that by targeting the abnormal beta and theta waves through neurofeedback, the children with autism displayed improvements in executive functioning, social and communication skills, and engaged in more typical behaviors for children their age. That’s some pretty impressive results!
If you have a child or loved one diagnosed with autism, neurofeedback may be able to help them! At Brain Mind Wellness I offer neurofeedback and therapy services for individuals on the spectrum. Schedule a free consultation here to see how I can help.