Neurofeedback Treatment (Part 3) : Like a Drowning Man Grasping Straw

This is the last of a three-part series of personal perspectives on bio-medical interventions we have tried. Read: Neurofeedback Treatment – Part 1 | Part 2

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Like a drowning man grasping straw… two years later

So then why did we go back two years later and do another series of 60 sessions?!!  Maybe we’re eternal optimist, maybe we’re fools, but I think mostly, we were desperate.

A casual conversation with a school mom convinced me that in neurofeedback the provider can make a difference to the quality and effectiveness of the treatment.  No different from doctors.  She thought that it might be the provider that was the problem, and I shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. She had seen a huge change in her eight year old boy.  He could concentrate, he was more organized, responded when spoken to, and I heard and saw him myself reading quietly with the mom, engaging and asking questions! She said teachers, visiting families all saw the change in him.  That one testimonial was enough to get me back to another series of neurofeedback sessions for my son.

I immediately contacted the Attention Learning Center, based in San Juan Capistrano, with an office in San Diego. We signed up for 50 sessions, then added another 10 when we didn’t see the desired results. After 60 sessions, the post-treatment brain mapping showed some improvement in his some of his brain waves, but it didn’t translate into improvement in attention or staying on task in school or at home.  We saw no difference in the impulsivity, self control and mood symptoms.

However there was a huge difference between the first practice and the second. That was in the director running ALC.  Dr Michael Linden is actively involved in his patient’s cases. He met with us and our son during the intake, and every month to review his progress. He listened, was accessible, and drove every month from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego to meet with families. He tweaked and made changes to the protocol to address issues.

If I had to do it all over again

Yes,  I would probably still have done it. The positive results from the mom from school is enough to convince me that there are some merits to it.  If I didn’t try it, I might not forgive myself for seeking out every help I could find. My conclusion is that brain mapping doesn’t lie – it’s the most scientific assessment you can get of your child’s brain. Neurofeedback can and does alter those brain waves, but that’s where the connection then breaks down. For some, it translates to change in behavior, for some it doesn’t.  Like everything about mental illness and autism, you take your shots and hope and pray something works.

The selection of the provider is critical. Screen them carefully because it’s about reviewing patient cases, tweaking the protocol, making changes and understanding your problems. If they don’t even meet with your son, run out of the office as fast as your legs can take you! ALC did what they could, Dr Michael Linden is engaged with his patients, a competent practitioner in his field. Neurofeedback just didn’t help Jack.

Read: Part 1 – Neurofeedback Treatment: Myth or Medicine?

Read: Part 2 – Neurofeedback Treatment: Jumping In With Both Feet

Kate M

Reformed Corporate Workhorse. Reuser / Recycler. Blogger. Reader. Singapore Girl. San Diego Mom. Believer.

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