Neurofeedback and Attention Disorders Bainbridge Island WA
Bay View Counseling and Consulting
By Timothy Culbert, M.D.
Q: I’ve heard neurofeedback can help kids with attention disorders. What exactly is it, and does it really work?
A: It’s a new type of biofeedback that trains kids to control their brain waves. There’s mounting evidence that it’s both helpful and safe, and kids tend to be very good at it. It’s like a video game for the body. The practitioner places electrodes on the child’s scalp, and the child learns to control the brain waves— in real time—by watching them on a computer screen. Many kids with ADHD are deficient in beta waves, the high-frequency brain waves involved in thinking. And they tend to have too much theta wave activity, which happens when the mind is disorganized and not well focused. One training strategy works to decrease theta wave activity and increase beta waves.
The only downside is the time it takes—usually 30 to 50 sessions of training are required before a child is fully trained. Since insurance typically doesn’t pay for it, it can be expensive.
This is something you’ll want to do with the guidance of a well-trained professional. Your best bet is to find someone credentialed by the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America.