Frequently Asked Questions

Edmonton Health & Performance Psychology Clinic

How does neurofeedback help with autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is actually a set of complex syndromes that are associated with neural connectivity anomalies and dysfunction in numerous brain regions. It can present very differently in each person affected by it. In order for Neurofeedback to be effective, a personalized protocol would be utilized to target the anomalies within the individual’s brain activity. This is why we do an initial assessment which includes questionnaires, cognitive testing, and a qEEG brain map to determine where any difficulties may lie. Difficulties in functioning seen in ASD often involve dysfunction within brain areas that regulate arousal, attention, sensory integration, and executive functions. Neurofeedback can be used to regulate these connectivity abnormalities by encouraging new growth and reorganization in specific brain areas.

Positive results seen in research regarding neurofeedback treatment for ASD have included improvements in executive functioning, social behavior, as well as verbal and non-verbal communication. Behavioral assessments based on research also saw significant improvements in the behaviors of their ASD experimental groups including tantrums, anxiety, and socialization. In these studies, they’ve found that the improvements in executive functioning in ASD clients were maintained or even increased one year after treatment. They also found that children’s immediate improvement in social interaction skills, communicative abilities, and typical behavior was maintained, giving further evidence to the hypothesis that neurofeedback increases the flexibility of the brain and can produce long-term beneficial effects.

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