School-based Neurofeedback training for ADHD
The fact is that children have a hard time self-regulating their behavior since they are still learning. Even as an adult, we can struggle at times with our behaviors. What makes it more difficult for those students with a learning challenge (such as those with ADHD) is that it can have a profound negative effect on their school performance. These children are very smart but lack the focus to concentrate and are told they are a distraction and give up.
Why isn’t there a class that helps to teach children to self-regulate their behaviors?
What happens to children who are considered a “distraction”? Most of the time they get sent to detention or parents get told that maybe medication is the answer to help their child focus in class. Why aren’t we looking at the root cause?
What is the root cause?
The brain. The brain is the root cause.
Did you know that the brain is very adaptable? If you take a look at a basic psychological operant conditioning technique, which is how one can modify behavior by positive or negative reinforcement, this type of technique can be used to teach the brain to self-regulate and improve ADHD symptoms without the use of medication. This can be used with other learning challenges or mental health symptoms as well.
Many parents are aware that there are side effects to ADHD medication. The trial and error method of psychotropic medications is a process and provides a quick result. Most articles share that ADHD medication is a “quick fix”; however, it isn’t “fixing” the problem. Medication masks the symptoms and can create other long-term side effects. These medications are harming our children and are intended for short-term use but many children are placed on them without truly needing the medication and more issues arise.
A better alternative to medication is to teach the brain to self-regulate through Neurofeedback training in the school environment. Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free option that provides a learning modality to teach the child’s brain to self-regulate through positive reinforcement. Once the brain is balanced and stable, the effect is a long-term positive change.
How Can Neurofeedback Help?
- Self-regulation of the brain will reduce the concerning impulsive symptoms
- Increased awareness, concentration, and focus
- Correcting the root cause can prevent potential future symptoms and set the child up for success early on in their academic career.
Research behind Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback training has been done in schools over the last 20 years in a variety of settings, both large and small, and in public and therapeutic academic facilities. The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics compared neurofeedback to cognitive behavioral training against a control group and found a significant positive impact that neurofeedback has on children with ADHD in a school setting. The children in the study were in second and fourth grades and diagnosed with ADHD (n=104). They were randomly assigned to neurofeedback (NF) (n = 34), cognitive training (CT) (n = 34), or control (n = 36) conditions. The analysis assessed changes in medication. The results concluded that stimulant medication dosage in methylphenidate equivalencies significantly increased for children in the CT (8.54 mg) and control (7.05 mg) conditions but not for those in the NF condition (0.29 mg).
An article written for the Biofeedback Journal by Dr. Thornton discussed “What right do we have, as professionals and as educators, to offer less than what we are capable of to these children?” This author showed the effect of neurofeedback or what he refers to as “the neurocognitive approach” on a child’s IQ and reports the possibility to obtain an IQ increase of 1 standard deviation. This has a major impact on a child’s academic performance and overall opportunities in life. Thornton concludes that it is crucial to “implement the neurocognitive approach in the special education system during the early years of a child’s educational experience. Implementing this approach will significantly reduce a child’s adverse perception of the classroom situation and reduce the pain and tribulation of the families involved. Furthermore, the approach will allow the educational system to obtain savings of nearly $327 billion per year.”(1)
Taking the Next Best Step!
As a parent or educator, you may wish to explore the possibility of adding a neurofeedback training program to your school’s curriculum as an elective. To do so, you should discuss the possibility with the school principal, superintendent, and Special Education Department. Yes, funding can be a challenge, but the benefits for your child and other children will set them up for long-term success. By systematically implementing neurofeedback in early intervention, the educational system can save billions each year and use those funds to adapt and improve the overall educational system.
Call 833-SYMMETRY (833-796-6387) for more information on starting a school program.
Across the country, SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training is being used in public school settings, multiple therapeutic academic programs, and private clinics. We have integrated a limited availability program called Pilot 5 that allows you to trial run Neuro-PT, create awareness for families, improve enrollee’s success, and generate increased revenue while gaining measurable results. This is the best option available for those schools who aren’t sure if they can make a full commitment to integrating neurofeedback into their learning modality courses and want to try to see how the application will provide results for the students, families, and schools.