Neurofeedback for learning disabilities

Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a research proven way to help you improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology is quite sophisticated, the process is simple, painless, and non-invasive. It is just learning. You learn to alter your brain activity the same way you learn every other skill – through feedback and practice.

What is new in neurofeedback is that you are guided by a form of feedback that was previously not available to you – instantaneous information about changes in your brain’s electrical activity. Every half second, your brain activity is compared to your targets for change. You get a signal and “reward” when you meet the goal. No signal or reward when you do not.

In 20 neurofeedback sessions, with feedback every half second, you get 72,000 chances to learn. That’s a lot of repetition and practice. Brain science has shown that repetitive exercise of brain networks reshapes the brain. Neurofeedback for learning disabilities allows you to reshape information processing networks in your brain. Learn more about neurofeedback.

Research on neurofeedback for learning disabilities

Research on the effectiveness of neurofeedback for learning disabilities is in its early stages. A few small studies have been completed showing that neurofeedback can be useful in several types of learning disabilities, including difficulties with reading and math. Much more and better research is needed to draw any clear conclusions.

At the NeuroDevelopmentCenter, we have worked with many children and adolescent clients with learning difficulties. We have consistently found it to be helpful. We recommend neurofeedback when standard educational practices and tutoring do not solve the problem. Neurofeedback for learning disabilities is often especially helpful with the difficulties with frustration, irritability, anger, anxiety, and mood that very often accompany learning disabilities.

See the problem, then correct it

Learning disabilities result from disruptions in information processing networks in the brain. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, we measure the activity of brain networks crucial for learning. This allows you to see the reason for your difficulties. The image below shows the problem for one of our clients with dyslexia – a reading learning disability. The area shown in red indicates dysfunction in brain areas involved in information processing for reading. Once we see the source of the problem in the brain, we target that area for change with neurofeedback brain training. This allows you to reshape information processing networks in the brain.

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Real stories from our clients

Neurofeedback for learning disabilities footballDan’s Mom described her son’s experience with neurofeedback:

My son is 10 years old and has been diagnosed with non-verbal learning disorder. He was challenged every day to control his emotions and manage his frustrations with everyday situations. He would become very upset when he perceived situations as unfair or negative…He would become overly aggressive, (showed) ragelike behavior, and (was) extremely defiant to everyone.

After approximately 10 sessions of neurofeedback, we began to see a difference. He is now handling the same situations with grace. He is handling the loss of football games and recess at school without incident. He is a better friend and is in better control of his emotions. -C.L., North Providence, RI

Neurofeedback for learning disabilities Three happy schoolboysNoah’s Mom described her son’s experience with neurofeedback:

My son has NLD and attention issues as well as social pragmatic deficits and sensory integration dysfunction. We had pursued vision therapy and…occupational therapy and had made gains…but we were still struggling with the attentional deficits, impulsivity, and social pragmatic issues.

Neurofeedback has helped Noah make incredible progress in his ability to organize himself. He is now able to get himself dressed with little or no management. He is coping successfully in a regular education classroom setting. He is exercising judgment and is not as easily led into disruptive or confrontational situations. He is calmer and has even been known to sit through an entire dinner with little movement. We are very pleased with his progress and plan to continue the therapy. -C.Z., Barrington, RI

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If you have learning disabilities and would like to learn more about neurofeedback, we are here to help.

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