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Archive for May 2013


Q&A: Neurofeedback for ADHD

One fan asked: I would appreciate any input you might offer about the neurofeedback approach to treating ADHD.  My nine year old grandson has been taking Adderall now for about two years.  There are several clinics, including the Drake Institute, in our area, that offer an eight week summer session, claiming that their neurofeedback treatment either eliminates or reduces the amount of Adderall for a patient with ADHD.  It is an expensive, although it would be worth it to get him off Adderall.  Any advice and/or comments about neurofeedback in treating ADHD?

While I don’t do neurofeedback to treat symptoms of ADHD, I have anecdotally heard positive things. Some research is also mounting to suggest it has positive clinical effects. It is expensive, but the key thing before you start is to ask about the “maintenance phase”. This is the phase after treatment ends. All good behavioral and cognitive therapies should build in a maintenance program whereby patients return periodically for booster/rehearsal sessions as part of the treatment package. Without these “tune-ups” it’s hard to hold onto gains and transfer them to the real world.

Also, don’t forget that using good behavioral techniques throughout the day – everyday – is essential in keeping ADHD symptoms at bay and promoting tools that are life-long. These include, parent’s/teacher’s clear consistent expectations and rules, and keeping consistently to rewards/consequences. Finally, don’t underestimate the value of vigorous daily exercise, and breaks to get outdoors. Get off of screens. Eat better foods (without preservatives or additives that have been linked to hyperactivity), and make sure your child is getting enough sleep. Sleep problems are at the root of many acciodental ADHD diagnoses.

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