Case Study 3

Adam

January 1997

Adam was originally thought to have extreme ADHD, but he was not communicating well. Speech was dominated by phrases he would mimic from videos and advertisements. He did not initiate conversations, and answers were rote material heard on TV. It was also difficult to get him engaged in activities. Additionally, Adam had sleep difficulties, did not eat well, and had frequent ear and other infections. He was in a special pre-school for two years, where he often exhibited behavior problems.

Adam started the EEG biofeedback training when he was four-and-a-half years old, at the office of Glen Martin in Wadsworth, Ohio. Over the first twenty sessions, there were no sudden changes. He did sleep better; he was calmer; and his behavior was improved. The conviction that improvements were in fact taking place came gradually to the parents.

After a break, training was extended to forty sessions. It was in this time frame that the diagnosis of autism was finally made, and the parents realized the potential need for long-term training. The visits to the clinician’s office were inconvenient, however, so the family purchased the EEG biofeedback instrument and obtained the professional training in EEG biofeedback so that Adam could be trained at home. (Adam’s mother has a degree in Education.) On this basis, the training could be conducted every day.

Adam didn’t mind doing the training. His perseveration at tasks sometimes interfered with getting the training started, but once underway he had no difficulty sticking with it. Adam’s mom sometimes used rewards to get him motivated. The training involves two different scalp locations, and reward for two different kinds of brain activity. On the feedback screen, one of these appears in green, and the other in blue. Adam has over time identified what is appropriate for his own training, and will call out how much of the “green” and how much of the “blue” he wants that day. Usually, this is consistent with what mom thinks is a good idea.

In February, 1996, when Adam was five, he was tested by a speech pathologist. Adam was found to be severely delayed in receptive and expressive language. By the end of 1996, Adam was within age-appropriate range on both, despite the fact that the recommended speech therapy had not been done. The speech pathologist was impressed. “This kind of thing does not usually resolve itself in ten months. It borders on the miraculous.” She had never seen such dramatic improvement in her entire professional experience. Another speech pathologist, when seeing the pre/post training test results, simply said “Wow!” IQ scores have also shown improvement.

In February, 1996, when Adam was five, he was tested by a speech pathologist. Adam was found to be severely delayed in receptive and expressive language. By the end of 1996, Adam was within age-appropriate range on both, despite the fact that the recommended speech therapy had not been done. The speech pathologist was impressed. “This kind of thing does not usually resolve itself in ten months. It borders on the miraculous.” She had never seen such dramatic improvement in her entire professional experience. Another speech pathologist, when seeing the pre/post training test results, simply said “Wow!” IQ scores have also shown improvement.

Socially Adam is making gains as well. He is just starting to have friends, and he now plays at recess. At this point he still doesn’t initiate interaction with other children, but will do so with adults. Also in this time frame, Adam’s mom took the Options Institute training in Sheffield, Massachusetts. The techniques learned there were also very helpful. The combination has led to improvements well beyond the expectation of the parents both in terms of the goals reached, and the rate at which they were obtained. Adam is now mainstreamed in a regular kindergarten. He will be seven years old in May.

The expectation is to continue the EEG biofeedback training.

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