Neurofeedback for Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome & PDD
Autism is a disorder of the neural development and is characterized by significant
impairment in social interactions, communication and restricted patterns of behaviour,
interest, and activities. It was once thought to be a rare disorder. However, today,
the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (which include autistic disorder and
Asperger’s disorder) is estimated as high as 1 in every 150 births (Centres for Disease
Control and Prevention, 2007). Neurobiological influences have been shown to have
great impact on autism children.
Under the autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s disorder is commonly named. Asperger’s
disorder involves significant impairment in the ability to engage in meaningful social
interaction, along with restricted and repetitive stereotyped behaviours but without
the severe delays in language or other cognitive skills characteristic of people
with autism. They display impaired social relationships and restricted or unusual
behaviours or activities but unlike individuals with autism, they can often be quite
verbal. Aspergers primarily show few severe cognitive impairments and usually have
IQ scores within the average range.
Three major impairments of autism are: impairment in social interactions, impairment
in communications, and restricted behaviour, interests and activities. These delays
or abnormal functioning begin before a child is three years old. Symptoms include:
Poor eye contact
Sensitivity to noise
Failure to develop peer relationships.
Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms
Inability in initiating or sustaining a conversation with others
Lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other
Neurobiological influences have been greatly studied to explain the social and communication
problems observed in autism. These include:
Food allergies including leaky guts
Excessive organic acids due to yeast and bacteria overgrowth.
Excessive oxalates due to yeast and bacteria overgrowth or other causes
Poor digestion of certain proteins such as gluten and casein
Heavy metal accumulation such as Mercury
Till this day, there has been no cure for autism. However, the biochemistry of autism
children has been proven important throughout their developmental growth. Hair Tissue
Mineral Analysis, Blood and Urine Test are inexpensive yet effective methods in identifying
toxicity, digestion, food allergies and nutritional imbalances. Intervention through
supplementation and dietary habits could be designed to overcome the aversive effects
of the environment on the children.
As autism presents as a spectrum of disorders, QEEG brain mapping is essential to
view the different brain profiles. Some autistic children have cortical hyperactivity
at various parts of the brain while other have exhaustion and shut downs profile.
Neurofeedback is an intervention that aims at exercising specific parts of the brain.
With the brain exercise, the neural activities at these specific locations of the
can be directly regulated. Finally, these regulations will result in
Reduce sensory overload such as sensitivity to certain sound
Reduce anxiety and stress
Reduce temper tantrums and restlessness
Reduce routine and repetitive behaviour
Greater awareness of the surrounding
Improve eye contact
Better social behaviour
Improve speech – relevance of content and clearer verbalization