BioNeuroFeedback - SmartBrainGames
My son has been recently diagnosed with ADD (the Dr. says he's not hyperactive, but he's been fooling me). I believe I have a case of undiagnosed ADD. Anyway, my son, in the first grade, was having several problems at school, not listening to teachers, fidgety, not starting tasks on time, not following directions, not finishing tasks on time, excessive talker, etc. However, he was (and is) in the most advanced reading & math classes and is a very bright and a happy (almost too goofy) child.
Anyway, once diagnosed, my spouse (and I to an extent) opposed medicating him because of potential side effects. Our pediatrician gives speeches on behalf of one of the major pharmaceutical companies that produces one of primary drugs used in the treatment of ADHD. He said its simple to treat and wanted to start prescribing meds. We asked about neurofeedback and apart from trying to mask his suspicion that we were from another planet, he kindly informed us that it couldn't hurt to try. I think he is betting that we will return shortly for him to medicate our son's condition.
In extensively researching ADD on the web (reading everything I could), I came across the technology provided at www.smartbraingames.com and a number of articles on the subject. We decided to try it at home on our own withoot physician oversight. (All in, I would say the cost is about $750-$800, when buying a playstation 2, new video game, electrolyte water, and the braingame system).
My wife agrees that we have seen significant improvement in our son since trying it out, but we also agree there is more to go. He has undergone 22 sessions at home (about 20-30 minutes) over the course of 6 weeks. I've done about 26 sessions. Basically, the technology has three sensors, one placed on the middle-top of your head and one behind either ear with an admittedly funny looking velcro visor to hold the sensors in place. You have to make sure the sensors are thoroughly soaked in water (20-30 minutes of soaking) before conducting a session. It helps the sensor read/monitor your brain waves.
We bought Playstation 2 and the game, Grand Tourismo 4. We consistenstly race the same car (Ford Mustang) around an oval test track during sessions because apart from the brain game's technology that gives you feedback in the form of one or a pair of tones as well as loss of stearing, it also controls your speed (you go faster when you are concentrating in a calm and controlled state). With the same car and track each time, my son knows whether he is doing well or not (and so do I) based on mph at any time and time per lap and time per session (7-8 laps at 3 to 4min per lap). When I am racing at my peek, I can get the Mustang up to 135mph and generally hover between 120mph and 130mph. My son has hit 120mph, but generally is between 100 to 110mph. However, when he daydreams, he can fall to 60 to 70mph and I mention something and he gets back into the game and racing faster again. Without the braingame system turned on, the Mustang and max out at 150mph.
The other day I asked his teacher how he was doing and she said she's seen a "marked improvement" and "he had a great day yesterday"...a day he did the neurofeedback. The teacher does not know that he has been diagnosed with ADD or that he is undergoing home therapy. (I know...you should do this under the guidance of a trained therapist, but I'm not going to address that point considering the extensive cost and time). The teacher did complete an ADHD survey for our pediatrician (I think it was the Hawthorne test), which, based on those results and those of another teacher assisted in formulating the diagnosis. I am going to request that they complete the survey again after 40session.
As for me, I have noticed extraordinary gains in my ability to maintain attention at work. We typically conduct the sessions in the morning, particularly since the day I did one after dinner and couldn't go to sleep til 2:00 a.m. because my brain was racing. I was just too alert.
Anyway, I could go on and on about it, but I believe it really works. The home version is probably good enough if you don't have an extreme case of ADD and you are willing to take the time to be in charge of helping your child or yourself help themselves to the next level personal control and awareness.