The Positive Impact of Neurofeedback in the Management and Treatment of Learning Disabilities in Children
Dr Shelley Hyman
Research has strongly shown that neurofeedback is helpful in the management of ADHD and symptoms of inattention. Contemporary researchers have been interested in the effectiveness of neurofeedback as a treatment for children with learning disabilities.
In 2008 Fernandez and colleagues designed a study to explore the effect of neurofeedback on children with learning disabilities. Children who were classified as experiencing a “learning disorder not otherwise specified” participated in the research. The children were split into two groups: 11 children in group 1 were administered neurofeedback, and 5 children in group 2 were administered a placebo treatment. Treatment lasted approximately 12 weeks.
An analysis of the results showed that the group of children who received the neurofeedback treatment experienced significant improvements in their IQ scores as well as their scores on attention testing (the TOVA). A subset of 5 children from both the control group and the experimental group were evaluated two years after the conclusion of the study and it was found that all children in the placebo group still presented with a learning condition, however, four out of the five children in the experimental condition no longer presented with a learning disability. Despite the limited sample size, the study indicates the possible long term benefits of utilizing neurofeedback as a form of treatment for children with learning disabilities.
- Fernandez, T., Harmony, T., Fernandez-Bouzas, A., Diaz-Comas, L., Prado-Alcala, R., Valdes-Sosa, P., Otero, G., Bosch, J., Galan, L., Santiago-Rodriguez, E., Aubert, E., Garcia-Martinez, F. (2007). Changes in EEG current sources induced by neurofeedback in learning disabled children: An exploratory study. Applied Psychophysiological Biofeedback, 32, 169-183