Philip couldn’t sleep at night and would fall profoundly asleep in school. He took meds to go to sleep, meds to stay awake and meds for ADHD. He had severe meltdowns and trouble doing his homework. “I finally decided that I couldn’t have my child’s life dependent on medication – that this couldn’t be the rest of my child’s life and the rest of my life as a parent,” said his mother. After several months of neurofeedback, his sleep/wake habits normalized, and his ADHD medication was significantly reduced.
Philip came into the world with several strikes against him. His birth mother abused drugs while pregnant, and she lost parental rights not long after he was born. Mindy and her husband adopted him when he was 10 months old.
He was a very “hyper” baby, but Mindy figured he was just energetic. However, when he began to speak, his language was unintelligible, and remained so. His earliest diagnosis was “anxiety,” but Mindy knew it was more than that.
He eventually received numerous diagnoses including a sensory disorder, phonological dyslexia (an extreme form of dyslexia), dysgraphia (difficulty writing), ADHD and severely delayed fine motor skills. He had meltdowns in school every two or three months and was on medication for ADHD.
Then the sleep/wake problems occurred.
Philip couldn’t sleep at night and would fall profoundly asleep in school. One teacher wondered if he had narcolepsy. Mindy took Philip to a pediatric sleep specialist in Miami who conducted a sleep study and identified an alarming deficit in REM sleep. Thus continued the medication march: One pill to stay awake during the day. Another to go to sleep and stay asleep at night. Another for ADHD. All with side effects.
“My child can’t be on medication the rest of his life”
“I finally decided that I couldn’t have my child’s life dependent on medication – that this couldn’t be the rest of my child’s life and the rest of my life as a parent, “Mindy recalled.
Cautiously trying out neurofeedback
She began seeking non-medication approaches.
One day she saw an ad on Facebook for the Center for Brain Training. She was intrigued, even studied the website, but decided not to look further into it because she was spending so much money already on various therapies.
Fate had a different idea, however. A few months later, as she waited in the waiting room for her massage therapist, she spotted an issue of Health & Wellness magazine. She flipped through it and saw an article about the Center for Brain Training.
“I decided this must be a sign from God, that this was what I was supposed to do,” Mindy said. She picked up the phone and made an appointment.
Because she had spent so much money on so many other therapies, Mindy vowed to give neurofeedback training just two months to see results – no more. She brought Philip in twice a week for those first two months.
Almost immediate improvement
Almost immediately Philip’s sleep (and wake) habits normalized, and Mindy kept him training, long after the two-month deadline.
When a follow-up sleep study was done several months later, the doctor expressed amazement – Philip’s sleep patterns and REM sleep were completely normal! The doctor eliminated his sleep medications and released him as a patient.
After a year and a half of regular neurofeedback training, gradual but significant changes continued to occur. Homework time had been a two-hour nightly battle of yelling and crying before the neurofeedback. Philip began spending just 45 calm minutes every night finishing his assignments.
ADHD medication reduced by 30 percent
His ADHD medication has been reduced by 30 percent.
Before starting neurofeedback training Philip, who has struggled with a long-term problem with obesity, wouldn’t stick to a diet. He even hoarded food when Mindy tried to help him lose weight. After doing neurofeedback training, however, he became very compliant with his diet and began losing weight.
As to school, Philip, now 11, no longer falls asleep and has only experienced one meltdown in the past year.