“Christine” and her husband were at their wit’s end with their 17-year old son “Alex”.
Despite having a high I.Q. he was failing in school. He couldn’t make friends. He was uncooperative at home and would explode in anger without provocation. His room was a mess. He was addicted to video games. He argued violently with his parents whenever they asked him to do something. And then…he attempted suicide and was hospitalized.
Throwing balls up in the air
Alex had been going downhill ever since entering middle school. His parents attended numerous parent-teacher conferences and took him to an array of mental health and medical specialists to no avail.
“We were just throwing balls up in the air hoping for some sort of answer and walking all the time on eggshells. We never knew when Alex was going to blow up,” Christine explained.
ADD medication wasn’t the answer
Right before Alex tried to harm himself, he was diagnosed with inattentive ADD and put on medicine. However, even with medication, the stress of trying to manage a demanding academic curriculum, along with his other challenges, sent him over the edge.
Back home from the mental hospital, life didn’t get better. Before long Christine decided that medication was not going to be the answer and began searching for some sort of help outside the conventional therapy/drug model. She also started home schooling Alex.
Discovering neurofeedback and the Center for Brain Training
She heard about neurofeedback and checked out a neurofeedback center near her home, but walked in and walked back out. “The place was staffed with young kids who I knew couldn’t possibly have much experience in the neurofeedback field, and experience was important to me,” she recalled.
After finding the Center for Brain Training on the internet and reading about Mike Cohen’s more than 20 years’ experience in the field, she came in for a consultation.
“Frankly, I was skeptical about neurofeedback, even after my first meeting with Mike, because I had attempted so many things to try to help Alex that hadn’t worked,” she remembered. “But with nowhere else to turn, I decided we’d give it a try.”
For almost a year Alex did neurofeedback twice weekly, exhibiting success through what Christine calls “baby steps.”
One early sign of progress was Alex’s demeanor after doing a neurofeedback session.
“I could see a significant change in his eyes,” she noted. “They were clear and his mood was upbeat, not depressed. He also seemed to feel at peace.”
Then other small changes occurred. Without being asked, he cleaned his room and closet and began keeping them tidy without prompting. He engaged more with the family and spent less time playing video games.
He stopped blowing up if one of his parents interrupted him during a video game and made a request such as, “Please take out the recycling bin.” “Now he’ll say, ‘OK, Mom, give me a minute,’” Christine noted.
And most recently, Alex got a job.
Neurofeedback gave the family hope when nothing else had
Peace descended on the family, and family outings, which had been discontinued due to the chaos, resumed. After a year of training, his neurofeedback sessions were reduced to once a week. His psychiatrist has allowed him to reduce his medication. Some days he feels good enough not to even take it.
“Neurofeedback worked for my son when nothing else did,” said Christine. “I finally have hope for him, and he also has hope that life can get better. He is an entirely different person than he was a year ago.
“I’m so frustrated that I didn’t know about neurofeedback when Alex was younger,” she continued. “His life, and ours, would have been so much different. Neurofeedback has given him clarity and the ability to make better decisions.
“Mike was a godsend to our family,” she added. “We were desperate, and Mike helped us all get our life back. “