Efficacy of Neurofeedback for Children in the Autistic Spectrum: A Pilot Study
Background. The efficacy of neurofeedback training was evaluated in 12 children in the autistic spectrum with matched controls, based on established training protocols for other conditions with similar symptoms. Method. Twenty-four autistic children were divided into two groups, matched by sex, age, and disorder severity. One group received neurofeedback training and the second acted as a control group. Responses to the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklists (ATEC) and parental assessments of problem behaviors were analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of neurofeedback training for this condition. Results. Neurofeedback training resulted in a 26% average reduction in total ATEC rated autism symptoms, compared to 3% for the control group. Parental assessments reported improvement in all behavioral categories: socialization, vocalization, anxiety, schoolwork, tantrums, and sleep, compared with minimal changes in the control group. Discussion. Autistic spectrum children who underwent neurofeedback training showed significant improvements in autism symptoms and behaviors. The magnitude of improvement was independent of initial severity or age.