A pilot feasibility study of neurofeedback for children with autism

Naomi J Steiner, Elizabeth Frenette, Caitlin Hynes, Elizabeth Pisarik, Kathryn Tomasetti, Ellen C Perrin, Kirsten Rene


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This article is reference for: Autism and Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback (NFB) is an emerging treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This pilot study examined the feasibility of NFB for children with ASD. Ten children ages 7-12 with high functioning ASD and attention difficulties received a NFB attention training intervention. A standardized checklist captured feasibility, including focus during exercises and academic tasks, as well as off-task behaviors. Active behaviors and vocalizations were the most frequent off-task behaviors. Positive reinforcement and breaks including calm breathing exercises were the most common supports. Low motivation was associated with higher feasibility challenges, yet parental involvement and accommodations were helpful. This pilot study shows that it is feasible to conduct NFB sessions with children with high functioning autism and attention difficulties.