ADHD Boulder Therapy

ADHD Boulder Therapy

The Boulder Interactive Brain Analysis clinic is an institute specialized in ADHD diagnosis and treatment through the use of EEG (Electro-Encephalo-Graphy). EEG is a well respected science and is FDA approved. ADHD clients come from places as far as Longmont, Broomfield, Arvada, Denver, Westminster, Louisville and Golden, because of the more scientific approach to ADHD. Also check out the Boulder ADHD Blog on this site. It’s important to emphasize that ADHD afflict both children and adults, and all exercises and tools are designed for both young and old.

QEEG Diagnostics

Quantitative EEG is a well established method for diagnosing ADHD, and for measuring ADHD medication responsiveness, because the brain wave patterns associated with these disorders are very clear, and well defined. With an objective EEG brain map it’s no longer a matter of a teacher’s subjective judgment that the child is unruly. In the EEG analysis the patient’s brain patterns are measured and compared with other childrens’ or adults’ brain patterns. If a child suffers from ADHD the QEEG analysis will clearly identify and quantity the problem.

The quality of the diagnoses is largely based on the following:

  1. The quality and size of the ADHD brain mapping database; how many comparable brain patterns have been identified.
  2. The removal of artifacts. A therapist needs to be highly skilled to remove the noise from the recorded brain waves.
  3. Interpretation. The therapist must have seen hundreds, if not thousands of similar brain maps.
  4. Co-morbidity. Are there related disorders playing along, or instead of the ADHD? Examples of related problems that must be identified by a trained clinician are:
    • learning disabilities,
    • head injury,
    • sleep disorders,
    • defiance, and other behavioral problems,
    • autism.
  5. The QEEG brain map is not the one and all, but needs to be supplemented with other inputs to get a complete picture:
    • evaluation of family dynamics,
    • diet and food,
    • medication review,
    • school performance, and
    • learning styles and strategies.

EEG Neurofeedback

The second use of EEG is as a treatment strategy. EEG brain waves are recorded and depicted in real time, and this allows therapist and patient to train certain behaviors. This is called neurofeedback and its objective is to strengthen certain states of mind, which can include focus, attention, alertness and relaxation. The instant feedback from your brain activity allows you to behaviorally learn how to change the brain. The patient changes the brain patterns by playing interactive video exercises that reward or punish certain achieved states of mind. The complexity of EEG is reduced to a simple game that rewards desired brain action.

For example, your child can not sit still, but can play video exercises (by kids standards these are not games, but exercises). The objective of the exercise is to stimulate certain brain patterns, and quiet others. In one exercise there’s a boat race going on, and each boat represents in real time specific brain activity. By having a certain boat win, that brain activity must increase, and thus we train the child (and adult) to change it’s brain physiology.

In this boat race (and this is just one of the many video exercises that are available) three ships race to the finish line and each boat is driven by real time brain waves:

  • Blue boat represents Delta brain waves, which are your sleep brain waves. It also shows movement (bouncing around) artifact.
  • Green boat represents SMR (sensory motor rhythm). This is the relaxed yet alert brain pattern. You are in this state of mind when you’re ready for action.
  • Red boat represents High Beta. These brain waves rule when you are overdoing, trying too hard, experience anxiety, feel worried, or demonstrate muscle tension as an artifact.

The objective is to have the green boat win. A typical experience is when the child says: “Look the green one is winning”. At which point the red boat starts coming along, because now we are overdoing, and the relaxed (preferred) SMR state is decreasing.

Unique Therapy in Boulder

The Boulder institute for Interactive Brain Analysis does full QEEG diagnosis, which majorly impacts the quality of the exercises. It’s not too hard to find a therapist who can play video games with your child. But more often than not, these exercises are not rooted in the fundamental analysis. Typically these brain exercises are canned protocols (where method and desired outcome are set by the manufacturer of the EEG Neurofeedback equipment). Without the understanding of the full brain map, the canned EEG Neurofeedback exercises become shallow and sometimes unproductive.

Debi Elliott, the lead therapist with Interactive Brain Analysis worked for many years as the Clinical Director for Lexicor, one of the leading equipment manufacturers. Because of Debi’s expertise to diagnose ADHD with QEEG, she’s also able to tailor the treatment exercises, and adjust them instantly. This instant feedback by a highly qualified and trained therapist makes the neurofeedback session productive and successful.

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