Case Studies

13 year old Jacob Suffered from ADHD

Jacob is a 13 year old boy who was identified for his school's gifted program when he was in the 3rd grade. He was especially good at puzzles, and he won his region's science fair contest in the Engineering category. By the time he was in the 7th grade, he wasn't turning in his work, he was complaining that school was boring, and he would oftentimes get into arguments with teachers to the point where he had to frequently be removed from the classroom because of his disruptions. On one occasion he tipped a desk over in anger after his teacher asked him to get himself in control. Despite scoring higher than 98% of his classmates on standardized tests, he was failing 2 classes, and was getting Cs and Ds in his other classes (except band, where he excelled in his performance on the trumpet without having to do any written homework). Jacob's parents had tried the standard modifications in diet, sleep habits, and medications, with less than satisfactory results.

Jacob's QEEG showed typical excessive slow waves in the middle and front of his head. He also showed some excessive fast activity in the right center and front which is oftentimes seen among boys who have problems with anger and impulse control problems. Neurofeedback was begun twice per week with the goal of helping him to remain focused without getting stressed, and to relax without getting sleepy. During the second session Jacob actually fell asleep. It seemed as though the only time he ever relaxed was when he went to bed, and he wasn't used to the challenge of having to sit perfectly still while remaining alert and attentive.

As is typical of many hyperactive boys, signs of reduced impulsivity began to emerge after the 5th session. He was still described as hyperactive and impulsive, but he was no longer getting removed from the classroom. The training taught him how to be still and awake. He would get sleepy during the sessions, but he no longer closed his eyes or fell asleep.

By the 15th session, Jacob said that he was no longer getting into battles with his teacher, which he explained was because “she wasn't being as much of a pain.” His teacher reported that he was getting started on his work in class without her having to tell him multiple times. He continued to get easily distracted and to require frequent redirection, but now he was able to be redirected without responding with sarcastic remarks or outright defiance.

The QEEG brain map was repeated on the 20th visit, and there were clear changes in his brain waves as evidenced by a 20% reduction in the slow waves in the areas being trained, and the fast activity that was related to his impulsivity and anger was also significantly reduced. At this point, about two and one-half months into the training, Jacob was no longer failing any classes because he was getting his work done. He would occasionally forget to hand in an assignment he had already completed, or he would lose his work. On occasion he would forget to write an assignment in his daily planner, but the frequency of these occurrences had very much been reduced.

Jacob showed steady improvements throughout his treatment. He completed 52 session total over the course of seven months. By the end of the training, Jacob was no longer in trouble in school. His teachers told his mother that they no longer thought it necessary for them to have meetings. He had had an IEP for years, but now they suggested he didn't need it any more.

Jacob's mother emailed 14 months after the end of his last session to say that he had not had any major trouble at school since we last met, and he was getting straight As. She said he would continue on occasion to challenge authority, but he would be more likely to do this is a respectful way and without any aggression. She said he also became somewhat of a bulldog for the underdog, and some arguments he got into with teachers were over what he perceived to be their unfair or insensitive treatment of his fellow classmates who were having trouble achieving in school.

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