Neurofeedback Guidelines for Parents

Your decision to provide Neurofeedback for your child is a very important one, and reflects your dedication to your child’s well-being and your commitment to helping your child achieve the most that he or she is capable of achieving. Neurofeedback training requires a serious commitment of your time, effort and money, and, like you, we want to give it the best chance for success.

Sleep and Nutrition
Neurofeedback training might look simple, and the training sessions might be brief, but it requires a great deal of mental energy, attention and concentration. Furthermore, it is often done after school, when most children are already tired. It is, therefore, important that your child gets enough sleep the night before each appointment, and gets adequate nutrition not only the day of the appointment, but during the entire period of training. Please make sure that your child goes to bed at a reasonable hour, and that he or she has something to eat before each session to minimize distractions from hunger or fatigue.

Limiting Distractions
During each session, it is important for your child to focus without distractions. Even slight sounds can throw the child off track. We do want parents to understand what goes on during a session, so we welcome parents to observe during the child’s first session. While we do not forbid parents from observing after that, we need you to understand that a parent’s presence in the room can create unintentional distractions. For example, with a parent in the room, the child might be aware of the parent sitting behind him or her and might want to turn around periodically to make sure the parent is watching or to share the experience. Even if a parent sits quietly out of sight, the sound of the parent shifting in the chair, or turning a page in a magazine, can break a child’s concentration. A parent commenting on a child’s performance, even if is well meaning praise, can distract a child and make it difficult for him or her to get back on track. One difficulty we often encounter is a parent telling a child what to do, such as setting limits on unwanted behavior, or telling a child to sit, pay attention, listen, or do a good job. It is the therapist’s job to handle the child’s behavior and to judge what is acceptable and what will interfere with the training. Having two adults in the room telling a child what to do often sets a negative tone, even if the parent only intends the best.

Communicating with the Child or the Therapist in the Office
Children often enter the office negotiating with a parent for certain privileges or activities after the session. Since this makes it hard for the child to settle down, we ask that parents not engage in these discussions with their children once they enter the office. A negative effect is also created by the parent reporting on what the child did wrong that day or that week. The child often responds with shame, embarrassment, defensiveness or anger, which are unproductive for neurofeedback training. We are certainly interested in any of your concerns about your child; we only ask that you report them to us discretely, or by voicemail before the session, or through a separate appointment if a lengthier discussion is necessary.

Accompanying Your Child to the Sessions
Please accompany your child to most, if not all, of the training sessions. We might need you to fill out a symptom tracking form, or provide us with current information, as frequently as possible so we can keep track of the problems that we are trying to treat. If you cannot accompany your child to an appointment, please send information pertaining to your child’s recent functioning with the adult who brings your child, or leave the therapist a voicemail before the session. This will keep the therapist up to date as to the effectiveness of the training.

Being on Time
It is important to arrive on time for your child’s appointments. Given the time limits of each session, it is important to make use of all the time allotted.

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
Cell phones and all other electronic devices must be turned off in the office, as any electromagnetic radiation can interfere with the EEG signal. We thank you for your cooperation, and look forward to a pleasant and successful training experience.

For more information, please visit the website of Edwards Jacob, Ph.D & Associates.