Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) consists of a spectrum of heterogeneous disorders
including Autism, Asperger's Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not
Otherwise Specified, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Rett's Disorder. The
heterogeneity of ASD makes it more complex to treat effectively. The prevalence of
ASD is as high as 60 per 10,000 or 1 in 166 children (Medical Research Council, 2001).
Current research suggests ASD may be associated with functional disconnectivity
between brain regions (Courchesne & Pierce, 2005; Belmonte et al., 2004; Baron-Cohen,
2004). Therefore, connectivity between the frontal cortex and other brain regions
may be unsynchronized, weakly responsive, and information impoverished (Courchesne
& Pierce, 2005). Quantitative EEG (QEEG) analysis can precisely pinpoint patterns of
disconnectivity among brain regions in children with ASD. ASD can best be conceived
of as a neurodevelopmental disorder. Therefore, interventions which can activate
affected neural pathways can normalize function and result in improved treatment
This presentation will focus on empirical data and a theoretical framework from which
to understand neurofeedback interventions for Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Our research
evaluated the efficacy of assessment (QEEG) -guided neurofeedback for children with
ASD. Findings included a 92% success rate with a 41.57% reduction in Autistic
symptoms, which was significantly different than a wait-list control group. This was accomplished after only 20 Neurofeedback sessions done twice per week.
Neurophysiological changes included increased metabolic flow to frontal cortices and
movement towards normalized QEEG connectivity. A theoretical approach for the
treatment of ASD focusing on aspects of EEG connectivity will be presented. There is reason to believe that the greatest EEG anomaly in Autistic persons in a combination of hyper- and hypoconnectivity interfering with adequate brain functioning.