He was prone to massive tantrums/meltdowns that lasted hours, with the only safe way to deal with them being to physically restrain him. He'd not been to school for any more than a few days at a time for 3 years. He was quite heavily medicated â€" an SSRI anti-depressant, epilim as a mood-stabiliser and xanax for panic attacks. In between his outbursts he was a gentle and at times, loving boy.
Sam wasn't sleeping or eating much and seemed quite â€œmanicâ€ and erratic at times in his behaviours. He was majorly obsessed with his older sister (she was his only social contact other than his Dad and I). Each time we tried to engage him in an educational program or alternative he would start well, but crash within a few days or weeks. Each successive failure only increased his anxiety and sense of hopelessness.
We went to see Mark D (neuro-therapist) with little hope of any improvement. We'd tried so many treatments and therapies over the years, and while we'd see a little progress at the start of each one, there was no lasting improvement in behaviour. Family Services suggested we sign him over to become a Ward of the State and for a brief moment we considered doing just that.
Every time Sam had an outburst/meltdown he was in fact creating and consolidating, neural pathways - so that became the â€œlearnedâ€ way to react each time he was angry or frustrated. Mark explained to me that Neurofeedback was retraining for the brain. His â€œretrainedâ€ brain would enjoy functioning in the â€œoptimalâ€ state; where his brain waves wouldn't be too slow or too fast, but just right. (Sounds like the 3 bears story, I know!)