NEUROFEEDBACK FOR CHILDREN
NeurOptimal® was designed by clinical psychologists with children in mind
NeurOptimal® is completely safe and, effective for children. The latest generation of neurofeedback, Dynamical Neurofeedback™ allows gentle, yet precise feedback, allowing the brain to self-correct. Another advancement is that the brain mapping information is integrated in real time – this means the feedback is always accurate and provides a perfect snapshot of what exactly that brain requires to begin re-wiring for new, healthy patterning.
NeurOptimal® was designed with home-use in mind
Whether you bring your child to our office for sessions, rent or purchase a system to use at home, the neurofeedback device is the same technology. The NeurOptimal® design team knew that the best environment for training children is at home. So, they created AutoNav, which allows the software’s execution to be fully automated. This way, parents don’t have to worry about setting the device protocols and knowing when to change them. With three clicks to the program, the session is running! NeurOptimal® is the only system with AutoNav technology, which means each session is unique and precisely mirrors the maladaptive patterns of the brain millisecond by millisecond.
Over 50% of our rentals are to families who exclusively use the training at home – they never require in-office visits. And, home neurofeedback is easy to administer - the results are tracked through quantitative checklists completed every month, and most importantly, seen in the noticeable changes.
I knew NeurOptimal® was working when the school stopped calling.
MC, after 2 months of renting for her 7-year-old son.
Does Neurofeedback Work? and How does it work?
Oliva, age 17, discusses her long-term results from the NeurOptimal® brain training system. She has been using neurofeedback since childhood.
Table of Contents
There are three options for training children with neurofeedback: in-office sessions, a home neurofeedback rental or the purchase of a system. With the NeurOptimal® system, the technology is the same for all three options – this means the results will be the same, regardless of whether you train at home or in an office. The per-session price will be highest when training takes place in-office, and the least expensive if purchasing a system to train multiple family members.
In-Office NeurOptimal® Cost
We offer in-office sessions in New York and Los Angeles, and also with our partners in Denver and Boulder. All of our trainers are Advanced Certified NeurOptimal® Trainers with at least two years of experience. Learn more
Why an in-person session? This option is best suitable for parents who live nearby a neurofeedback clinic and don't feel their child will co-operate with parents administering sessions at home. It's also a good option if parents want to see how sessions are run. A demonstration on how to use the system is also available upon request.
Home NeurOptimal® Rental Cost
Since launching our home rental program in 2012, we have refined our pricing to best meet the needs of our customers. We currently feature three rental packages based on the number of sessions needed each month. A personal plan for one user, a mid-range plan for training daily and an unlimited-use plan, ideal for multiple family members. Clients always have the option to switch plans if their needs change during their rental period. Learn more
Why rent? Renting is the most cost-effective and convenient option for families. Scroll down to read our renting Q&A below.
NeurOptimal® Purchase Price
Because this device is designated as a General Wellness Device by the FDA it can be sold directly to consumers without a doctor's referral. The NeurOptimal® system comes in a Limited License "pay-as-you-use" system as well as an Unlimited-Use License. Some clients will try a few sessions in office or rent for a month first and then purchase once they decide they like the training. Learn more
Why buy? Many families decide to buy a system after seeing results when renting the home system. This is the best option for families who wants to train for symptom relief and in need of long-term support.
Can kids do neurofeedback?
Kids can do neurofeedback. In fact, they tend to respond more quickly than do adults. Some neurofeedback systems work by nudging the brain out of what are ‘atypical’ brain patterns into ‘typical’ patterns. And some work by introducing a micro-current to create change. NeurOptimal® uses neither of those approaches. It’s unique design is based on how the brain improves itself organically.
The intervention is purely to provide feedback; nothing is added to the brain. It is given auditory cues to pay attention to its maladaptive brain wave patterns. And as developing brains with billions of unassigned neurons, children’s brain can rewire from neurofeedback sessions and quickly change to become more resilient and adaptive. As a result, they are more emotionally balanced, better able to focus, be organized and attentive, and function at their best.
Can you do neurofeedback at home?
Yes, some neurofeedback systems are safe and appropriate to use at home but not all are. The protocol neurofeedback systems are not designed for home use. They require an expert trainer to read a brain map and then set protocols on the system for the child and changing them frequently based on the child’s report of positive changes and side-effects.
NeurOptimal®, which is part of the latest design of systems, is appropriate for home neurofeedback. It is designed with unique technology called AutoNav. AutoNav allows for each session to be uniquely designed to give feedback to the child based on the dysfunction shown in the EEG output of the brain in real-time. AutoNav does not require the user to set any protocols; the system software calculates when to give feedback so running successful sessions every time is possible.
Is neurofeedback a treatment for ADHD?
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is brain training not a treatment for ADHD. The design is to capture all the brain's activity so that global change is possible. Because the precisely delivered feedback (256 times per second) shows the brain what is maladaptive or are its bad habits, the brain has the opportunity to make positive changes. These changes allow better responses to current needs such as, Do I need my focusing brainwaves now? Do I need my multi-tasking brainwaves?
Does neurofeedback help with autism?
NeurOptimal® can help create flexibility and resiliency, making it easier to live with autism. We have found when parents also do sessions, children see better results. Nervous systems are connected and when a parent de-stresses it helps the child's nervous system perform better, both by resonating with the regulated parent as well, as registering it as "permission" to re-regulate and stay regulated.
What age can you start neurofeedback?
With NeurOptimal® neurofeedback you can start at any age, including toddlers. There are three reasons why you can start neurofeedback with young children. First it is non-invasive, and therefore, safe to use. Nothing is added to the brain, nor is there any forced state change. Second, the child does not have to focus in order for the system to work. The system provides precisely timed feedback to the automatic functioning (unconscious) brain through auditory cues. Third, the unconscious or limbic brain decides what to do with the feedback to improve its functioning. The conscious, prefrontal cortex brain, does not need to be active or involved for the neurofeedback to work.
Does neurofeedback work for kids with ADHD?
With the NeurOptimal® system the design does not require the conscious or focusing brain to be involved in order for the sessions to be effective. The software samples the electrical communication from the brain 256 times per second, which is the speed at which the brain is processing information! The system works by delivering precisely timed cues through auditory feedback. The brain is always listening to the environment for changes, there does not need to active listening as well. So an ‘unfocused’ child will have the same quality session and an adult.
What if there are no neurofeedback clinics near me?
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback has a home system so you do not need to live near a clinic in order to receive services. We rent neurofeedback systems nationally and most of our kids training with neurofeedback do so at home. We provide the families with access to a Certified NeurOptimal® trainer as a support, progress tracking tools, and easy to follow video instructions. There are many benefits to home training: the price per session is less, you decide the training schedule that works best for your child. And it is also easier to run neurofeedback sessions multiple times per week.
How do you treat hyper active in children?
NeurOptimal® works by training the brain to pay attention to its habits. The brain is not being treated but provided with essential information in the exact millisecond it can use the information to become better aligned with present needs. Session after session, the software is giving the automatic brain precisely timed cues to pay attention to its own habitual patterns at the exact moment that an action is being made. With that new information the brain can then decide if it's reacting appropriately to the tasks at hand. Through the series of sessions the brain learns to pay better attention and, therefore, is more resilient and effective at responding appropriately.
Can neurofeedback increase IQ?
The design of NeurOptimal® is to train the brain to see its maladaptive patterns, be present-centered and responsive to here-and-now needs. Many of our ailments, including being less focused, more easily distracted, and not as sharp as we age can, in part, be attributed to our brains becoming lazy. Out of the brain’s desire to use energy efficiently, over time, it takes simple cues from the environment and uses those cues to assume a habitual reaction, rather than a precise and fresh read on the present moment.
Brain training with NeurOptimal® is all about interrupting those bad habits and cuing the brain to practice reading present moment cues. When it does the brain has the natural reinforcement of making better decisions and using energy more effectively. This positive reinforcement creates the incentive for the brain to apply the learning from NeurOptimal® training to every moment. When this shift happens we notice better focus, more emotional resiliency and energy, and better planning and execution.
Does neurofeedback rewire your brain?
Yes, neurofeedback rewires your brain. In fact, any learning you do rewires your brain. This is the principle of applied neuroplasticity. When we learn, that learning is also imprinted physically in the brain’s highways, or pathways of neurons. How neurofeedback rewires the brain depends on what is perceived as being maladaptive. Maladaptive here, means it is an action performed by the brain through electrical communication, that does not effectively or efficiently meet the needs of the individual as perceived by the automatic functioning brain in the present. An example would be if the brain is habituated to the hyperarousal activity of the stress response, such as constant worrying. This stress reaction is part of the brain’s survival instinct to fixate on any object that is dangerous and could cause immediate bodily harm, such as a bear, or sharp object that could fall on the person. The fixation is adaptive if the danger is truly present and immediate. But, unfortunately, that fixating, can become a habit of worrying and the dangerous object is long-gone, such as the child now worried that there is a monster in the closet.
When brain training with NeurOptimal®, that brain is cued to see those maladaptive patterns and because they are not adaptive to the here-and-now needs, the brain will be motivated to switch to a response that is synchronized with the now. So the worrying reaction before bed, can shift and become calm and sleeping, now that the brain perceives the present safety and current need for sleep.
Is neurofeedback worth it?
If you feel like your child’s brain is stuck or reacting in ways that are not aligned with the present tasks or appropriate emotional response then trying neurofeedback may be worth it. Especially if you already have added supports like: a whole foods diet, appropriate daily exercise and enough sleep. We recommend NeurOptimal® as one part of a strategy for training the brain to work at its best. It's often best to start with NeurOptimal® and add the other supports like improving diet, once there is greater calm and ability to focus. View pricing and training options.
How many sessions of neurofeedback do children need?
In general, when families train with NeurOptimal® to help with school performance and emotional regulation, typically they do sessions multiple times a week for two to four months and are very happy with the results. Every brain is unique and there are factors that can slow results, as a rule of thumb, the healthier the family lifestyle the faster results are seen in children. The most important factors impacting brain health are: a low stress home environment, a whole-foods diet with limited processed-foods and sugars, enough sleep for their age, and regular exercise/activities.
Are the results from neurofeedback in children stable?
In general, the benefits from neurofeedback for children tend to be stable and long-lasting. Factors that can create set-backs, which may require some tune-up sessions include: acute stressors such as being bullied, death in the family, a significant change in lifestyle that negatively impacts brain health, such as a head injury, a chronically poor diet or no exercise.
Neurofeedback for Kids - Improving School Performance
A grateful Mom shares how her nine-year-old son's performance and emotional states improved significantly with neurofeedback training. This interview took place a year and a half after he completed 3 months of weekly neurofeedback sessions in New York.
Read more about Luigi's improvements here.
Advanced NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback Trainer and owner of Neurofeedback Training Co., Natalie Baker answers the most frequently asked questions we receive as trainers.
How Many Neurofeedback Sessions Should I Do?
One of the top questions about neurofeedback training we’re frequently asked is “How many sessions should my child do?”.
Read Also: Is Neurofeedback A Sham? How do I know if It's Working?
Will My Results from NeurOptimal® Brain Training Last? - Neurofeedback Training Explained
What Can I do During My NeurOptimal® Session?
A NeurOptimal® session is 33 minutes long and is a very relaxing experience. Since the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system is an automated brain training system, no conscious effort is required on your part. You can do anything during a session that does not require a lot of movement of the body or head; you can close your eyes, read, or look at your phone. The success of the training comes from the communication between the software and your brain.
Read Also: How to Get the Best Neurofeedback Results
How to start a NeurOptimal® Session at Home
Natalie Baker, MA, LMHC, demonstrates how easy it is to operate the NeurOptimal 3.0 software and how to start a session.
Renting Guide: What's included?
It's always good to check with your insurance company first. Presently, since many insurance providers consider neurofeedback “experimental” they don’t cover it. The good news is that an out-of-pocket home rental is roughly the same cost per session as a co-pay.
We usually recommend 2-3 sessions per week per trainee - although you can safely train every day if you want. When you rent one of our devices, we recommend a minimum of two training sessions a week. Training the brain is learning a new way of decision making and, like learning a new language, the more frequently the brain practices, the faster we can then integrate new, positive patterns.
No, not necessarily. While your brain will learn a lot about itself if you train every day for a month, the value of spreading those training over 3 months is that it gives your behaviour and thought patterns time to adapt. For example, when the brain learns it doesn't need to stay in an anxious fight/flight pattern it will naturally tend to not associate or be engaged in environments or behaviors, that trigger that reaction.
The monthly fee applies regardless of how many sessions one completes. If you don't finish all sessions in the first month, you can always extend the rental for an additional month or two weeks and simply pay for another rental cycle. Additionally, at any time you can also downgrade or upgrade to another plan that suits your needs. View pricing
When you rent from us you'll be assigned a neurofeedback trainer coach to guide you if you require any assistance. With every rental, we include a printed manual on how to use the system as well as how to troubleshoot. Usually, if you're experiencing any issues with the device, a simple reboot will do the trick. But if that doesn't solve the problem, simply email your rental manager or use the chat widget on our website. Just describe the problem and include the best way/time to reach you - your neurofeedback trainer coach will get back to you quickly with a solution. It's important that you read the printout that comes with the equipment and follow our guidelines on how to handle the equipment. You can view a detailed renting guide here which includes videos on how to set up the equipment at home.
You can rent the neurofeedback equipment for one month (which is the minimum payment/rental period at this time) but you can also extend your rental as long as you wish. Simply pay as you go, to easily extend your rental for weeks or month(s), after the first month's rental. Generally, our clients report the best results from training for at least 2-3 months.
Your child’s brain/central nervous system (CNS), is learning to assess current needs from gathering information in the here-and-now, rather than using habitual information/neural pathways. “An ineffective Brain” is prone to heightened feelings of anger, worry and nervousness – this is the result of maladaptive brain responses based on using habitual information/neural pathways not realizing that those responses are not appropriate to the present task (For example, why should the brain produce a fear state when there is no threat?). A major shift through training is that your child’s brain learns to be in a state called regulation: calm, alert, open to the here and now – and able to act based on the correct response to the situation.
This learning process is sped up when a primary caregiver’s brain is also learning the same process of being regulated, calm, centered, and open. Why? Because just like you see in pack animal behaviors, children’s brains tune themselves to their caregivers’ brains. If the parent is anxious, the child will mirror that state and also become anxious. If the parent becomes calm the child’s brain will also shift, like tuning forks resonating with each other. A wonderful example of this process of attunement can be seen in the series, The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic. In the episodes you will see examples of how Cesar (the alpha dog trainer) who is “calm assertive”, i.e. has a regulated CNS, works with an anxious/fearful/aggressive dog through the natural attunement process where a beta dog’s CNS aligns with an alpha’s CNS.
A frequently asked question about beginning neurofeedback therapy is, "How many neurofeedback sessions will I need for the best results?". Every brain is different in how it responds to training. There are, however, some key do's and don'ts that can have a significant impact on how quickly clients notice changes. Learn more