Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can biofeedback be used to treat learning disabilities?
(Answer provided by Lynda Thompson, Ph.D. in April of 04)
The question of neurofeedback for learning disabilities is complex because the whole field of LD is vast and complex. If a child has both LD and attention problems - a very common combination - the neurofeedback certainly makes sense. Once the child is paying attention (which you achieve using neurofeedback in the usual way one does for ADHD) it is ever so much easier to tackle the LD problems. If there are LD issues without ADHD features then it may still be helpful if you do a full 19-lead assessment of the EEG profile and can identify particular areas where things differ from expected patterns; such as more slow activity in the area needed for processing certain kinds of information. Then, again, neurofeedback makes sense as you let the person work to normalize their pattern. The main thing to remember when working with clients with LD issues is that you must customize the feedback. We also find it helpful to do some coaching in metacognitive strategies that relate to their problem area and combine that with the neurofeedback training. More information about that can be found in the chapter on Metacognition in The Neurofeedback Book, published by AAPB.
2. About insurance coverage for biofeedback:
Coverage for biofeedback is often available from health insurers but the plans vary widely. You may want to check your insurance company for coverage details regarding biofeedback. Your local biofeedback provider is also likely to be aware of coverage issues.
Click here to see answers to other frequently asked questions about biofeedback.