Attachment disorder is a broad term intended to describe disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships arising from the unavailability of normal socializing care and attention from primary caregiving figures in early childhood.
This can manifest as oppositional behavior, readiness to go off with strangers, and even ugly threats of violence toward parents. These children often have problems with peer relationships also.
How does Neurofeedback therapy help?
The impact of neglect will vary depending on the age and circumstances of the child. When treating very young children I will skip the QEEG and use LENS neurofeedback. The LENS will lower anxiety and seems to be able to restart the developmental process of attachment if it is now safe to do so.
When overt trauma has been part of the child’s history, we focus on treating the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the autonomic nervous system that controls our ability to perceive safety and calm ourselves.
As the child progresses, we will do a QEEG to target specific brain areas that have been highjacked by unfortunate early experiences.
Larry had been adopted from Taiwan at age 5. He had already lived in three different households and was described as loving to wander around his neighborhood, which was an unsafe slum.
His adoptive parents were as understanding, loving, and supportive as they could be. Nonetheless, when any frustration arose, he would rage and threaten them. They had to hide the knives. They could not calm him and he would have to cry it out on his own. In public places, they often saw him approach other adults as if he belonged to them.
Through a mutual friend, they found out about my work. We used the LENS system only and within two months the rage had subsided. We continued another month and he was able to be hugged and comforted. These wise parents put this boy into a martial arts program headed by a sweet man from Taiwan. Knowing that he could protect himself and that there were rules about when and how that was done was an amazing gift that brought him all the way to black belt.