Intake appointments consist of 3 parts. The first part is a meeting/consultation with the doctor which serves as a basic introduction for the doctor to you as a patient, your symptoms, and your goals for treatment. Following that, the doctor performs neuropsychological testing to gain an understanding for executive function and memory. Lastly, the QEEG brain map is performed.
Testing Frequently Asked Questions
With so many choices regarding treatment, uncertainty is reasonable. Apprehension toward putting a deposit down before meeting the doctor or seeing the clinic is justified. For that reason, our clinic is happy to offer free 30-minute consultations with the doctor upon request.
The QEEG is a quantitative electroencephalogram. In other words, it is a brain map; there is no treatment being administered, simply live activity being recorded. This reading shows which is the 5 wave frequencies (delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) are hyperactive or hyper-suppressed as well as where that is occurring on the brain.
A week following the intake appointment there will be a follow-up results session with the doctor to go over the QEEG brain map and discuss treatment options. The results session also works as an opportunity for patients and/or their family members to ask any questions they may have. If the patient and doctor agree to move forward with treatment, a regular schedule will be made with the clinic manager. No diagnoses can be made until testing is completed by the doctor, so these will be discussed during the results appointment.
Until the intake is completed and results are analyzed with the doctor, it is hard to say what type of treatment will be used or how many sessions will be necessary. Typical treatment consists or 1-2 sessions per week (which can vary with insurance coverage and costs) for 40-60 total sessions on the BrainAvatar and around 30 sessions with the LENS. We ask patients to plan for sessions lasting an hour to allow for hook up and break down time.
Neurofeedback is not uncomfortable. Most patients find the BrainAvatar fun and relaxing, as it is essentially sitting back and watching a movie. LENS sessions require patients to sit still and close their eyes, once again, not something that patients typically find uncomfortable.
People will react differently to treatment, but some have reported feeling tired or wired following a session. The worst side effect we have had a patient report as this time was a small-scale headache that subsided in 20-30 minutes. For all neurofeedback sessions, time increases as sessions progress to ease patients into treatment and assure any sensitivities are noted early on.
In terms of neurofeedback, 7 and older as long as the child is able to sit still for the QEEG brain map and treatments. As for psychotherapy, we can work with patients as young as 3 years old.
No, improvement cannot be guaranteed. All brains are different, and neurofeedback does not work for everyone. However, changes are usually noticeable by patients or family members within a reasonably short time, which can help gauge the efficacy of treatment in an individual case.
No, at this time our clinic only offers individualized psychotherapy sessions. However, integration of family members into singular sessions can be discussed with the doctor. Decisions regarding said integration are at the doctor’s discretion.
There are many outcomes of testing, whether or not results are telling of a learning disability (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, or Dyscalculia) or disorder of attention (ADD/ADHD). Throughout the process of testing, we analyze the individual’s cognitive abilities, including problem solving, executive functions (which includes regulation of focus, body, and mood, as well as planning, problem solving, task initiation, cognitive organization, and meta-cognition), visual/auditory processing, and academics (i.e., mathematics, reading, writing). During this process, we also explore other factors that may be causing cognitive deficits such as anxiety or depression. Testing can determine the presence of a learning disability but also can help individuals discover their strengths and weaknesses in the areas tested. If diagnosed, patients can receive IEP’s or 504 plans for use in receiving accommodations for the disability/disabilities. Even if a diagnosis does not result from the testing, the person being tested can still use the reported information to strengthen their performance in school, work, or related circumstances.
Testing takes approximately 4-6 hours. For patients under 13 years old, testing sessions can be broken up across days instead of doing it in one sitting. The resulting report is typically 15-20 pages in length and includes an overview and interpretation of data from the testing as well as recommendations for home, school, and other outside specialists as appropriate. Results are available through a one-hour feedback session approximately 2-3 weeks following the testing session.
Tutors come in all shapes and sizes, with a wide variance in education, background, and experience. They range from high-school and college students looking to make some extra money to retired teachers who love helping children, and everywhere in between. How well a tutor can help a student often depends on their experience and their ability to develop a strong rapport. But what they can do is often limited. Without understanding of and intervention with underlying processing deficiencies, many students will not make the expected levels of progress they are working so hard to gain. This frequently leads to frustration on the part of the student, the tutor, and the teachers and parents.
A learning specialist is someone who typically possesses a minimum of a Master’s Degree in a special education related field. The have extensive experience reading and interpreting psychoeducational and neuropsychological evaluations, and are able to use these documents to create intensive and effective remediation programs. Many work as special education teachers in the school system, and develop private interventions for students in after-school hours. Learning specialists work to strengthen underlying brain processing, at the same time helping the student develop a strong academic skill base.
A student who has difficulty reading will often begin work with a tutor. They will typically work to develop stronger fluency, decoding, and compression skills. But what if the student isn’t making progress in this work? What if all the repetition and multi-sensory teaching are not working? That is where an understanding of processing can better assists a learning specialist in their work. Many students who struggle to read have some form difficulty with their their auditory, visual, or executive processing systems. A learning specialist will work to develop reading skills in a manner similar to a tutor, however they will also design and implement a targeted intervention to address any underlying processing deficiencies. This might include auditory processing work, expressive or receptive language development, visual tracking and visual motor work, or executive skills development. Strengthening how the brain processes information while at the same time developing academic skills makes for a powerful and effective remediation program. The same processing difficulties can be true for students with a range of learning disabilities, including dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Often times, difficulties processing information through one of the systems mentioned is a strong underlying factor in their struggles to learn. Students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) often have executive deficiencies that can be strengthened through targeted work with a learning specialist.
While tutoring is beneficial for many students who simply require some extra practice or “brush up” on skills, it is often ineffective for students who struggle to develop learning skills. These students frequently see far better outcomes when their academic interventions are designed more broadly to target and strengthen areas of their brain that aren’t properly processing the world around them.
At Milwaukee Mind Solutions, many students come to us after multiple unsuccessful attempts at tutoring. Our learning specialists create highly individualized remediation plans, and work with students to strengthen academic functioning, processing capacities, and self-esteem.
There is no set age for testing, typically the earliest we would recommend testing is 6 years old. However, this can be determined more easily through a consultation with one of our professionals.
Though the results of testing are valid for three to five years, depending on transitional or educational time periods, testing should be considered and is typically re-administered every year. Please note that time in between testing periods depends on provider or school recommendation, and that testing is typically covered by insurance only time per year.