Today Stinky had a neurofeedback assessment. It was recommended for some attention and behavior... ummm... issues so thought we would give it a look. Others want him on meds but I really don't like the long list of side effects so hopefully this will help him out.
It was really interesting and we both learned a lot. First, we asked some questions and the therapist explained the system. Then Stinky got wired up. Ohhh, for a camera! He had "control" clips on each ear and a little brass electrode stuck on the top of his head (it was tiny, smaller than my little fingernail). I kept breathing, as it was explained that they only read brainwaves and don't generate a charge. Phew! No electroshock therapy today, thank you very much. But he still looked a bit like Frankenstein's monster.
Then Stinky went through a bunch of exercises where he had to relax. Eyes open. Eyes closed. Count backwards in your head from 500 - by six. Eyes open again.
Meanwhile we watched Stinky's brain waves illuminate the computer screen. It was really interesting to watch things fluctuate, even though I am not quite sure what everything meant. But you could definitely watch the brain respond to things like people talking, his eyes opening or closing, and other stimuli. Really cool. Really really cool!
So it turns out that a couple of his brain wave types are out of whack. What a shock. My whole brain is probably out of whack. But, the general theory is that all the wave types should be on about the same level. The therapist said in general if the theta levels are double the other brain waves then that person probably has attention and focus problems. Stinky's were three times higher. Apparently it's not hard to "train" those wacky brain waves which will result in better attention and focus. Which works for me. I would much prefer a set number of Frankenstein sessions over giving him meds. Yeech.
Next he showed us a sample of what one of the brain trainings will be like. It's a little video game that responds to brain wave activity. The more Stinky relaxes and focuses on the activity (translating to waves that are all closer together), the better the game goes and he gets a higher score. It's called InnerTube and I found a short video about it here (warning, it's pretty big). Since he loves video games it is right up his alley and the whole experience was pretty fun for him.