Neurofeedback: Gumby, Granny and the Executive Brain (Glup!).

 

Gumby: So how do we turn this thing on? Granny:  Oh I don't know dearie...Mary do you know? Me; (Thinking) Oh boy...

Gumby: So how do we turn this thing on?
Granny: Oh I don’t know dearie…Mary do you know?
Me; (Thinking) Oh boy…

Monday, October 21st

So many changes are happening.  Now that I am done working with the Cortex (or the outside layer of the brain) we are going to work on the Executive Function part of the brain.  This is located in the Prefrontal Cortex or the front of the brain.   The Prefrontal cortex  is just above the eyebrow, behind the fore head .

Picture from http://www.whatayear.org/images/prefrontal_cortex.jpg

So what is the Executive Functioning system of the brain? According to CHADD (Children and Adults with A.D.D/ADHD), here is a graph that explains the following:

More colorful picture of executive function

Picture from: http://richardgpettymd.blogs.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/brownexecutive_1.jpg

For someone that has A.D.D, our Executive System works differently.  How so?  According to Dr. Edward M. Hallowell (Author of  Driven to Distraction) the Executive System of a person with A.D.D/ADHD is under active.

Here is how the Executive Functioning part of a  Non-A.D.D brain works vs. the Executive Function of an A.D.D brain:

  • Activation
    • Non-A.D.D: Helps organize and gets the body ready to work
    • A.D.D:  It is time for me to get my math homework done!  But it is such a pretty day outside.  Plus, I have outside cores to do…What should I do first?
  • Sustain Focus
    • Non-A.D.D: Being able listen to a lecture without fading out.
    • A.D.D: As a child, I would fade out after listening to my teacher for ten minutes.
  • Effort
    • Non-A.D.D: Adjusting process speed
    • A.D.D: For me I feel very sluggish when I do my work
  • Emotions
    • Non-A.D.D: Able to manage frustration
    • A.D.D:  As I mentioned previously, I have been very emotional.  I get frustrated and very sensitive. Even as an adult, I have always wondered what other think of me.
  • Memory
    • Non-A.D.D: Able to hold on and remembering information.
    • A.D.D: Ever hear the term “In one ear and out the other?”  That is me.
  • Actions
    • Non-A.D.D: Monitoring one’s actions.
    • A.D.D:  We don’t think before we speak.

Instead of the Surface program, I will start using the Loretta during my Neurofeedback sessions.  Doc said that there is a new part of the Loretta software that works primary with the Executive Function of the brain. Since my brain is adapting well with the treatment, I will now only be getting treatment twice a week instead of thrice times a week.  Lastly, Doc has a new office opening closer to my house so I will be going there for my sessions.    Sadly my current tech, Maria, will remain in the current office.   Maria was always very gentle and has a friendly personality.  I will miss her.

Now that we are dealing with the Executive Function, I will have to work even harder during the sessions.  This means that the brain will only be given one minute and thirty seconds  to keep the ball on the screen instead of two minutes.

 

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh.  My.  God.  Thank God I went to yoga this morning because my patience was running low.  Today was my first session at the new center….and  the two techs there have absolutely no idea what the Sam’s Hell they are doing.

I’ll will call the male tech Gumby (because of his tall and skinny figure) and the female Granny (since she is a grandmother).  Both are very nice but not familiar with the software.  Granny isn’t even familiar with computers.  I had to show her how to open up a folder on the computer.  Got to love the Baby-Boomers!

After waiting thirty minutes  (they thought my appointment was at 5pm when it really was for 4:30), Gumby had to measure my head ( in case anyone is interested, my head is 32 inches wide and 5 centimeters long) because he had no idea where to glue the sensors.   Then it then took 30 additional minutes for Gumby to show Granny how to put the sensors on.  Next Doc came to show both techs how to use the software.  I have a bad feeling about this. Should I trust two techs who have no experience what so ever, or should I give them the benefit of the doubt?

 

 

 

(To Be Continued…….)

Week Six of NFT: SUCCESS IS HAPPENING!!!

Success!!!

PLEASE NOTE: I am skipping week five since I only had one session.  There was a mess up with scheduling and traffic issues (the kind that involve actual cars on the high way, not the traffic in my brain, got it? J).

RECAP: I am going through the process of Neurofeedback to treat my A.D.D.

  1.  Once I get to the Doctor’s office, the tech puts twenty-seven sensors (wires) on my head.  These wires are connected to the computer.
  2. I am to stare at the monitor for two minutes.  During this time, a green ball appears on the screen.  My brain must make the ball stay on the screen.  The computer is actually teaching the brainwaves to slow down.
  3. The  computer measures how many seconds my brain was able to keep the green ball on the screen.   The goal is to get at least sixty seconds.
  4. After two minutes, I get a forty-five second break.  Then the process starts again.  This goes on for twelve rounds.

September 26, 2013

Between my cats waking me at five am and my bad back, I I haven’t gotten the best sleep.  I think that is why I haven’t been doing too well with my feedback therapy.  After all, my scores were in the 60’s before school started.   They only started to slide after school started and I wasn’t able to sleep as late in the morning.

To recap, I have twenty-seven little sensors placed on my head.

In school, I noticed a common A.D.D problem:  grading.  Since I have visual problems, I also have trouble grading.  I miss the little things.  Ever hear the saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees?”  This saying really applies to someone with A.D.D.    I’m the one who will notice the weird tree that no one else notices and misses the rest of the forest.  Oh well. So, grading is a problem.  Let me show you an example:

 Image

Picture from: http://www.coolmath.com/prealgebra/02-decimals/images/decimals10-02.gif

I would check the student’s answer with the answer key….and completely miss the decimal.   On different problems other mistakes might include missing an omitted number or a repeated number. Not on purpose. Trust me; I try not to miss the little things. Yet I do.  No matter how carefully I am looking at the problem or how deliberately I look at the answer, I still miss little things.  Needless to say, this matters a lot when handing back a graded paper to a student.  If I mis-grade anything…it will look unprofessional. My visual issues are due to the ‘traffic jam’ I was talking about in the previous post.  I just hope to get rid of the traffic!

September 30, 2013

Finally.   My scores are going up!  YEAH!!  Of course there are reasons for it.  For one, I try to make sure I go to bed rather early at night.  Also I have been trying this new supplement for the last two weeks that doc recommended.  It is an over the counter supplement called Guarana.  It is used as a stimulant to reduce mental and physical fatigue.

Not sure I am recognizing any other type of changes at work.  Yet I am happy with how work is going.  I feel that I am reading the students rather well.  I help them when they truly need it and let them solve problems on their own when I know they can.

October 3rd, 2013

The scores continue to rise.  Things at work are going well.  I also feel blessed with the people I am working with.

Every staff member only has kind words to say about one another.  Those that have family or health issues are especially taken care of by the rest of the staff.  For instance, one teacher was recently diagnosed with cancer.  The staff pitched in to get her things to help her through the treatments, like certain tea or spa stuff.   Other staff members volunteered to cover her classes.

Perhaps the reason I am feeling so optimistic about work is because the neurofeedback therapy is re-wiring the brain to make me feel less anxious.  Hmm…

October 4th, 2013

I got the best news today!  Maria said that my scores are high enough to move up!  Hoorah!  This means that we are done working on the cortex of the brain.  Now we will move on to the executive parts of the brain. This is the front of the brain.  The time I have to watch the ‘green ball’ will be reduced from two minutes to 1.5.

Also, I now only have to go to Neurofeedback theraphy two times a week instead of thrice.  PRAISE THE LORD!!!  This means I save $50.00’s a week.  Excuse me while I jump up and down on the coach (leaves to jump on coach). 

 

 My results for the past week

My results for the past week