Consequences of Poor Processing Speed

Processing Speed, described by Alice Kassotaki, Speech Language Pathologist MSc, BSc, "refers to the rate at which information travels across the brain. It involves the function of processing information automatically, quickly and unconsciously. It relates to the ability to complete simple, repeated cognitive tasks. Poor processing speed can be seen during the task, not during the initial learning stage. Since processing speed is done unconsciously, slow processing speed is connected with a reduced ability to perform an assignment automatically. Cognitive processing speed, affecting attention, executive tasks, memory, academic performance, and behavioral and social skills, increases through childhood and adolescents. Processing speed can be caused by motor skills, insufficient sleep, working memory, ADHD and more. 

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For those who suffer with slow processing speed, may struggle with performance problems in school and adulthood. Although these people know how to complete the task, it may take a few more steps compared to others. It is important to respond to these signs and support your child so that problems don't impact the rest of their lives. 

Processing speed tasks:

  • comparing or scanning visual information such as letters, words, numbers, symbols, patterns or pictures, for similarities or differences;
  • performing basic arithmetic;
  • reading and comprehending words and texts;
  • writing words or dictation;
  • copying from the board or from a text;
  • doing things in the correct order;
  • starting and finishing work in class;
  • starting and finishing an activity;
  • learning routines;
  • relating to others;
  • completing tests;

Neurofeedback is able to help children, teenagers, and adults who have slow processing speed. If your processing speed has not improved enough to meet your goals, your brain may need some training. Neurofeedback can train your brain to regulate, stabilize and focus itself so you're able to concentrate better on your tasks or follow directions that are given to you.

Contact us for more information on how Neurofeedback can help you and your family find the focus you need to function at your best.

-Written by Allison Parker and Tanya L. Hilber, PsyD

Reference: Kassotaki, Alice. “Consequences of Poor Processing Speed.” Upbility, Ikid Private Company. 

Who is Brian?

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brian othmer

(This is the first part of a three-blog post examining Brian and his family’s journey with neurofeedback.)

Who is Brian and why might you be interested in this story? Below is a real story that happened to a family with their child. That child’s name was Brian. Brian had multiple challenges, some of them severe. Everyday all over the world many parents experience a journey similar to Brian and his family. See if you can relate to some of what Brian’s family went through. Does any of it resonate with you or sound familiar?

Imagine if you will that you’ve got a child that seems a bit ‘different.’ Perhaps the child has their own way of doing things. They may be having problems in school, at home, or with their peers. They may be giving you a hard time, acting-out, are angry, or possibly even get physically aggressive.

You’ve tried everything you know to better your child’s situation but are at a loss. Your well-meaning friends have been of little help as their children are ‘normal.’ You are crest-fallen. You wonder, why did this happen to us? Out of desperation you seek professional help for your child’s problems.

In one of your numerous appointments with numerous child professionals, things go terribly bad. One of the professionals mistakenly points the finger at you. The implication is that your parenting is responsible for the child’s behavior. You are devastated by the allegation. You are even more devastated that professional help is not improving the situation with your child.

Brian’s story typifies an experience that far too many families face. In Brian’s case, his parents were able to find relief for his symptoms with neurofeedback. Brian’s behavioral issues for the most part went away with his neurofeedback training and he got a more ‘normal’ life. His family finally found the relief they sought. Next month we will explore in detail Brian’s challenges.

Jacob Murdock, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern 99642

Reference: Othmer, S. (2013). Brian’s Legacy. Woodland Hills, CA: EEG Info.                                               Photo Credit: S. and S. Othmer

 

Contact us for more information!

Beta Wave Basics, Part 1

If you have done any independent research on neurofeedback, you may have come across the following terms: “beta waves,” “alpha waves,” and “theta waves.” You may also be wondering what these waves even mean, what they are, and what they have to do with neurofeedback. This entry will look to focus specifically on beta waves and its relationship to neurofeedback. If you would like more information on “alpha waves” and “theta waves,” check out our blog entry on Alpha-Theta Training.

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As described in a previous blog entry What Exactly IS Neurofeedback, part of the process of neurofeedback is to utilize an EEG to monitor brain activity. The EEG will produce a picture of an individual’s brain activity via what looks like squiggly lines. These lines are in fact an individual’s brain waves. Every second of every day, millions of cells, or neurons, in the brain are communicating to one another simultaneously via electrical signals. It is these signals that make up the picture in an EEG as the device measures an individual’s electrical activity in the brain. Each electric wave, or brain wave, emits an electrochemical impulse. These impulses alter in frequency and each frequency is referred to as a different type of brain wave. Beta waves, for instance, are brain waves with a frequency ranging from approximately 14 hertz to 30 hertz while alpha waves have a frequency ranging from approximately 8 hertz to 13.9 hertz. A brain’s frequency will vary depending on brain activity.

For the purposes of neurofeedback, you can think about brain waves in terms of one’s state of mind. When an individual is engaged in an activity that requires paying attention, utilizing logic, or engaging in analytical thinking, such as at work or school, the brain is using beta waves. When an individual is in a state of pure relaxation, such as during meditation or yoga, the brain is using alpha waves. These waves reflect activities that a person engages in on a daily basis. Both activities and emotional states can change or alter a person’s brain waves. Due to typically busy (and often stressful) lifestyles, individuals’ brain frequency is within the range of beta waves for the majority of the day.

Now that you know the basics behind beta waves, hopefully you have a better understanding of the role beta waves have in your everyday life. To learn more about the frequency of beta waves and how that may be related to current problematic symptoms, tune back to our blog next week! We will also be discussing how neurofeedback may be the solution to these problematic symptoms.

Be sure to stay informed and to learn more information on neurofeedback and its therapeutic applications. Schedule an appointment or contact us if you would like to consult with a neurofeedback technician. See you next week!