Skip to main content

Autism Treatment - Quick Facts

  • Autism is a Spectrum Disorder: The degree or severity of symptoms can vary exponentially.
  • Autism has a clear set of behavioural and functional symptoms that are usually observable from very early childhood.
  • The earlier you seek assistance the better.

The occurrence of Autism has been rising steadily since the turn of the century. We have learned much. But there is still much misleading information and confusion regarding ‘cause’ and contribution to symptoms, … and how to help.

At Swingle Clinic, we take a functionality perspective. We look at specific regions and wave patterns within the brain to determine what may be contributing to both efficiency and inefficacy of the person. We then work with the family to determine what symptoms are to be targeted. Depending on where a person falls on the spectrum, these can range from cognitive rigidity (aka stubbornness), emotional restriction (from tantrums to awareness of the emotions of others), communication, learning / scholastics, and increasing (potential for) independence.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

For diagnosed or suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), please book a telephone consultation to determine both readiness and appropriateness of the ClinicalQ (5 point mapping) and / or full capping (19 channel Normative QEEG) and /or other forms of assessment.

About the Condition

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a well-recognized condition, which is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th Edition – Text Revision (2023). ASD covers a wide range of presentations, often first recognized in childhood but increasingly being identified in adulthood, especially in women. Previously identified as a number of different conditions, it is now understood to involve unusual ways of perceiving and processing sensory and social information, and a strong tendency to desire consistency and focus on topics of interest. Many adults who were diagnosed as children feel that their autism is an important part of their identity and experience of the world, and dislike it being pathologized by the medical and psychological professions. However, as many children with ASD benefit greatly from additional supports in school and the community, a diagnosis is often the easiest way to provide accommodations in a system that expects high levels of conformity and compliance.

Recommended Neurofeedback Treatment

The Swingle Clinic has welcomed people with autism throughout its existence, and has always provided a family-centred and psychologically safe environment. As the field of Neurofeedback has developed, so have our services. We understand that it can be difficult for children with autism to cooperate with the requirements of an assessment – although many are able to successfully complete a 5 point ClinicalQ or 19 channel Normative assessment, some require a period of desensitization, often with the support of family and behavioural interventionists.

Protocols for the treatment of autism vary greatly; some children benefit from reduction in slower frequency patterns across the central and sensory motor cortex. In addition, we often find their central midline has elevated gamma frequencies, associated with perseverative and compulsive behaviours. Others have more dissipated patterns of brainwaves which require full brain network training. As children become habituated to the experience of being in the clinic, our staff are able to refine the treatment plan, in consultation with parents, teachers, and other members of the therapeutic team.

Additional Recommended Psychological Services

The therapeutic needs of people with ASD vary greatly, but often include behavioural intervention, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy.

We strongly recommend you consider formal diagnosis, either privately (including at the Swingle Clinic) or through the public health system, if ASD is suspected. Discuss your needs and preferences with your clinician; we are able to provide assessment services if required.

Families are often affected by the significant workload involved in supporting a child with ASD, including finding and providing services, and advocating for inclusion and appropriate supports in school and the community. Parent burnout is common. We often provide additional family therapy and advocacy to ensure families’ needs are met when there is a child or children in the family with ASD.

Recommended Reading

Biofeedback for the Brain

Further reading...

Baruth, J., Casanova, M., El-Baz, A., Horrell, T., Mathai, G., Sears, L., Sokhadze, E. (2010). Low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation modulates evoked gamma frequency oscillations in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Neurotherapy, 14(3), 179–194.

Coben, R., Mohammad-Rezazadeh, I., Cannon, R. (2014). Using quantitative and analytic EEG methods in the understanding of connectivity in autism spectrum disorders: a theory of mixed over- and under-connectivity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:45. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00045.

Coben, R., & Myers, T. E. (2010). The relative efficacy of connectivity guided and symptom based EEG biofeedback for autistic disorders. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 35(1), 13–23.

Coben, R., & Pudolsky, I. (2007). Assessment-guided neurofeedback for autistic spectrum disorder. Journal of Neurotherapy, 11(1), 5–23.

Coben, R. (2007). Connectivity-guided neurofeedback for autistic spectrum disorder. Biofeedback, 35(4), 131–135.

Coben, R. Sherlin, L., Hudspeth, W. J., McKeon, K., & Ricca, R. (2014) Connectivity-Guided EEG Biofeedback for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence of Neurophysiological Changes. Journal of NeuroRegulation, 1(2) 109-130.

Drysdale, M,T,B., Martinez, Y, J., Thompson, L. (2012). The effects of humorous literature on emotion: A pilot project comparing children with asperger’s syndrome before and after neurofeedback training and controls. Journal of Neurofeedback.

Friedrich, E., Sivanathan, A., Lim, T., Suttie, N., Louchart, S., Pillen, S., Pineda, J. (2015). An effective neurofeedback intervention to improve social interactions in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 45(12), 4084-4100. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2523-5

Frye, R., Rossignol, D., Casanova, M., Martin, V., Brown, G., Edelson, S., Coben, R., Lewine, J., Slattery, J., Lau, C., Hardy, P., Fatemi, S., Folsom, T., MacFabe, D., Adams, J. (2013). A review of traditional and novel treatments for seizures in autism spectrum disorder. Findings from a systematic review and expert panel. Public Health 1:31. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.00031

Goodman, M. S., Castro, N., Sloan, M., Sharma, R., Widdowson, M., Herrera, E., Pineda, J. A. (2018). A Neurovisceral Approach to Autism: Targeting Self-Regulation and Core Symptoms Using Neurofeedback and Biofeedback. NeuroRegulation 5(1), 9-29.

Jarusiewicz, G. (2007). Use of neurofeedback with autistic spectrum disorders. Chapter in J. R. Evans (Ed.), Handbook of Neurofeedback. Binghampton, NY: Haworth Medical Press, pp. 321–339.

Jarusiewicz, B. (2002). Efficacy of neurofeedback for children in the autistic spectrum: A pilot study. Journal of Neurotherapy, 6(4), 39–49.

Kessler, K., Seymour, R. A., & Rippon, G. (2016). Brain oscillations and connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD): new approaches to methodology, measurement and modelling. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 71, 601–620.

Knezevic, B., Thompson, L., & Thompson, M. (2010). Pilot project to ascertain the utility of Tower of London Test to assess outcomes of neurofeedback in clients with Asperger’s Syndrome. Journal of Neurotherapy, 14(3), 3–19.

Kouijzer, M. E. UJ., de Moor, J. M. H., Gerrits, B. J. L., Buitelaar, J. K., & van Schie, H. T. (2009). Long-term effects of neurofeedback treatment in autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3(2), 496–501.

Pineda J. A., Brang D, Hecht E, Edwards L, Carey S, Bacon M, Futagaki C, Suk D, Tom J, Birnbaum C, Rork A.(2008). Positive behavioral and electrophysiological changes following neurofeedback training in children with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2, 557–581.

Scolnick, B. (2005). Effects of electroencephalogram biofeedback with Asperger’s syndrome. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 28(2), 159–163.

Sichel, A. G., Fehmi, L. G., & Goldstein, D. M. (1995). Positive outcome with neurofeedback treatment of a case of mild autism. Journal of Neurotherapy, 1(1), 6064.

Sokhadze, E., Baruth, J., El-Baz, A., Horrell, T., Sokhadze, G., Carroll, T., Tasman, A., Sears, L., Casanova, M. (2010). Impaired error monitoring and correction function in Autism. Journal of Neurotherapy, 14(2), 79–95.

Sokhadze, E. M., Casanova, M. F., El-Baz, A. S., Farag, H. E., Li, X. & Wang, Y. (2016). TMS-based Neuromodulation of Evoked and Induced Gamma Oscillations and Event-related Potentials in Children with Autism. NeuroRegulation, 3.(3), 101-126.

Sokhadze, G., Casanova, M. F., Kelly, D., Casanova, E., Russell, B., Sokhadze E. M. (2017). Neuromodulation based on rTMS affects behavioral measures and autonomic nervous system activity in children with autism. NeuroRegulation 4(2), 65-78.

Sokhadze, E., El-Baz, A., Tasman, A., Sears, L., Wang, Y., Lamina, E., Casanova, M. (2014). Neuromodulation integrating rTMS and neurofeedback for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder: an exploratory study. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 39(3-4), 237-257. doi: 10.1007/s10484-014-9264-7

Steiner, N., Frenette, E., Hynes, C., Pisarik, E., Tomasetti, K., Perrin, E., Rene, K. (2014). A pilot feasibility study of neurofeedback for children with autism. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 39(2), 99-107. doi: 10.1007/s10484-014-9241-1

Thompson, M., Thompson, L., & Reid, A. (2010). Functional Neuroanatomy and the Rationale for Using EEG Biofeedback for Clients with Asperger’s Syndrome. Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 35(1), 39-61.

Wang, Y., Sokhadze, E. M., El-Baz, A. S., Li, X., Sears, L., Casanova, M. F., Tasman, A. (2015). Relative power of specific EEG bands and their ratios during neurofeedback training in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 723.