We have continued our use of the LENS neurofeedback with Barron and have also incorporated another neurofeedback technology known as infra-low frequency training (ILF for short). Barron continues to grow and mature into a delightful young man (most of the time - just like every other 4 year old ;-)). As we see changes in his brain map profile, we see corresponding changes in his behaviour and personality.
One of the more amazing changes we have seen in Barron is his increasing sense of self and understanding of what others want. He has brought his little brother milk when he was crying, regularly covers mom and dad with a blanket on the couch and has come to understand that people like to watch shows other than Sponge Bob Squarepants on the big TV. This has corresponded with an area of his brain known as the "parietal lobe" recovering from a serious injury (likely the result of birth trauma) through the use of the LENS neurofeedback system.
What I thought was very interesting about this is that the parietal lobes are one of the main areas of the brain that give us a sense of "self" or as Freud would have said "the seat of our ego". People with poor parietal function typically have a poor sense of self, boundary issues and ruminate. Taken to the extreme, this could explain certain aspects of the autistic experience; Obsessiveness, over-activity (with the parietals shut down the only other way to experience self is through movement), sensory issues (visual, auditory and kinesthetic input all converge on the parietal cortex), lack of empathy (if I don't know where I stop and you start, I will assume you want the same as I do), poor communication (if I can't differentiate self and non-self, why would I bother to communicate?).
Equally interesting is that many issues of autism have to do with poor membrane/barrier integrity - excessive gut permeability and diminished blood-brain barrier integrity are often issues with these children. Chronic yeast infections, other viral/bacterial infections and environmental toxins also seem to get into the mix as well. This reminds me of a person with poor boundaries allowing toxic individuals to take advantage of them - an interesting metaphor to say the least. Could it be that our parietal lobes play a role in maintaining not only our psychological boundaries but also our physiological boundaries as well?
On a more esoteric note, this may also explain why many of these kids seem to be very aware to the emotion, energy or "vibe" of the people and space around them - talk to parents of an autistic child and they will likely agree that their child is very sensitive to these things. Again, if your sense of self vs. non-self is next to non-existent, you will pick up on a lot of subtle things that you would miss otherwise. Ironically enough, many meditators attempt to reach these mind states in order to dissolve their ego and achieve unity with everything which they often describe as quite blissful. I would add that it is blissful when you are able to return to a sense to self when meditation time is over. To stay in this state with no choice would have to be overwhelming for all but the most advanced yogi which may be why many of these children retreat into a world of their own.
As Barron grows and evolves, so do we and for every question answered another bundle crop up. It's been a pleasure to share these insights with all of you and we look forward to keeping you all in the loop on this interesting journey of ours.