This case involved an eleven year old boy who had benefited from applied behavioral modification training, and extensive communication, occupational and physical therapies, along with social play interventions and counseling. Prescribed neuroleptic medications were discontinued due to problems with muscle spasms, dehydration of the mouth, excessive constipation and general agitation. The boy’s parents reported demonstrated social deficits in interpreting social cues, including responding appropriately to anger or affection. In addition, the parents described other behaviors: emotional self-regulation proved difficult, with loss of control when frustrated, or when faced with strange or sensorialy overwhelming environments. Verbal outbursts, disruptive and physically aggressive behaviors, common with autism, were part of the boy’s daily experience, along with banging his head, biting, and sudden freezing in position. The boy had an extensive vocabulary and was hyperlexic, but was challenged by an inability to coordinate his thoughts with logical sentence construction. He also demonstrated facial contortions, gesturing and tone mismatches with his behaviors,and compulsively self-stimulated with inappropriate touching.
He appeared to have a high tolerance for and lack of awareness of extreme pain, yet could be overly sensitive to minor sensations such as tags on his clothes.
Early after the boy completed Neurofeedback training sessions for Autism symptoms his parents reported their son’s behaviors were unchanged. Shortly thereafter the parents reported minimal aggressive incidents for two days in a row and that he had hugged his Mother spontaneously and appropriately a couple of times. Thereafter reports were mixed, with a few “difficult days” and numerous “incidents”, replete with verbal outbursts, head banging, biting, crying, etc. As training progressed, the parents noted the boy’s improved ability in thought construction and therefore with communication. The boy seemed to be less frustrated, and had no incidences of “melt down” for almost a full week. Midway through treatment the parents reported the boys self-stimulating behaviors had diminished and the Mother noted the boy could tolerate tags and certain sensations against his skin more readily then in the past. The Mother also reported on the boy’s siblings, who were apparently enjoying their brother’s company and were starting to include him in more activities. Later the parents reported “more congruent” self-expression from their son, with fewer facial distortions and incidences of arrested movement. The boy was consistently able to modify his behavior in most instances, appropriately expressing his needs and also responding appropriately to social cues. Toward the end of in-office sessions the boy reported with a very wide grin that he had won a Sunday-school award for “most admired” student. The parents reported that because traits such as inappropriate touching, facial contortions, and strange gesturing had all but abated, they felt their son’s progress was sufficient.