Futuristic brain healing: Autism clinic a first for Australia

HEALING THE MIND: Neurofeedback facilitator Rustam Yumash with Elisha McDonald and her son Henry McDonald, 12.
HEALING THE MIND: Neurofeedback facilitator Rustam Yumash with Elisha McDonald and her son Henry McDonald, 12. Scott Powick

A TWEED Heads psychology and neuroscience clinic has opened the first Australian Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment.

AusCan is NDIS-approved to provide services for children, from the early stages of autism, or any other neurodevelopmental diagnosis.

Therapies offered are on the cusp of world medical research and include, among many, neurofeedback.

In neurofeedback training, a patient's brainwaves are displayed so they can learn new ways of self-regulating their behaviour and emotions.

Neurofeedback has a wide range of applications, but Henry McDonald, 12, of Paradise Point, Qld, is seeing great results from two weekly sessions to gain self-control, says his mother Elisha McDonald.

"Henry's emotions used to run his life - he was either right up of right down - anything sad would be a catastrophe, and if something made him happy he'd bounce off the walls," she said.

"Neurofeedback has helped enormously - he is controlled in his emotional responses - and this has had a great impact, socially. We just want him to have the best life possible.

"We've been through the medicine cycle but I think that was more of a Band-Aid solution."

AusCan clinical director Nerida Saunders said there was also a growing demand for streamlined autism services.

"When a child receives a diagnosis the emotions are unfathomable," Ms Saunders said.

"This is followed by information overload in an attempt to discern the best course of action amidst the internet noise and professional advice.

"Our approach aims to relieve the stress.

"We assess each individual on their specific needs and introduce families to a range of therapy options.

"The brain is an amazing and flexible tool and there is literally no limitations on what can be achieved."

AuSCan clinic

What: NDIS covered therapies for children with autism and other neurological conditions.

Where: 36 Beryl St, Tweed Heads.

Phone: (07) 5599 2220


Topics:  autism nerida saunders neurofeedback

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