What is offered at AT University?
The AT University concept was developed by Dr. Naomi Steiner to train college students and adults with attention difficulties and ADHD. This is a 20-lesson brain-training program that aims to improve focus, without using medication.
Dr. Steiner is a developmental behavioral pediatrician and expert researcher in ADHD and attention difficulties. ADHD in adults, including college students, is being increasingly recognized. Adults with ADHD not only have attention difficulties but often also have difficulties being organized and may be anxious. This is why Dr. Steiner has combined in the AT University program solid research approaches to support these areas of difficulty. In this manner, you don’t need to choose between different techniques.
How is AT University different from other programs?
AT University offers not only neurofeedback to train the brain, but also relaxation/biofeedback training.
This idea is novel. Dr. Steiner has been researching computer attention training, including neurofeedback, for 9 years. She has systematically trained dozens of research assistants to carry out the interventions to students in different school systems in the Greater Boston Area. The results from her studies show that participants who received neurofeedback training significantly improved their attention skills and executive functioning compared to those who did not receive neurofeedback training.
This new and combined approach is the first to exist in the current market.
Meeting with Dr. Steiner
At Attention Tutoring we understand that many people might not understand how neurofeedback works. This is why Attention Tutoring offers a complimentary short meeting with Dr. Steiner to ask questions they might have about the program and watch a demo of how the neurofeedback works. No clinical advice is given.
How does neurofeedback work?
Attention Tutoring re-trains the brain through neurofeedback, which records brainwave patterns so that users can see how they are focusing at any given time.
In the randomized control trials that Dr. Steiner conducted, the participants in the neurofeedback group improved more than those who did not receive any intervention, they also did better than those who received a cognitive training with the same number of sessions and same amount of time allotted. Neurofeedback group improvements in attention and executive functioning were sustained even the following school year, after 6 months without any training. On the other hand, stimulant medication is out of the body the same evening, without the benefit of any learned attention skills. Dr. Steiner’s results fall along the lines of other clinical research done in this area.
People with ADHD have different brainwave patterns than those without ADHD. Often, they have less prevalent beta brainwaves (apparent when focusing) and more prevalent theta brainwaves (apparent when drowsy). This makes focusing on tasks and getting them finished challenging.
The neurofeedback attention training system used at Attention Tutoring reads these brainwave patterns and sends visual and auditory feedback to a computer, showing the person practicing how well they are paying attention. The 20 lessons enable students to practice and learn what it feels like to be in a focused brain state. This changes brainwave activity, which leads to an increase in initiating attention, maintenance of attention, and an increase in executive functioning. The neurofeedback equipment only passively measures the brainwaves and does not send impulses back to the brain.
Will Neurofeedback help me?
Dr. Steiner’s and other researchers’ studies show that neurofeedback can be helpful for many students. Results are calculated by analyzing results from the group as a whole. This type of research process does not look at each participant individually.
What is executive functioning?
Executive functioning is the ability of the brain to organize tasks, prioritize tasks, manage time, break tasks down into steps and have an idea of how to proceed to assure that the task gets done. Adults with attention difficulties and ADHD often have executive functioning difficulties that make organizing their life, work, and home challenging.
Why train relaxation?
Attention Tutoring recognizes the importance of teaching relaxation. Many adults with ADHD and attention difficulties are anxious or nervous and this impacts not only how they get tasks done but also their comfort level.
How does biofeedback work?
Relaxation is taught through biofeedback. The biofeedback device used at Attention Tutoring shows the user his or her breathing pattern while prompting to take slow deep breaths. Taking slow deep breaths enables the nervous system’s relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) to kick in.
Does the AT University program really require 20 lessons?
Yes. It takes 20 lessons to retrain the brain. The attention-organization and relaxation skills training is also carefully spread out over these 20 lessons with a balance of new and review of materials, to assure that the skills are consolidated and healthy habits are formed.
Are 20 lessons sufficient?
Some adults might benefit from additional lessons. The tutor will discuss with you if additional lessons will be helpful towards the end of the 20 lessons.
How are the tutors credentialed?
All tutors have extensive experience working with students, and have completed the standardized Attention Tutoring training and post-training exam. All tutors have had background checks.