Tips for Preparing Children for Treatment
MeRT (Magnetic eResonance Therapy) begins with a qEEG. What is a qEEG? A qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram, often shortened to just EEG ) is a test to record electrical activity in the brain. It is administered by applying a cap on the scalp, then adhering electrodes to the cap. Generally, the patient keeps their eyes closed and remains fairly still for a period up to 10 minutes under the direction of the technician administering the test. EEGs are necessary because they allow the doctor to personalize treatment. A simple analogy: if you go into a shoe store to buy a pair of shoes, the store needs more information than “a pair of shoes”, or even a “pair of men’s shoes”. Size, width, occasion, etc…all necessary to obtain the right pair of shoes.
EEGs also provide vital information about treatment progress. During a 6-week treatment course, a patient receives 4 EEGs. Without exception. And, at our clinic, we see patients as young as 3 or 4 years old. That might sound impossible, but we have several years of experience, and tricks up our sleeves, and find that many children acclimate to the treatment within a few weeks. Parents are always in the room with patients during both EEGs and treatment, for the safety and comfort of everyone.
Here are just a few of the ways that we work together to help prepare children for treatment:
- A social story about EEG’s and a separate story about treatment. These have been prepared by a behaviorist and can be discussed with a therapist that works with the child, read at night, and practiced on a doll or stuffed animal.
- Tour the clinic and meet the staff.
- Prepare a list of preferred shows to watch.
- Discuss possible comfort items such as blankets or stuffed animals.
- Prepare a list of preferred “treats” to receive after EEGs and treatment.
- Fill out an information sheet and discuss possible maladaptive behaviors and strategies to alleviate them for technicians.
- Discuss using a car seat, highchair, or one of our chairs.
As with anything in life, the more information and preparation, the better.