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Sunday, December 21, 2014
Biofeedback
Last Post 07 Apr 2009 08:38 AM by Don Blackerby. 5 Replies.
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Debrah RoundyUser is Offline
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09 Jan 2009 10:29 PM  
I am excited to share the latest news from my classroom. Last summer at NLPU Robert Diltz showed us a biofeedback machine. When I saw it I recognized a potential maybe no one else had. I would like to share that with you all. I have two guys in wheelchairs with cerebral palsy. I watch them look longingly at the other children running computer games. I often thought what if I could figure out a way for them to run a computer game? How wonderful that would be.
 Then I saw the biofeedback gizmo and knew they could run it. It is kind of pricey but I just knew I would find a way. I chatted with Robert, probably with a gleam in my eyes, and said he said he would let me have it for the special price it was offered at NLPU. How would I get the money? I knew I would. Just before I left for NLPU I had done some tech work for the state department. When I returned they had sent a check for the work. It was earmarked for tech, but could be spent for anything tech I wanted in the classroom. I had a match, and there was just enough. I finally got the purchase orders together just before Christmas and sent it off. I could hardly wait and I checked every day during Christmas vacation to see if it had arrived. It never came. Then I found out the post office was holding the school mail and if I went there I could check. It was there! I took it to school and hooked it up. It worked. It was neat. I thought the kids could run it. There were other kids, higher functioning but still unable to work a computer. I thought maybe they could work it too. The first day back was a teacher work day. I called up our tech department and asked them if there was an old laptop I could get and explained why I needed it. I told them that one boy had to stand in a standing board each day to stretch his muscles and I wanted to be able to bring it up to his eye level. Another boy has to be put on the floor for stretches and I wanted to be able to bring it down to his eye level also. The game had to be registered to a single computer and I needed to be able to move it around. They were so enthused about it that they promised me they would build me a computer, and they did. They were so fast, it was ready the next day in the afternoon.
I hooked the first little guy up.  Soon the little gizmos started moving across the screen. He realized he was controlling them, and making the music louder. I caught his grin, ear to ear. 
Then I hooked up the second one. It was incredible. His little body is so stiff he cannot do anything for himself. He must be fed, changed, dressed, everything. He could make the gizmos go. I caught his grin. He just lit up like a candle.
Then later that day the other kids got turns. One little tiger I have been working with teaching him to relax and learn to control his inner state. He learned better in five minutes how to control his inner state that I could possible teach him. I had taught him the tools to manage state, and with the gizmos he could see and hear the relaxing tools I had taught him work with immediate feedback. You never saw a child work so hard at relaxing. After ten or fifteen minutes I told him he could go do something else and he informed me, “No, I want to do this. This is fun.” The other kids are delighted too.
Today while the boy in the wheel chair was running the space ships another student dropped by and asked, “Is he really driving those space ships?” Then incredulous he added, “He is! He can drive!” Another ear to ear grin. Empowerment!
This day brightener story just had to be shared. It is so incredible to see a child’s world open up.
Don BlackerbyUser is Offline
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11 Jan 2009 10:58 AM  
Debrah,
That is the most heart-rending story I have read in a long time. Great job and thank you for your persistence and vision. If you need more funding to do more , let me know. I don’t know if IASH can get involved in a fund raising effort or not. But if you want to pursue it, I will help you. Thanks for sharing the story. It brought tears to my eyes.
Don Blackerby
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Judy MontgomeryUser is Offline
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31 Jan 2009 11:10 PM  
Hi Debrah,

I have a biofeedback machine too and it is really amazing. What is the name of the one you and the kids are using?
Debrah RoundyUser is Offline
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01 Mar 2009 08:08 AM  
Somatic Vision. We now have Particle Editor, Dual Drive and some tunnel thing. The kids just love the games and my hyper ones will go to the computer to settle themselves down when they need it, often without prompting.
I saw at at NLPU last year and everyone was ahhing about personal uses. I just saw my kids hooked up. It a great!
Debrah
Debrah RoundyUser is Offline
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06 Apr 2009 10:47 PM  
Another BioFeedback happening.
I have one student in my classroom who is the most adorable little red-headed fellow. When he grins his face lights up the entire room. He had one big problem that would wipe the grin off his face for days at a time. He was terrified of fire drills. Worse yet, the district put in new alarms a year or so ago that are painfully piercing. He would agonize over when the next drill would be each month as he knew there was one a month. Then when we had a drill he would fall apart crying and shaking for the rest of the day making himself miserable as he relieved the experience over and over.
One day the principal, in empathy for our difficulties, warned me ahead of time so we could brace ourselves in the room. Instead I hooked him up to the biofeedback machine and then we went over what to do in a fire drill while he focused on keeping the little space ships traveling – a sign on that game that he is relaxing. Over and over we went through the steps, reassured him that all was safe and that we had them to keep us safe, that it was a good thing to cover his ears, all the while he was concentrating on staying relaxed.
The bell rang while he was on, he jumped a bit, but covered his ears and left the building without crying. When he returned I put him back on the biofeedback game and future paced the whole fire drill drill as he worked at learning to relax.
That was January. In February the principal rang the bell while we were out of the building. March was blustery and a good day for a drill did not come up until the end of the month. Finally the second to last day of the month and the wind died down for a bit. The bell rang. IT WORKED!!!!
Our red head stood up, calmly put his hands over his ears and marched out of the building. Then he proudly stood outside with that infectious grin and proclaimed to all, “I can do hard things.” He wlaked back in after the drill was over and went back to work with nary a tear or shake. After a few minutes he walked up to me and with a big smile said, “We had a fire drill and my tummy feels good.” That said it all.

Don BlackerbyUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 08:38 AM  

Debrah,

Thank you for your creativity and obvious love for children.  One of these days, I am hoping that IASH will provide a forum for demonstrations of NLP in the "Real World".  I think your applications apply very well in a "Real World--Students' health and well being" that is VERY needed.

If IASH does provide that forum, I am hoping that you will re-write this story with an analysis of it from a NLP standpoint.  That is, identify why various parts of it work because of anchors, trauma relief, re-framing, sleight of mouth, etc.  That way, other NLPers can start to think like you think and also add the mindset that they are applying NLP.  Maybe that would open up creativity in a whole different way. 

Again, thanks for your contribution.  I look forward to your next application.
Don Blackerby

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