Facilitating Neurofeedback in Children with Autism and Intellectual Impairments Using TAGteach

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Jun;48(6):2090-2100. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3466-4.


Individuals with autism and intellectual impairments tend to be excluded from research due to their difficulties with methodological compliance. This study focuses on using Teaching with Acoustic Guidance-TAGteach-to behaviorally prepare children with autism and a IQ ≤ 80 to participate in a study on neurofeedback training (NFT). Seven children (ages 6-8) learned the prerequisite skills identified in a task analysis in an average of 5 h of TAGteach training, indicating that this is a feasible method of preparing intellectually-impaired children with autism to participate in NFT and task-dependent electroencephalography measures. TAGteach may thus have the potential to augment this population's ability to participate in less accessible treatments and behavioral neuroscientific studies.

Keywords: Auditory secondary reinforcement; Autism; Conditioned reinforcement; Intellectual impairment; Low-functioning; Mirror neurons; Mu rhythms; Neurofeedback; TAGteach.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology*
  • Intellectual Disability / therapy*
  • Male
  • Neurofeedback / methods*
  • Neurofeedback / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology