Friday, March 28, 2014

       My daughter went up another level in lateral core (ability to hold a side plank on her forearm), balance beam (walking on beam forward, backward and side to side), fine motor (ability to quickly put pegs in holes) and dichotic listening (hearing a different word in each ear at the same time).
       We had a discussion last night about her new found attitude and she explained it like this:  "I just feel like I'm more aware of everything, so I've become more sensitive to things."  This is true, because when we were in the car and she spoke with frustration, all I said was "tone" and she recognized what she had did and apologized.  Before she wouldn't have recognized immediately why I would think something was wrong with what she said.  Also, her writing has become better without the sloppy mistakes that were being made only two weeks ago.  She feels this is because she has been writing essays at Brain Balance.

      She's happy she got to start on the exercise ball today. She has to hold the following position for 60 seconds.

    Usually when I whine and complain about something I immediately discover that I'm wrong, and so it is the case with Brain Balance this week. I complained that her auditory and visual processing are not improving then I see her write a perfect rough draft essay and pick up on cues not previously recognized. I'm not sure if that means I should not be so impatient and withhold my whining or if I should complain more and see more results.  A parent told me that when she levels up in dichotic listening then she is getting better in auditory processing.  

     I'm flying out west for next week so my husband will be taking her to Brain Balance.  I'll make sure to get the details from him so I can continue to make the posts.

    Thanks for the comments!  It keeps me motivated to continue blogging.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

     Today, my daughter went up one age level in supine and prone core, upper body, brachiation and dichotic listening.  For her homework today I noticed she could do thirty sit ups in a row with her feet tucked under the couch.  The age goal is 37 unassisted.

      To be honest, I'm a little tired of her doing better in physical abilities and not improving on her auditory processing and visual processing.  I'm paying $6,000 for her to do better academically and to recognize social cues better, not for her to be able to say, "Look at me!  I can do push-ups!"  I haven't taken her to do the nutrition lab part of it yet because of the money, but it is time for me to suck it up and pay the $500 to have her assessed.  I hear rumor they charge even more for the supplements.  I know it is not right of me to judge a program if I don't do everything they ask.  I just hate those red numbers.
       Monday, my daughter went up another level in proprioception.  So they feel she is getting a better sense of where she is in her surroundings, but apparently that does not mean she is successful at spacial awareness among other objects.  The book suggests games like Perfection, which is a game meant for little kids.  My three year old loves it and my thirteen year old finds it ridiculously easy.  I told Dr. Naumann about our Blokus game we played Sunday night and my frustration that she would try to put pieces where they wouldn't fit.  She said that Blokus is now a part of her daily homework because it helps build spacial awareness.  Dr. Naumann also suggested the game, Rush Hour, to help with her spacial reasoning.  As her spacial reasoning improves so should her ability to do math.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

     Friday, my daughter went up an age level in lateral core, fine motor and dichotic listening.  They wouldn't show me the evaluation sheet that is used to measure her due to copyright and protecting their business.  The lady who allowed me to take a picture of it last time was told she was not allowed to do that anymore.  I perfectly understand their reasoning and feel bad for getting the lady in trouble. On the other hand they were more than happy to tell me exactly what is being measured and how she levels up.  
           Lateral core is tested by holding a position while lying on your side.  Once she is able to hold that position for so many seconds three Brain Balance days in a row, she levels up.  Prone core is holding a position while lying on your stomach and supine core is lying on your back.  Fine motor is where they test how fast she can put the pins in the equipment that I showed on March 9th.  Dichotic listening is when she hears two words in both ears and has to give you both.  With this they are more concerned with her being able to get both words at the same time than how many words she is able to give.  Brachiation is her hanging from a bar, which I have discovered is more difficult than going across the monkey bars.  My middle daughter tried holding on to the monkey bar at the park and was having a difficult time, but she was able to go back and forth on the monkey bars with no trouble.
      I expressed my concern that it is difficult as a homeschooling mom to see the results in attention deficit and academics.  Dr. Naumann told me she would give me a test to give her at home and another one the following week so I could see her improvement.  They don't spend a lot of time on academics because they are not there to tutor, but to grow the brain.  They say by not staying on one subject for too long it helps the brain learn to quickly process things.  Dr. Naumann says she is doing fantastic.  The things I have noticed as a parent is her increase in athletic skills and a little bit more self recognition.   She said to me this week she was answering someone's question and realized that she was giving them a longer answer than they wanted.  I don't think she has ever before recognized people checking out when she talks a bit longer than desired.  Dr. Seuss must have been around some ADHD people when he wrote "Good bye Thing you sing too long!"
    We are behind on our nutrition assessment because she had her bottom braces put on her teeth and she has been consuming mostly smoothies for a week.  We should be turning in her 7 days of nutrition diary next week.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

     So my daughter went up another age level in supine core, prone core, upper body, balance beam and brachiation by one year.  So in two weeks her strength has improved by two years.  I was talking to her about brachiation and she said that she was only able to hold on to the monkey bars to the count of four.  I thought she was able to go across at least half way.  It is supposed to be 77 degrees on Saturday, I'm going to take her to the park and see for myself.
     All of her homework exercises seem to be entirely too easy for her, where it was not so easy when we started this at the beginning of last week.  When I go tomorrow I will ask if they want us to do something else.  I am also making sure that she listens at least three times a day to the Brain Balance music in the left ear.  Here is what they have to say about it.

     My daughter has "With Wolves and Whales" which is located at the bottom of in case you want to hear for yourself some of the samples she listens to everyday.

Monday, March 17, 2014

While I was at Brain Balance today I had them explain what going up one level meant and how they categorized Gait/Aerobic.  Going up one level means that they have matured in that area by one year.  So if a 13 year old had the proprioception of a 5 year old and they went up a level, they now have the proprioception of a 6 year old.  Gait/Aerobic is measured by the chart below. (I felt it necessary to remove the chart because the lady at Brain Balance told me she did not know at the time she should not have allowed me to take a picture of it.) My daughter is jumping rope, so I don't see her going much higher as she is already near the top of the chart. (The chart shows a level 15 student being able to do 40 jump rope jumps unassisted, level 1 student can only do 10 jumps on a trampoline with help and a cross crawl pattern 10x with no misses.)

     I spoke with a mom who has an ADHD son with some other issues who has been attending Brain Balance for 17 sessions.  They are about half way through and she has noticed some small changes and realized there were even more that she did not recognize until talking to me.  One now absent characteristic she now enjoys is that he no longer drones on when speaking.  She said she was told by Brain Balance that you normally continue to see improvements for three more weeks after you are finished with your sessions.  The only dietary change they have had to make is eliminate eggs and milk, but they will be reintroducing them next week to see if there is any noticeable changes for the worse.  I asked her how'd she notice and she said she had no idea.  This is the second ADHD child that I have seen taken off of milk.  The mom said it was a result of the data that came back from the lab.
     The other mom with the child who has a learning disability spoke more on her progress.  This is her second time with Brain Balance and in the last six months she has improved by three grade levels.  Learning disabilities are categorized as left brain deficient and are said to take longer to correct than right brain deficiencies such as ADHD, asperger's and autism.   She is hoping by the end of this session that she will be up to grade level.  She also says her daughter is much more coordinated. After doing this for two times for her daughter she is going to try to help her ADHD son on her own without paying Brain Balance to do it for her.

     So today I learned why it seems parents of dyslexic children or those with other learning disabilities are not as thrilled with Brain Balance as parents of right brain imbalanced children.  I am also glad I am writing this blog as it makes me think about the effect of Brain Balance on my daughter or else I may not notice a significant change like the first mom.  I also am surprised with how rapid of a growth my daughter is having in her physical abilities.  Two weeks ago she could not do a single push up.  Today she did six in a row in perfect form without stopping.  Of course I am not paying $6,000 for her to shoot baskets and do push ups, the real test is tomorrow when she takes her end of year writing and language arts exam.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Interactive Metronome Demo

  Here are the categories Brain Balance said my daughter had improved by one level this past Wednesday.  
Supine core
Lateral core
Prone core
Upper body
Balance Beam
Interactive metronome
Fine Motor
Dichotic listening

     The first five are core strengthening and balance exercises.  Below is a description of the interactive metronome.  She does not have the headphones, but it is the exact same program as described.

“Brachiation is the ability to swing from rung to rung on an overhead ladder. This activity is extremely easy for a very young child and extremely difficult for an adult. It is a very valuable ability because it helps the child to create a bigger, better chest and as a result he breathes more deeply, regularly and maturely.” – Glenn Doman & Janet Doman, from the book ‘How Smart Is Your Baby’.

Dichotic listening is when she hears a different word in each ear and is able to give them both words.

     She earned this one of Friday.  Improving in Gait/Aerobic and proprioception may be the reason she made two baskets in the church basketball game this morning.  She has never made a basket before in the past two years of playing church basketball.  Their team tends to win about half of the games and they lost this one, so she did not score the baskets because it was an easy opponent.

        Proprioception is "the process by which the body can vary muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information regarding external forces."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Here is my daughter's visit at Brain Balance today in her own words.

     They took me to the activity room and put peppermint on the shoulder of my shirt, then on my opposite leg they put a battery powered band around my leg that buzzed.  Then I started doing my computer exercises while my leg is buzzing.  First there were arrows and I had to click on the keyboard which way the arrow is pointing.  Then the next exercise a number pops up in the middle of the screen and I have to say the number and press which way the arrow is pointing.  Then my eyes had to follow a little purple egg that moved from the middle to the left side of the screen.  The left side of the screen was a moving checker board.  Then there were vertical purple stripes moving to the right.  I had to pick a stripe and follow it with my eyes half way through the screen and then go back and follow another one.  Then I played computer tennis.
      After computer exercises, then I go to another area and put on a headset.  It plays an audio that says two words at the same time, one in each ear, and I have to tell them what both of the words are.  Then I put the pegs in the pegboard with my left hand for 30 seconds and then both hands.  Then in another area they put a wrist band on me with a button with another button on the floor mat.  I had to keep time with the cowbell.  The wrist band was then removed.
     Then he asked me to put on funky glasses that are blue on the left lens and black tape covering the right lens.  With the glasses on I did 20 jumps with my feet together using the jump rope.  Then I walked forward and backwards on the balance beam still with the glasses.  Then I did core exercises on the mat.  I hold a plank for 30 seconds and hold the superman position for a minute.  He asked me to hang on to the monkey bars for just a second and then he told me to come down.  I don't know what that was about.  Then I was allowed to take off the buzzer around my leg and the funky glasses.
      He gave me three tubes and gave me three options for each tube of what the smell was and I had to determine the smell.  He then spun me around 10 times in a chair and then I had to look at the orange ball on top of the monkey bars.  He watched my eyes to see how long it would take for them to adjust.  Then I was excused to the academic room.
     I sat down at the table and she pulled up my notebook to the reading section tab and numbered 1-5.  I had to read a small paragraph and and answer the 5 questions on the other side of the paper.  She looked over my answers and Xed out the incorrect answers.  She then flipped to my math section and did equations 1-5.  We went over to the writing tab and I only had time to write one sentence before my session was done.  She said next time she will put a timer on me.

     Wednesdays she gets evaluated and they said that since she was last tested a few months ago when we came in for the initial examination she has gone up one level in several categories.  I forgot to take a picture of it, so I can't remember all the categories.  It is difficult for me to tell if there has been a change in her.  She is attending at the same time as a girl who has an imbalance with the opposite side of the brain.  Her mom says they have been going to Brain Balance since August and she has seen some improvement.  It seems that those who are imbalanced with the left brain are not as satisfied with their program as those who are right brain imbalanced (autism, asperger's and ADHD).

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex

    Yesterday, Larry and I went for our parent training at Brain Balance while our daughter had her tiring and "boring" session.  The psychologist went over our responsibilities at home and all the exercises she is supposed to do.  She has to do all of the ones highlighted in orange.  Core exercises are just proper push ups and sit ups.  Brain Balance music is about a 15 minute CD that she plays in her left ear using headphones.  They say we can also play it in the car and turn all the speaker settings to her left side, but we haven't done that.  The music is a little weird and she finds it distracting to play when she is studying.

Here are the famous eye exercises that my referrals were telling me about. The psychologist explained that we want to make sure your eyes are evenly yoked.  I noticed that when she was doing the Eye Alignment exercise that one eye would adjust more quickly than the other.  With practice, that should go away.  She tried it on me and my eyes do the same thing.

     The Landau reflex is an infant reflex where when they are on their belly and raise their hands their feet also pop up.  They tell me that this reflex goes away completely around the age of 18 months.  They are trying to squash this reflex in my 13 year old through these exercises.  Her feet don't pop up, but her legs do want to move.

      I found the definition of Tonic Neck Reflex on Medline Plus:  The TONIC NECK REFLEX occurs when you move the head of a child who is relaxed and lying on his back to the side. The arm on the side where the head is facing reaches straight away from the body with the hand partly open. The arm on the side away from the face is flexed and the fist is clenched tightly. Turning the baby's face in the other direction reverses the position. The tonic neck position is often described as the fencer's position because it looks like a fencer's stance.
    This is the exercise they feel will squash that reflex.

The lady in the video in my next post explains the tonic labyrinthine reflex and issues that may be seen in those who retain this reflex.

      The psychologist asked how my daughter liked her Brain Balance session.  I told her that she found it boring and she was really tired.  The tiredness is expected, but the psychologist did say she would ask the instructors to step it up a notch to help her enjoy her time there.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to see her in action through the viewing window.

     Also I discovered that the $515 nutrition lab fee is not covered in the $6,000 tuition fee.  That was not a happy moment.  This week I am writing down everything she eats to have it reviewed by a nutritionist. Hopefully it won't be too bad considering I graduated in the top 6% of my class in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and worked as a nutrition counselor for 7+ years.  I think I won't tell them that and just listen to what they have to say.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Here are pictures of the activity room at Brain Balance.

     My daughter had her first session today.  I learned that they have an 80% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied within the first two weeks.  She has three sessions a week.  Half of the time is spent in the above room working on all the equipment as well as some computer programs.  The other half of the time is spent improving her school skills.  Because she has an end of grade writing test in two weeks they said they would spend more focus on writing for the first two weeks.

     I spoke with a girl who has ADHD and her grandmother while in the waiting room.  Grandma said there has been great improvement with her granddaughter with focus and she is doing better at school.  The things that have only improved slightly are her dyslexia and difficulty in sounding out unfamiliar words.  Mom wasn't there to comment on the difficulty of changing her diet, but the girl said it wasn't hard at all.  She just had to eliminate dairy.  Grandma was impressed that such a little exercise as moving the eyes could make such a huge difference.  She was the second person to mention that exercise to me.  The girl loves to go to Brain Balance and has a lot of fun.  It is an extremely positive atmosphere and she receives a lot of praise.

     When my daughter came out, I asked her what she thought of it.  She looked tired and said it was boring. She liked the girl who did the original examination better because she was more entertaining than the one who worked with her today.  I signed a form saying I would not allow her to have more than an hour a day of screen time.  They did excuse the online school she is required to take.  My husband was sad because he had rented a movie for them to watch.  I thought it would be okay for her to watch it if she did not have any screen time for the next two days.  I will have to ask Brain Balance what they think so I can make sure I keep the rules.

     Monday I will get the parent binder and the whole run down of what we are expected to do at home.  I'm grateful the weather will be reaching almost 70 degrees tomorrow.  It will help keep her mind off of her shows and computer games.  I think changing her diet and limiting her screen time will be most difficult on my husband.  This is why I am having him go with me on Monday when they do the parent orientation.  Feel free to ask me any questions about Brain Balance that you would like to see posted.

    Thank you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

     Today I spoke with a mother of four who has a daughter currently enrolled in Brain Balance.  I asked her what she thought of it and she immediately responded, "It's amazing!"  She also said that it was a lot of work and if I was going to enroll my daughter I needed to be dedicated.  Not only do you have to change the diet but you have to do the home exercises with your child.  Having four children and trying to set time to do those home exercises with her daughter was difficult but she made sure it was done.

     Just like T, she had immediate results with better behavior and focus with her daughter.  The mother also mentioned that her teachers were making comments about how improved her daughter was in school.   I asked if it was the change in diet or the exercises that made such a difference in her daughter.  She said that she felt they were equally important and I needed to do them both diligently.  The bottom line is that Brain Balance works, but it is no miracle pill.  There is a lot of responsibility on the parent to make sure that the program is implemented into their daily life.

     It looks like I will be enrolling my daughter into Brain Balance tomorrow.  Everyone I have met who has had a child in Brain Balance eagerly praises their program.  I have yet to meet anyone who did not like them or even thought they were just okay.  So far, everyone LOVES Brain Balance and would pay double the price if that was what was required.  I'm going to have to do some fundraising.
     I will be posting what she does at Brain Balance at each session and take pictures to help you see what they do there.  I will also blog about how well I'm doing at implementing the program at home.  I have a three year old that could take the place of four children by herself, but I won't know if she will make things more difficult until I find out what they want me to do.  I have previously had my daughter do some exercises from their book "Disconnected Kids" but I'm not sure if I had her doing them correctly.  I have to admit I am most nervous about what foods I am going to have to cut from her diet.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

     I went to Brain Balance today to get the names from the binder.  I was only able to get seven names as most of the testimonies were not signed with a last name.  While I was there I was able to speak to a fellow former North Carolinian who was more than happy to give me her opinion of Brain Balance.  Because I failed to ask her permission to publish her story, I will call her "T".  Next interview I will try to remember to ask for permission.
     T says she should be the poster mom for Brain Balance because she loves them so much.  She agreed the price was a lot and that is why she did not sign up right away.  She has two children with autism and was thinking there was a link between their nutrition and autism.  She could not get any doctor to test them for food intolerance because they said those tests are not valid.  After T questioned a lot of different people (the internet failed her just as it had me) she decided she would enroll one child to see how it went before enrolling the other.  Two weeks later she enrolled the other child because the change was that quick.

    Brain Balance warned T that what she was experiencing was the honeymoon phase and she would not continue to see the changes as rapidly as she did the first week.  Her family has been going to Brain Balance for about two months and I saw one of her sons in the lobby.  He seemed like a normal young child to me. T says she feels the foods they have eliminated have helped tremendously.  Gluten was a food they had expected, but they were surprised to find out that her child also did not tolerate chicken.  T is continuing to see improvements in her children, but she agrees that the pace of their improvement has slowed.  She was also told that the child with the more severe autism will need another set of sessions later.

    The immediate changes in her son T observed during his first week of Brain Balance started when he walked out of the office.  He was walking in a straight line, where before he would zig-zag everywhere he walked.  Then at home she asked him to make his bed and he went and made his bed.  She only had to ask once, where she usually has to ask 20 or more times.  His social interactions had improved too.

   So I have one very positive review.  I have seven names to contact to get their opinions.  I would like to know opinions of those who experienced Brain Balance years ago and if they feel it made a long term difference.  Thank you for reading my post and please continue to share it with others if you feel they may know someone who has experienced Brain Balance.

Thank you!  And thanks to T for talking with me about the program.

Monday, March 3, 2014

         I took my daughter to Brain Balance where the psychologist said she could 100% guarantee that they could cure her of ADHD in three months...for $5,400.  Everything they said seemed to make sense and they showed me a binder of wonderful testimonies from local participants, but for $5,400, I had to think about it. Like most people, I don't have $5,400 to spend on a program that does not come with a money back guarantee.  They suggested fund raising.  Their favorite fundraiser is for their participants to start a blog about the child's issues and ask for donations.  I disagree with exploiting my child to get money, so I've decided to post about Brain Balance instead.

      I have looked all over the internet and have not been able to find a reliable source about Brain Balance. Most sites praising their program seem to be connected with Brain Balance.  Other sites who are not in favor of Brain Balance seem to know very little about the program and don't seem qualified to give their review. Luckily, the testimonies in the binder come with full names.  My first step is to interview these former participants.

     If any of you have had an experience with Brain Balance, I would love to hear from you.  If you know someone who has had an experience with Brain Balance, please send them the link to this blog. I will post the results of my interviews here.  If it all looks favorable, then I will start requesting donations. In return for the donations I will enroll my daughter into Brain Balance and post what happened in each session and the results I have seen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!