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Luci completes the Brain Balance program next week. Since she began, these are the changes I have seen (keep in mind she is 8 1/2 years old):

--can tie her shoes.

--knows the days of the week and can tell you what days come before and after any day

--knows the months of the year

--seems to truly understand place value and can maintain it in calculations

--when she writes a number or letter backwards she can almost always identify it and correct it

--can read smoothly and quickly enough to enjoy it

--reading comprehension has gone up exponentially

--can put a group of words in alphabetical order (even using the second letter of words that all begin with the same letter)

--sleeps better

--can walk a more normal distance and has a much stronger body

--can remember and respond to more multi-step directions

--can spell words more than three or four letters long (LOTS OF THEM RATHER SUDDENLY!)

None of these are things they work on directly at Brain Balance. They did not show her how to tie her shoes. I've been trying to teach her that since she was four. They did not recite with her the days of the week or months of the year. We've been singing songs about those and writing them out and listing them since preschool days. They did not have her walk long distances to practice walking. They did other stuff, stuff that apparently stimulated missing connections. They had her walk on a balance beam in specific ways, use monkey bars, do strengthening exercises, stand on one foot with her eyes closed...they had her do math and reading exercises specifically designed to stimulate weak areas in her brain. She did visual tracking exercises. She did auditory exercises (two words said at the same time in opposite ears, then have to identify them both). None of these things directly taught the skills I see suddenly developing in her, which is why this program is so interesting to me. I was so tired of being told to try this or that method of teaching a skill I had already taught in multiple ways, teaching to multiple learning styles. It was not a matter of finding the perfect way to teach her to tie her shoes. She could not follow the steps in order. There are other things that are harder to categorize, but the changes are pretty substantial. I think this has been a great experience and one I would definitely recommend to anyone.

Date: 2011-09-10 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's really amazing. Brains are complicated things. There is so much we don't know about them!

Is this the sort of thing that she'll keep doing, or is it one of those "do it until you've strengthened the weakness, then you're done" things?

Date: 2011-09-10 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The program is designed to be sort of a jumpstart. Most kids do one round of 36 sessions and then continue a home program. The intention is that the connections that have been made will continue to strengthen and new pathways will be developed. The home program is designed to continue making new connections. Some kids...those with severe autism for instance...may do more than one round of sessions.

Date: 2011-09-10 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Luci will continue to do sensory motor activities and visual tracking exercises at home, focusing strongly on primitive reflex work.

Date: 2011-09-10 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This reminds me of a story I half heard on the radio once. It was about an athlete whose father or grandfather was a researcher or scientist who did things like this with his grand/child. It not only strengthened the core communication of the brain & body, but also allowed for more independent movement & control of each side. Now I'm wishing I'd listened more, but I tend to tune out those "sports segment" things.

Date: 2011-09-11 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

That is so awesome. It's kinda like a miracle! So happy for her!

Date: 2011-09-12 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is really fascinating and reinforcing for me, I love it. And am so happy for you and for Luci!

I think it's worth noting that she didn't just manage to make that much forward progress - she also managed to progress that much during an extremely transitional time of trauma and upheaval when most kids would be regressing.

Date: 2011-09-14 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay Luci!

Date: 2011-09-21 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
WOW! This is so awesome! I am so glad you did this for your daughter! YAY for Luci!

I am so happy for the both of you!


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