Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Everybody Focus!

Every once in a while I'll get the chance to review something that I wouldn't have even known existed, and that actually makes a difference. Those reviews make me feel like my writing has an impact - helping other families discover something that solves frustrating problems feels great. Our problem? We have a seven year old. A very smart second grader who has issues with wandering focus, forgetfulness, inattention, all that stuff that makes teaching super fun. It also makes me, as her teacher, start obsessing. Is this something we should dive into and get testing for? Or is she, you know, seven? Impossible to tell, and I'm stuck fighting with her, getting frustrated and worried, and wondering what other tricks I have up my sleeve. Then a product review appears, offering to use brain power to improve focus, and I was intrigued. Over the review period we found that Madison could improve her attention with Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

When I was teaching music, one of the things we worked on with our kindergarten students was getting into their proper singing voice (head voice). We used vocal exploration to allow them to feel that space in their heads, and then, once they were there, we could begin working on pitch matching and in tune singing. Some kids took to this instantly, others were more challenging. One of the tricks we used for the students who weren't quite getting it was a curved piece of plumber's pipe. The students held it like a telephone, sang into one end, and the other end focused the sound into their ear. Often, it was shocking - they really "got" what they sounded like and soon could manipulate their voice to match what they wanted to hear.

This reminded me of those days, albeit in a much more technologically advanced way. The device looks like a phone headset, looping around the ears with a speaker for the mouth. But it's not merely directing the sound. This gets into the science of the brain. The dynamic filter enhances specific frequencies of speech and constantly surprises the brain to increase memory, attention and sensory processing. Forbrain corrects the way you hear your own voice leading to better speech production and increased confidence. 

In a nutshell, here's how it works:
  • Your voice is processed by an alternating filter and then transmitted through bone conduction.
  • The filter instructs the brain to be more conscientious with auditory processing and sensory integration.
  • Communication with speech fluency, pronunciation, sound discrimination and rhythm becomes effectively lucid.
  • Improves your working short-term memory, which in turn impacts reading and writing skills.
Very science-y. And neuroscience is fascinating to me, so I was getting really into watching the videos and reading about it on the site. However, all of this researched and developed technology and science is just that - a piece of technology. How did it work in application? Did it deliver?

In our experience, it's not a one use fix (and doesn't claim to be). You need to give it time. They suggest (for kids) fifteen minute increments twice a day for about ten weeks (an intensive session would be twenty minutes three times a day). The first time Madison put it on she was definitely weirded out by the experience. She neither liked it nor disliked it. She wasn't really sure what it was doing. But we used it during her spelling time (her Achilles heel, if you will) and again when she did some reading to me (her reading is actually quite good, but now that her decoding is secure, we're working on expression and fluency, as well as recall).

Over time, I would say that yes, we see a difference. We see a difference in her focus, in her working memory, and in her attention. A full session, as mentioned, would be ten weeks, and we've been using it about half that time.

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

Overall, I'm excited that we got a chance to try such a fascinating product, and we will keep using it in our school time. Reagan, at 5 years old, also wants a chance to get in on this, and although the set doesn't quite fit yet (recommended age is four and up, but smaller heads do take a little adjusting), I think it may help her speech clarity. I'm glad we have it in our home to boost our brain and work at our optimal potential!

Forbrain Sound for Life LTD

It's been interesting to see how others are using this in their homes!

Forbrain {Sound For Life Ltd Review}

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