Someone from my private Tourettes group was kind enough to email me a link from a well known blogger who has some pretty unpleasant things to say about Brain Balance. She seems very very convinced that it is nothing but "pseudo science" and the owners are full of crap, off to make a mint from parents like me who are "desperate" for a cure.

I see her point.

But I don't 100% buy it.


I don't feel fearful. I love my son. I think he could use some therapy for focus. A diminishment of tics would be awesome also. I've seen how all the things Brain Balance proposes works since I've utilized much of it over the past five years, namely diet and supplements.

What I have not done was any sort of "brain rewiring" that you get with specific exercises at the clinic. To me, if we can rewire a muscle in our legs through training at a gym, why can't we rewire an understimulated portion of the brain? To me this makes so much sense.

But speaking of "cents", yes, it's a lot of money. It's something I have to be very very careful about as, well, I don't have that kind of cash laying around.

I also don't have the kind of anti-alternative sentiments the above blogger has laying around, either. To me, this program seems like a really great option and one worth considering.

I'll know more when we get the results back from Stink's 2 hour motor skill and 2 hour academic intake. The director says that these exercises targeted 1200 areas of Stink's brain. I also spoke to a neurologist - one who happens to own the franchise. To the blogger above's point, the neurologist's opinion was clearly swayed because that was his business. But then again, if you talk to an owner of an icecream store, they're going to tell you how fabulous sweets are because they have seen the results of very happy families in and out their doors. I'm willing to give any business owner the benefit of the doubt that they are not just after my wallet but they are doing something they are inspired to do because it works.

Back to the cognitive and motor report:  From the outcome of these in depth tests, we'll be able to see where he's most lacking, as often the academic reports match up to the motor skills portion. (For the record, they used the same Brown and DSM scales that a psychologist would use to determine ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, etc. I did not feel they were a sham in the least, but instead, very comprehensive.)

The assessment cost me $245. That wasn't cheap either! But at least after this report, I'll have a good sense of what is going on in Stink's brain and I can decide if I want to continue with the program, head back to UCLA for drugs, or continue as needed.



In closing, I am not a sales person for Brain Balance. I am not a fearful idiot who will do anything to change my child. I am a mother who will do what is best for her child whether or not some snarky blogger thinks an organization is a sham. People think Christianity is stupid, also, and so far, I'm more peaceful than I've been in my entire life. I think I can live with a differing opinion from someone.

I'll keep you posted.
 


Comments

Joy
11/13/2011 05:56

Wholeheartedly agree with you, Andrea. If there's a non-invasive, non-drug treatment out there, why not give it at least one chance? I'd read a few negative comments about brain balance a while ago, but i've also read a lot more negative comments about the benefits of chiropractic care- to the point that i don't even tell my pediatrician that i go to one every two weeks- but he's amazed that my son's asthma (that used to land him in the hospital twice a year) is gone- and was gone by age 4, 6 months after he started chiropractic. As long as it does no harm, why not see if it does some good.

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georgia49
06/11/2012 00:43

Well, there are a LOT of new reviews now in 2012 and most are from doctors who are hearing more about this program and warning people to save their money. This whole program is based on junk science - the developer is nothing more than a CHIROPRACTOR and most of the teachers have NO clinical or medical training whatever - they are merely taught the program. Many are mothers with disabled kids. Personally, I don't care for the idea of ANYONE without significant medical training fooling around with my child's mind. The other thing is that these are a franchise at a cost of nearly $200,000, I recommend taking your 5-7,000 dollars and spending it on a medicallly recognized program. This one has no studies that have been reviewed in medical journals or peer reviews. Someone trying to sell you on something like this can "prove" anything to you about your child's brain. My grandson who's going through this nonsense has NO learning problems whatever - he just needs tutoring in math - nothing more. It frightens me to know that non medical personnel are playing around with my loved one's brain. I've read the HOME literature and you learn much more there - they must disclose to you that the "teachers" have no medical training other than being taught the program and most are mother's. So, be careful with this program. The ridiculous things my grandson is doing - pushups on the wall, 5 situps - a one hour class every other day so the brain can REST every other day between the one hour sessions - give me a break. Since when does your brain need to rest after only an hour's work? It's a scam - short and simple and I ask you to be careful before forking over your 5,000 dollars for the treatment, 350. dollars for lab work that most labs won't even do, and supplements. All for a few eye exercises watching the end of a pencil and some pushups on the wall and floor. Give me a break.I'm worried about the harm it could do to children who are not treated by someone with real medical training.

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Rosa LIttleton
05/16/2013 20:26

Georgia, sounds like you are an MD or have dealt with a child with learning issues or on the spectrum? So sorry for your grandsons parents you don't sound very supportive and therefore maybe they have not shared everything with you - consider that they know their son best and they need your support more than ever.

dswood
08/16/2013 07:56

georgia49 - I think the whole purpose of trying something like BB is because people are (rightly so) looking for a specific alternative to anything "medically recognized" as you say. I cant think of anything "medically recognized" that wouldn't simply slap a label on your kid and send them off merrily with some RX that will fix'em right up. There ARE critics of BB, and I'm sure some do not see the change they are hoping for, but the tide is turning against the MD's out there that are clearly over-medicating our kids in America. Just look at the stats on which countries out there rank the highest in Ritalin etc use (not to mention obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc). You’re right….the doctors ARE hearing more and more about BB, which simply means the alternatives are taking $ out of the docs pockets instead of the alternative treatments....cant have that now, can we?

One more thing....you think the docs (the ones with the “significant” medical training as you suggest) are the ones "fooling around" with your child's brain? They are doing nothing to their mind….they simply writing a RX, and since they know they have no liability (due to the laws supporting the RX companies) in the results of your child being the guinea pig (since the actual testing on these class 2 psychotropic drugs is minimal, at best), there is no harm done. The RX companies told me (the doctor) what to do, and what RX to write, so they must know what's right.....right? Just follow along with the masses, don't think outside the box….dont question “authority” yadda, yadda.

Sean D
08/26/2013 23:09

Sorry Georgia but it doesn't sound like you really have an understanding of what us as parents are going through when we watch our children with severe problems and have no way to fix them. If only it were as simple as needing a math tutor and for your grandson's sake I honestly hope he gets the help he needs rather than an over reaction as it sounds like may be taking place. But you also need to understand that if it were as easy as "forking over $5000" to a "REAL" medical professional then all the problems would be solved. But they are not. 99% if not 100% of treatment from the medical trained world involves narcotics as the solution. But it's no solution at all. The drugs may help some as it controls or numbs a child. However, the side effects of hallucinations, narcolepsy, extreme sickness, migraine headaches, etc etc are the common trade off. The worst part is why. Why prescribe certain drugs to certain kids for certain problems? Well, it's NOT because of all their medical training. More often than not it's based on which drug rep was in their office last or took them golfing and convinced them to go ahead and push their product for a while. After all.... If it doesn't work just try another one until we get a good match. So if trying something new can get some results without the side effects, more times than not it is worth it.

Johnswife
10/10/2013 15:42

Of course the doctors are warning not to listen to this. They are losing money. My grandson is on Concerta for his ADHD, it has caused tics and other issues. If I can get him off the medication through classes and "resting" his brain after an hour of class I will most definitely be happy to do so. I am also a nurse and I see the side effects and adverse effects of medications, especially medications for ADHD and other neurological medications. So if there is a non-pharmaceutical method that will help this child to concentrate and decrease his tics so that other kids are no longer making fun of the tics then heck yes......my grandson is worth the attempt. There is no way this program can have more adverse effects than the medications he has had to take.

Charles
02/17/2014 16:50

Isn't the relentless use of drugs that cause serious side effects to treat (not cure) children with neurological disorders a kind of pseudo-science? Was methylphenidate "proven" beyond scientific doubt way back in 1955 to provide more benefit than harm? Was its use and effectiveness subjected to the kind of scrutiny demanded for this much more benign and holistic treatment? Should we trust chemical scientists in the employ of a for-profit pharmaceutical company or doctors that throw pills at ailments any more than a for-profit franchise entrepreneur with seemingly good intentions? Naysayers can not prove that Brain Balance is doing any more harm than the last 60 years of the relentless use of Ritalin. At the very worst, Brain Balance is a waste of money which is highly subjective. At best it might actually be doing some or a lot of good. If nothing else, maybe giving parents and their children a chance to spend more time together working on a common goal, encourage the parents to feed their children better and practice better parenting skills like keeping their kids away from video games and exercise instead. But compared to the thousands of dollars in doctor bills, prescriptions to "treat" the symptoms instead of identifying and removing the causes, I think $5,000 for brain balance is worth a try. I seriously doubt there are any lasting or serious side effects from doing simple exercises for a few months. Especially compared to the definite potentially harmful side effects associated with Ritalin and other drugs. It sounds to me like big pharma is just afraid that something that doesn't use their drugs might actually be effective and cut into their shareholders profits.

Danielle
11/14/2011 17:49

My seven year old sons natural path told me when I walked in there over a year ago that my son did not have touretts he is just experincing an allergic reation to something hes eating or enviromental. So after months of being on a very strick diet and some acupunture treatments my son is almost tic free. (the acupunture is to get the body to be able to accept foods again so he won't always have to be on the strick diet) Its a long story so email me if you want more info. And thanks for you honesty in your blogs I have been reading for over a year and it make me feel normal that I'm not the only mom out there struggling with these feelings.

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11/14/2011 21:05

@Joy - Thanks a bunch. I always appreciate hearing from you.

@Danielle - Thank you for reading. I will likely contact you. I'm always happy to hear success stories. Wonderful about your boy, too!

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Robin
11/15/2011 21:25

This is all so new to me and "brain balance" is not something I have heard of yet. We are still waiting for our 1st neurologist appointment and it is not until February and we made it in August.

We also have been seeing a naturopath because it doesn't seem the MD's have much to offer that I would consider/appreciate at this time.

Not sure how the waxing and waning will work out.. I have noticed changed tics tho... and I sincerely believe the magnesium and the epsom baths are helping.. Also helping is the fish oil and cutting back on "artificial everything".. We need to get more serious on the diet and Im thinking after the holidays we will.

Our naturopath did an allergy test and the only thing that came back was a mild egg allergy so of course we have tried to eliminate them as much as possible.

I have read a theory on a problem with the hypothalmus that may be the cause of tics/tourettes and based on past experience with my older son and brother I think they may be on to something.

I need to learn more and some weeks I read everything I can ... and then I just cant take it anymore and take a total break..(I'm back on the trail this week due to the new face wiping!!)

I appreciate your blog and your experience and the experiences that others have shared... it helps SO much! It feels pretty isolated here in Hawaii sometimes in terms of medical care.. and this situation is no exception.

I am interested in the testing that you guys just went through and what exactly it was...and where??

(ps.. we call "our" eye tic "stinky blinky) lol.. so I get a kick out of "stinks" nickname!

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Carrie
12/23/2012 06:17

I was wondering about the stinky blink. We have a 3 year old that does that with his right eye. Doctors can't tell me the cause. Also, we went to our first evaluation at the Brain Balance this pass week and do our second one next week. Haven't decided if we are going to go forward with the entire program yet. Did you do it and what were the results?

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11/17/2011 11:25

@Robin - Stinkyblinky - sounds about right! Your path sounds similar to mine.

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Lori
07/31/2012 16:12

So, I was wondering what you found out and how you proceeded. We took our son for his evaluations and he ended up being "moderate". What a horrible place to be - "mild" and I wouldn't have worried about it; "severe" and I wouldn't have hesitated. But, being "moderate", I just wonder how much I could just help him at home and whether the treatment would be worth all that money.

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Martin
09/05/2012 13:24

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511210419.htm

If there are areas of the brain that are not working correctly and illustrating a non desired result, then there is a lack of development of that area of the brain. Then one must address the cause of the lack of development. To make the neurons more efficient, one must stimulate that specific area of the brain.Then, you have to correct the firing patterns of that area of the brain and then regulate the neurotransmitter representation. The research above states the dysfunction is located in the frontal-striatal area of the brain. It is an area that sits above and behind the eyes, with many "loops" (signals) and involvement of many neurotransmitters.
Then, you must find out what dys-regulated that area of the brain. (infection, food sensitivities,PTSD)

Yes, I am a Chiropractor and an Occupational Therapist. I have done neurology work for 20 years and my son just went through the Brain Balance Program. He has ODD, ADD, and CP The results were great. He will be back next year.
At the Center, they are doing specific neurological concepts. Find the week area and stimulate and modulate the heck out of it. They are not doing anything no other therapist is doing, they are just very specific and get to the area that needs growth.
More results in less time. My son has a better life because of that Center. For this those mothers with children with Tourettes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smKBjAf0t3M

It saddens me to see "Emily" the medical doctor, be so negative about a program.
When Zachary was born with CP, I was on a blog with a neurologist about diet, Eastern Physical therapy concepts, and Acupuncture. He dismissed them. Guess what worked for Zachary the yes in his early years. Now my education is much more profound and I have a clear understanding of Functional Neurology. I can exactly tell you how these helped. Emily I think is Medical Doctor-----stay in your own field please---leave the neurological rehab up to us. I would hate to embarrass you.



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Ran
02/21/2013 01:51

I don’t have any idea that there are negative comments about this brain balance. This just does nothing but help and does no

harm to others? But still, this article was good. Then, why do people don’t just try this instead of criticizing the things they don’t

really know. Great mom! But you may also try this : http://selfhelptechniques.com/brainbodybalance

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Pam
06/19/2013 05:21

Your link doesn't work. Do you have a better link?
Thanks

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Inthetrenchesmom
04/29/2013 17:17

It would sure be wonderful if Brain Balance would follow through with some scientific research. We are at a juncture with our 13-year-old son - considering using Brain Balance in about a year.

Not sure what to think. When our son, Jonathan was 3, we took him to a few chiropractic neurologists to use this method. The changes were truly amazing; however, he was not able to maintain the shifts and regressed. This was something we were told could happen. At that time, the philosophy was new. If they have found a way to make the changes stick, I would certainly recommend this therapy to anyone and everyone.

My son was left profoundly disabled from a medical incident when he was 10 months old. If we had relied on only substantiated therapies, he would still be in a wheelchair without neck control in a semi-catatonic state.

That said, we have also spent a lot of money on therapies that were little more than hype. If I had to choose, I would be poor and have my son progress...even with several missteps along the way.

I appreciate all the comments, but I feel more confused than when I started. I guess I have a year to make up my mind...

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Roses8
09/09/2013 17:00

We have a 13 years son currently in the Brain Balance program and he would defend how it has changed his life to his last breath. We decided back at age 4 we would find an alternative to meds to "help" our son. It has been a long journey to say the least. Finally, we found a program that works!

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amy
09/16/2013 20:35

My 15 year old sons went through brain balance march through june 2013. One was left brain deficient the other tested out to be right brain deficient. The left brain son showed severe symptoms of OCD. He could hardly leave his room without excessive door opening/closing first. He had difficulty with leaving home. He would perseverate on asking me a question to exasperation. Brain balance exercises did give us our son back. Yes, we do still have times of frustration but oddly the exercises do help him. Our right brain deficient son showed more tic behavior. We tried meds for him, neurologist, sleep study, etc.. those showed no signs of working. He went through one session of Brain balance and we did see change -- it was just not the change my son wanted... one session left him at a point of new awareness of himself in regard to emotions. He is now two weeks into his second session and he is now coming to a point of gaining more confidence and feeling better. He still has his tics at this point. Has anyone utilized Brain balance for a child with tics? What has been your experience?

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amy
09/16/2013 20:40

Roses8 please share more about your son's Brain Balance experience.

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Roses8
09/16/2013 20:55

Well, our son was diagnosed with autism actually pretty severe. He had ticks and eye issues that interfered with his ability to focus. He had no sense or smell nor could he stand straight more of a hunched over posture. Brain Balance is typically a 12 week program and around week 7 ticks diminished and posture and gait began to appear more normal. By week 11 ticks were completely gone and smell had improved astoundingly. Posture appeared normal and confident. Gait also appears normal and now he can sprint, jump, and jog with ease. He hugs and smiles and even sings( hums) not so stoic he is quite animated. Diet is great, we eats well and is fascinated by new textures and flavors. We are in our second 12 week session starting week 9. He holds conversations and is expressive and playful. He wants to do a third 12 week session. He enjoys how he feels.

Roses8
09/16/2013 20:57

Well, our son was diagnosed with autism actually pretty severe. He had ticks and eye issues that interfered with his ability to focus. He had no sense of smell nor could he stand straight more of a hunched over posture. Brain Balance is typically a 12 week program and around week 7 ticks diminished and posture and gait began to appear more normal. By week 11 ticks were completely gone and smell had improved astoundingly. Posture appeared normal and confident. Gait also appears normal and now he can sprint, jump, and jog with ease. He hugs and smiles and even sings( hums) not so stoic he is quite animated. Diet is great, we eats well and is fascinated by new textures and flavors. We are in our second 12 week session starting week 9. He holds conversations and is expressive and playful. He wants to do a third 12 week session. He enjoys how he feels.

Roses8
09/16/2013 21:00

Well, our son was diagnosed with autism actually pretty severe. He had ticks and eye issues that interfered with his ability to focus. He had no sense of smell nor could he stand straight more of a hunched over posture. Brain Balance is typically a 12 week program and around week 7 ticks diminished and posture and gait began to appear more normal. By week 11 ticks were completely gone and smell had improved astoundingly. Posture appeared normal and confident. Gait also appears normal and now he can sprint, jump, and jog with ease. He hugs and smiles and even sings( hums) not so stoic he is quite animated. We are in our second 12 week session starting week 9. He holds conversations and is expressive and playful. He wants to do a third 12 week session. He enjoys how he feels.

Roses8
09/16/2013 21:00

Well, our son was diagnosed with autism actually pretty severe. He had ticks and eye issues that interfered with his ability to focus. He had no sense of smell nor could he stand straight more of a hunched over posture. Brain Balance is typically a 12 week program and around week 7 ticks diminished and posture and gait began to appear more normal. By week 11 ticks were completely gone and smell had improved astoundingly. Posture appeared normal and confident. Gait also appears normal and now he can sprint, jump, and jog with ease. He hugs and smiles and even sings( hums) not so stoic he is quite animated. We are in our second 12 week session starting week 9. He holds conversations and is expressive &playful. He wants to do a third 12 week session. He enjoys how he feels.

01/17/2014 08:58

My daughter is going for an assessment this month. She is 12 and has struggled with reading since 1st grade. She has an IEP in school and gets assistance with her classes and is in a special reading/language class. Her reading level is around 3rd/4th grade. She is a very social girl and has many friends, but most are well below her age level. Has anyone had their child go to BB and seen an improvement in reading/behavior/social skills?

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ajsfam
09/18/2013 03:45

I have a 7 year old boy diagnosed with PDD NOS. His condition is not "severe", and mainly has issues with emotion regulation (temper tantrums), some fear and anxiety, and lately defiance. Could BB help him? Is it something we could do at home only? The program is very expensive and I am not sure it would work for him. We have not done an assessment yet. Thanks!

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DoubleDutyDad
10/24/2013 07:14

I've done some (limited) volunteer work with a center that treats children with autism. I have a little understanding of the challenges and conditions that must be faced, and the expense and frustration that parents incur, and how difficult and slow progress can be for the children and their families. (I also see how these things effect the families and their ability to celebrate together, share real joy in the "wins" and how it brings them closer together and unifies them.
I'm now doing research in consideration of purchasing a Brain Balance franchise. I've been surprised, actually shocked, at some of the testimonies here....Roses8's story is downright amazing.
I'd like to hear more from you on this subject. Please share your comments, feedback, input or suggestions. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Be His,
DoubleDutyDad

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john
03/13/2014 21:40

I would like to address tic s. My son was diagnosed with tic. Well long story to explain but HD and even more advanced TV plays a roll. I took TV away from him and set up an older TV (older regular view) and everything stopped within 10 days. His Dr. was shocked.

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04/04/2014 08:54

So I give :BBC a try I'm more confused than before,my daughter just a learning disabilities

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