Why Brain Harmony?
With over 20 years’ experience, Brain Harmony has created unique protocols when combined with Integrated Listening Systems’ prod- ucts, which produces accelerated results. This combined approach is based on changing our brain – we can essentially rewire it through specific and repeated stimulation, a concept known as neuroplasticity. As in building strength and endurance with physical exercise, we can also build neurological pathways and synaptic activity at any age or in any condition.
It’s All About the Results
At Brain Harmony we pride ourselves on delivering results and we will work very hard to help your family. Our programs are custom- ized to fit your unique needs in the convenience of your own home. Traveling to a clinic is not required. Generally, we see positive results for our friends with most neurode- velopmental needs with two modalities:
The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a 5 day therapeutic modality that reduces auditory sensitivity but, more importantly, calms the parasympathetic nervous system. Often we find our friends with any type of neurodevelopmental issue, large or small, are in a constant state of fight or flight. They are constantly on edge or anxious. By starting with SSP, we calm the social and emotional state, thereby allowing our friends to be receptive to therapeutic modalities. Interestingly, when we “calm the nerves” we can see many gains after SSP. Gross motor and fine motor skills, eye contact, engagement and reduction of auditory sensitivities may all be exhibited, after listening for one hour a day for 5 days consec-tually. The total cost of SSP is $395 and includes a selfadministered pre test, post test, shipping to and from, and video conference support with a licensed therapist.
Focus System – this is the real brain changer. iLs retrains areas of the brain involved in learning, communication and movement. With this system, a listening program is crafted specific to you. The Focus System comes with over 240 hours of therapy. We will support your family listening through video conferencing with a licensed therapist. Typically, the cost of this program is $260 a month administered as a month to month lease that you may opt out of at any time.
Proven Results and Satisfied Families
Our web site contains a knowledge library which includes research, case studies and family success stories. Our program, when com- bined with these tools, changes standardized scores. We receive family reports of success on a daily basis. We have found no other modality that produces outcomes as quickly and efficiently as iLs’ products.
We ship your equipment and assign a licensed therapist. Included in your purchase is 6 hours of coaching via video or telephone confer- encing. Your therapist will also be available to you via text and email for any questions or concerns throughout your listening program. The therapist will guide you step by step through using the equip- ment and finding the program that will best suit your needs.
How do I get started?
Call Brain Harmony at 888-272-4650, to speak with a trained specialist today!
Attention and RegulationWhen explaining the reason for inattention, Brain Harmony therapists reference the Pyramid of Learning by Wiliam and Shellengerger, 1-4.
Our programs focus on the maturation of the lower levels of the central nervous system as they provide the founda- tion for an individual’s attention center. We will also assess an individual with attention issues for vestibular and reflex maturity along with functional eye movements.
Families are thrilled to learn they no longer need to be dependent upon external factors such as stimulant phar- maceuticals to compensate for a disorganized brain. Our programs rewire the brain and organize the neurological system with many families working with their prescribing physicians to no longer need pharmaceuticals.
“I am thrilled with my son’s progress! He is more calm, more comfortable in his own skin and more focused. Brain Harmony was a real game changer for him. He participated in IQ, cognitive and neurological testing done a few weeks ago. The therapist reported that he no longer meets the diagnostic criteria for an ADHD. Brain Harmony has been life-changing. I am forever grateful.” – Mom of Brain Har- mony client for 6 months
ADHD is typically deﬁned as a problem with inattentiveness, lack of concentration, hyper-activity, impulsivity or a combination thereof. Most current strategies for addressing these symptoms are behavioral or pharmaceutical. The behavioral approach is a good start but it relies on the cognitive processes of the cortex, our “thinking brain,” which are often ineffective when it comes to self-regulation and impulse control. Pharmaceuticals are commonly prescribed to children to improve ADHD symptoms, which does not fix underlying problems-which is a disorganized neurological system.
A multi-sensorial approach is the most effective in working at the physiological level. Our modalities and programs require the “thinking brain” to attend while simultaneously ‘exercising’ areas of the lower brain (sub-cortical) and body involved in regulation and information processing. With a customized programs defined by your Occupational Therapist, family’s report improvements the following symptoms:
concentration: staying on task for longer periods of time
communication: paying attention during conversation; improved listening
organization: planning and following through on tasks; less procrastination
physical regulation: calmer demeanor, less ﬁdgety
anxiety: reducing nervousness and improving sleeping patterns
ATTENDING & FOCUSING
Brain scans of ADHD individuals show the cortical (higher brain) function in ADHD individuals is often normal. In many cases, the problem is insufficient input reaching the cortex. Higher brain functions such as reading are dependent upon adequate input from the brain stem and cerebellum. Our programs combine sound/movement that stimulates subcortical activity, while improving the ability of the brain stem and cerebellum to process sensory information leading to the cortex.
Targeted Skills: regulation, attention, focus, learning ability
PROCESSING INFORMATION, LEARNING NEW TASKS
The cerebellum has 10% of the volume of the brain, but it has 50% of the brain’s neurons. In computer terms, it’s our processor, receiving input from sensory systems and various parts of the brain, and integrating these inputs to ﬁne tune motor activity. Most neuroscientists agree it is involved in motor functions, cognitive functions such as attention and emotional functions such as regulating fear and pleasure responses. Your customized treatment plan will include repetitive activities which stimulate cerebellar function. Input from the visual, vestibular and auditory systems, session after session, will train the cerebellum to become efficient at processing multi-sensory information which is where the direct improvement in function is clearly seen in the classroom, home and social settings.
Targeted Skills: motor control, “automaticity” (motor activities becoming automatic), processing
Directly connected to the cochlea of the inner ear, the vestibular system is primarily responsible for balance and coordination, but also has a strong impact on sensory modulation and emotional regulation. Once the vestibular system is functioning well, children are better able to participate in higher brain functions such as reading, writing and expressive language. Our programs and modialities provides speciﬁc and comprehensive stimulation to the vestibular system through bone conduction delivered via headphones, balance board activities and body movement exercises.
Targeted Skills: coordination, balance, focus, self-regulation
MOTOR PLANNING, REGULATION, AWARENESS OF PERSONAL SPACE
By improving the sense of one’s own body - where it is, how to control it, how to move it – to the point where we don’t need to think about it, we are freeing up the brain to focus on higher order activities. Children and adults who improve their proprioceptive abilities are able to approach learning and communication tasks in a more relaxed and regulated manner. Your customized movement program defined by your Occupational Therapist focuses on building proprioceptive abilities with speciﬁc exercises in each session.
Targeted Skills: attention, calm, athletics, coordination, daily movement, conﬁdence
SENSE OF CALM, “GROUNDED”
The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls many organs and muscles that work in an involuntary, reﬂexive manner. The ANS is important in two situations: emergencies that require us to “ﬁght” or take “ﬂight” and non-emergencies that allow us to “rest and digest”. The part of the ANS which governs the latter is the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The auditory programs stimulate the PNS through the Vagus nerve (auricular branch). Many children and adults beginning our programs are in a state of hyper-arousal, not far from “ﬁght or ﬂight”. The gentle stimulation of the PNS brings about a balance of the ANS which is reﬂected by increased calm and self-regulation.
Targeted Skills: behavior, ability to focus, the calm state which allows one to better focus on higher cognitive functions
Receptors in the body deliver sensory information to the brain (and vice versa). If these receptors and the pathways leading up to the brain are not working because they were damaged or did not develop properly, the activity level of the brain decreases and diﬀerent areas of the brain may not communicate with each other properly. In addition, connections between the right and left sides of the brain must be robust in order to allow for proper communication to take place between the diﬀerent areas involved in higher brain function. The combination of listening and cross-lateral activities defined by your Occupational Therapist require the almost constant transfer of information from one hemisphere to the other, “exercising” the bridge that transfers information, the corpus callosum.
Targeted Skills: processing speed, cognitive functions, emotional health
ALERTNESS, ATTENTION, AND A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a network of neurons deep in the brainstem that receives input from all sensory systems. It sends nonspeciﬁc information to the brain to “wake it up”. It is involved with regulating arousal, sleep-wake transitions, alertness, appropriate arousal to attend to the task at hand and even prepares the motor system for action. The RAS is engaged through both the auditory and movement components of our multi-sensory training.
Targeted Skills: ability to attend and focus, behavior
Case Study Alex
Clinicians: Elizabeth Printz, OTR/L, iLs Associate
Carol Garner-Houston, OTR/L, iLs Advanced Practioner
Clinician’s Discipline: Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Name of Organization: Brain Harmony
Alex and his family recently moved from out of the country to the Panhandle of Florida. He was transitioning to a new school for the 4th grade and mom was not happy with his progress. Mom stated, “Alex is moody, does not pay attention and does not make eye contact. He is very shy and takes a while to warm up to others. Alex has difficulty transitioning from one activity or environment to another. He also has tantrums when he is either bored or doesn’t want to do something.”
At the time of the initial evaluation, Alex was awkward and made poor eye contact. He refused to do his homework, had poor grades, and poor attention at school. Alex had a difficult time organizing his thoughts in order to clearly and precisely speak and write.
Alex was brought to Brain Harmony for an initial Occupational Therapy evaluation in the summer before his 4th grade year.
The goals for therapy focused on:
1) Improving behavior
2) Improving attention span
3) Improving transitions from one activity to another
4) Improving academic success
The treatment plan included occupational therapy treatment once a week for 1 hour at home with therapist. Alex completed Sensory & Motor sessions, 1-19 odd only, then 20-26.
Pre & post-testing:
The tests used for both pre and post testing were the Beery-Buktenica visual-motor integration (VMI) and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd edition (BOT-2). Also given throughout his school year was the Discovery Education Assessment. When the original scores were taken, Alex was 9 years and 4 months of age. When he was re-evaluated 7 months later, he was 9 years and 11 months of age. Bar graphs are included with pre & post scores.
The Beery-VMI test is a neuropsychological test that analyzes visual construction skills. It identifies problems with visual perception, motor coordination, and visual-motor integration. In the initial evaluation, Alex’s scores ranged between very low average to average. At the reassessment, Alex’s scores increased to above average in almost all categories.
BOT – 2
The BOT-2 assesses the motor functioning of children ages 4-21. It identifies problems within multiple categories. At the initial evaluation in July, Alex’s scores ranged between well below average and average. In February at the reassessment, Alex showed significant improvement in the areas of fine motor precision, fine motor integration, upper limb coordination, bilateral coordination, balance, and strength.
The Discovery Education Assessment tracks a student’s progress in Reading and Math at the beginning of the year at the end of the year allowing for comparison over time for Alex as well as comparison to peers at his school and throughout the entire school district.
In reading, Alex started the year below the district and the school’s average. At the end of the year, Alex’s scores were above the district and school’s average. The target achievement level for this assessment ranged from 1523-1628, which placed Alex below target achievement at the start of the year. By the end of the year, Alex scored in the upper end of the targeted achievement range placing him above his peers.
In Math, Alex started the year below the district and the school’s average. At the end of the year, Alex’s scores were above the district and equal to the school’s average. The target achievement level for this assessment ranged from 1512-1698, which placed Alex below the target achievement at the start of the year. By the end of the year, Alex scored in the upper end of the targeted achievement range.
Alex began therapy at Brain Harmony with a shy and timid personality. Alex had a difficult time transitioning from preferred to non-preferred or new therapist directed tasks. He needed an excessive amount of time to write down his thoughts and ideas in an organized manner. Then in as little as 4-5 months, Alex began to flourish into a more attentive and joyful young boy. He began initiating conversations with excitement and more facial expressions. Alex was getting positive notes from his teachers and scoring off the charts on his school testing. He is easily making friends at school now. He met his goals and met age appropriate levels in 6 months by utilizing iLs one time a week when combined with Brain Harmony protocols.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
Overall, Alex demonstrated significant changes in many areas. The data provided shows only a portion of this client’s success using iLs.
At the time of the evaluation, Alex was awkward, had poor eye contact, and had minimal facial expressions. He had poor grades, poor attention in school, and difficulty organizing thoughts, which prevented him from being able to clearly speak and write. Throughout the year, as Alex regularly listened to iLs, he began to change. School became easier. Notes from his teacher said that he had good behavior, was a hard worker, and suggested he “keep doing whatever you’re doing”. His transitions from one activity to another became smoother, and his frustration level decreased. By the end of therapy, Alex was able to maintain eye contact, had smooth, clearer speech with improved response times. As well, he had a smiling and excited demeanor during therapy sessions.
Alex was discharged from Occupational Therapy treatments due to scores in standardized testing being age appropriate. This client’s therapist and parents will agree that using iLs was a key factor in helping Alex to be successful at home, school and on the playground. The iLs home program was recommended for future brain organization.
Co-Writer: Christine Fazzino, COTA/L, iLs Associate