Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review of Forbrain - Sound For Life Ltd

Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review
For the past six weeks we have been reviewing probably the most unique product I have ever seen. Forbrain - Sound For Life Ltd sent us their bone conduction headset, and Nicholas (13 in 3 weeks) has been using it for 15-20 minutes a day ever since. 
Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review
The Forbrain set came packaged as you see above - in a very steady hard shell case, which makes it both portable and protected. It also came with a charging cord, instruction book, and extra microphone covers. The instructions are succinct and easy to understand, but there is also a *ton* more information on the website if you have questions after reading them. I charged the unit in my laptop and when the indicator light turned blue, we were ready to go!

But what is Forbrain? Forbrain is a bone conduction headset. Although at first glance it looks like headphones, and that's what Nicholas thought it was, it's actually a headset whose "pads," if you will, sit on the bones just forward of your ears. The microphone is positioned in front of your mouth (I know, duh). It adjusts quite comfortably, but if you have a sensitive child, it can feel "tight" after a little while. This isn't really an issue, since the recommended wearing time is so short.

Why Forbrain? Ordinarily when we speak, we hear the sound through the outer ear, to the middle, to the inner ear before the sound is ever translated by the nervous system for the brain. That's a lot of middle men, so to speak! With Forbrain, though, sound is conducted via amplified bone conduction, which bypasses the outer and middle ear, sending sound directly to the inner ear. By streamlining the sound process, as it were, Forbrain promises to improve a number of conditions, including attention issues, audio processing difficulties, concentration, and working memory.

How We Used It

When I read about Forbrain, I really wanted to see what it could do for Nicholas. We have never had him tested, but I'm a monkey's uncle if he doesn't have an audio processing disorder. (For those who haven't heard it a million times before, he has been diagnosed with ADHD/OCD/Tourette's). Before I invest in testing, I wanted to see if wearing the Forbrain for 20 minutes a day could improve Nicholas' audio processing. Forbrain has many suggestions for use. For Nicholas, since poetry memorization/recitation is part of our day, it made sense to use it in that regard. So, while the kids do their daily recitation, Nicholas does his with the Forbrain. I have to say, he's not wild about using it, but he does comply. 

The first time he put the unit on, he was surprised! We all sound so different when we hear ourselves speak, right? That's the sensation you have while wearing this device! He discovered that he couldn't effectively recite poetry with the other kids while wearing the Forbrain, so we began doing his recitation separately. 

Another thing Nicholas has been using the Forbrain for is memorization. He has been really into Chemistry lately, so he's been memorizing Chemistry flashcards. He wears the Forbrain while working on this memorization.

I honestly don't know if Forbrain has helped with Nicky's auditory processing issues. Because of his other problems, it can be nearly impossible to tell when Nicky genuinely mishears, misunderstands, and doesn't catch things, versus when he's just being difficult. However, I can say that working with Forbrain has definitely aided with memorization. It truly seems to act like a shortcut to the brain. My other three kids have all been natural memorizers, but Nicky has lagged a bit behind them. While they rattle off poetry, he seems to always have a bit more trouble. Since using the Forbrain, though, he recites right along with them. And we are only six weeks into the recommended ten weeks of usage. I am definitely going to keep him using the device daily!

More than that, though, I am going to start having a couple of my other kids use it, too. Michael (11) reads way above grade level, but because he is dysgraphic, I have noticed that he tends to skip words. He'll get the meaning of what he's reading, but he's missing so many of the benefits of reading above grade level, one of the main ones being the elevated vocabulary! I am going to have him start reading aloud with Forbrain for 10-15 minutes a day. I know that that will force him to slow down and enunciate every word (speaking too quickly and "mush-mouthy" is also a problem of his when he gets overly excited, although he is perfectly capable of fixing it when he focuses). I really think that the experience of reading with Forbrain will help him re-learn how to read silently in his head when he doesn't have Forbrain on. I can't wait to see how that goes!

Forbrain let 85 crew members review their device, which for something that costs over $350, is most generous. I would really urge you to read the reviews if you have a child who you think could in any way benefit. This device has the potential to help so many people in a single household! 

Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment