If you are homeschooling a special needs child, your homeschool probably looks a little unconventional. Unique children, unique homeschools! In our special needs homeschool, we constantly confront new problems with creative solutions. Since we've been struggling with reading, a handy little gadget is making a big difference. Recently, we added the Forbrain headset into our rotation of homeschooling tools. My son loves wearing this headset and it is making a big difference in his reading abilities and attention.
This post is sponsored by Forbrain. I was not required to write a positive post- all ideas are my own.
What is Forbrain?
Forbrain is a headset that looks similar to a Bluetooth headset (do those even exist anymore?!) Instead of fitting over the ears, it rests on the bone just in front of the ear. A microphone at the front of the headset captures the wearer's speech, and sends it back to the brain through the temporal bone. By activating the temporal bones, this device is able to send information to the brain 10x faster than through the ears alone. This helps to enhance the auditory feedback loop, allowing for improved auditory processing, attention, clearer speech, and overall enhanced learning.
This product is designed for anyone with learning differences like Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and Auditory Processing Disorder. The company recommends wearing the headset for 15 minutes a day for 6-8 weeks in order to see long-term changes in processing, comprehension, and speech.
There has been a large amount of research on this type of therapy, and on Forbrain itself. You can find scientific studies and information on how this headset benefits special needs homeschooling (education in general!) here.
How We Use It
The directions for Forbrain are pretty simple- put on the headset, and read! Instead of carving out any special time to use this headset, we just use it during lessons. My son does his reading assignments while wearing the headset, so he can get auditory feedback while he's working. We've also worn it while he's narrating what we read together.
The battery has a long life, and is rechargeable, but should be fully charged before the first use to preserve its longevity.
The company recommends children ages 3 years and over practice with Forbrain for 15 minutes a day. Use it for 6–8 weeks followed by a one month break to see the best results. You can repeat this as often as you'd like. Make sure you consult your child’s therapist as they may customize usage.
What We've Noticed After Using Forbrain For Special Needs Homeschooling
The first thing I noticed is that my son WANTS to use this headset. That is absolutely a huge benefit because we tend to have a lot of resistance to trying new things. He actually thinks this is fun, because he can hear himself talk. Most days, he is the one reminding me that he needs to use the headset. I can tell that he's really tuned into to his voice echoed back to him, which seems to make a big difference with reading comprehension and his ability to remember.
I do notice that he as a time limit to wearing it. It is about 15 minutes, which actually works out great because that is the amount of time that Forbrain recommends. Because we have some sensory issues, the ten to fifteen minute mark is when he says it gets uncomfortable. Before that time, we don't have any issues with comfort. (The headset is adjustable and very flexible, but if you are familiar with sensory issues, you know understand!)
We have made leaps and bounds of improvement in reading since about a month and a half ago. This also corresponds with how long we've been using Forbrain Headset. This is an exciting revelation, but since we are also trying other special needs interventions, I can't claim it's entirely due to the headset. The combination of using Forbrain, making dietary changes, and using a new reading curriculum seems to be helping tremendously! We're excited to keep using it and keep seeing what progress he makes.
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