First I should explain that my son, Brett, has never been diagnosed as anything but a red-head. Spend a few minutes in his presence, however, and I think you’ll agree that a prescription for medication would be easy to get. And while meds have their place, this isn’t a route I want to take for my son. We chose homeschool and I tell myself this is how little boys were meant to be. But I worry.
So the first time I looked at a poster from the Brain Balance Achievement Centers it felt a little too good to be true.
I should first explain that Brain Balance is a program designed with the theory that ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, Dyslexia and other childhood disorders are actually the results of the same problem– an imbalance in the development of the right and left brain and their ability to communicate with each other. At the center they test each kiddo, find the weak side of the brain, and unlike other programs that build on a child’s strengths, they intensely build up only the less developed areas.
The literature they gave me, the YouTube testimonials, even the mom in the lobby all assured me that Brain Balance had made a life-altering difference in the lives of children with even severe disorders. But the program isn’t covered by any insurance and the cost is not cheap. Plus the nearest center to our house is 90 minutes away, one direction, and the investment in time and money for driving, in addition to the daily homework exercises is a little overwhelming.
Which brings me to why I’m writing this post. If you’re parent you’ve been there, the I would do anything for my child if I thought this was the right thing, but IS IT? feeling. We’ve signed the paperwork, written the check, and been to the center a few times and I’m still not sure how I feel about it all. Maybe cautiously optimistic? Perhaps I feel a little scammed. Can there be an easier target than a desperate mother? I think time will tell. And my plan is to tell you.
If you’re struggling, wondering, hoping like I am, I’ll be writing occasionally to let you know how this journey is going. I’m hoping you’ll see how I went from fearing to believe to another one of those enthusiastic YouTube moms, but if not then maybe I’ll spare some of you some hard-earned cash and a whole lot of time and frustration.
I will tell you we’re going all in. We’re doing the exercise every day, following the nutrition guidelines, providing lots of time for rest and recreation, and generally giving this 100%. If it doesn’t work it won’t be because I didn’t try.
Here’s just praying it works.
I started following your blog several months ago from a link in my daughter-in-law’s Facebook item about foster parenting. She & our son foster new-borns. I’m a 78 yr old grandfather of 8, working on 54th year with my 1st wife. I really enjoy your blog.
From my perspective ADD & ADHD are very real and not always out grown with maturity. I deal with it every day; especially the past few years as I had to stop medication due to heart issues.
The youngest of our 3 sons dropped out of high school, got into & out of drugs, got his GED then began taking classes at local community college. They had a wonderful program for students with learning disabilities and diagnosed him with ADHD. He got proper medication & help with classes. Changed his life completely. Enrolled in university. Graduated from Virginia Commonwealth Univ. cum laude. Is highly successful in information technology [totally self-taught, his degree was in criminal justice] with a national firm.
After he was diagnosed I knew ADD was the cause of much of the unexplained “weird” things I had experienced throughout my life. In my early 50s I finally got a proper diagnosis, got the right medication and became a new person. The first day on medication my wife could hardly believe the change in me.
You are probably familiar with Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinic. He was the 1st to establish that ADD is a neurological problem through use of nuclear brain scans. Has identified at least 6 different types of ADD, each of which requires different treatment & medication.
ADD may not be your son’s problem, but I would “bet the farm” [literally true in your case] that he has some real medical problem that if correctly diagnosed and treated will be a wonderful blessing for him and your family. I pray that he doesn’t have to go through life wondering as I did why he is so different than the people around him.
Have you ever heard of “Jeddys Blend” ?? It a mix of essential oil that a mom made up for her son. It has helped with all sorts of issues from PTSD to autism….
Praying this helps you all. I agree medication is over used and usually behavioral techniques and other things can help just as well, but take longer to see results. I have never heard of Brain Balance, but will be looking into it as it may be able to help some of my client’s. Thanks for writing about it 🙂