Last weekend I went to the NC Home Educators conference. While I was there, I purchased a resource that I have had my eye on for quite a while. It’s the Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft.
I listened to Dianne Craft at the Schoolhouse EXPO last fall. She talked about the 4 learning gates: Visual Processing, Visual/Motor (writing), Auditory Processing, and Attention/Focusing/Behavior. Each of these gates can be blocked, making it much harder for a child to learn. As she described the signs of each of these blocked learning gates, I sat with my mouth hanging open and almost in tears. In describing those who had these gates blocked, she was describing my 9 year old son.
But I didn’t purchase the Brain Integration Therapy book then. There were several reasons. Though the book is inexpensive compared to therapy, $58 is not what I consider inexpensive. Especially when the whole concept seemed a bit, well, odd. But I bookmarked Dianne Craft’s site and I didn’t forget about Brain Integration Therapy.
My son definitely made some progress this year. He is reading better, but I can see that his eyes are all over the page and he can’t remember sight words. He loses his place frequently. His writing has also improved, but he still struggles with making his letters the correct sizes and spacing them correctly on the page. We’ve been doing dictation this year. Once again, there has been improvement with practice but he still struggles to remember a short sentence long enough to write it down.
My husband has seen enough of these problems that he was willing to let me try the therapy. The therapy consists of 6 daily exercises and one weekly therapy session. We started last week learning the exercises. We’ve been adding in a new exercise every day. We will learn the last new exercise tomorrow and we will do our first brain training session on Friday.
So far I’m pleased. My son is basically cooperating. I’m not going to lie and say he loves it, but he’s tolerating it. One thing I have noticed is that these simple exercises are difficult for him. He has a very hard time keeping his eyes on his thumb as we move it in the pattern described in the manual. Hopefully that means that this training is going to be helpful for him!