When my son was entering third grade, he was testing at a second grade level. My tiger mama instincts kicked in—was my son behind? Why? We had to do something… but what??

Our Montessori “UnSchooling” Experiment

We sent Griffin to a small Montessori school from preschool through second grade. We loved the focus on creativity, leadership, self-initiation, and interdependence.

However, in retrospect, the school was also pretty loose and free and didn’t conduct regular “check points” to ensure kids were on track. The school style was probably better suited for more studious types. Please don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love the philosophy of Montessori! When done right, it is such an incredible way for students to learn. But, I found that the schools (and their protocols) tend to vary from place to place.

The truth is Griffin wasn’t learning the “bread and butter” of reading and writing that he needed to thrive in a learning environment. Because reading was self-directed, Griffin didn’t get the accountability that his social self needed to learn. His writing practice was also minimal, which became a problem when he transferred to a more traditional school. (Interesting to note: He was testing above grade for science and math, so go figure!)

Griffin in second grade on “crazy hair day.”

During his second grade, I realized that something was wrong. When I would read with him, I noticed he wasn’t progressing in his skills. We got him into tutoring right away. This seemed to help but I wondered if there was more I could do for him…

Enter Brain Harmony.

Several friends, who were in a similar situation, recommended Brain Harmony to help Griffin.

Brain Harmony is a learning program that can help children (and adults!) with any type of learning difficulty right from home.

They specialize in difficulties like:

  • sensory processing disorder,
  • executive function disorder,
  • attention and regulation concerns,
  • and behavior problems.
  • autism spectrum disorder,
  • concussion syndrome,
  • depression,
  • PTSD,
  • stroke,
  • brain injury recovery,
  • and other types of neurological disfunction

This learning program came highly recommended by other mamas in our community, so we decided to give it a go.

Get a free Brain Harmony consultation!

Want to check out Brain Harmony without committing just yet?

How Brain Harmony Helped Us

When we signed our son up for Brain Harmony, they recommended the following occupational therapy protocols and tools for him:

The Safe and Sound Protocol

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day intervention program developed by Dr. Stephen Porges. During these five days, students listen for one hour a day. It’s designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity, plus enhance social engagement and resilience.

Through this protocol, the educators work to calm the student’s nerves to improve communication and enhance learning. It’s a great way to “break the ice” and leads to improvement in gross motor, fine motor, eye contact, engagement, and speech. It can also help reduce of ticks, stutters, and any auditory sensitivities.

Both Paloma and I did the Safe and Sound Protocol, too, because it can be beneficial for just about anyone. That’s why I love Brain Harmony… it’s super gentle, yet super effective. It also won’t “harm” you if it isn’t needed.

iLs Focus System

Next, we moved onto the Focus System. This listening program helps to retrain the parts of the brain involved in learning, communication, and movement. The program, which includes more than 240 (!) hours of therapy, is designed and altered to suit each student’s specific needs. There are various listening modules that focus on things like attention, motor skills, reading, concentration, etc.

He listened 30 minutes a day for several months and that’s when we started seeing his learning skyrocket!

Another option: Alpha Stim Device

Though our son didn’t use this, Brain Harmony offers another interesting protocol called Alpha Stim Device. This is more of a physical therapy that relies on cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES).

The device delivers a natural level of microcurrent, via small clips worn on your earlobes, through the brain to stimulate and modulate specific groups of nerve cells. The microcurrent is so tiny and so gentle that most people don’t even feel it.

It’s meant to relieve anxiety, improve mood, and promote better sleep (both in quality and duration). Treatments take just 20 minutes and can be done in the privacy of your own home.

So… Did Brain Harmony Work for Us?

Perfect score on spelling test—makes a mama’s heart proud!

Hands down, yes!

Griffin doubled his state achievement test score in just three months. His teacher said she doesn’t see this kind of growth over the course of 12 months, let alone three. He also won “Most Improved” in his class this year.

It’s important to note that we took a multi-prong approach with Griffin. We used Brain Harmony, but we also hired a tutor and spent a lot of extra time doing homework together. The tutor said that Griffin didn’t have a learning disability, but that he had a lack of exposure to the foundations of reading and writing. I believe Brain Harmony helped Griffin “leap the lake” and get caught up fast. He is now at grade level (even a little ahead), and I’m so incredibly grateful!

And it was surprisingly tolerated

And what’s really surprising? I won’t say Griffin loved all of this, but it was surprisingly tolerated. We didn’t have to bribe or force him into it—he just kind of did it. We’d put on his headphones and he’d work on LEGOs or even ride his bike. It was pretty easy to fit into our day.

There were added benefits, too

Brain Harmony didn’t just help Griffin with his studies, it also helped with his behavior. Before we started this program, I noticed some slight behavioral issues, namely some attitude. Looking back, I believe this was a result of insecurity. He knew he was falling behind and was acting out because of it. Today, my son is much more secure and proud of his accomplishments—something that has largely solved those behavioral issues.

Things are so much easier now!

After winning “most improved award!”

When we first would sit down to read, write or study spelling words, it was a painful experience. It was a struggle for Griffin and he resisted it like the plague. Now, he can easily sit down and get his work done. While homework still isn’t his favorite thing to do, he can do it without the struggle. He recently brought how a 100% on his spelling test, which is HUGE considering he used to get about half of the words right.

How Much Does Brain Harmony Cost?

Brain Harmony is definitely a financial commitment, but for us it was worth it. We saw so much fast progress—both cognitively and emotionally.

The cost varies for each student, based on specific protocols and duration, but here’s a general look at the costs:

The Safe and Sound Protocol

The cost of the SSP is $395 and includes a self-administered pre-test, post-test, and phone/video conference support with an occupational therapist.

iLs Focus System

The cost of the iLs focus system is $260 a month. You lease it on a month-to-month basis. If you choose to lease it for 10 months, it is yours to own and keep at the end of the 10 months.

Alpha Stim Device

Brain Harmony offers the device for $150 per month. You may return the device at any time, but if you choose to lease it for 7 months, it is yours to own.

Get a free Brain Harmony consultation!

Want to check out Brain Harmony without committing just yet?

The Bottom Line on Brain Harmony

Though definitely a commitment in both time and money, Brain Harmony is an excellent tool for children who need help with learning. It’s been so rewarding to see Griffin really come into his own this year and have such personal successes!