My son began having motor tics at age 3 when he had strep. He continued having them with each strep episode and, eventually, when he did not have strep as well. He also had a host of other issues. He was never formally diagnosed with anything, but I would describe him as Aspie-ish with chronic motor tics.
He could not play sports, as he was very uncoordinated, and refused to even try to catch a ball. He could not keep up with his peers at all. My son could not keep up socially, either. My son could not seem to engage other kids in play, saying that he didn’t understand the “rules”. He usually said weird or inappropriate things, and other kids kind of left him alone. It was heartbreaking.
Someone told me about Brain Balance, and I read the book. The book described so many things about my son that I hadn’t even connected his problems to — sensory issues and difficulty feeding as a baby are two I can think of.
We did the program nearly three years ago, when my son was in the second grade. We had just spent a lot of money on a social skills class that did not “stick” and were giving lots of expensive vitamins based on pricey visits to a naturapathic doctor with only small gains. So we had already spent a good deal of money on things that did not work. Brain Balance was expensive but the best money we ever spent.
The program is hard, but not so bad if done correctly. The exercises must be done every day to obtain results. My child got tired of it, and so did I. But the changes that came were overwhelming.
At first it was small things, like my son finally talking about the same subject as the other kids in the car on the way to school. He began to ask questions and be more sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others. He began getting embarrassed and worrying about what others thought of him. Normal stuff! Finally!! My son played Upward Basketball and did pretty well. The gains kept coming and getting more dramatic.
My son’s tics stopped at the six-month mark. They reappeared once — a year and a half later — and went away again after a few months. (This was after a period of extreme stress and a big jump in development socially. Other than that I can’t explain it.) My son stopped having meltdowns at his siblings and started talking things out when he got angry.
Now in the fifth grade, my son is interested in football and eagerly watches games with my husband. He plays flag football and basketball and enjoys both. He is not a great athlete, but holds his own and enjoys the camaraderie. He offers words of encouragement to his teammates and is a good sport.
My son has a best friend and goes to parties and friends’ houses without me needing to remind him how to act. He just went on a church trip with the fifth and sixth grades and spent the night. He had a great time and played all of the group games, joining in every activity. He even did the ropes course.
In other words, he is a normal kid now. He acts in an age-appropriate manner and is outgoing and confident. I never thought he would be this way. It is such a source of joy for me.
My son talks about how things were “Before Brain Balance” very occasionally. He has tried to explain to me how differently he feels now…it is painful for him to talk about how hard everything was for him before and he has asked me not to bring it up unless he does. He is just loving his life now.
I still limit screen time and emphasize physical activities (two things Brain Balance emphasizes) but other than that we don’t have to do anything special now. I just finally feel like I can relax.
Brain Balance is another treatment I’ve heard of, along with CBIT. I appreciate what I’ve read on this blog about Brain Balance because it has given perspectives on both sides. I have a son that has Tourette Syndrome, and I’m looking for different things to try to alleviate the many symptoms he has. He’s a great kid.
Thanks for posting this. It’s good to get someone’s perspective on this who has been there.