My son thinks a bit differently; in fact how he processes information leaves me baffled at times. While we are not certain that is an auditory processing issues, nonetheless I was so excited when Forbrain – Sound For Life LTD gave me the opportunity to review their bone conduction headset!
If you aren’t familiar with auditory processing disorder, basically it affects how the central nervous system communicates with the auditory/hearing system. This can of course make it quite difficult to learn and to gain an appreciation for learning too. This can cause some struggles for our children in making it difficult to pay attention and really hear differences in words, follow directions, and really communicate their thoughts and needs to others. For my son, who is 10, we are often struggling with following verbal instructions. We can say one thing and hears another (completely different sometimes too)! We may spend hours on learning a simple concept only to find within hours he is struggling to understanding it all over again. I want learning to be fun and encouraging for my kids!
I had no idea what a Bone Conduction Headset was or even what it could do before this came along. Basically this is a headset with a small microphone that is close to your mouth. The ear piece goes in front of the ear, right on the bone. Why you ask? This is all related to lots of research that has been done regarding sensory integration, vibrations, and how the voice, brain, and ear all work together. It is recommended that this be used for 15 – 20 minutes a day for five days a week (older kids may benefit from 20-minutes; younger children benefit more from smaller amounts of time). This should be used for at least six weeks 6 weeks. and while they wear it they should be encouraged to talk, sing, read aloud. So long as they are speaking out loud the product can work for them!
This was created specifically to aid in attention, auditory processing, sensory processing, short term memory. This even assists with speech; fluency, sound discrimination, and pronunciation. And is meant to increase memory, sensory processing, and attention. That totally makes for a more confident and sure and intent learner~ Their website states: “Bone conduction transmits the sound of your own voice 10 times faster and with greater clarity than air conduction.” Since you can hear your voice, you are able to more clearly produce sounds which in turns leads to greater articulation, reading and comprehension and even public speaking. These are all good things!
Now I tried this out myself because, I admit it, I tend to lack focus myself – I’m a momma! It happens. And can I say I noticed a difference in my speech patterns almost immediately? I wore it while reading aloud to the kids – It was amazing how I could hear myself so clearly. Well, maybe I wasn’t being clear – I could hear myself as I spoke and hear any lack of articulation. I managed to focus on the story more than I usually do (although I still had to stop a bunch to settle kids and get juice and all that stuff we mommas need to do). It’s amazing how the microphone picks up my words, filters out all the noises about and then plays it back using the bone conduction speakers. Wow. Really. Wow. I am so much more aware of my pronunciation, fluency…It reminds me to slow down and speak clearly.
My oldest son was rather excited to use this! He was pretty good about waiting for it to charge when it arrived and then, as I said before, letting me try it out a bit too. It was no trouble charging it; simply plug it in to a USB with the cord included (we charged it via our iMac) and when it was ready to go a blue light came on.
Anyway, I had my oldest son been using it for his reading. He also used it for his French which I think real helped him to be able to better his pronunciation. I think this helped him as time progressed, to slow down in general. Which is good since he likes to do everything fast. For about 15 minutes every day he would wear this. While he did I would encourage him to “listen to your voice” whether he was reading or doing his French or spelling.He also would wear it now and then just to sing around the house. He likes to sing and is teaching himself guitar. It was fun to see him disappear and then hear him singing worship songs in his room!
My younger son (who is six) really wanted to try this out and since he is learning to read I had him use this while was reading to me. He loved how funny his voice sounded while he was wearing it too! He wore it for maybe 10 minutes per day and it was always when we were reading together. He called it his robot voice. He had a blast using it too – reading time became so much more enjoyable for him. I also think it helped him to better differentiate letter sounds as he read.
While it is hard to really determine the extent of growth in my boys since they began using this, I do think this has been a very successful tool and consider it such a blessing to our family! Whether we are singing or practicing our foreign languages, reading or spelling, this has made all of us so much more mindful of our own voice. We can truly say, we have all heard how we really sound (and what momma doesn’t say that to her kids now and then?). And I think the power in that is pretty huge. I truly had no idea, when I was chosen to review this, how great of an impact it would have. It has made us all mindful of our speech – when we tend to slow down and be more focused on what we are doing. And the way it helps you to focus on the task at hand – It’s incredible really. I cannot say enough how much we have enjoyed (and will continue to) Forbrain!
You can read the full review directly on Jennifer’s blog