Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd's bone conduction headset came along at just the right time for our family. Two of the Littles have been dealing with assessments for speech issues. It's amazing to me how slowly these balls get rolling sometimes. Merrick and Xav are both struggling with pronunciation skills and Xav has a stutter. It's frustrating for them to not be understood and, as they get older, I think the trouble is amplified.
Forbrain can help improve:
- reading and writing
- short-term memory
- pronunciation and fluency
Forbrain is a bone conduction headset that is worn while speaking aloud. The headset is worn on the back of your head and over your ears. The circular pads sit on your head in front of your ears, on the jawbone. You speak into a microphone which transmits to the patented dynamic filter. The filter blocks out ambient noise and isolates your voice. It boosts some sounds and uses vibration of bone to enhance what you are hearing. The hearer's awareness of their own voice increases.
I admit to being a hopeful skeptic, but I have a friend who actually is a bio-psych professor/researcher. She reassured me the science is there and Forbrain could potentially help all of my kiddos with various issues. I also had questions regarding Forbrain's use with tinnitus and stuttering, because I experience one and Xav the other. I didn't expect it to relieve my tinnitus, but I had hopes about the stuttering as well as the other speech aspects. I received a prompt, kindly reply that Forbrain cannot treat those issues, but they will not interfere with use for the other issues. I definitely suggest, if you are unsure how Forbrain can help you or your child, that you pop off an email. They are great about responding with answers.
Forbrain comes in a sturdy zippered case. It has a firm foam-type liner that fits the appliance perfectly. A charging cord is included with a USB end. Three extra microphone covers and a manual are included, as well as the actual headset. Just plug it in and it will be ready to use in no time. The battery lasts many hours. We only had to charge it a couple of times during the six weeks we've had it.
The three buttons on the filter are power and volume controls. It is recommended that you do not adjust the volume unless it is uncomfortable for the wearer.
The boys have not complained of any trouble. I did notice a slight "buzzy" kind of feeling in my jaw for a very short time after use. There's nothing painful or distracting about it and it quickly ended.
How we use Forbrain
Xavier has been my main man reviewer. He wears the headset regularly while reading aloud. I can't say for sure that it is helping him with his speech issues, but I will say he shouts when he speaks much less frequently. At least while he is wearing the headset and shortly after, my own eardrums get a rest. Xavier speaks quietly with it on, but he can't tell how loud he is when he isn't wearing it. What I found humorous is that he can't actually hear any difference in his volume. The headset enhances what he is hearing, so he thinks he's speaking at the same volume when he wears it as when he does not. He is pretty self-conscious about wearing it in front of anyone.
Merrick cannot read yet, so his trial has been more limited. He can wear it while he recites the poems we are memorizing. The headset seems a wee bit big on him for now, which is surprising considering the size of the skulls in this house. He has been denied speech services for the time being, so I'll be working on those skills with him myself. I also have a phonics app that works very nicely with use of the headset.
Malachi wore the headset once for a minute or two. He was very bothered by the changes in his hearing.
I wear Forbrain while reading aloud to the boys and have worn it while singing. Well, talk about self-conscious! Xav does not have that market cornered. The singing about did me in! HA!
It's recommended that you use Forbrain for six to ten weeks, daily or nearly so. The amount of time varies by age, with younger users wearing the headset for a shorter period of time. There are also extended time frames (multiple times in a day or for longer periods in a day) for short term use. We are right about at six weeks of use now. I can't say that I've seen marked improvement in any area, but I see no reason not to finish out the ten weeks and reevaluate what's happening with us after that time.
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