Learning Breakthrough Review: Impact on Dyslexia

learning breaktrough review

Learning Breakthrough is a program designed to help individuals with Dyslexia and learning difficulties overcome associated challenges. In this comprehensive review, we’ll examine the details of the Learning Breakthrough program, including a look at the components of the program, methodology behind it, impact, cost, strengths, and areas for improvements. 

Here, I’ll provide my expert opinion as a Speech-Language Pathologist, and present user reviews of the program. We’ll also explore how Forbrain, an auditory stimulation device, can complement the Learning Breakthrough program in helping students with dyslexia.   

What is the Learning Breakthrough Program?

The Learning Breakthrough program is a multi-sensory exercise program that aims to improve an individual’s functioning of key cognitive skills associated with learning, including those required for reading. 

Learning Breakthrough has been used by both children and adults since 1982. The program involves the student standing on a special “balance board” and performing simple, fun movements to improve their “brain fitness”.  

What is the Purpose?

The purpose of Learning Breakthrough is to provide “root level brain training” that targets the cause of learning and attention difficulties, such as those associated with dyslexia. The Learning Breakthrough program aims to enhance cognitive skills such as attention, memory, processing speed, and sensory integration by having the individual participate in specific exercises and tasks that are intended to train the brain. 

Who is it for?

Learning Breakthrough is intended to be used with children (6 or older) and adults who have dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, or other learning difficulties. The program may be used with children who are academically struggling or reading below grade level. 

How it Works

The Learning Breakthrough program consists of various exercises and activities designed to stimulate different areas of the brain. These activities include visual tracking exercises, auditory processing activities, the use of balance boards, and more. 

The exercises require the individual to use the visual, movement, and balance systems on both sides of their body. The developers claim that coordinating movements across the individual’s midline in addition to progressively more challenging balance tasks are brain training events that can have positive effects on reading skills.   

Overall, the program is based on the use of balance and physical movements to integrate the individual’s auditory, motor planning, visual, balance, tactile, body positioning, and neurofeedback systems. The idea is that this, in turn, can calibrate the brain’s functions. 


The activities within the program can be completed in an academic, clinical, or home setting. A DVD included in the Learning Breakthrough program shows how to perform each exercise. 

The curriculum consists of exercises that involve a balance board, bean bags, a pendulum ball, and more. The student follows instructions provided in the DVD, along with guidance from the clinician or parent, to complete the exercises as they become increasingly more challenging.  

It is recommended that exercises are completed for 15 minutes at a time, twice a day, to yield maximum benefits. Clinicians may also use the program once a week with patients, in conjunction with other therapies, as a tool to improve the individual’s cognitive skills. 

Several tests are included in the program manual, which the developers encourage individuals to use to track the individual’s progress. Written journals or files can also be kept by the parent or professional, noting changes in the child’s skills such as reading speed. 

The Learning Breakthrough program reports that individuals often experience improvements right away when participating in the program, and that long-term improvements can take between 6 to 12 months of daily use. 


The Learning Breakthrough program includes several items, including the following:

  • Belgau Balance Board
  • Visual motor control stick
  • Pendulum ball
  • Target stand/target pins
  • Bean bags
  • Toss back board with 4 super balls
  • Program instruction handbook
  • Program activity work-along DVD

The Belgau Balance Board is reported to be the most important piece of equipment in the Learning Breakthrough program. The student stands on this board, which has two rotating rockers under it, while completing specific activities. 

These activities aim to improve the integration and timing of the two hemispheres of the brain. The goal is to improve the brain’s efficiency so that difficulties involved in learning difficulties such as dyslexia are addressed at their source.   

A thorough description of each item and its use is available through the Learning Breakthrough website

Is Learning Breakthrough Evidence-Based?

Learning Breakthrough is based on principles of neuroplasticity, which are supported by research. For example, studies have shown that systematic intervention can promote plasticity in the brain of individuals with reading disabilities, building more efficient neural pathways to be activated during reading. 

Some of the exercises in the Learning Breakthrough program require the student to use their vestibular system for balance control (such as when they are on the balance board). According to research, the vestibular system is also important for cognition, and associated neural pathways may be important for visual word recognition and attention. 

Who Can Become a Provider?

Learning Breakthrough providers include Occupational Therapists, Doctors, Psychiatrists, Physical Therapists, Child Psychologists, Audiologists, and Developmental Optometrists. No specific training or certification is required to use the Learning Breakthrough program. 

According to Learning Breakthrough, the program was revised in 2002 to allow the “average person” to administer the program easily, without any outside specialized training. 

Providers should familiarize themselves with the specifics of the program, including what clients are appropriate to use it with, the methodology behind it, and how to use it. According to Learning Breakthrough, the program can be clinically used as is, right out of the box. 

Providers also have the option of tailoring the Learning Breakthrough program to fit the specific needs of clients and combining it with other therapies. This, according to Learning Breakthrough, can further enhance their effectiveness.  

Learning Breakthrough Program: An SLP’s Review

Here I’ll provide a Learning Breakthrough program review. In this detailed analysis, I’ll review the Learning Breakthrough program from my point of view as a Speech-language Pathologist. Let’s look at the methodology, teaching strategies, impact, cost, and other important details of the Learning Breakthrough Program. 

Methodology & Process 

In my opinion, the Learning Breakthrough program is very unique. The exercises and activities included in the program require the individual to utilize their sensory and motor systems through unique tasks like swinging a pendulum ball around a target stand with pins, following a given sequence. 

I see these activities as making the Learning Breakthrough program stand apart from many other dyslexia interventions. This very unique, sensory-motor approach may appeal to some clinicians and parents. 

I believe an advantage of Learning Breakthrough is that it is based on principles of neuroplasticity, suggesting that the brain can rewire and adapt to new stimuli and experiences. This research base may support the effectiveness of some of the exercises in the program for improving cognitive skills that are used during reading tasks. 

Teaching Strategies

Individualization: Learning Breakthrough involves an individualized, flexible approach. Specific exercises can be used or focused on in order to address the specific needs and learning style of the child. 

Flexibility: An advantage of using the program is that it offers flexibility in terms of scheduling and intensity. The developers of the Learning Breakthrough Program suggest using it twice a week. However, they state that it may also be used once a week by therapists, as a tool to complement therapy. 

This flexibility also allows for personalized adjustments to be made to the child’s plan, based on his or her progress and feedback. 

Hands-On: The teaching approach used in Learning Breakthrough emphasizes hands-on learning through exercises, multisensory activities, and positive reinforcement. While many other dyslexia intervention programs (such as Orton Gillingham and Lindamood Bell) incorporate multisensory learning, the equipment, and sensory motor exercises used in Learning Breakthrough make the program unique.   


According to my research, the Learning Breakthrough program aims to develop a client’s cognitive skills, which is intended to improve the reading difficulties they may have as a result of dyslexia. 

In examining research, I did not locate specific studies proving the effectiveness of the Learning Breakthrough program itself on improving reading skills. However, I have come across several studies citing the role of the vestibular system in supporting cognitive skills, and the use of neuroplasticity in creating more efficient neural pathways to support reading. 

If the Learning Breakthrough program does effectively improve a child’s cognitive skills and reading skills (such as reading fluency and comprehension), there is a potential for the child to experience long-term benefits. Improved cognitive skills can contribute to his or her overall academic success over time.  


The complete Learning Breakthrough program costs $449. This includes a follow-along DVD, manual, and all other equipment needed, such as the Belgau Balance board, bean bags, and visual motor control stick. 

12 months of private support and coaching virtually, including the complete Learning Breakthrough Program, is available for $1350. This includes an initial evaluation, periodic re-evaluation of an individual’s skills, and assistance through phone or email when needed. 

The cost may vary depending on factors such as the qualifications of the instructor, any therapy or other services being provided in conjunction with the program, and the duration of the intervention. Additional materials or resources needed can also contribute to the cost of the program. 

The initial investment of the Learning Breakthrough kit alone may seem significant, however, it is much less than many other dyslexia intervention programs. Additionally, users should consider potential long-term benefits and possible savings in ongoing educational support over time. These factors may outweigh the costs of the program.   


Learning Breakthrough offers support for users and instructors. A Learning Breakthrough Program plan is available which includes regular follow up calls and assistance when needed. 

There is also a Learning Breakthrough Program portal available for site members, where additional resources can be accessed. Contact information for support of the program is also available through the site, which includes email and phone. 

Professionals who are using Learning Breakthrough with their clients can also provide ongoing support and guidance to the child. They should be available to offer encouragement, feedback, and assistance with troubleshooting as needed.  

User Reviews

In researching Learning Breakthrough reviews, it appears there is minimal feedback for the program available. The user reviews I was able to locate are dated several years ago. 

Discussions primarily consist of individuals who are inquiring about the program after coming across it in research of treatment for their children, who may have ADHD, autism, dyspraxia, and sensory integration disorder.    

Learning Breakthrough reviews also include many individuals who appear skeptical of the program’s claims due to a lack of research supporting the effectiveness of the program itself in improving an individual’s cognitive skills.

Many individuals suggest alternate options, such as sensory integration therapy and Occupational Therapy, to improve a child’s sensory motor skills.  

Strengths of the Learning Breakthrough Program

I feel that what sets the Learning Breakthrough Program apart from other dyslexia interventions is the way it incorporates unique motor exercises to target the enhancement of neural pathways used during tasks like reading. 

I believe that some of the exercises may engage certain students who seek sensory input such as through movement. The exercises could serve as unique tools to incorporate into therapies such as Occupational Therapy or Speech Therapy. 

Areas for Improvement

There appears to be a lack of current, up-to-date user reviews of the Learning Breakthrough Program. Additionally, the complete kit is listed as out of stock on the website, leading those interested to question the current availability and use of the program. 

A lack of research citing the effectiveness of the Learning Breakthrough program is also a potential drawback of the program. Parents and professionals should make these considerations when examining the program.   

Bottom Line

Learning Breakthrough, available since 1982, is a multisensory program that aims to improve learning skills by strengthening brain processes through sensory-motor exercises. I believe that it’s important for families and professionals seeking a dyslexia intervention program to consider a lack of research supporting the Learning Breakthrough program, minimal first-hand user reviews available, and the unavailability of materials through the Learning Breakthrough site. 

The Pros and Cons of the Learning Breakthrough Program:

✅ Offers a unique multisensory approach that targets cognitive skills crucial for learning and reading.❌ Limited availability of current user reviews and materials may raise questions about program effectiveness.
✅ Low cost relative to other dyslexia intervention programs.❌ Lack of robust research-based evidence supporting the program’s effectiveness in improving cognitive skills.
✅ Methodology is based on principles of neuroplasticity, potentially offering long-term benefits.❌ Some individuals may find the equipment and exercises challenging or inaccessible, particularly those with mobility issues.
✅ Individualized approach allows for flexibility in addressing specific needs and learning styles.

Our Methodology: How We Reviewed the Learning Breakthrough Program

As I completed a thorough review of the Learning Breakthrough program, I ensured a comprehensive evaluation by using a multifaceted approach. Integrating a range of perspectives from a diverse set of sources allowed me to present an unbiased, comprehensive analysis of the program’s effectiveness.  

It’s critical to note that this review is independent and is free from any financial affiliations with Learning Breakthrough. The insights I have presented here are based solely on my professional expertise and experience with the program. 

I utilized the following methodology in my assessment of the effectiveness and value of the Learning Breakthrough program: 

  • Evaluation Criteria: Clearly defined criteria was used to guide my review. This focused on specific key areas, including:
    • Usability
    • Accessibility for diverse users
    • Educational effectiveness
    • Level of support and resources provided
  • Research-Based Analysis: I’ve presented an in-depth examination of how the Learning Breakthrough program can enhance reading skills. My analysis was developed through research from reputable sources such as research journals and publications. 
  • User Feedback: I located direct feedback from individuals who are familiar with the Learning Breakthrough program. This feedback enabled a comprehensive assessment of the program’s impact. 
  • Expert Analysis: I synthesized my professional experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist in working with children with reading difficulties with the opinions of other professionals in the field, ensuring a well-rounded and informed evaluation. 

Forbrain and Learning Breakthrough as Complementary Dyslexia Tools 

Forbrain, an auditory stimulation brain training device that utilizes bone conduction technology, can be used to complement the Learning Breakthrough program. 

By transmitting sound vibrations through specialized headphones, Forbrain amplifies auditory stimuli with the goal of improving individuals’ auditory processing, attention, and communication skills. 

Forbrain can be integrated into the Learning Breakthrough exercises to potentially enhance the effectiveness of this dyslexia intervention program. Combining these tools may address the underlying cognitive skills that are crucial for reading and language development, such as auditory processing. 

Forbrain may aid in processing and retaining information while students engage in Learning Breakthrough activities by slightly amplifying the user’s voice. Overall, Forbrain can potentially offer several benefits when used as a tool to complement Learning Breakthrough instruction in the treatment of Dyslexia.  

The Use of Learning Breakthrough with and without Forbrain:

Learning BreakthroughLearning Breakthrough with Forbrain
FunctionalityHeadset that helps with the 3 main challenges of dyslexia: verbal memory, phonological awareness, and verbal processing speed. The combination of the dynamic filter and bone conduction amplifies the speaker’s voice and stimulates the auditory nerve, for better brain processing.The Learning Breakthrough program is a multi-sensory exercise program that aims to improve an individual’s functioning of key cognitive skills associated with learning, including those required for reading.When used together, users experience enhanced cognitive functions, including attention, memory, and processing speed, crucial for reading.
UsabilityMeant to be implemented into daily routines, for 10-20 minutes a day. Individuals simply need to wear the headset when reading or speaking.Exercises done in various settings, including home or school.Forbrain is integrated seamlessly into Learning Breakthrough sessions, providing additional auditory enhancement without complicating usability.
Target AudienceSuitable for 3+ and older individuals with learning challenges such as dyslexiaAges 6+, individuals with dyslexia or learning difficulties.Combining Learning Breakthrough and Forbrain benefits those with dyslexia or learning challenges needing comprehensive cognitive and auditory support.
BenefitsForbrain helps to improve:
– speech
– communication
– attention
– focus
– memory
– learning
Targets improvement in cognitive skills such as attention, memory, processing speed, and sensory integration.The combined use of Learning Breakthrough and Forbrain results in improved cognitive functions, attention, focus, memory, learning, and auditory processing.
LimitationsNot appropriate for individuals with :
– cochlear implant
– severe hearing loss
– epilepsy
Some individuals may find equipment and exercises challenging or inaccessible, particularly those with mobility issues.
Cost$299 for the Forbrain headset and accessories, with a 2-year warranty.$449, complete program kit.While there may be an additional cost for the Forbrain headset, the potential accelerated improvements in cognitive functions may offset this cost in the long run.
Support & ResourcesForbrain comes with:
– A secondary microphone that allows support from parents, therapists, or instructors.
– A headphone jack for listening to recordings or participating in online therapy programs.
Learning Breakthrough offers follow-up support and guidance for users and instructors.
Clinical Evidence/ResearchForbrain uses neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to rewire and change. Several scientific studies have shown the effects of using Forbrain or auditory feedback to improve the skills of those with reading or other deficits.Limited long-term study results; based on principles of neuroplasticity.

Final Words

The Learning Breakthrough program is a unique multisensory brain training program that aims to strengthen brain processes in children ages 6 and up, as well as adults. 

Pros of the Learning Breakthrough are its unique approach, low cost relative to other dyslexia intervention programs, and the methodology being based on research. 

Potential downfalls of the program include the lack of research-based evidence supporting the effectiveness of Learning Breakthrough, the limited number of user reviews available, and the lack of materials available. 

Parents and professionals who are considering using the Learning Breakthrough program can consider using Forbrain, an auditory stimulation headset, to complement activities. Reading is a fundamental skill, and developing strong skills in early childhood can have a lasting impact on a child’s life. 


Caldani, S., Moiroud, L., Miquel, C., Peiffer, V., Florian, A., & Bucci, M. P. (2021). Short vestibular and cognitive training improves oral reading fluency in children with dyslexia. Brain Sciences, 11(11), 1440. DOI: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3425/11/11/1440

Perdue, M. Reading intervention and neuroplasticity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of brain changes associated with reading intervention Meaghan V. Perdue*, Kelly Mahaffya, b, Katherine Vlahcevica, b, Emma Wolfmana, Florina Erbelid, Fabio Richlane, & Nicole Landia, b a. Dept. of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.11.011

Amy Yacoub

Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has over 12 years of experience working with children who have a variety of diagnoses and disorders, including speech and language delays, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and Autism. She is also an experienced consultant within the field.

More Reviews on Dyslexia Programs:

Wilson Reading
Orton Gillingham
Barton Reading
Lindamood Bell
Interactive Metronome
Fast ForWord