(Mum of a boy who has reading difficulties)
« His phonetic awareness has improved immensely, as he's FINALLY able to hear the sounds he's saying to better recognize the differences. »
As many of you know, we have been working with Baby Britches on some speech issues over the last few years. He has come a long way, yet we still some phonetic pronunciation issues that continue to pop up regularly. The greatest challenge is that I can't get him to HEAR how he is saying the sounds--to show how it's different than the way I am saying them, which leads to a significant amount of frustration for us both. Enter Forbrain--Sound for Life Ltd. This bone conduction headset was designed with this very thing in mind. Could this product help us improve Baby Britches' speech fluency, pronunciation, and sound discrimination? I was eager to review the product to find out.
Forbrain--Sound for Life Ltd, is an innovative bone conduction headset that has been designed to help the young and old with auditory processing. It trains the brain to improve sensory integration and auditory processing. This then provides improvement in speech fluency, pronunciation, sound discrimination, and rhythm. It also has been shown to improve short term memory with consistent use. It works through creating an auditory feedback loop thanks to the bone conduction which delivers the voice directly through to the brain. Bone conduction delivers the sound of your voice 10 times faster than the "usual" air conduction that occurs through your ears--thus taking your voice straight to your brain!
How Did We Use This Product?
My boys were very eager to give this product a try and were bummed they had to wait for me to charge it up. It was very easy to charge (simply plug it in to a USB with the cord included) and I knew it was ready when the blue light came on.
I read the included instructions for the product to get an idea for how to wear it, how long to wear it, and the kind of things it is good for. Then I gave it a try myself--woh. LOL. I sound very weird. I definitely began modifying my voice once I could hear myself talk! You know that phrase "Do you even listen to yourself?" Well now I can say "YES!" LOL.
The next day I taught Baby Britches how to wear it, and we used it throughout his spelling and reading lessons. He was intrigued by the fact he could hear himself talk. Right away he was fixing the phonetic sounds he was making to try to match my version. He also wore it during our poetry session and was able to catch himself when he made mistakes in his recitation.
Little Britches begged for a chance, and so he wore it during his own recitation of his poetry. Boy, did that make a difference for him! He slowed his speech down to a conversational speed and did a lot more modulation on his vocal tone. He was able to correct recitation mistakes as well.
As for me, I wore it while I practice some vocal selections. If I thought my speaking voice was weird, my singing voice was even more weird. It took a little while to get used to how I sounded, but I was able to use it successfully and I think it definitely helped me learn where my diction and annunciation needed to be improved.
We continued to use this product during school hours--primarily with Baby Britches as he was the key person to review this product with due to his speech issues.
Baby Britches using Forbrain to assist him during Spelling
As of right now, we have continued to use this product 4-5 days a week with each boy--roughly 30 minutes per day. We have not needed to recharge the headset which is amazing!
Our Thoughts on The Product
Everyone has enjoyed this product. Little Britches uses it and it helps him slow down his speech as he's reciting poetry or reading out loud. I am going to be incorporating it into our lessons more over the upcoming year, since he IS an auditory learner. I foresee it being very beneficial especially for subjects like spelling.
Baby Britches LOVES it and reminds me that he needs his "set for his brain". It has done EXACTLY what I hoped it would. His phonetic awareness has improved immensely, as he's FINALLY able to hear the sounds he's saying to better recognize the differences. His sounding out word skills are growing by leaps and bounds because he can finally HEAR what he's saying and process it. We do not do any of his reading or spelling assignments without it because of the difference it has made. We have almost completely eliminated the last few issues he had left in his speech trouble.
As for me, I have been enjoying using the product for vocal performance. It has assisted me in fine tuning my annunciation and diction, which is something I especially wanted to work on. This would have been something fabulous to use back in college when I was having to give presentations.
The only real con is the price at $359. If I had found this product on my own, I wouldn't have given it a chance, because it is just out of my personal price range when it's not something I absolutely NEED to have. Now, if I had been working with speech therapists with my sons and had been dealing with trying to continue working at home, I think that it might not be such a bad price if it truly would help.
Some people who have used it have mentioned that they have issues with headaches after use--but that apparently is attributed to how long you use it. It is also not recommended for hours of use because it can actually make you tired.
Would I Recommend This Product?
I would recommend this product, but only if speech therapy is something your family deals with. It does have a hefty price tag, so it's not just for anyone. But, if you have someone who needs additional practice at home with auditory processing and training the ear to recognize when speech patterns are incorrect, this would be a great tool for your family. It is also something that would be great someone looking to improve their public speaking or vocal performance as well. Being able to actually hear what you sound like really makes you concentrate on adjusting your modulation and tone of voice--exactly what is needed for fine tuning speaking and singing skills.
Want to Know More?
We reviewed Forbrain --Sound for Life Ltd with our family. You have seen how we used the bone conduction headset and our thoughts on the product. I encourage you to check out the over crew members reviews, especially the ones who used this product to help with sensory processing! You can find the complete review on our blog.