When I first heard about Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd and their bone conduction headset, I was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of the Forbrain device helping a few different situations in my home. I wasn’t sure that we were far enough down the needful road to qualify for this review, but was very thankful to be selected for review.
Bone Conduction Headset
The device itself is a little bit strange. It looks like a microphone and ear piece regular headset, but the “ear” pieces don’t actually go in or even on the ear. Instead, the ear pieces go on the bone just in front of the ear. There is a microphone piece that the person using the bone conduction headset will speak into, and as they do, the “ear” (bone) pieces interact with those facial bones to cause you to be able to hear yourself better.
Now – why this results in the things that Forbrain says it does, I’m not sure. I’m no scientist. All I know is that several of my kids – 3 and 4 out of my 5 – used this, liked it, and I’ve seen some sort of change in them because of it. To be quite honest, we haven’t been consistent enough in this spring semester to have fully utilized the bone conduction headset as prescribed. Even so, I’m seeing some changes in my kids when they use it and some effort on their part because they use it. Let me explain.
I have a 5 year old who needs some help in the speech department. He’s just young and still has trouble with some of the typical sounds, especially /r/ and /s/. With any of his siblings, I’ve never been able to get any of the helps needed at this age and my kids have had slight speech delays until older than they should. Nothing overly concerning, and we’re seeing that it mostly goes away over time; just enough to be embarrassing to the child and to cause family and friends to point it out and ask about it. If Forbrain can help us avoid some of that with this child, I’ll be happy!
Caleb wears the bone conduction headset while we work on his phonics program. I let him wear it for about 5 minutes and then let his twin sister wear it for a little bit, too. (You can’t have one twin do something the other one doesn’t get to do and not have a fight! And they like wearing this thing… which I don’t completely understand, but they do.) I’ve seen it specifically help Caleb with pronunciation of the /r/ sound, which lesson is the first we were able to use this while working. Even when he still flubs the sound, I can remind him to say it properly and now he can, whereas before he would just continue repeating the same thing he’d said the first time. This is progress!
My oldest student has always had a fantastic memory. I had him using this for memorizing poetry, but I’m not sure I can tell a difference in it helping him. It would be difficult to tell, as he memorizes very quickly anyway. It has seemed to help, though, with his music. He is in choir for the first time and he uses the bone conduction headset while practicing. I think it has helped him not only remember his songs easier, but also helped with things like musicality and projection. He did a fantastic job in his duet at the concert last week!
But mostly, I was happy to be able to use the bone conduction headset with my middle child. Brandon was diagnosed as dyslexic last year, and I’m still learning all of the issues that come with that. He has amazing auditory processing skills, but reading comprehension is low. Bring in the Forbrain set! I’m having him read his chapters out loud to himself. He’s doing an excellent job on the study guide we’re doing, which is pretty out of the ordinary. It’s more than just the reading out loud, because I have him do that anyway; I really think that being able to hear himself more clearly and in a kinesthetic way has kicked in to a different part of his brain and allowed him to really hear in a way that his brain doesn’t normally have the benefit of using when he reads.
One thing more than any is the attention. In my own experience, I always concentrate better when I read out loud anyway. But I used the bone conduction headset myself when reading scripture. Not just any scripture – Chronicles. You know, lists upon lists upon lists of nothing but names, “the son of,” type stuff. It did help me concentrate, and no I don’t remember those names, but I do have a picture in my head of the exact moments I was sitting there reading. I also feel that making myself do this helped me realize that what I was reading in Chronicles was actually going along with the study I was doing in Samuel; I was reading the lineage of David while reading the story of David – and not on purpose! I’m sure I’d have missed that otherwise!
I definitely feel that the Forbrain bone conduction headset has brought us some benefits in the areas of speech for my youngest, musicality and projection and possibly memorization for my oldest, and definitely speech and concentration in my middle child who is dyslexic. I used it for several minutes and honestly, it gave me a headache. I think I wore it for too long, or maybe I didn’t have it on correctly I suppose; I’m the one in my home that seemed to have this problem. We look forward to continue using the Forbrain bone conduction headset with each of my kids and seeing our results improve over the coming months!
You can connect with Forbrain on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to check out the other Crew reviews! I know that some of the other Crew members deal with more serious issues than we do in my home, so if that’s the case for you I’m sure that you’ll want to glean from their experiences as well. This isn’t a cheap item, so I know for my home I’d want to read as much about it as possible. This is a review for which to consider reading all the reviews. I believe this will benefit any family who even thinks it’s a “maybe” for them.