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Brain Balance Research: Effects of Multimodal Programs on Developmental Outcomes

A new study shows the Brain Balance program helps improve childhood developmental outcomes, including improvement in emotional, social, behavioral, motor, and academic functioning.

Recently, Brain Balance featured a study published in Frontiers in Psychology by Dr. Rebecca Jackson and Josh Jordan, Ph.D. The study aimed to delve into how effective the Brain Balance program is and the change seen in kids following three months of participation.

Now that fall and school are in full swing, parents want to see their kids succeed. But, when they struggle, the initiatives, programs, and help available need to be tested and have the complete confidence of parents. In other words, parents don't want to invest time, energy, and their child's future in an unproven method.

This study helped contribute to the growing body of evidence that The Brain Balance program helps improve childhood developmental outcomes, including improvement in emotional, social, behavioral, motor, and academic functioning. These changes are not driven using medication but a multimodal training approach that creates change across the many key domains of brain health and development.

The Study at a Glance

The study, conducted with a substantial sample size (N=4,041), focused on children and adolescents aged 4 to 18. Among the participants, 69.7% were male, and 30.3% were female. The researchers employed parent-rated scores on the scientifically validated tool, the Brain Balance Multidomain Developmental Survey (BB-MDS), to evaluate six crucial domains of development:

  1. Negative emotionality (emotions)
  2. Reading/writing difficulties (academic)
  3. Hyperactive/disruptive behavior (behavior)
  4. Academic disengagement (motivation/engagement)
  5. Motor/coordination problems (motor)
  6. Social communication (social)

While the study focused on the improvements in the domains mentioned above,  it was improving the maturity of developmental reflexes and sensory motor development that was the driver behind the changes. This is key as deficits in these areas of development have been shown consistently to be indicators of predictors of success in later development in cognition, behavior, attention, and well-being. The results yielded several important outcomes that deepen our understanding of developmental issues and the effectiveness of comprehensive multimodal interventions like the Brain Balance program.

Key Findings Parents Want to Know About

One of the study's key findings reinforces that developmental domains are intricately interconnected. A deficit or challenge in one domain can have a cascading effect on others. Conversely, improvements in one area can positively influence development in different domains. This underscores the importance of addressing multiple domains simultaneously, which aligns with the Brain Balance program's integrative approach.

Traditionally, interventions for children with developmental difficulties have focused on single domains. For example, when your child struggles with math, you provide a tutor; when you see behavioral issues at home or in the classroom, you find strategies to help them navigate the upset moments. While finding tutors or developing behavioral support plans is helpful and important, they only focus on one area of concern rather than the whole child's development. However, this study highlights the need for comprehensive interventions that target and integrate multiple interrelated areas of development.

The Brain Balance program's success lies in its ability to impact multiple interrelated developmental domains simultaneously. The study notes that programs like Brain Balance, which comprehensively target various aspects of development, play a crucial role in supporting overall development and improving functional outcomes in children with developmental issues.

Moreover, recent studies have shown that the Brain Balance program can enhance cognitive performance and improve attentional issues and mental well-being in children and adolescents who face developmental challenges. The findings support using the program to address cognitive, attentional, and emotional problems among youth as a nonpharmacological approach.

What Did We Learn?

The Brain Balance program is supported by a growing body of literature demonstrating improvements in functional outcomes and brain connectivity across different age groups. By training and practicing over a period of time, functional outcomes and brain connectivity can be improved.

Dominick Fedele, CEO of Brain Balance, notes, "This study is an important contribution to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the consistent benefits of the Brain Balance program. Outcome measures from parents, clinicians, teachers, and of significant sensory motor development and cognition illustrate growth in development which contributes to meaningful improvements in attention, mood, behaviors and learning for kids."

The study found that the more severe the initial concerns reported by parents, the larger the effect size of change following participation in the Brain Balance program. This suggests the program is particularly effective for those with more severe pre-existing issues across emotional, social, behavioral, motor, and academic domains.

Future Direction of Brain Balance Studies

While this study provides valuable insights, continued research will provide additional insights and understanding as to what drives meaningful and sustainable change for children, adolescents, and adults facing attention, cognition, and well-being challenges.   All findings in this study were based on participation in a center-based setting, and generalizing these results to other settings like home and school-based interventions requires further examination (You can read about Brain Balance's school-based study here). Additionally, future studies will include control groups and comparative analyses with other programs.

In addition, the program's effectiveness would be better understood if more information about participants' diagnoses and demographics were included. Research on tracking at-home participation in program recommendations, including nutrition and exercise, is another promising area.

Finding some hope for our kids without the medication

This study sheds light on the transformative potential of the Brain Balance program. Designed to address cognitive, attentional, and emotional needs simultaneously, the program offers a holistic approach to children and adolescents. These findings highlight the improvement of childhood developmental outcomes, including improvement in emotional, social, behavioral, motor, and academic functioning without medication but by a multimodal training approach. 

The bottom line for parents is that this study provides hope and promise for families searching to help their kids in emotional, social, behavioral, motor, and academic functioning. While the study has limitations, it paves the way for future research to explore the full potential of programs like Brain Balance in enhancing the lives of children and adolescents facing developmental difficulties.

Read the full Study.

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