By Crystal McClean
Three years ago we reviewed Forbrain by Sound For Life Ltd. and the children still return to it a couple of times a year for a ‘top up’ when they feel they need more concentration, so we were all interested to try our their new product, Soundsory, to help with better attention, focus, and coordination.
Why Use Soundsory
According to Sound For Life, Ltd., “Soundsory can help people with:
– Motor delays, Balance and Coordination
– Autism spectrum and Developmental delays
– Sensory and Auditory processing disorders
– ADD and ADHD”
My children haven’t been diagnosed with any of the above, although our son was born very premature and we are starting to have a few concerns about his wandering attention and difficulty in finishing assignments. So this was our main reason for wanting to try out Soundsory. And of course, anything that Tristan does, Kallista wants to do as well, so they’ve both been using it.
How To Use Soundsory
Soundsory is very easy to use! Simply turn on the special headphones which already contain the program music; select the right day (you use Soundsory for 40 days in a row), and place the headset on. For younger children or those who may have difficulty keeping the headset in place, you can use the included headband over your forehead to keep it steady. The top of the set touches the top of the head for both air and bone conduction. With the bone conduction through the top of the skull it is barely noticeable, unlike Forbrain, which is quite noticeable.
Once the music is turned on, simply engage in something creative and listen to the music. You cannot use screens, drive, or chew while using them. I didn’t quite follow these instructions as I often found myself tidying up or doing dishes, but I did walk through the house in a bit of a dance parody to make the kids laugh, so that might count?
The children were able to take more time with creative endeavors than I was able to, and they coloured, built log cabins, used building bricks, and Tristan loved to go outside and practice his Jedi training!
The music is a variety of instrumentals; classical, marching, nursery rhymes, elevator music, and more. Most of the time it’s simply like listening to any music, but now and then you’ll notice the music cut or fade from one ear or the other (neuro-acoustic modifications). It’s almost a little disconcerting as you might think that the headset is malfunctioning, but that’s the way it should be. Each day there are different tracts chosen for you to enjoy.
You listen to the music for 25 minutes, then there is a separate track each day to listen to while logging onto the website to follow the child demonstrating the set of exercises to do that day. They are a variety of exercises that will help you become more familiar with your body and how it moves in space. There are many simple stretches, as well as active movements. If you are unable to do these, then you can modify them as needed. For example, sometimes jumping triggers tachycardia for me, so I might chose to do lively marching in place, for example. The exercise portion of the program takes 5 minutes a day.
Reflecting back over the past month of usage, it’s interesting. As mentioned above, we were hoping to see Tristan gain better attention so that he could stay on-task and complete his homework assignments without taking an inordinate amount of time for simple work. He’s clever, but he would get distracted and getting him to finish work was becoming stressful.
He is only 3/4 of the way through the program today, so he’ll be done next week, but already I would say that there is a noticeable difference. Tristan is staying on-task much better and he’s not only completing his assignments during the day, but he’s also been going above and beyond by voluntarily taking on extra chores outdoors and completing those as well. All within the usual ‘school’ time. If this continues, we’ll not only be able to stay on top of things, but even have time to get back to doing more fun things like crafts and outings, something we all want to do. In fact, there was one day last week when school was finished early and Tristan complained because he was bored with so much extra time!
The noticeable difference with Kallista isn’t as great, which was to be expected, but both children are also now doing better at their daily chores and I don’t have to remind them of every smaller task that needs to be completed within one larger one. This has resulted in a much more consistently tidy house, which makes my brain feel more calm.
I’ve fallen behind with using Soundsory myself, but I’m going to get back into the groove and see if it can help me become more focused, too.
You can use Soundsory along with Forbrain, and I’d be curious to see what using them in tandem would be like. We will probably try that out later in the year. I can hardly wait to see what those results could be.
Read Crystal’s full review here!