Friday, February 27, 2009

BrainSkills and The Gibson Test of Brain Skills

I am so excited! Not only am I finally out of HTML he.., having finally upgraded my web site, but I now have the privilege of offering two new items that I hope will make cognitive skills testing and training more readily available to anyone.
Gone are the days of extensive neuro-psych evals that take days to complete and often months before a report is received. Never more will people be limited by geographical proximity to services. No more need to get a second mortgage to pay for cognitive skills training.

Most of us schedule and follow through with dental, vision, hearing and annual physical exams, albeit begrudgingly. The cost of cognitive skills testing, though, is usually prohibitive, even when insurance covers some of it. When several family members are struggling who gets the resources? This can often be a real “Sophie’s Choice” kind of situation. But, what about a brain check up? Everyone should know how their brain functions. This knowledge is crucial for so many things from education, to work, and to play.

The solution comes in the form of The Gibson Test of Brain Skills. For only $29.95 you can do a quick in home screening, with same day results, to find out where there are strengths and weaknesses that impact learning. Better still, once the results are in, there is a “fix”. That “fix” is the home study computer version of PACE (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement) called BrainSkills.

So often the $1,500+ professional evaluation takes months for the results to be dictated, and when they are they just say that since little Johnny is having trouble reading he should read more, and since little Mary is having trouble focusing she needs to pay more attention. While we’re at it let’s just tell a blind man that if he looks harder he will be able to see! Many people get offended because I label disabilities.

The reality is that a label is power when it is a starting place and addresses the skills, not the character of a child. Let’s be honest, if a child can’t read because of a disability, the label of dyslexia is not a personal attack but a determination of a wiring glitch. I can’t think of a child or adult who wouldn’t prefer the label of dyslexia over lazy, which is a personal attack and usually never feels true because of the effort being exerted.

Using the science of neural plasticity, BrainSkills works by developing new neural pathways to enhance the brain’s abilities. Once these new pathways start to develop, a student can soon see rapid changes. With a new found sense of future potential, applying themselves to the activities begets even greater growth of neuronal connections. The pleasure associated with improvement releases dopamine which “hard wires” the learned skills in place. BrainSkills is the answer for many who might otherwise not be able to afford training due to the cost of one on one training programs.

For only $495.00 you get a one year subscription to BrainSkills and the gateway to a new way of thinking. Families wanting the program for more than one person can get an even greater discount on the additional subscriptions when purchased simultaneously.

Please check of the rest of The Brain Trainers site and follow the links for The Gibson Test of Brain Skills and BrainSkills. The demo affords the chance to preview 3 of the 10 activities. You can even view a sample test report.

If you purchase BrainSkills and find you need a little more guidance or special modifications because of you student’s situation, I can be retained for consultation on an hourly basis. Please feel free to call or email me to discuss costs.

I encourage anyone who takes The Gibson Test of Brain Skills to give feedback on the experience on this forum.

Happy Brain Training!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Possible Answer to Your Unexplained Exhaustion

Are you always tired, yet no medical tests performed or treatment offered can explain or adequately resolve your exhaustion? There are many possible contributing causes of fatigue, but one may not be well know or accepted as a valid condition by your physician.

A condition referred to as General Adaptive Syndrome, or more descriptively as Adrenal Fatigue may be worth looking into. Medical professionals readily acknowledge the end presentation of this disorder, which is called Addison’s disease, but often dismiss treatment and intervention opportunities in its earlier stages. Our adrenal glands are our bodies’ central control center, responding instantaneously with acute accuracy to stimuli including stress, injury, chronic pain, and emotional impact. Although capable of rapid recovery, some situations or repeat stressors can lead the adrenals to lose their ability to adapt, resulting in adrenal fatigue.

There are some common presentations occurring in adrenal fatigue cases. These often include, but are not limited to:
  • Difficulty or inability to get your day started until 10 a.m.
  • Drop of in energy level before noon with improvement after a meal.
  • Frequent debilitating exhaustion between 2-4 p.m.
  • Another improvement in stamina after an evening meal.
  • Difficult to stay awake after 9 or 10 p.m.
  • If pushing through the evening hours, many find their “second wind” and best energy of the day between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
  • Even with an apparently adequate amount of rest, it is not restorative sleep.
  • Best and often most refreshing sleep comes between 7 and 9 a.m., if afforded that luxury.
Clinical presentations may occur in adults as well as children, often including a decreased ability to handle stress, feeling as though everything takes more effort, unresponsive or under-responsive to thyroid therapy, salt and sweet cravings to name a few.

Adults at high risk for adrenal fatigue include single parents, those working multiple or stressful jobs, care givers and health care professionals, as well as individuals exposed to repeated illnesses, persistent mental stress, and trauma (accidents, surgery, childbearing, loss of a loved one, and divorce).

Children experiencing the responses of “fight, flight, or fright” on a regular basis as a result of ADD, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, or Sensory Processing Dysfunction, to name a few, may be at an increased risk of overworking their adrenal glands and throwing their bodies into adrenal fatigue over time. Academic stress, family concerns and other traumatic emotions may also trigger onset of this condition.

To learn more about Adrenal Fatigue and how to restore your body’s ability to regain this vital function, check out the book,
Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson, available through our site.

Tara R. Jenner, owner and managing director, The Brain Trainers and Keith S. Susko, MD, Board certified physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with subspecialty board certification in Pain Medicine