All Aboard the Brain Train

There's help out there for your kids when school is not quite enough.

Authored by Erin Malcolm

You know kids need to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day in order to promote fitness for a healthy body, but what about a healthy mind? “Just as you can hire a personal fitness trainer to help keep your body in shape, the same can be done with the brain,” says Dr. Amy Moore, cognitive/educational psychologist and research director at the Gibson Institute of Cognitive Research.

“Brain training” is a hypernym that encompasses many forms of targeted cognitive practices. When obstacles like learning disabilities, attention deficits, anxiety, stress, depression, or the chaos of everyday life get in the way, brain training can be a helpful, drug-free intervention for a child or adolescent to work toward or maintain an efficiently functioning mind. Dr. Moore outlines methods of training that work best for specific diagnoses or goals:

Neurofeedback training, which is based around real-time assessment of electrical activity in the brain that promotes self-regulation, has the potential to yield positive results for kids who struggle with anxiety or ADHD.

Mindfulness therapy, which uses behavioral science to train thinking, can help kids with stress or depression.

Cognitive rehabilitation, which is one-on-one engagement in intense mental exercises with a coach, can be best for patients with learning disabilities that hinder processing speed or head trauma such as concussions.

Dr. Moore describes brain training as just one tool among many interventions that can help your child. Denver-area brain training centers include the following:

LearningRx

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, LearningRx has established 167 centers worldwide, three of which are in Colorado. Clients work one-on-one with a personal brain trainer to enhance critical learning skills.

Brain Balance Achievement Centers

At the handful of Brain Balance achievement centers in the Denver metro area, professionals provide clients with a unique, whole-child approach to brain training that purportedly targets the root of your child’s issue. This method, which includes sensory motor stimulation, academic activities, and nutritional guidelines, makes the practice special.

Mind Gym

Shelli Myles and LeRoy Matticks have witnessed brain training success stories as parents whose children struggled and as experts with their Centennial practice. Teamed with a doctor, they lead a specialty method called connectivity training meant to provide their clients with an extensive “hope and healing” experience.