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    justinwilliams, Jessica D, Xtydell, lll, A WA parent
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    Joined: May 2009
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    Originally Posted by snowgirl
    Originally Posted by
    Founder Ken Gibson, a former pediatric optometrist, said kids with autism-spectrum disorder often have trouble blending sounds, which makes reading difficult. His therapy focuses on lengthening attention span, short-term memory and speed.
    Is this the same Ken Gibson who founded LearningRx, which I posted about on this same forum last week? That thread also prompted the input of a first time poster who gave links supporting how LearningRx changes brain functioning.

    I had seen the study that was linked on that other thread and had some questions about it as well including the fact that it was not a peer reviewed published study. I haven't looked at the links on this thread re Brain Balance Center, but I remain dubious across the board.

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    I understand some of the concerns posted here, but approaching my research on brain balance centers without any bias, I don't understand why the biggest detractors have no first hand knowledge of the outcomes and yet the seemingly biggest supporters and best reviews of the brain balance program come from parents of children who went through the program and showed measureable progress.

    Are they imagining it?

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    Originally Posted by twogirlsdad
    I understand some of the concerns posted here, but approaching my research on brain balance centers without any bias, I don't understand why the biggest detractors have no first hand knowledge of the outcomes and yet the seemingly biggest supporters and best reviews of the brain balance program come from parents of children who went through the program and showed measureable progress.

    Are they imagining it?
    For full discussion of this very common phenomenon, I recommend Singh and Ernst's book "Trick or Treatment?",
    http://www.amazon.com/Trick-Treatment-Undeniable-Alternative-Medicine/dp/0393066614
    To tell whether a treatment works you need science: systematic empirical investigation, coupled with consideration of possible mechanism. There are many reasons why an individual might have the (honest, understandable) impression that an ineffective treatment has worked for them. Important ones include regression to the mean (the tendency to seek treatment when the condition is worst, so that the only likely place to go is up), the placebo effect (which doesn't just mean they're imagining it), and the natural desire for a treatment one has sought out and often paid for not to have been a waste of time and money.


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    Again, I understand the healthy skepticism, but I have still not found a single parent whose child completed the program who says that either 1) their child did not make significant measureable improvement or 2)that there was any regression from those advancements. Even 6-9 months down the road.

    Did you have a negative experience?

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    No, I'm just anti things that take advantage of desperate parents, and it happens rather too often that people join parenting forums and then never do anything other than promote some therapy. If this method is as effective as you say, it will be very easy for its proponents to get multiple convincing studies published in reputable peer-reviewed journals. Once that's happened, I'll happily remember this therapy and mention it to anyone to whom it seems relevant.

    Now, assuming you have some reason for being here other than to promote this therapy, which is the only thing you've done so far, welcome to the forum and I suggest you go and post about whatever it is that did bring you here.


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    I am not promoting or endorsing anything, I don't know how i could have given that impression.

    I merely stated that I find it odd that for any parents who have enrolled their children in the Brain Balance program that there are only positive testimonials and no negative ones (at least not that I've been able to find). I heard about Brain Balance (and a few other centers including Learning Rx) as something I may want to look into as a way to help an autistic child of a close friend and We've become intrigued by the whole Right Brain/Left Brain disconnect approach, As it is accepted science which i can GENERALLY understand.

    I have no horse in this race other than to find out through first hand experiences whether parents believe this program is helping or not helping their children, Independent of how many studies have been published and peer-reviewed. But to your point, You are right, more peer reviewed studies would obviously make the research quite a bit easier.

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    Originally Posted by twogirlsdad
    I understand some of the concerns posted here, but approaching my research on brain balance centers without any bias,

    Are they imagining it?

    Without a proper study, they might be. Here are a few tips to help you sort out facts from unsupported claims:

    Originally Posted by twogirlsdad
    I have no horse in this race other than to find out through first hand experiences whether parents believe this program is helping or not helping their children,

    I wouldn't advise you to put much faith in scattered reports (or worse, reports on the center's web site).

    Scattered reports are just that: scattered reports. The center wants people to use its service, so there's a conflict of interest in anything on its website. People selling something often exaggerate how great their product is. This is why we need things like peer-reviewed studies and FDA approval of medical treatments. They help us decide if a medicine or treatment is helpful or not.

    Here's another point: reports from people who say they believe in something are called self-reported data.

    Self-reported data has lots of problems. In this case, one of them is that you don't know if everyone who used the service has made a report on it. Maybe lots of people tried this method and it didn't work for their kids. Maybe some of the kids who tried the method weren't definitely autistic. You also don't know what kind of autism the autistic ones had. How bad was it? Was it Asperger's? Was it something else? Did the kids have other problems?

    You don't know any of these things because the guy in charge of the center hasn't published studies that give people ALL the information.

    Peer-reviewed studies force scientists to be careful about their work and force them to prove that what they say is true.

    Sometimes the system breaks down, but it's way, way better than the other option, which is no oversight at all. If there were no peer review and no FDA, people would be selling all kinds of garbage and making crazy claims about it.

    In fact, they still do, but we have the FDA and peer-reviewed studies to help us sort out the garbage from the good stuff.

    Unfortunately, autism is a field that's got a lot of garbage in it. I have a lot of sympathy for people with autistic kids because so many people are trying to fool them.

    Honestly: if the treatment really worked, the guy who owns the center would be more likely to run some clinical trials. If his method worked as well as he says it does, he could:

    1. Get FDA approval so that insurance would cover the treatment;

    2. Help millions of kids.

    3. Become a famous researcher who made a breakthrough in a very high-profile condition;

    Val




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    Hi twogirlsdad,

    Maybe you should turn your question around and ask yourself, why are you taking anecdotal evidence as your gold standard? Personal stories 1) don't tell you what the overall success rates are (an individual anecdote may be wildly unrepresentative), and 2) they rely on subjective impressions of success rather than measured improvements.

    There's also a burden-of-proof issue here. Proposed therapies basically need to be assumed ineffective until proven otherwise. The fact that this therapy has not managed to generate a shred of research in its favor is a very bad sign.

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    Originally Posted by twogirlsdad
    We've become intrigued by the whole Right Brain/Left Brain disconnect approach, As it is accepted science which i can GENERALLY understand.

    I also want to address this specifically. It is simply not true that any "right brain/left brain disconnect approach" to autism is accepted by serious researchers. Details upon request.

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    MegMeg,

    You don't believe in the science behind delineating right brain/left brain processing? Thats well beyond being generally scientifically accepted. Even from a laymans persepective.

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