By Jan Bedell, PhD, Master Neurodevelopmentalist


A common question from homeschool families is, “What curriculum do you have for ______?” Fill in the blank with one of the myriad of labels that are prevalent today – dyslexia, ASD, ADD, ADHD, dysgraphia, all types of syndromes. The answer is that there really isn’t one. WAIT! Before you panic or throw up your hands, let me reassure you that there are solutions to your dilemma, but it is not found in a specific curriculum. To find the answer, you definitely have to think outside the box. 

As a neurodevelopmentalist for 30 years, I can tell you that each situation is unique. Every child brings their own set of challenges to the situation and no two are exactly the same. 

Let me give you a few examples of possible root causes of specific symptoms that need to be considered for the best way forward for the child.  


If a child has trouble reading or is labeled dyslexic, a few of the root issues may be:

  • Eyes not able to track well horizontally and/or vertically
  • Eyes don’t place the image from one eye on top of the other to get a clear image to the brain- poor eye convergence.
  • Auditory processing, auditory short-term memory, is low so holding all the phonics pieces together to get a word out is a challenge.
  • Central vision is not developed well, causing skipping of words or lines
  • The brain is not storing learned information correctly which causes inconsistent recall, one day they know the word and the next they don’t.


If a child has ADD/ADHD symptoms or labels, a few of the root issues may be:

  • Hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation from visual, auditory, and or touch resulting in many of the symptoms on the checklists you find online or in a clinical setting, like distractibility to name one.
  • Metabolic issues, chemistry of the body is causing poor behavior.
  • Low auditory processing is a huge factor in these labels. Poor development in this area results in:
    • Inability to stay on task
    • Trouble following directions
    • Difficulty seeing cause and effect
    • Remembering to do chores
    • Immature behavior
    • Struggles with math word problems
    • Slow, low or no use of phonics
    • Challenges with following conversations
    • Low reading comprehension
    • More comfortable playing with younger children
    • and many more

If a child has dysgraphia symptoms or labels, a few of the root issues may be:

  • Poor proprioception, knowledge of where you are in space.
  • Immature pathways from the brain to the fingers. 
  • Underdeveloped muscle tone causing inefficient hand strength.
  • Weak central vision development causing: 
    • Inability to write on a line
    • Large letters combined with small letters
    • Inconsistent spacing of words
    • Hands tire easily with writing
    • Struggles to stay in the lines when coloring 

These situations are frustrating for parents, teachers, and children.  The good news is that the brain possesses an amazing, God given, ability to grow and change if there is the right kind of stimulation. 

Each label or symptom within a label has a reason in the wiring of the brain that allows it to exist. More and more often, I see children with multiple labels. This just means that the brain inefficiencies are overlapping causing many symptoms in multiple categories. As stated previously, each child has a unique set of symptoms. There are, however, many combinations of symptoms that we see with different labels. When the root cause is addressed it brings relief in academic pursuits without the change of a curriculum. 

Our job as educators, at any level from the home educator to the professional that is advising the family, is to look past the current functional ability- HELP MY CHILD CAN’T READ OR DO MATH!- to what may be causing academics to be less than desirable. Your first advice in this search is, “The full answer will not be found in any one curriculum.”

My challenge to you is to start the WHY search! 

Why is the child distracted? 

  • Is it too much sensory stimulation? To find out and discover some solutions go to our YouTube Channel – Brain Coach Tips. Look for: It’s Not That Loud!; Hyper Vision; It’s Just a Sock!.  
  • Is it low auditory processing? To start your search watch- The New Label on the Block CAPD

There is much more to explore here on our channel, when looking for root causes. We are also here to help you if you want personal direction. Just set up a free consultation at Brain 

May God richly bless you in your search for how to best help your child!


About Jan:

In 1992, a journey started that transitioned Jan from desperate home school mom of a struggling learner into a master neurodevelopmentalist.

With her new knowledge of brain optimization, coupled with experience as a public, private and home school teacher, she developed curriculum and training programs for parent and professionals.

The NeuroDevelopmental Approach gave her hope for her daughter and now Dr. Jan aka Brain Coach™ dedicates her time to helping children, teens and adults reach their fullest God-given potential whether they are gifted, typical or challenged.



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You’ve probably seen the scene from “The Office” where Michael, Dwight, and Andy run around the office jumping on things. That’s exactly what a lot of people think of when they see or hear the word parkour. But the truth is parkour is actually the discipline of learning to overcome challenges and become better every day and it is an incredible form of alternative therapy. I have seen a student come in with little to no control of impulses and within weeks of learning to balance and jump with control show improvement with impulse control as much as 70%. I love seeing children come in with special challenges, including dyspraxia and other circumstances which make their balance worse than other children. Because parkour is about overcoming challenges, their special needs become a part of the training instead of a hindrance. This is why parkour is such a valuable addition as an alternative therapy to a child’s development. Furthermore, as a child learns to move over, under, and through obstacles like a ninja they also begin to develop awareness, self-control, creativity and more character qualities.



Parkour, when taught in a systematic way that promotes safety, helps children learn to think before they move and to move on purpose, not haphazardly. For students with lack of awareness beyond their immediate bubble this is an incredible way to develop the ability to think about others and how their actions will affect others. It helps children develop critical thinking skills as they pick challenges they want to overcome and then break it down into bite sized steps and skills that can be progressively worked towards and achieved until one day the bigger challenge can be successfully completed. This is especially helpful for children who get frustrated easily and default to giving up instead of choosing to demonstrate grit and push through hard things. Another benefit of parkour is the opportunity it gives for autonomy. In parkour, students are encouraged to create their own path. There are no rules of performance like in gymnastics, instead what is good movement is based on each individual participant. Questions such as “How much impact did you feel when you landed?”, “How quiet was your landing?”, “How could you make that movement smoother?”, “What path would be faster?” help a child individually assess how they are doing with their movement and how they would like to make it a little better next time. Approaching a movement like this promotes critical thinking while allowing a child to have autonomy in their movement and what they believe would make their movement smoother, faster, and or more creative. Because parkour is a discipline and not a sport, it allows individuals to advance at their own pace and enjoy the learning process. This is especially beneficial for children who view the world differently and want an opportunity to explore and express how they see things.


Impulse Control

Another benefit of parkour for students who struggle with impulse control is the opportunity it provides for immediate feedback about movement. For example, when a child is balancing on a curb, if they stop focusing, they will have an immediate feedback of the results from their lack of focusing by falling off the curb. If while on the curb a child begins to swing their hands wildly, they will have an immediate feedback of how that movement affects their balance because the momentum from the hands will throw off their balance and cause them to fall off the curb. For a child to become better at balance, they will have to learn first with guidance from a mentor and eventually, through self-assessment, what they can adjust to keep from falling off the curb. In this situation, choosing to focus or hold their hands still will help. Once a child learns how to control themself on a curb, they can then take those principles, self-assessment tips, and awareness into other parkour challenges and even life.


While parkour presents a wonderful opportunity for children to develop creativity, impulse control, and critical thinking skills, it is very important that you, as the parent, help guide your child’s parkour journey in a path that promotes safety. Unfortunately, many YouTube videos have made quite popular the idea of kids jumping around on things randomly with little regard for the consequences of their behavior, to themself and or the property they are jumping on. As a parent, you can guide your child to in person or online classes that help your child build a foundation in parkour that promotes safety and character development. A program that emphasizes the parkour mindset over random movements here and there is a great way to guide your kid’s parkour journey. Once your child builds a strong foundation with parkour, then the sky’s the limit as they continue practicing, becoming stronger, and honing their skills every time they practice.


Hannah Waddle is the Founder of the Online Parkour School and began parkour in 2015. She immediately fell in love with the opportunity for creativity and overcoming challenges. She has spent numerous hours training locally, nationally, and internationally. She is one of the four females in the United States of America to pass the grueling assessments (physical, written, and coaching elements) and complete her ADAPT Level 2 parkour coaching certificate!

After teaching in the public school system for 6 years, she left and now focuses on helping kids learn parkour with an emphasis on safety and character development.


Online Parkour School – Facebook

@onlineparkourschool – Instagram

YouTube Channel




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By Faith Berens, M.ED., Reading Specialist, SPED Homeschool Board Members and Homeschool mom of two


Do you have children who have sensory processing issues, sound sensitivity, or are dealing with attention or anxiety problems? When our son was very little, he had many sensory issues. He particularly struggled with sound sensitivity, had meltdowns, and complained about buzzing in his ears, tinnitus.  He had difficulty understanding what we were saying. He also had trouble following directions, and was dysregulated. Then, at age 7, he was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder.  Our older daughter was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and a scholastic learning disability, dyslexia.  We were blessed to find the Equipping Minds Cognitive Development Program by Dr. Carol Brown. As part of that therapy, she shared with me about Sound Therapy Synergy, which she incorporates as part of the Equipping Minds therapy program.  

I am excited to share with you about Sound Therapy Synergy! The Sound Therapy Synergy method and program, developed by Patricia and Rafaele Joudry, is a unique listening system. It uses new knowledge about brain plasticity, and is based on the discoveries of the French ear specialist, Dr Alfred Tomatis. Dr. Tomatis said, “Listening is the road to learning”, and he discovered how to light up new brain pathways by stimulating the ear. He taught the primary importance of the hearing sense for healthy neurological functioning.  


Wondering what it is and how it works? 

The program uses highly filtered classical music that is specially recorded and is used to rehabilitate the ear and stimulate the brain. Sound Therapy stimulates the ear by playing constantly, alternating sounds of high and low tone while within the complex structure of classical musicStimulation via the sensory pathways remaps the brain, improving the way one understands and processes sound. 

The brain, in turn, sends signals back to the ear to improve its function. Research done on the sound suggests that this feedback loop results in better performance of the middle ear muscles and of the tiny, hair-like receptor cells in the inner ear.

As the ear “opens up” and becomes receptive to high-frequency sounds these are then passed on to the brain. Research has shown that brain function is improved through high frequency sound. There is an increase in blood flow to certain centers, along with increased electrical activity. 

According to Rafaele Joudry’s website, she reports that, “Sound Therapy listeners include increased energy, reduced fatigue with improved focus and creativity, a reduction in the need for sleep, and an almost permanent state of peace and relaxation.”  This was certainly the case for our family.  Our daughter reported that she found the program relaxing and calming. It helped her to sleep better and she wore the sound therapy listening unit, MP3 player, while studying or working on homework which helped her to focus. Initially my son could only wear it and listen for a few minutes at a time, but gradually, day by day, he could wear it for longer periods and then began listening at bedtime for about 30 minutes. We saw decreased meltdowns, less complaining of the buzzing, and less sensitivity to the loud noise sounds he would frequently cry about.  


Why we chose to utilize this program over a clinic-based listening therapy: 

I discovered the developer, Rafaele Joudry, was educated at home, so I figured she gets us homeschoolers!

The program is portable, affordable and easy to use. Our busy, homeschooling family needed something that we could afford and that we could do while on the go. Sound Therapy is played at very low volume on portable equipment, a little MP3 player, so it does not interfere with other activities throughout the day. The kids could wear and listen while in the car, when reading, working on homework, doing chores, exercising, talking, researching on the computer and even resting or sleeping. Typically, kids should listen for 30 to 60 minutes daily.  

The Sound Therapy Synergy program is designed to work with or complement other treatments such as speech and language or occupational therapy, meaning that both methods or treatment programs enhance each other. As the ear houses the organs of hearing and balance, it is the most fundamental and intrinsic to sensory integration.  Therefore, the Sound Therapy Synergy program, in my opinion, is foundational and complements any other sensory integration therapy program.  

I have always appreciated music and understand the power of music. As a reading specialist I have studied how music assists in language development.  Sound Therapy is a powerful tool and goes beyond what typical or traditional music therapy can accomplish because Sound Therapy actually restores brain and listening pathway function. The auditory and language processing “loop” is housed in the left side of the brain. As a dyslexia and reading specialist this is why I recommend pairing the Sound Therapy with an Orton-Gillingham based explicit and systematic reading instruction program because the Sound Therapy Synergy will stimulate and restore that pathway.  

I was impressed with the efficacy of the program. Sound Therapy Synergy program has been found to be effective for treating:

  • Tinnitus, sound sensitivity, ear related dizziness and some types of hearing loss
  • Stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, mental focus and wellbeing
  • Auditory processing, auditory memory, sensory integration and learning difficulties


You can access a white paper on the science of Sound Therapy for Auditory Processing here.

Because the auditory system influences so many other areas of functioning, it is an ideal focal point for intervention. The Sound Therapy Synergy program has truly been music to our ears, as it soothes anxiety, helps with focus, and has been an instrumental piece of healing my son’s auditory processing difficulties. Pairing the Sound Therapy Synergy with the other therapies we have utilized over the years in our homeschool has been so helpful in remediating our children’s learning challenges.  I actually enjoy wearing it and listening as well, as I find it soothing and calming particularly on days when homeschooling hasn’t gone quite the way I wanted it to go! 

Be sure to check out the book Why Aren’t I Learning? (Listening is the key to overcome learning difficulties) by Rafaele Joudry. 

I would also encourage you to watch this short video on YouTube to learn more.




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by Karyn Scott from Care2Rock


The healing power of music is truly transformational. When I started providing music lessons to youth in foster care over a decade ago with the non-profit that I started, Kids in a New Groove, I had no idea what would happen. I questioned if music lessons were important enough to devote significant time and resources to get my non-profit off the ground. It only took a few weeks to see that these lessons were nothing short of life-changing. Music provides an incredible opportunity for kids to learn to set and reach goals, connect with others, and connect with their inner, emotional, selves. As one child after another performed in recitals and opened for well-known Austin bands, their pride was inescapable. Many kids felt valued and seen for the first time. Others became serious musicians, still working in Austin today after learning their skills at Kids in a New Groove. 


After the success of Kids in a New Groove, I came up with an idea to host private online music lessons by connecting the best teachers in the world with students from all over. became the online incarnation of my prior work, but lessons were for everyone,however, our teachers still volunteer for youth in foster care. After witnessing kids in music lessons for well over a decade, the evidence became clear to me: Music can change the direction of a child’s life.  


Building a working knowledge of music is an incredible core skill, but the therapeutic aspect of music is often overlooked. Kids these days face stressors that are unique to the modern age: social media, a pandemic, climate issues, and mental health crises, to name a few. Music is a healing balm for many of these issues and can help heal a child’s brain by rewiring damaged neural connections. In fact, even kids who have faced serious abuse can benefit from this effect, as music can help regulate behavior and calm the nervous system.


Music can also create a safe space for kids to process emotions that are often raw and hard to communicate with parents and peers. Parents often struggle to get their kids into music lessons with so many competing activities; including sports and academics. Some parents wonder, “Is it really worth it to pile music on top of everything else?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Kids flourish while learning music; whether it is online, in person, or a combination of both. Kids still build relationships with their online teachers, learn the basic building blocks of music theory and skill, and learn to set and reach goals. If you are too busy to add another activity, online lessons are a great choice and parents don’t have to get in the car and drive to yet another activity. If your child is feeling overwhelmed or having trouble communicating his or her fears, give music lessons a try. Before you know it there might be the joyful sounds of music, and a happy kid, floating through your house. 



Karyn Scott received her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas in Austin, and received her law degree from Pepperdine School of Law in California. After college Karyn became an Assistant District Attorney in Austin. After rotating to a juvenile court assignment, Karyn noticed how many children in foster care were falling through the cracks and ending up in jail due to a lack of community resources. In 2004 Karyn founded Kids in a New Groove; a non-profit organization that provided Texas youth in foster care with a committed one-on-one mentoring relationship through weekly private music instruction. Karyn founded Care2Rock in 2017 as a social enterprise, solving the problem of growth by recruiting teachers to teach music to paying customers online from all over the country. Since teachers also agree to volunteer for children in need, the company’s growth is self-funded and sustainable. Through Care2Rock, Karyn hopes to help foster children and children in hospitals, not just in Texas or the USA, but all over the world.


Find Care2Rock on social media FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram




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