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How Does Brain Training Help Autism?

from by Kim Hanson of LearningRx
The fall semester is over and my husband and I are looking forward to the calm after Christmas to find extra help for our Autistic son. Could you please give me some insight on the benefit of brain training for someone with Autism?

I will answer this question with my own personal experience. My son Max (a twin) has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), a form of Autism and developmental delays. From an early age, I was given a pretty dire picture of what my son would be able to do and achieve. I've always looked at this question a little differently. Not "Can brain training help with Autism?" but, "Can brain training help my son who has Autism?" And the answer to that is a resounding YES!

Before LearningRx my son could not blend or repeat sounds very well. He had a lot of delays. Most of his talk was nonsense. Eighty percent of the time when I asked him a question he wouldn't respond. He would just give us a blank stare. About 98 percent of the time he wouldn't respond to a man's voice or someone other than me or his twin. He didn't want to step outside because it was too cold or too warm. He was very particular about what he wore and how it fit. He lined up his stuffed animals. He always needed to know what was happening and when. He would jump up and down and flick his wrists.

Brain training has done wonders for Max. He reads beautifully now and talks in sentences and paragraphs, something the doctors told me would never happen. He is always creating comics, writing stories, and drawing out board games. He is willing to try new things. He responds not just to me but to others about 90 percent of the time; a complete turnaround!

His processing speed has increased as well as his level of independence. Max has friends and is functioning so much better. When I describe how he functioned before brain training (to people who didn't know him prior to his amazing changes), they have a hard time imaging him functioning like that. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have brain training! Max still has PDD and you can still see symptoms of it. But, as his cognitive skills increased, the symptoms of Autism have faded and have taken a backseat to what Max can accomplish with his new, stronger, cognitive skills. The transformation has been amazing. We aren't done with brain training and will be doing some booster courses in the future to continue to close the gaps of where his skills are currently and where I believe his potential lies.

So to answer your question, I can't think of a better way to spend your time, money, or effort: brain training for a child with Autism.


Kim Hanson

Response compiled from Gunjan Sinha, an award winning freelance science and medical journalist. She has written well over 100 feature and news stories, appeared on Dateline NBC, CNN, and been featured on several national radio stations. Specific citations are derived from Training the Brain: Cognitive Therapy as an Alternative to ADHD Drugs. Scientific American. July 2005.

Kim Hanson is a former educator, mom of four, a master brain trainer, and currently Vice President of Training and Support for LearningRx, Inc. >

If you believe there is unrealized learning potential in yourself or someone you love, a simple cognitive skills test could be the key to unlock that potential. At LearningRx, we offer such testing as a wise and affordable first step. Please give us a call today. We can answer your questions and help test and strengthen skills that can lead to that brighter future..

Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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