The Learning Breakthrough Programme is available as a complete system or via the Balametrics website where you can order individual components. I choose to order the Learning Breakthrough Activity Handbook and Test Materials. For my $37 USD plus shipping I got two plastic comb bound booklets, seventy five and fifteen pages long respectively.
The test materials booklet contains details on testing oral reading (reading aloud), visual acuity (standard eye test), binocular teaming (ability of the eyes to work together), visual field, ‘Walk a Tape Line Test’, balance, size and distance perception and rate of motion perception. Some of the test require equipment available from Balametrics but some can be done using simple house hold objects such as a piece of string or a pack of playing cards.
The activity booklet contains background information on the brain and on the Learning Breakthrough Programme, a guide to how to use the programme as well as the actual exercises themselves. Most of the exercises requires equipment from Balametrics such as the Pendulum Ball, Balance Board and the Visual Motor Control Stick.
Reading through both booklets I was impressed by the range of test and exercises incorporated in the programme as well as the ingenuity of some of the equipment. It is very reminiscent of the DDAT programme and incorporates many of the same activities: balancing; throwing and catching; and eye movements. My estimation of the programmes effectiveness is that it will work for the same range of people for whom the DDAT programme works. At about $400 USD the Balametrics programme is considerably cheaper but as a purely home based system you do not get the on-going support and testing that occurs with DDAT.
However, and this is a big however, the Learning Breakthough Programme itself is almost unusable because of the very poor writing and layout of the booklets. Pages and pages of dense text explaining how to set up and perform the tests and exercises with not one single illustration to help. The copyright on the booklets states 1982 and the booklets very much have the feel of that time before the desktop publication revolution. The text reads like its written by academics for academics and whilst it nice not have your intelligence insulted it does mean that reading the books are hard work and not that accessible to the average joe.
I struggle to recommend this product unless you cannot afford or are too distant to attend one of the commercial dyslexia treatment centres and are willing to put in a fair effort getting to grips with the booklets.
- Learning Breakthrough Programme
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- The Sound Learning Centre Open Day
- Learning Problems, Delayed Development and Puberty
- The Sound Learning Centre