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Try these brain building exercises to help children with ADHD, learning differences and other academic, behavioral or social issues.

Extensive scientific research demonstrates that when challenges with focus, behavior, academics or socialization are present they are often related to areas of immature connectivity in the brain. Research also shows that the brain is malleable, allowing for brain connectivity change and development, creating an opportunity for improvement. At Brain Balance, we have applied this research to develop a program that focuses on improving the foundation of development and strengthening the brain.

Here are four exercises from the Brain Balance Program that you can do at home with your child to help promote better brain balance:

Aerobic Exercise: Jumping Jacks

Get into position with feet together and arms at the side. Jump up and simultaneously raise the arms and spread the legs on the descent. Do 20 in a row followed by a 15-second rest for a total of 3 sets. CHALLENGE: Try it with eyes closed.

Proprioceptive Exercise: Superman

Have child lay flat on belly on the floor with arms straight out above head. Have her hold an arm and opposite leg up for 15 seconds and then repeat for the other opposite sides. CHALLENGE: Lift all four limbs off the floor at the same time for as long as possible (like Superman flying). The goal is to hold this position steady for 60 seconds for four sessions in a row.

Tactile Exercise: Number Tracing

With eyes covered, have child sit with arms outstretched, palms up. With eraser end of a pencil, trace a digit from 0 to 9 on the appropriate palm and ask him to identify the number. Do this three times with three different numbers. CHALLENGE: Repeat but write six random numbers at a time.

Academic Exercise: Contrasting Programs

Sit facing your child. Hold up one hand and tell your child: Hold up one hand opposite mine. As soon as I raise one finger, you raise two fingers. When I put my finger down, you put yours down. Whenever I raise two fingers, you raise only one finger. Respond as quickly as possible and put your finger down each time as soon as you have responded.

Use a somewhat random pattern such as 1,1,1,2,1,2,2,1,1,2. Repeat a total of ten times and record how often the child failed to follow. It is normal to make one or two errors in each set.

To learn more about why our whole-child approach is the most effective way to help your child, contact us online or find a center near you.

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