Tough School Year?

By Carol Garner Houston

Alex was diagnosed with ADHD. He refused to do his homework, had poor grades and didn’t pay attention in school. Because he had a difficult time organizing his thoughts, he wasn’t able to speak and write clearly. He was awkward and avoided eye contact. His days were filled with tantrums and moody moments. Friends were scarce. 

Then, the summer before his 4th grade year, Alex was taken to Brain Harmony.

Through standardized testing, Lead Therapist Elizabeth “Betsy” Printz, OTR/L, obtained a baseline of skills for Alex.  She drafted a treatment plan that included exposing him to the iLs Focus System-Sensory Motor Program along with neurologically organizing activities.

Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) has a suite of modalities that Brain Harmony consistently uses in the focus of care.  It is a natural, medication-free tool for improving brain function and is used by all ages and skill levels in some of the top clinics in the world. The iLs Focus System effectively "re-trains" parts of the brain involved in learning, communication and movement.  Combining an auditory program with specific visual and balance activities, the iLs Focus Systems strengthens neural pathways and improves the ability to learn and process information. 

After Alex was at Brain Harmony for only a short period, Alex’s teacher said, “Keep doing whatever you are doing! He has good behavior and is a hard worker!” His mother reported that he was able to transition without tantrums and that he made great eye contact with a smiling and engaging demeanor. 

And not only that, but take a look at his grades:

The Discovery Education Assessment tracks a student’s progress in reading and math at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year, allowing for comparison over time for Alex as well as comparison to peers at his school and throughout the entire school district.


Alex started the year below the district and the school’s averages in reading, but at the end of the year, his scores were above the district and school’s averages! The target achievement level for this assessment ranged from 1523-1628, which placed Alex below target achievement at the start of the year.  By the end of the year, Alex scored in the upper end of the targeted achievement range, placing him above his peers.


Alex saw similar results in math.  The target achievement level for this assessment ranged from 1512-1698, which placed him below the target achievement at the start of the year.  By the end of the year, Alex scored in the upper end of the targeted achievement range - equal to the school’s average and above the district’s.

These types of results happen every day, all day at Brain Harmony. As Betsy reports, “In as few as three months, children are flourishing into youthful, more attentive beings. Their conversations are full of excitement and with more facial expressions. They get positive notes from teachers and are scoring off the charts at school.”

Lindsey was a third grader with ADD, anxiety and a learning disability in math. She was having emotional mood swings and temper tantrums and refused to do her homework.  Lindsey was taken to Brain Harmony and enrolled in the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) developed by Dr. Porges. SSP is a five-day intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivities while enhancing social engagement and resilience. By calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

Take a look at Lindsey’s before and after scores from the Measure of Foundational Abilities.  (Note that lower scores indicate improvement.)


“I heard sounds of joy in her mother’s voice when she called to report the changes in her child,” reports Carol Garner-Houston, OTR/L, Lindsey’s therapist and Chief Medical Officer at Brain Harmony. “You could hear her smiling and beaming through the phone.”  As she goes on to explain, “Summertime is a perfect time to gain a year’s worth of skills in a few months. The friends that come to us over the summer not only meet expectations in the new school year, they exceed them.”

Brain Harmony provides the most powerful and proven therapy to help children and adults with autism and other learning difficulties.  It was started by Carol and Lara, two sisters who knew there had to be a better way. Brain Harmony is unique in the effective and flexible programs offered in the clinic, at school and, through their unique video coaching program, in the home.  

Their clinics are located in Grayton Beach, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach and are staffed by Certified Occupational Therapists and Assistants. “We are no longer in the space wondering what to do with these children, “says Carol.  “We know exactly what to do.”