Thursday, March 17, 2011

Total Focus Program by Legacy Publishing, Part 2

The Total Focus Program

About 3 weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Total Focus Program.  This Audio CD and workbook system designed by Dr. Robert Myers was created to help parents and teachers encourage and support children with ADD/ADHD - especially in school, but  also in relation to family dynamics.  Dr. Myers is a Child Psychologist, and he also has a child with ADHD. 

After the introduction to the program, I sat down with the workbook, and I identified the behaviors my boys were having trouble with.  Luckily for me, they are both very similar.  This made my work simpler.  I chose not to focus on things which were stimming behaviors or tics related to Asperger Syndrome.  When my checklist was completed I was able to set to work.  My major focus was to work on their impulse control issues  so they would stop to think for a moment before acting.  Of course, help with attention and hyperactivity issues were welcomed, too.

Although the program is designed to be used for children in public school, I found it very easy to modify to suit our homeschool setting.  I think in our case the continuity and the  consistency were helpful.

The workbook is very straightforward and simple to use.  As a parent, I felt very supported.  There is also a parent support help line available if anything ever is confusing, or I need assistance with strategies.  In addition, Dr Myers has included a Bonus CD he calls First Aid for Parents. It has two lessons; Relaxation for the Whole Family and Happy Parents.

The CDs are very well done.  They are short enough to hold the attention of the child, and interesting, too.  There are two versions of the audio lessons.  One for kids 10 and under, the other for kids 10 and over.  I have ten year olds.. so I thought.. "Hmm.. "  I had the boys listen to both.  We would do ten and under first.  They laughed and could relate quite well to everything discussed, but the language was aimed at younger children.  They appreciated the older kids version too, because the vocabulary was more on their level, and they seemed to take it a little bit more seriously.   Dr Myers did a fantastic job engaging them.  He is very good at building up the spirit, rather than tearing it down.  The suggestions were intelligent, yet simple, and the delivery method made it easy for the boys to remember his words.

I have definitely seen progress in several areas.  The boys are more positive about what they CAN do, they are less reluctant to ask for help, and when they feel frustrated, a simple prompt can put them back on the right tracks, rather than sending them toward a complete derailment and meltdown.

There are point systems and charts to use which can really help kids aim for goals.  They will see their progress toward something they desire and it can be motivating.  I tweaked a little bit here for Aspergers vs ADHD reasons, but it is a great system for a neuro-typical child.

Throughout the process, parents are given tips for de-stressing, and creating a more relaxing atmosphere, especially during "homework" (schoolwork) time.  There are also great suggestions about helping the kids with accountability, concentration, self control, and slowing down.

For parents who are not accustomed to praise and encouragement, there are even some scripted comments!

As an Aspergers family we have been working on social skills for years.  These are addressed in the program, along with identifying feelings.  (We'll be working on these for years, but it's always nice to have somebody backing me up!!)

What I really like the most is the positive tone.  After the first few bumpy days, it is a very gentle experience.  If a family and teacher can commit to it, remain diligent, consistent, and encouraging, I think most children would flourish.   Obviously, it is not an "okay the last CD is over, we're done" program, but the skills will become habits over time.

The Total Focus program is available for purchase for $149.00 through Legacy Publishing.  It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.  You can find more information on the Total Focus website.

Legacy Publishing is a company devoted to helping families. You can find their many programs for parenting when you visit their website. In addition, there is Empowering Parents, a website with a newsletter where you will find parenting tips, articles, blogs,videos, podcasts, comment areas for discussion, and links to bring you to articles about your specific concerns. You can also follow Empowering Parents on Facebook, and Empowering Parents on Twitter.

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**Legacy Publishing has provided me with the Total Focus program so that  I could blog about our experience and share it with my readers.  I receive no compensation.  I am not an affiliate for the company.