The Power of FUN Sensory Training
Table of Contents
When we work with our kids, it often feels like just that…work! When I come across an example of how we can get results without all the challenges that so many treatments and therapies entail I want to know more. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a person that developed his own simple and fun neuro rehab training program that can help you and your child with sensory processing, brain speed and other symptoms associated with autism and ADHD. On this episode of the My Child Will Thrive Podcast my guest, Trent McEntire, shares some of his favorite success stories that show you just how simple and effective this rehab program can be leveraging the power of neuroplasticity. The stories were so encouraging and heartwarming – make sure you listen right to the end to hear about them.
If you’re interested in learning more about brain speed and the power of neuroplasticity, I know you’ll enjoy this episode with Trent!
- How Trent found out he had brain speed issues, and discovered his diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy. (5:29)
- How Trent discovered his struggle with reading was actually an eye and brain speed problem. (10:32)
- What sensory training is and how the symptoms might show up. (15:11)
- More about the Brain Speed Ball and how Trent uses it to help his clients. (17:56)
- What the Brain Speed Ball training is doing to that makes changes in the brain. (19:52)
- The results Trent saw with a child who struggled with ADHD and regulation. (22:20)
- The requirements for frequency and duration with the program. (25:10)
- Another example of a 13-year-old that Trent helped at a trade show that saw immediate results in processing sensory stimulus. (30:28)
- Why Trent still uses the Brain Speed Ball regularly in his own life. (35:56)
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More about Trent McEntire
For more than two decades, Trent McEntire has been helping people gain back their mobility – a story he knows well. Born with a mild form of Cerebral Palsy, Trent experienced pain and stiffness every day from the time he was a child. The methods Trent discovered to repair his own body also became the foundation for what would be his life’s work.
Trent attended Western Michigan University where he received a BFA in Dance, requiring in-depth Movement Science and Training including Feldenkrais, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Kinesiology and Anatomy. Trent was awarded the Presidential Scholar while attending Western Michigan University and in 2015-16 was named Distinguished Alumni for his innovations.
Upon graduation, Trent pursued a career as a professional dancer where he performed on stages throughout the country and abroad. Throughout his professional dance career, Trent continued to leverage his methods to repair his own movement limitations and also helping other professionals to overcome their injuries. Helping others is what eventually led Trent to opening his own studio where he focused on teaching movement therapy and rehabilitation.
For more than 20 years, Trent’s transformational methods and tools have changed thousands of lives for movement professionals and clients — children who struggle with focus; seniors who have lost their balance and mobility, individuals experiencing neurological conditions; and athletes who have suffered concussions and injuries. Trent’s transformational methods and tools are now used across the globe.
Today, Trent’s mission is to deliver his methods and tools out to everyone who needs help with moving past physical and brain-related limitations. The Fire Up Your Brain program was created by Trent as a fun, engaging, and affordable way to support this mission. In addition to his professional teaching, Trent spends his time problem solving and educating the world through his AskTrent Live programming, building a network of BrainSpeed Coaches, and facilitating speaking engagements to further educate the public on enhancing brain performance.
00:01 Tara Hunkin:
This is My Child Will Thrive and I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified GAPs Practitioner, Restorative Wellness Practitioner, and Mother. I'm thrilled to share with you the latest information, tips, resources, and tools to help you on the path to recovery for your child with ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder or learning disabilities.
My own experiences with my daughter combined with as much training as I can get my hands on research I can dig into and conferences I can attend have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed, trying to help their children. So sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey. A quick disclaimer before we get started.
My Child Will Thrive is not a substitute for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. The information provided on this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat your child. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before implementing any information or treatments that you have learned about on this podcast. There are many gifted, passionate, and knowledgeable practitioners with hundreds if not thousands of hours of study and clinical experience available to help guide you.
Part of our goal is to give you the knowledge and tools you need to effectively advocate for your child so that you don't blindly implement each new treatment that comes along. No one knows your child better than you. No one knows your child's history like you do or can better judge what is normal or abnormal for your child. The greatest success in recovery comes from the parent being informed and asking the right questions and making the best decisions for their child in coordination with a team of qualified practitioners in different areas of specialty. Today's podcast is sponsored by the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. In order to learn more about the summit and to sign up for free, please go to mychildwillthrive.com/summit.
2:08 Tara Hunkin:
Hi, welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I'm Tara Hunkin and I'm really excited to bring to you today an interview I did with Trent McEntire. Trent is going to talk to us today about brain speed and a simple neuro rehab program he developed that can help you and your child with sensory processing and brain speed and a number of associated symptoms. I want to make sure you hang on right to the end because he tells a great story about a client that he worked with with autism and the amazing results that they got immediately from just doing this simple training with their child.
If you enjoyed this podcast and you've enjoyed others in the past, I would love for you to make sure you subscribe and also to give us a review. When you do that, it helps us reach more families like yourself and let them learn more of the things that they can do for their child so they can thrive too. Now let's get right into that interview with Trent.
3:21 Tara Hunkin:
Hello, everyone. I'm really excited to have with me today, Trent McEntire. Trent has been helping people gain back their mobility for more than two decades and he knows what it feels like because he was born with a mild form of cerebral palsy and he experienced pain and stiffness every day from the time he was a child. The methods Trent discovered to repair his own body became the foundation for what would be his life's work. He attended Western Michigan University where he received a bachelor of fine arts in dance requiring in-depth Movement Science and Training including Feldenkrais, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals. I may not have pronounced that correctly. You can correct me in a minute Trent if that's the case, kinesiology and anatomy.
Trent was awarded the presidential scholarship while attending Western Michigan Iniversity and in 2015 and 2016 was named distinguished alumni for his innovations, which we're going to be talking about today, which I'm really excited about. His mission is to deliver his methods and tools out to everyone who needs help with moving past physical and brain-related limitations. And we're also going to be talking about Fire Up Your Brain Program here today.
So I'm thrilled to have you with me. We haven't met before this interview today. I've been busy reading up on the work that you're doing, and I wanted to bring your work to the audience today because I think it's an incredible tool that you've developed and programming that is really accessible to families. So welcome.
5:03 Trent McEntire:
Thank you. It's really nice to be here, thanks for having me.
5:06 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. So Trent, why don't you start by telling everybody, because not necessarily from your bio, they'll get the leap from the movement training and all that. Although we do talk about movement and the connection to the brain here, but why don't you talk a bit about your story in terms of where you started as a child and how you got to where you are at today?
5:29 Trent McEntire:
Yeah, I've been my own client and my own patient my whole life. So it goes from being, being the guinea pig to helping others. So I'm happy to share it.
What was amazing is as a kid, I was always athletic and I was always, I was playing basketball and on my bike a lot. And I grew up on a farm, so I'm climbing the hay and very active. I'm also pretty creative. And so when I got into dance, when I was in high school, it became a viable way for me to actually go to college and get a scholarship and get higher education, which was great. So I did that. Got into Western, which is a great school for dance. It's a great school anyway, but as I was going through my training, I was improving of course, and lifting weights and doing Pilates and dancing seven hours a day and studying movement sciences.
And then I got to a place in my college career where I'd wake up in the morning and I wasn't able to walk to the shower. I was hobbling. I had pain from the knees down and it really felt like it could be like a career ender kind of a situation because it was so tremendous and it really came out of nowhere in my mind at the time.
And so I was home for holiday break and just kind of complaining to my mom, like, I don't know what's going on. I can barely walk in the morning. There was so much pain and I just don't get what's going on in my lower legs. And she looked at me and she's like, well Trent, that's because you were born with cerebral palsy. And I was 19 at the time, and it was the first time I'd heard of any such thing.
First of all, it's like, wait, wait, what? And what is that? And why didn't I know that? But she was like, yeah, don't you remember when you were three? And I'm like, I don't really remember three, but okay. Yeah. The doctors put casts on your legs to force your heels down because you didn't have any ankle mobility. So to force your Achilles tendon to stretch, they cast your heels. And then I had these memories flooding back of, of course, my brother torturing me, putting garbage bags on my legs and throwing me in snowbanks because it was funny because I wouldn't be able to get out very easily, right?
So, I had these memories like, yeah, I mean, I do remember that and she's like, well, that's why. And that really became like looking back the moment where my problem solver that ignited big time because I wanted this degree, I wanted a professional career in dance and it was my way onto bigger and better things in my life coming from this little town that I grew up in.
So that was the moment where the fire really got lit for me. And that became an important fire because before I ever helped anybody else, I was trying to recover my own injuries and recover from a situation that I didn't really know much about. So it was a lot of research, a lot of understanding. And this is what I realized. I realized that I was doing a lot of things that made me stronger and that was great.
8:26 Trent McEntire:
And I was doing a lot of things that built better neural patterns, better movement patterns. And that was great. But the things that made better patterns didn't make me stronger and the things that make me stronger, weren't the patterns that I needed that made my body healthy. And so it was like a separation of brain and state. You know what I mean?
It's like as if the brain was removed from a lot of the work. And so, at the time there wasn't very much research on the brain and there really wasn't a commonly accepted practice of the brain being plastic yet that, that wasn't a concept that we were talking about. And so I ended up just putting things together on my own, trial and error, and rehabbing my own injury.
I did things that made it worse. I did things that made it better and I journaled it all and tried to figure out what. So that was the start of really what has become 25 years of work is just problem solving and trying to put things together that make sense.
9:17 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. And it's really interesting how I think a lot of people can relate to that in terms of, well, especially parents that are my age and their kids are that age. There wasn't a lot of conversation around neuroplasticity when I was first struggling with things with my daughter as well. And it took a while. It took a lot of digging to find aside from the fact that the internet wasn't what it is today.
When you look 17 years ago, when I got started as well. And then obviously 20 years of that work, you really had to go digging in different places. So it's amazing that you were able to find that, figure it out and also I love the whole trial and error because I think we, all of us parents feel like that we're doing that on a constant basis so we totally understand that. But it's awesome to have someone that's been through all that and then can deliver their expertise and wisdom to those of us that may still need it and can shorten that learning curve so much. You also talk about, and through your work, you talk about your challenges around learning. And I noticed that you were talking about the fact that you felt that dance was your way to higher education. Is that because you struggled with learning as well?
10:32 Trent McEntire:
Yeah. I thought I struggled at learning. I struggled at reading, which is the pathway to learning right. And so, the solution and it was common. It's still common now, unfortunately, I'm hoping to help change this, is that okay you know that thing that you really struggle with? Let's give you more of that thing. Instead of looking like properly assessing what's really going on. So what happened is it was really third grade when my third grade teacher and I won't say her name because I'm sure she's doing the best she could, but it was like, parent teacher conferences, Trent struggles at reading.
So what I really need you to do is to practice reading at home and to do that, we're going to give him more reading. So here's this, I wish I had it. It'd be so great to have this on a shelf, which was like this green plastic, it looks like a fishing lure box and you open it up. And there was just like 40 little books in it. And each book had questions for comprehension at the end. And so I had more homework to do on top of the work I was already doing for school.
So school was slow at third grade, you wouldn't normally have homework necessarily, but I did because I was slow. I couldn't read very fast. I didn't read very well. So I always had homework but then I had more homework. So that it felt like, well, I'm just dumb. I just don't know how to do this thing. And as it turns out that just wasn't the case. And it took many years later. I was 33 when I discovered what the real issue was. And I'll tell you my solution through college and after college to learn things was audio books. I mean, I've got more audio books than most people will ever have in their life, because that was a solution.
I was a problem solver. So, and I still am. So it's like, I'll do audio books and I'll learn everything I can. And in college, when there wasn't an audio version of what I needed, I would get up at six and seven in the morning and stand up and read my books for my classes I was about to go to,
because what would happen for me when I would read, I get one or two sentences in and I would fall asleep. And it was, I learned that that was because of something that was happening neurologically that would cause that.
So fast forward to now I'm 33 and I was listening to an audio book and I was telling a client of mine, who I was helping, this is a great book series, and I need to get the next book and maybe I'll get it before I go on my trip to California, I'm going to a conference. And she came in the next day with the book like, Hey, I got that the next copy of the book for you so you can read it when you're on your trip. And I was like, oh, that's great. Now I've got to buy the audio book, listen to the audio book, give her the book back and be like, it was a great book, thank you. Like a whole thing because at the time I had a lot of shame of not being able to read, right?
13:07 Trent McEntire:
But it wasn't a literacy issue as it turns out. So I go to the conference and at the conference, I'm walking around the floor and I met a vision therapist and the vision therapist did a couple eye exercises with me. And the other part of my world, the flame got lit when I was in college and that problem solving and looking at the brain and movement.
But then when the eyes got on board and I started looking at senses, it's when everything changed for me. And this just few minutes of eye exercises were amazing. I went back to my booth and a friend had stopped by and I'd missed her. And so she wrote me kind of like a half a page note or so, and I picked it up and I read it, like, I've never read in my life. I was so fast, clear comprehension. And I was like, it's my eyes. My eyes are the issue because my eyes aren't working well together. And it's really important to know that if you are working with kids and teaching them reading. And so, my third grade teacher didn't didn't know, we didn't know if the brain is plastic. We didn't know the eyes were important, so I can't hold her at fault, but that was the issue all along. What a crazy discovery to make, you know?
14:17 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah, no, it is. And it's almost heartbreaking to learn it at 33, but yet it's the next phase. And it's amazing when we realize that some of these, what seems like small things lead to big, big, big changes, and that's what's so cool about the plasticity of the brain and also understanding the impact of certain sensory in this case, being vision, not working properly, the cascade effect of that type of what is really a small change, it has a massive impact overall on reading and learning. So how would you describe, because we're going to get into talking about sensory training and like what do you do? Well, vision's the problem and all these things. How do you describe what sensory training is to you?
15:11 Trent McEntire:
Yeah. Let's make this as easy as possible for everybody listening and watching, because it can be sophisticated and you can make it very complicated, but it's very simple. Let's make an analogy. So just like you might go to the gym or go to a Pilates class and make yourself stronger, you make your joints strong, flexible, and you can gain coordination.
The same thing as possible with your senses and especially eyes. So when we talk about sensory training, it's literally making your eyes stronger, more coordinated, have better range of motion. It's that simple. And if you make it that simple, then it's like, okay, I can wrap my head around this because you can go down the neurology rabbit holes, which are fun for some of us, but not everybody wants to go down those rabbit holes and, and really dive in. And the terminology can get confusing and sophisticated really quick. So just to make it simple, it's just making your eyes work together, making them stronger, having better coordination.
16:12 Tara Hunkin:
Well, let's talk about what it looks like then in terms of what you've developed for kids in particular and how you use it and what types of symptoms it tends to resolve as they start working with them.
16:28 Trent McEntire:
So if you think about these important people that are vision therapists that have a lot of sophisticated tools and technologies that do amazing work to help kids and adults alike. For me, I want to make it accessible and fun. I want to make this so that it's almost like you're not doing sensory training so that there's more of a willingness from the kids to participate. Because so many of the kids that I've worked with, it's like, they've been to every therapist, they've been to every doctor, they've seen every side person who says they can help them. And so now they're kind of like a guinea pig, and they don't feel really great about the diagnosis or the label or who they are. So for me, I want to continue to have a way in to a solution so that means it has to be fun. So it's gotta be a game.
And maybe that's because I'm really like eight years old inside, but truly like neurologically, if you make it a game, the brain is like, yeah, I'll do this, this is fun. I'm not going to put up any fear walls. I'm not going to block this from happening because this is something that I enjoy and it's stimulating.
So, that's an important aspect of it. Now just because it's fun doesn't mean it's effective either. So I'll just talk about the ball because I think talking about the brain speed ball.
17:49 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. So actually let's talk about what it is that you developed. So you have this brain speed ball. So what is that?
17:56 Trent McEntire:
So, if you're just listening and you're not watching the video, it's a bright orange ball and it has black letters and numbers on it and they're A through Z and one through 12. So it's an inflatable ball and so it's something that we'd play catch with.
So we'd throw the ball back and forth, right? So if you and I were playing catch back and forth, what would happen is first, I want to make sure you can catch the ball because some people, we need to roll the ball on the floor. Some people need to hand the ball to them, so it doesn't have to be thrown, but if we're able to play catch, we'll play catch back and forth and make it fun. And then to bring the sensory training into it, I'm going to ask you to watch the ball, come into your hands and then tell me what you see. So you'd catch the ball and let's say you saw the letter B you'd say, B out loud and then throw it back to me.
If we were playing together, I'd catch the ball. And I would say Z, and I'd throw it back to you. And we would just keep doing this back and forth if we were both playing. And what's awesome is that, you can make this a game so you're not just standing still, you're moving your body and we know movement and brain performance are hand in hand. You're getting the vestibular system on board without telling the kid, you have a weak vestibular system. We've got to move your vestibular system. We're just putting movement into it and you can vary how we throw it.
So I could throw it to your right, throw it to your left, I could throw it high, throw it low. And what happens is because I'm asking you to track the ball as it comes into your hands, you're moving your eyes. You're moving your eyes in all of these directions. And I'm asking you to see something on the ball. So I'm asking them to coordinate without getting in your head and going, coordinate your eyes, really focus and make them work together at the same. No, just we're just asking for a task that the brain can accomplish instead of over instructing a lot of details. So it's a simple game of catch we play that way.
19:41 Tara Hunkin:
It sounds like it's really easy to learn and also really leaves it easy to instruct kids to do. What is it about doing those things though that makes the change in the brain?
19:52 Trent McEntire:
So two -outside of movement and sensory training, which are huge, that's a big umbrella. There's two really big things that are happening. First of all, because your brain prioritizes the information from your eyes, so out of all of the senses in your body, the brain loves the eyes. The eyes are pretty much the same as the brain, they are connected and they are so important. Because the brain is prioritizing that information, now we're doing an eye exercise without really saying it's an eye exercise, right?So we're getting right into communicating with the brain and we know that better perception equals better action.
So if we're looking for better outcomes, for your body to behave or act and respond and integrate in a way that's has improved action, we want better perception. So that better perception is strengthening the senses. That's the first level. So if we make the eyes stronger, because the brain prioritizes them, that perception improves and then the actions that we're trying to accomplish will also improve.
And we can talk about in a minute, like what those are exactly, because that's an important thing to look at. Now, the other thing is that when we look at brain speed, this is an important aspect to really understand. Let's talk about what it's not. This is not how fast can I make your brain spin?
That's not what brain speed is. Brain speed is we're looking for efficiency and how fast it can process information, because the faster you can process something, the lower the stress is and the more you can process. So by throwing this back and forth, we're going through the cycle that the brain already uses. So you're sensing what's going on, you're deciding what to do about it, and then you're acting on it.
So you're sensing the ball, you decide to catch it and you decide to say it out loud, and then you catch it and you say it out loud. So sense, decide, act is happening in the loop, which is already how we're programmed.
So we're just getting on that conveyor belt, getting on that treadmill a little bit and be like, yeah, let's run with this pattern that the brain already knows. And when you put those two components together, it's just, it's powerful and we see amazing things happen.
22:02 Tara Hunkin:
That's amazing. Well, let's actually talk about some of those amazing things. So what kind of examples of children that you either work with or have purchased a program and worked with at home, what are they struggling with when they come to you and what kind of results are they seeing from working with this program?
22:20 Trent McEntire:
Yeah. So I have a couple of favorite clients I like to talk about because I still have goosebumps when you just bring it up. It gives me so much chills because it isn't just about what's going on in their brain that it's improving that looks great on paper. It's what the ripple effects are.
So, for one young young lady, she's 13. I got a call from a mom, she lives in Chicago and she was given the ball for herself by a friend that I met at a conference. So I didn't know the mom, this person gave her the ball. She put the ball on the counter, left it there. Her daughter found it, her 13 year old found it, and started playing games with it. And then her mom got involved and started teaching her games with it. And for the first time in her daughter's life, she could sit and do homework.
Now, if you have a kid that struggles with focus and ADHD and regulation, all these things, you know that's huge. You know that changes the family dynamic, the energy in the house, when that can be accomplished. It's amazing. And so to get this call was like, it was really early in the development. And I thought, man, that's enough energy for me to do this for my whole life, because here's a kid that I've never met who learned how to play the game and it's totally changed your whole family dynamic. And that's really exciting to me.
And I do feel like it's worth mentioning that this isn't about having an expectation that X, Y, Z change will happen. It's more about being willing to do the research, being willing to explore, because that's where we get really exciting answers, which is what happened here.
24:04 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. without a doubt. And that is a huge accomplishment because it helps, as you said, it helps the entire household, but it helps that child, it helps the parents, it helps the teachers, it helps everything. And especially after the year that we've all had, I think that even the children that didn't struggle as much with the attention and focus are now struggling with it because they've been forced to be online so much over the course of the last year, year and a half. So it could be a tool actually and I love the fact that it was given to the parent because quite honestly I think that we're all suffering from a little bit of adult ADHD because of the overstimulation from all the need to be on screens all the time. Right.
When Zoom is a normal term in everybody's vernacular these days, we know we're in a whole new world. So with brain training of this kind, what are the requirements in terms of frequency, duration, and ultimate outcome?
25:10 Trent McEntire:
Yeah. So there's a few different ways that I suggest people use it. The first is making a regular practice. So at least once a day for about five minutes, you have a regular practice. And to make it simple, if every day is impossible, that's okay. Just try to find something that feels like a regular practice. If five minutes is too long, make it four.
Start someplace, right? But it's about making it a regular practice. And part of having a regular practice is that it has to stay fun. It's required. It's a requirement that I have, but it's a requirement of the brain to still feel engaged and stimulated in a way that you can totally accept. As soon as you've played the game that you've chosen so many times and you're very, very good at it, i's not as fun because you have the skill. So you want to keep changing the game to learn new skills, which is also part of the brain performance development is you're continuously learning new skills.
So keep it fun and make a regular practice. That's like foundation, because that creativity piece that's there, will keep it fresh and make kids want to play. So, and I think it's worth mentioning where this can go sideways for people is when they say you have to play right. Like those are like, don't no, no, no, don't do it wrong. Don't drop the ball, play it perfectly. Here's the thing. If you're dropping the ball, it's more success than if you're always catching the ball. So if you're playing a game that is hard enough that you drop the ball once in a while, or several times, that's better because you're going to be engaging yourself a lot more to figure out how to catch that ball, how to track it better. And that's the kind of reaction we want, right?
Sometimes we get caught up and being perfect like that. You have to catch it every time, you have to know exactly what the thing says and say it out loud properly in a certain amount of time, but that's not success. Success is putting the brain in a situation where it has to figure out how to show up and solve the problem while it's still fun.
27:09 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. Well, I love the fun piece and you talk about, there's different exercises. So, you described one of them to me, do you provide people with instructions as to all the different types of iterations they can create or are they being creative on their own?
27:25 Trent McEntire:
Yeah, that's a great question. First of all, in the training, we provide the foundational pieces so that you really get a good sense of like, okay, here are four very solid ways to play this game that I can understand. So one of those ways would be you playing just like I described, where we just named the letter on the ball, and then we go into other ways of playing the game so that you have a structure.
So like, okay, I get it. I can see how this works. And then we actually have creativity coaching built into the program. So you actually get a worksheet that gives you ways to put together your own game. So ideally when you've gone through the program and it's an easy to accomplish program. This isn't like your doctoral level program. This is like a few minute videos that just really get you through what you need to have to start using it right away. It doesn't require hours of computer time. Let's get off the computer, right? The idea isn't that you're sitting in front of the computer to learn how to not be on the computer.
We're going to get you the game, get you off the computer and, and active and playing the game. Well, what if we get you into creativity mode, that's where we really have success, because now you're coming up with your own games. And some of the stories we hear, it's like, wow, you play it on a hoverboard.
I've got a 13 year old gymnast who is just not great at math, math is where she really struggles. But she's very accomplished physically. Like she's quite capable in her body. So she's on a hoverboard playing the game. Like I can't even stand on a hoverboard, let alone play a brain speed ball on the hoverboard.
So we do want them to eventually have enough confidence to creatively come up with their own game and that's pretty easy for kids. And so the training really is for parents and kids, so that you understand really what the program is about so that you can see what success looks like in your own kid.
29:13 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. I really like that because I can think of a million different things that you could potentially do with it. It's actually quite simple and because it's so simple in terms of what you're actually asking them to do, but then you can sort of iterate it in so many different ways that I would imagine you can keep it quite fun for a long time.
And those parents that are familiar with a lot of the different brain rehab trainings that are available or the different things we can do to make things more difficult or otherwise I'm sure it can get quite creative, like things like balance boards and vibration plates, and you can do all sorts of things to stimulate the senses while you're doing it to get even more activation.
So you've talked about the one of a woman and her child that they got results, but like in terms of clusters of symptoms that people, so attention, obviously in focus and for you, it resolved things like reading challenges because your eyes weren't tracking appropriately. And then when we do that, we read a lot slower and then often the comprehension and that can come with attention issues as well. What other things are you seeing people getting results with in terms of resolving symptoms?
30:28 Trent McEntire:
Yeah, it's also worth mentioning along with my reading. When I was in third grade, they also put me on Ritalin. I was also always hyperactive, easily distracted. ADHD wasn't a term at that point. And that drug was not a fit for me.
I have very bad memories of the sensations I had when having to take that drug for me. So all I can think when I have this ball now is man, I could have used this when I was in third grade. It's like, that's the feeling I have with it because it's something that I can do on my own also. I don't have to have a partner that can play against the wall and, or I can play, like I used to play ball on my garage roof, throw the ball up on the roof and have it fall down and catch it. That's where I would have used it.
But for another young girl, I talk about that I worked with. Her mom brought her to me because she is on the autism spectrum, but I love finding another thing to think about and talk about with the kid that isn't their diagnosis or that they're autistic, or they have Asperger's or whatever that thing is that they're coming to. So for this young girl,
I said, what's something that you really love to do that you want to improve? She's like well I really love dance. And I'm like, well, I happen to have some experience in this, and this is a great fit, right? And I said, well, what are some of the things that your dance teacher, your ballet teacher, tells you that she wants you to improve or gives you corrections on? And she said, well, when I jump, she said, my jumps, aren't very high, I need to get my head up and get my eyes up and get my legs further apart.
I was like, okay, and this was at a trade show. So let's just do some leaps across the floor. So they had this young girl just to show me what her jumps were without any instruction for me, just what they look like and what they feel like to her because those are two things that are important.
It's like, I can see what it looks like, but I also want you to drop in and go, what does this feel like? What am I noticing to build that awareness piece? Which is awesome for plasticity. So she did that. I'm like, okay, so then we played the game just like you and I played. Just having her catch it and name what she saw for less than five minutes.
And then it's okay. Try your leaps again. And she went across the floor and before I say anything, I always want to know what they notice. So what do you notice? She's like, that was easier. That was a really weird, like, why was it easier? I would just play the game of catch. And I felt like I jumped higher and I said, yeah. And your eyes were up and nobody told you to lift your eyes up. And she was like, that was really cool. And so we just played with other movements and played the game some more.
And then because her and her mom were at this conference and there's like a three hour party one of the nights and it happened to be in Las Vegas. So there's all kinds of stimulation when you walk out the doors, even when you walk out of your hotel room, it's just constant stimulus.
So she's like, I get a note from her about a week later saying I wanted to just touch base with you about what happened after we played with the brain speed ball. To give you context, she said, the day before we went out onto the strip just to go for a walk. And my daughter basically couldn't cross the street. She fell like halfway across the street. She kind of fell into a heap and I had to carry her off the road because she was so overwhelmed by how much sensory stimulus was going on.
33:51 Trent McEntire:
And then that night after we saw you, there was the party and it's about a three-hour party. And normally she can last about a half an hour. We go back to the room and that's fine. That's the way we do life. And she said, Trent, she stayed the whole three hours. And when she got back, she wasn't exhausted and she wasn't overwhelmed and never, ever seen her do that in her whole life. It was just amazing. And that's where, when it shows up in their life, where it matters without me saying, oh, that thing that people give you shame for and make you feel like you're less than like, we don't have to talk about that.
We can still improve it. So it's like a ninja move. It's like, yeah. When I was working with her, I totally knew what we were doing. We're working on regulation, we're working on her being able to have a more positive response to outside information and not have a stress response get queued up so fast. But we're going to talk about your dance. We're going to talk about whatever these other pieces are because better sensory training, better perception equals better action across the board, even if we're not talking about it. So that's where it's kind of fun to see where it shows up down the road.
34:59 Tara Hunkin:
That's amazing. That is a really wonderful story to hear. And I think a lot of people listening can relate to exactly that, no matter what the diagnosis is when your child has a lot of sensory regulation issues, unfortunately many of us have been through that and our children have been through that exact same experience where you have to alter your life to minimize the sensory inputs in order to make them comfortable and feel good in their bodies.
So it's pretty amazing. And this is why I always love this about a neuro-rehab of any kind. And especially that can be easy and fun as well, that you can get results like that so quickly. Do you find that you continue to need to, or you continue to want to play that game on an ongoing basis? Is that something you do to keep your brain as sharp and the brain speed there over time?
35:56 Trent McEntire:
That's a great question. I have a ball at both of my desks. I have a desk at home and a desk at work, and I have a ball at my desk. Not to mention, we have multiples throughout the house because, just for regulation and all that, let's just talk about regulation. Like if I'm sitting in front of my desk, on the computer for hours and I come off and the feeling is like, there's so much strain and pressure, and you've been processing so much information in this little space and I just grabbed the ball and I'll just play against the wall just to like, wooo, like lower the boiling water down to a simmer at least, so I can feel like I know which way is up.
And so, yeah, I use it a lot and I tend to use it when I feel like there's something like a gap that I want to fill in. Also if I'm reading because I do like to read and when I'm reading and I feel like this is hard today, I'll grab the ball. And that's when I'll use it just for a few minutes and go back to the book and be like, oh, that feels so much better. So it's a nice way to just kind of hack your brain, bio hack it, and just fill in some gaps here and there.
The cool thing is that what I've seen is that while you may want to use it on a regular basis, when you improve the skills and you keep using those skills, you know the use it or lose it thing. If you're using it, then you're not going to lose it. So once you've gained the skill, you keep using that skill, you build on it. So this isn't one of those situations where you take two steps forward and three steps back. It's really you're going to improve that skill so that you're focusing on a skill that you need for your life and then keep improving and finding other skills to improve.
37:35 Tara Hunkin:
Yeah. The old neurons that fire together wire together.
37:40 Trent McEntire:
Exactly. It's super important.
37:42 Tara Hunkin:
This has been amazing. And as I said to you before we started to record this interview is that I always love finding, well, someone who has created purpose and passion out of what they've gone through themselves, but also a tool that we can easily access and is low cost and works. And in this case is also fun, which is very hard to find. Something that the kids will pick up and do all by themselves as well as with their parents.
So can you tell us where we can find you and we'll also put links below the interview, but if someone is listening to this and just wants to know where to find you, where's the best place to?
38:29 Trent McEntire:
Yeah. I would say the website's the best place to go. Go to fireupyourbrain.com and it's important for people to know that you're not alone. So what I do on the website is I have something called Ask Trent, and I'd really encourage you to go there and sign up. It's free. And what I do is I send out notifications asking if you have questions, whether you have the program now, or you're thinking about it, you've been using it for a couple of years, or you're like, I don't know, I just heard it on podcast and want to see what this is about.
You can submit questions. And what I do is I go live every month and I answer those questions. So if you just drop into that Ask Trent program, you get access and you're not alone. So, you can feel like, okay, Trent's right there answering my question.
And if I can't make the live video, you also get access to the video later on. So you can get a link, so you can watch the recording just so you don't feel like, okay, there's this online program and I'm by myself. How do I know if I'm doing it right? So there's a community built around it
39:26 Tara Hunkin:
That's amazing. That's a wonderful resource for everyone. So I encourage everyone to check that out. And I want to thank you, Trent, for coming on and for creating the program that you have and sharing your work with us here today.
39:40 Trent McEntire:
Thanks for having me. It was a real pleasure.
39:42 Tara Hunkin:
So that's a wrap. Thanks for joining me this week on My Child Will Thrive.
I'm so passionate about giving you the tools and information you need to help your child recover. And as they say, it takes a village, so join us in the My Child Will Thrive Village Facebook group, where you can meet like-minded parents and stay up to date on everything we have going on at My Child Will Thrive. This is Tara Hunkin, and I'll catch you on the next podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com
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