A few months ago, Dr. Frank Lawlis met with three high school students who were struggling to make the grade. With exercises from his new book, The IQ Answer, Dr. Lawlis was able to retrain their brains.
"These kids are starting out further back than their peers. They've already flunked, so they already have a flunking experience," he says. "This is going to be a very critical summer for them."
Dean, 14, failed all of his classes. Natalie and Katrina, both 15, were diagnosed with ADD and failed three classes.
He also advises them to go easy on the sweet stuff. "The worst thing you can do to your brain is feed it sugar in the morning," he warns, throwing the teens packs of sugarless gum. "If you chew this gum, it will also make you smarter."
"One of the most ancient ways to get your brain working right is to use the drum," Dr. Lawlis says. He encourages the kids to move around and dance to increase visual spatial connections.
"My goals were to help these kids pass, and they all passed. They also gained in terms of self-confidence. That's really the prize," Dr. Lawlis says.
Three weeks later, Dean is passing all of his classes, Katrina has a B average in all of her classes, and Natalie is passing all of her classes with As and Bs.
"Yes," they both answer with a smile.
"It's actually based on solid science. When you move your body or listen to rhythmic music, then that brain begins to cook up. It begins to try to become activated," Dr. Lawlis explains.
Katrina says she's passing all of her classes with As and Bs also. "I like when we would chew the gum. Somehow, it would keep me focused," she tells Dr. Phil.
"It's very powerful and based strictly on scientific merit," Dr. Lawlis says.
"What are parents doing that is creating the biggest problem for kids in the morning before they go to school?" Dr. Phil inquires.
"By the time they get to school, they're half in a coma," Dr. Phil observes. "What should they eat in the morning? What do you call 'brain food'?"
"We call brain food protein. That's what the brain uses. So, we recommend that you have at least half protein and half complex carbohydrates," Dr. Lawlis suggests. "Peanut butter, nuts, bacon, sausage."
Dr. Lawlis also recommends breathing exercises and rhythmic music. "The rhythm increases the brain frequencies we need to learn," he says. "For example, marching music ... that particular kind of music really excites the brain, gets somebody very excited and inspired. This does have a direct effect on the brain."