Learning RX Works … Every Time – Again and Again

LearningRX Leesburg“He’s the hardest worker in my class but he’s just not making progress.” These words came from our favorite teacher, Mrs. Bell, regarding our son who was in 2nd grade at the time.

Having already walked the long road of educating ourselves about learning disabilities concerning our oldest daughter, we were no strangers to IEP’s and intimidating meetings with school officials. All the same, we were sure that our son’s problems weren’t nearly as serious as our daughter’s. His strengths were so much
more apparent and his weaknesses seemed minor. We listened to those around us saying … “He’s a boy, he’ll probably grow out of it. Give him time to mature.” It took another 3 years of his declining interest in school and his tendencies towards tantrums any time he was overwhelmed, that pushed us to look deeper.

I’m not sure why … maybe it was the way he was covering one eye while doing his homework… I finally asked him one day… “Do the letters ever move on the page when you’re reading?” And he nonchalantly answered, “Yeah, sure sometimes.”

WOW, how had we missed this detail over the years. No wonder he hated looking at words on a page, no wonder teaching him his letters when he was little was such a chore .. no wonder he was behind his peers–he couldn’t see what they saw … no wonder!

But now what? Well the first road we went down was to have his eyes checked. We found out that he actually needed specially tinted glasses to hold the letters still on the page (Irlen Syndrome) but even with this improvement he resisted school with all his might. For a couple years he sulked in class, avoiding work and lacking the
confidence that he could succeed.

As parents we were concerned that if we didn’t do something to help him, when he started middle school the next year, the problems would only get worse.

Our daughter already completed her program at LearningRx and what we saw in her was so life changing, we knew to sign our son up was the right answer. Although we suspected that he had weaknesses in visual and probably auditory processing–after being assessed, it was revealed that both auditory and visual processing were actually strengths for him. The areas of greatest struggle were short term memory and decoding words.

He started the ReadRx program the winter before he started middle school. In the first 6 weeks the teachers, having no idea that he was in the program, reported that he had “all of a sudden” caught up to his class in reading. Of course we were pleased to hear this but what really impressed us is that his confidence level over the next few months soared! Not only that, but things around the house that used to overwhelm him no longer incited the tantrums that we had grown accustomed to, he was a new kid.

What I loved about the LearningRx program was it they didn’t look like more school work (which would have been a hard sell to an 12 year old boy). Instead, our son worked one on one with a trainer named Evan and over the weeks the two of them really bonded-working on exercises that looked more like games than school
work. They worked his brain in an intense way but they were fun and challenging too.

When our son started middle school last fall, he made a successful transition to the bigger school. He stopped complaining about getting up in the morning and was getting himself to the bus without our help. A few weeks ago he couldn’t wait to tell me he got a 100% on history test. “It was on World War II” he beamed, “you
know that’s my “speciality” Mom!”

I couldn’t help but smile, when had my son EVER said anything positive about himself and school? Well the fact is, he says it all the time now. His grades aren’t always perfect but he now knows that good grades and success are within his grasp and he’s confident to try now. When telling another teenage boy why brain training was
worth doing he said: “Well it is hard sometimes, but now when I want to read a book I like, I can read it in a week, it used to take me a year! Don’t worry, when training gets hard, your trainer helps you keep going–I really miss my trainer, he’s cool.”

I’m so grateful to Evan and the LearningRx program, our lives have been changed in a way that I couldn’t have imagined. I don’t worry anymore about my son’s future, he’s acquired skills that are going to help him attain whatever he wants to try. And it’s a joy to hear his dreams … he is confident now, that they are within his reach.

By Lian Hollenbeck, LearningRX, Leesburg, VA

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