Twelve-year-old Josie* sits at the desk in her bedroom studying her new vocabulary words for a spelling test the next morning. After a half hour she decides she’s “got it” and moves on to the rest of her homework. The next day in class she grins from ear-to-ear when she sees that she’s earned a “B” on her test. Her confidence is reinforced, and so is a growing belief in herself.
Serious school. Serious consequences.
The seemingly “small” achievement of earning a “B” is huge for a little girl who one year earlier was struggling so severely in all her subjects in her academically demanding private school that she was in danger of not being able to continue there as a student. For instance, a spelling list of 20 words would take Josie two hours of intense focus to study, and her test results were abysmal, D’s and F’s. She would be devastated.
“I’m infinitely grateful to Mike (Cohen) and his wife (Carolyn) for everything they have done for Josie and for me,” said Josie’s mother “Leslie*,” who had done neurofeedback training at the Center for Brain Training over the years for help with depression.
Josie had struggled in school since kindergarten, Leslie recalled, and it just got worse over the years as Josie was socially promoted from grade-to-grade.
“Josie was diagnosed with ADD, and the school wanted us to put her on Ritalin,” said Leslie. “I didn’t think she had ADD and didn’t want her taking medication.”
She had also been diagnosed with dyscalculia and dyslexia, which made more sense to her parents. She needed help, and that’s why Leslie brought her to the center.
Possible cause of her struggles – a birth defect
The problem, Leslie believes, was rooted in the earliest years of Josie’s life. She was born with hip dysplasia and spent the first nine months of her life in a “stirrup” device. It immobilized her lower body (as well as the rest of her) and significantly delayed developmental milestones, such as crawling. When she was two, she had a surgical procedure for her hip that required her to be in a body cast for four months. Leslie suspects that impeding Josie’s physical development impeded the normal development of her brain as well.
Josie tried and tried, but couldn’t comprehend
Despite making a tremendous effort to succeed in school, and failing, Josie kept trying, but she simply couldn’t comprehend the material.
When the school informed Leslie at the end of Josie’s fifth grade year that Josie would not be suitable to continue attending after the sixth grade, Leslie took action, and her husband took notice.
Although her husband was not convinced that neurofeedback worked, he reluctantly agreed to let her start training.
Returning to school a different student
Josie did a few sessions over the summer before the family went on vacation, and began regular training in August, a month before entering sixth grade in September.
With just a few sessions under her belt by the time classes resumed, the teachers were astonished at Josie’s improvement.
“The difference was like night and day,” Leslie said. “Not only were her grades much better—A’s and B’s—but she didn’t have to work as hard to process her academic materials.”
After one year of weekly neurofeedback training resulting in continued academic improvement, there was no more talk from the school of Josie having ADD or not being able to remain a student there.
Leslie’s husband reluctantly agreed that doing neurofeedback had been a good idea for their daughter. He had called it “hocus pocus” in the beginning but could not ignore the remarkable results.
“My husband would attest to the fact that if it weren’t for the Center for Brain Training, Josie wouldn’t be where she is, because we aren’t doing anything else with her other than brain training,” noted Leslie, who is more convinced than ever that Josie doesn’t have ADD.
Gratitude to the Center for Brain Training
“Seeing her succeed academically is incredibly relieving,” she continued. “I was worried that despite Josie’s good attitude she would eventually get to the point where the struggle wasn’t worth it, and she’d stop making the effort. Now she no longer has to kill herself trying to get good grades, only to fail and then beat herself up over it.” (Josie is still behind in math but has caught up in her other subjects).
“I’m infinitely grateful to Mike, Carolyn and the staff for what they have done for Josie, and for me,” Leslie said. “They genuinely care and are always looking to do what’s best for whoever they are helping.”
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.