Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Parent to Parent: LearningRx
Learning disabilities like attention deficit disorder can make it hard to keep up with the rest of the class, but there is hope for struggling students. Seven's Lynn Martinez tells us about a place that's helping kids train their brain in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Thirteen-year-old Justin Langford is training his brain. So is 10-year-old Michael Martin. The boys have learning disabilities that make it hard for them to process and retain information.
Michael Martin: "I do have ADHD, so I do have a bunch of listening problems."
With school back in full swing, they were struggling to keep up.
Justin Langford: "I was stressed out because I wasn't doing well, and I wanted to do well."
So they came to the LearningRx Center in Boca Raton for help.
Alicia Anfossi, LearningRx Director: "I'm getting a lot of phone calls from the parents telling me that the teachers are writing letters home telling them that the kids aren't finishing their school work, not handing in their homework, they're not focusing in the classroom, they're not completing their tests on time."
At the center, kids with all sorts of learning disabilities are assessed and paired with a trainer. They use a variety of activities designed to exercise and strengthen the brain. Think of it as a brain gym.
Alicia Anfossi: "It's going to train the muscles in the brain to be able to focus, pay more attention, strengthen all the different weak cognitive skills that the child might have."
Brain training exercises, like memory cards, help students retain information. Kids have fun on the trampoline and doing brain games at the same time helps them focus.
Alicia Anfossi: "That helps them with their selective, divided and sustained attention, which is great for when they are sitting at home doing their homework and working on a specific task. They're able to focus on that task because of that exercise."
Natalie Yorio and daughter Faith come to the center, and they also take their brain training home.
Six-year-old Faith has ADHD and had a hard time learning and getting homework done, but that's all changed.
Natalie Yorio: "School has just started, and she ended up having the same teacher at the same school, and the teacher says it's a night and day difference. She's actually the star student in her class now."
Justin used to spend five hours a night on homework and had trouble understanding lessons, but now his dad says he's like a new person.
Luke Langford: "He's like five years older on all his testing. He's fifth grade levels higher than when he walked in the door."
Helping kids of all ages learn faster and easier gives them an edge in school.
Michael Martin: "I can tell that LearningRx is helping me because my schoolwork is getting better. That helps my homework get better, and it helps my grades."
And if they have fun doing it, that's just a bonus.
Lynn Martinez: "Brain training isn't just for kids, some adults also go to the center to sharpen their cognitive skills."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
LearningRx Boca Raton
21073 Powerline Rd., Suite 63-65
Boca Raton, FL 33433