Our daughter, Claire, is 20 years of age. She was diagnosed as “Other Health Imparied” at the age of 5. In her case, it was a catch-all label for “ADHD Sensory Motor Intergration Dysfunction, Speech and Language Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and OCD.” As a former Special Education teacher, I knew there were some underlying issues, but couldn’t pinpoint what was going on. Preschool was a challenge both academically and socially.

Based on the early diagnosis, Claire began private therapy with Speech/Language and Occupational Therapists, continuing into Middle School. Remarkable improvements occurred regarding coordination, sensory issues, and speech/language, however the older she got, the wider the academic gap grew until it appeared Claire’s peak was a 2-3 grade level. We saw no consistent improvement in her basic academic skills from then on.

I had expressed to a former educator that I KNEW Claire was not the “IQ score” as tested and that the schools were missing something in her abilities, that she was, indeed, more capable than they determined her to be. Her self-esteem about her intelligence and personality were at an all-time low in high school.

Post-Graduation became a daunting maze of finding meaningful opportunities, with endless roadblocks. All the while, Claire kept saying she wanted to go further in school. After a friend shared the story of Carol Brown’s Academic Success Center program with me, I immediately called. Following the evaluation, answers came quickly as to why Claire struggled so in school and how basic cognitive and visual skill building were the key and could be done through exercises & fun activities to unlock the keys to Claire’s learning challenges. How can it be that no teacher had EVER addressed or tried to work on these deficits.

Too good to be true; she gets bored easily; gives up easily; all rolled through my mind as Carol described the program. Then, it dawned on me that we needed to do WHATEVER it took to give Claire a chance to be the best she can be, to finally see what she’s really capable of, and if there were no results, at least we tried. Claire is heading into her 9th week of the program. Her ‘school persona’, make a fuss so you don’t have to keep trying, has been replaced with “I’ve got to figure this out!” She has pushed herself harder than I ever saw throughout her ENTIRE school career AND she has felt more success than she EVER felt before. What used to be tears when it came to reading or math activities now are met with, “Mom, I can SEE what I’m reading! Mom, the multiplication facts are making sense to me now!” “Can I read one more chapter to you? Can I do one more math sheet with you?”

Through the series of activities that Claire is working on to meet her specific needs, her cognitive and visual memory and processing are increasing beyond anything ever fathomed. She is seeing the transfer of skills to academics and is seeing the impact. We know Claire has a chance to show what she can do now with the tools she’s learned from the Academic Success Center of KY program.

Jennifer Mynear