Learning Rx is not tutoring or classroom work. This program uses a teaching model that support the concept that the brain can be trained to think better. Using the science of brain plasticity (an emerging field of study that has shown that you can improve brain functioning with practice), Learning Rx works with adults and kids on a one and one basis to work on eight areas:
- Working Memory
- Long Term Memory
- Processing Speed
- Auditory Processing
- Visual Processing
- Reading Skills
The child or adult is first tested to determine areas of weakness and then a program is devised to address these specific areas. The program is unique in that the child or adult works very closely with the trainer and is not left on their own to complete a computer program. A metronome is used to give the participant a sense of timing and a time goal to conquer.
Regular readers of this blog will see that all eight areas that Learning Rx focuses on, coupled with the metronome component that specifically acts as an "anti-sluggishness" trainer, addresses all the areas of possible weakness of people with Inattentive ADD.
The program, as I mentioned, is quite expensive but it is effective. The one of one experience of someone other than the parent that is working closely with the child is invaluable and apparently powerful. I wanted to share with you a letter from one of my blog readers. I found the letter so informative that I asked her if she would allowed me to post this letter about the experience that her son has had at Learning Rx.
Just wanted to give you some feedback regarding our experience with Learning Rx. It is as you say quite pricey, however, it is also one on one training and not typical tutoring but brain exerciese that are really kid friendly and fun. Our son always looked forward to his sessions. Also it is definitely a commitment, 2 or 3 times a week for 1 or 1 1/2 hours, which can sometimes be challenging in the midst of after school activities, homework, sports etc. We are 1 session away from completing his program, at which point he will will be retested and they will do a comparison of his beginning testing to his end testing to show the improvement in areas such as Executive Functioning, Long Term and Short Term Memory, Processing Speed etc.
In our continual quest to explore every opportunity available to help our child with his focus we enrolled him in Learning Rx. Our son is ADHD Primarily Inattentive type, his grades have always been A/B and he has only the normal childhood social challenges. That said, we have personally not noticed any glaring improvement on a day to day basis from his brain training program. HOWEVER, his teachers certainly have, they say he has become increasingly more confident in how he expresses himself at school and stays on task more easily. Also, the difference between this year's and last year's state standardized testing was off the chart. He had been on the lower end of "Proficient" for his grade level each year, this past year his Language Art and Math scores increased by a phenomenal 39 points. He is now on the high end of "Proficient" in Language Arts and "AdvanceProficient" in Math. From what we have been told, since the annual standardized tests are grade level appropriate, most kids from as young as 3rd grade (when testing starts) through 12th grade fluctuate within the same 10 point spread from year to year. To increase almost 40 points is exceptional and not the norm. I can also report that his IQ testing shows a 2 point increase - I am not a believer in IQ as an indicator of long-term life success however, I have to assume that the increase is related to his Learning Rx training.
The one thing I have resolved myself to that there is no one secret wepon to 'fix' ADHD. We continue to use a variety of strategies for homework, like diet, exercise, vitamins, timers, and organizers. Executive Functioning training is for us another strategy which has given him success. At some point maybe medication will work best for him, but like everything else we do it will just be another option to explore for our child's continual success. I'm now investigating Laser Therapy - if anyone has any info on that I would appreciate it.
Thanks for all you do to keep everyone informed
I was asked my several readers if there was a cheaper way to duplicate what learning RX is doing. The answer is probably. To get started I think that you would need:
- An assessment of working memory, processing speed, reading skills, auditory and visual processing so that you had an idea what areas to concentrate on.
- A metronome to time and improve the time that activities took.
- A motivated one on one coach
- A series of brain games such as the ones that you can buy at Luminosity for less than $7.00 a month
- Some non-computer games such as this free Stroop game, this game called Set, and a game like Blink as well as some connect the dot games and card memory/matching games that you could get anywhere.
- A book giving you some background on the Learning Rx method like this Unlocking the Einstein book (this is a book that has some real valuable information about how the program works but it also has a lot of Learning Rx propaganda).
A properly trained high school or college student with an interest in education or psychology would probably love to do a program like this for about $10.00 per hour. I am guessing that you could buy the books and the games and be up and running for less than $50.00 and then the coach could cost as little as $30.00 a week. You could try it for 12 weeks at a cost of about $400.00.
This amount is far less than the thousands of dollars that you would pay for the real program. Granted, all of this would probably not be as polished or well done as what you would get at Learning Rx but it would cost you a lot less.