Years ago when Sara was just a toddler it was evident that she was a VERY clever toddler. I taught her sign language and she could easily communicate at a very young age. As a result she was able to tell us funny things about her favorite toys and ask questions to get her needs met. When she started school she was typically one of the brightest in the class and the teachers often paired her up with students who were struggling. Her reading skills were very advanced and learning was easy for her.
But by the time she got to grade 3 she was starting to show signs of having difficulty with math. No matter how hard she tried she just could not memorize the multiplication tables like the rest of the class. We didn’t think much of it because no one is great at everything, and now we knew what her area of weakness was – no big deal.
Of course as time passed she began a slow decline in most areas. School was no longer easy and she started to fall behind. Sara was diagnosed with ADHD in grade 5 and it was evident that it was an accurate diagnosis. She really struggled to stay focused when studying, she had difficulty remembering what she’d learned, and she needed large tasks broken down into smaller more manageable tasks. She began to need reminders, check-ins, and additional supports. In a nutshell, she needed an IEP.
It started off with all the “basic” supports – extra time, quiet space for tests, access to technology, body breaks etc. etc.
But as time passed, even these supports did not adequately scaffold her growing needs and the IEP was beefed up each year. Eventually including things like: provide her with the notes, reduce new skills to smaller steps, highlight and read all instructions to her.
By the time we got to grade 7 (her most difficult year) it was a pretty hefty, and depressing document. It now included the use of a personal FM system, all work blown up to font size 18, reduced quantity on tests, reduced workload, and the ability to take breaks and go to the playground swingset when overwhelmed.
That is the backstory.
The point of this post is that on Monday my daughter’s grade 8 class had a BIG Science test. She studied all week leading up to it. She was focused. She was QUICK with her answers. She could remember the information. She could sit for hours going over the same text. She made flash cards. She did the work.
On Monday she sat in Science class and the teacher handed her a modified test. It met all of her IEP accommodations. It had a large font, uncluttered pages, less questions etc. She thanked him, set it aside, got up from her desk and took a copy of the test that everyone else had. My heart burst with pride when she told me the story Monday after school. I am telling you it was a party at my house – the whole family was so proud of her.
In that moment I didn’t care HOW she actually did on the Science test! She was a winner in my eyes. A+ for her!!
On Tuesday she went to class and the Science teacher pulled her aside and showed her how she did – only 2 questions wrong! Cue party #2!!
All of this AMAZES me! The fact that she was finally able to focus, retain, recall and on and on. More importantly – she could see the difference in herself. She knew she understood the work. She knew she could expect more from herself. She knew she was capable. She chose not to take the easy route.
None of this would have been possible without Dr. Nemechek and his Protocol. She is coming back. She is not only improving physically, she is cognitively getting stronger every day and regaining everything that she lost. It is such a joy to have her back!
**UPDATE! Turns out that the highest mark that anyone received (from three grade 8 classes was 85/86 – Sara got 84/86 and even got a better grade than her “Science obsessed” bestie! Proof that Dr. Nemechek is recovering brains!!!