Isaac Hunter: Our 2014 Student of the Year
Isaac is the 2014 LearningRx Chattanooga Student of the Year and the 2014 National LearningRx Student of the Year Runner-Up. Below is his mom’s account of their journey and the changes their family has experienced thanks to LearningRx Brain Training.
My name is Lori Hunter, and I would like to tell you what our lives were like before we found LearningRx. Before LearningRx, our daily life consisted of defeat, pain, and frustration with no hope in sight. We had tried numerous kinds of ADHD medicines, food and bedtime changes, homeopathic and herbal treatments, weighted blankets, accommodations at school, and a whole lot of prayer. Even with all of these things, including the occasional good days, at the end of the day we still felt defeated and hopeless!
Isaac, who is 11years-old now, had been diagnosed with an extreme case of ADHD in Pre-K. When he was a young child, we started seeing anger issues and noticed that he would become overwhelmed easily. He had extreme separation anxiety and hated any change in his life or routine! He could not focus in a school setting and did really bad on big tests—like the timed end-of-year state tests. Homework was a horrible daily battle that took hours, even though it should have only taken minutes because Isaac would get distracted easily and had issues doing anything took too much effort on his part!
Around third grade, I started noticing that Isaac was very socially awkward and didn’t have any friends. He felt like no one liked him because no one would ever play with him at school. He would also never try new things because he was always afraid of embarrassment. Overall he felt left out and assumed he would never live up to anything. His self-confidence was at an all time low and I knew I needed to get him help, but I was still at a loss for what to do! I asked every teacher, parent, and friend for their opinion and ideas, but nothing ever seemed to help.
I had always heard that his ADHD would eventually affect his grades, but he had always managed to pull off getting all A’s and B’s. When fourth grade began, it all went downhill fast. Fourth grade was a giant shock. In school he began changing classes for each subject—which were all taught by different teachers. He started to fall behind fast and for the first time ever he was making D’s and F’s.
As a mother, I couldn’t take it anymore—I had to find help. I could not let him fail. I had to help him succeed. I had to help him get through this awful daily battle that left us both exhausted and frustrated. The teachers were doing the best they could, but nothing seemed to help permanently. Every time I had a parent-teacher conference, they told me how smart he was, but had no suggestions as to how to help him be able to put that “smartness” into practice.
In March of 2013, we were at the doctor’s office for a medicine recheck. When the doctor asked if the medicine was ok and still working, I finally just told him that I didn’t think there would ever be a perfect match on medicines for Isaac and that I guessed this was as good as it would ever get for him. Then the doctor told me about a place called LearningRx and that he had heard they were getting good results, so I knew this was my chance of hope!
As soon as I got home that evening I started researching LearningRx on the Internet and found the center in Chattanooga. I emailed them with a few questions and within an hour I received a phone call back with the answers. During that phone conversation, I scheduled an appointment for an evaluation for the next week and that is when our journey to our miracle began!
Right off the bat, Isaac and his trainer, Dawn, had an instant connection. She knew how to keep his attention. Even when he was getting tired, she knew how to keep him motivated. If he had reached his limit for the day and had an emotional break down, she always could get him back on track with either a song or something to make him laugh. I believe his trainer is the main reason that his confidence has improved so much—she was such a positive influence! Even now, because of their relationship, when there is something he struggles with or he is proud of, she is the first one he wants to call.
As we started this new school year, his training program came to an end. I was excited to see the changes that LearningRx had made and we are astonished with the difference! There have been so many amazing improvements in Isaac that I have noticed. On the first day of school, I was able to see a difference in his separation anxiety. He was able to go straight to his new class without fear and worry. He has also improved in his math skills, so much so that he went from almost failing all last year, to making an “A” in math this year. For most of the year, he had the highest grade average in his math class! Last year, I struggled to make him read small chapter books, but this year, he would read one to two chapter books a week and I never had to say a word to him! He even received an award at the end of the school year for reading the most chapter books in his class. He also won an award for having the highest average in his social studies class. Homework is no longer a battle! He just comes in after school and does it without any argument.
For the first time ever on the end-of-year state testing, he passed every subject! His confidence has risen so much that he now is more vocal in class discussions. He has so many more friends that play with him on the playground at school. He is now willing to try more than he used to and is even doing Tae-Kwon-Do. Overall, this school year has been a 180 degree change in him. I have had teachers and other school personnel that have come up to me that were amazed at how different he was this school year.
Before LearningRx, I had fears of what Isaac would make of himself as an adult. Now I have full confidence that he will be able to achieve anything that he desires in life. Because of LearningRx, I feel like his desires and expectations of himself will be higher than before. LearningRx has equipped him with the tools to be able to achieve great things with his life. I am forever grateful to LearningRx and to the awesome trainers and staff for what they have done in our life. They have helped conquer our defeat, heal our pain, end our frustration, and have given us hope for the days ahead. I want to share our story with as many parents and children as I can so that they can experience their own miracle from LearningRx.