A Breath of Fresh Air

A few years ago, a doctor friend of mine referred a young student to me for assessment as he was not doing well at school. Nick, as I will call him, had a history of seizures and I was concerned he might have cognitive impairment. He was taking drugs for the seizures that made him drowsy at times, but he was now stable medically and his mental clarity was improving.

Certainly Nick had cognitive abilities that scored below average – particularly those required for reading. Yet it was obvious that he was an intelligent and engaging ten year old with a great vocabulary and basic ability with numbers.

Nick’s IPP assessment results were daunting. We uncovered difficulties with balance, cross-over, spatial development, and most of the vision abilities assessed. The vision issues were linked to the medication and included some very low scores in tracking, focusing, and teaming. Many individuals would have been very discouraged by these results, but not Nick! He had some secret weapons – a mother who believed in him, a strong desire to succeed, and dedication.

Nick began IPP in the summer when he would be free from school pressures. His mother drove him to IPP classes once a week, and then helped him with balance board exercises and brain booklets at home in between.

Nick’s teacher kept great records about his challenges which included a slight hip problem and slow progress on his vision. Both improved with the balance board and IPP exercises.

Eventually the teacher emailed me:

“Nick is one of the most impressive students I have worked with. I am truly amazed at the progress he has made. He is so motivated and his mom is such an excellent encouraging partner. I see significant improvement each time he arrives at a session from practicing at home.”

Nick’s was indeed a very striking success story – impressing his school with his improved functioning. Nick had the qualities necessary, including conscientiousness. He had the SOI/IPP program two caring teachers, and the love of his family. What a powerful combination!

We forget sometimes what motivation can do and it’s always such a delight, and such a breath of fresh air to have “turned on” students.

written by: Connie Grist, President of SOI Systems Canada

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