It was as obvious from the beginning of kindergarten that my son, Hunter, was going to have problems in school. He was diagnosed with auditory processing, language, organizational, and attention issues. The school provided extra help, but the school’s methods and tools produced little improvement. For the first few years, the school kept saying it would get better and easier for him, but, if anything, things seemed to get worse. Hunter went through several programs outside of school to address his issues. One program, the Tomatis method, which is similar to the Listening Program used as the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center, definitely helped his auditory processing, but he still had tremendous problems with organizing his work and thoughts, and staying on task.
After a very difficult 6th grade experience, I turned to the Internet for something new to help make school easier. That is when I came across Interactive Metronome and the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center (ORCLC). I immediately called and as a result of wonderful assistance from the staff and great timing, Hunter started the program several weeks later. I always try to keep my expectations reasonable when trying a new program, probably due to the fact that I have seen so few programs produce significant results.
The Interactive Metronome Program they setup for Hunter was 21 sessions. After 10 sessions, Hunter started organizing his entire room, including his closet, without prompting. Up to this point, organizing his room well was not something he was really capable of doing. His brain just wasn’t able to do it. My first thought when he straightened his room on his own was, “Who is this child, and what have you done with my son?’ I was absolutely stunned. He can now stay on task too and is not easily distracted.
The best part is that these new abilities have carried over to his schoolwork. He doesn’t need me to remind him or help him organize anything for school now. In fact, he doesn’t want me to help with anything, including big projects. He handles everything himself and he doesn’t procrastinate anymore. He now gets his assignments done on time or ahead of schedule. This has been a truly amazing shift.
Hunter and I have an agreement that as long as he is getting B’s or above, I won’t get involved with his schoolwork. He got all A’s and B’s in 7th grade except in math. We are now addressing all the holes in his math knowledge as a result of his many years of not being able to put things together and organize his thoughts. In the winter of his 7th grade year, I told his Individualized Education Plan school team about our agreement with regards to grades, and one of the teachers applauded me, and then asked about what we had done with Hunter over the summer to produce such wonderful improvements. I told them all about the programs and incredible staff at the RiteCare Center.
Not only has school become so much easier for Hunter, his confidence has soared. I am so grateful for all the help and assistance we received at the RiteCare Center. My hope is that someday all children will have access to these programs in the public school system. Until then, the Oakland RiteCare Language Center provides an indispensable service to the community. For many children, this program is their only real chance for successful in school and life.
Submitted by Maureen, mother of Hunter