07 February 2017
As told to Leah Cohen
As a toddler, Yaakov was an amazingly well-behaved child. He was good-natured and easygoing; he would put away his toys when he was told to, and go to bed without a fuss. His beautiful smile would melt every heart.
However when Yaakov turned 4, our lives turned upside down. He became hyperactive and impulsive, to the point that I could barely leave the house without a commotion. I needed to take action, and with that I scheduled a visit to our family psychologist. “Yaakov is displaying many symptoms of ADHD. I strongly recommend medication as the best form of treatment,” said the psychologist. I was devastated by the diagnosis, but I adamantly refused to put my son on medication.
When Yaakov entered first grade, the problems seemed to exacerbate. He had difficulty focusing and paying attention in class. Yaakov’s Rebbe continually complained that he fidgeted and was always distracted. I was bewildered because despite his ADHD, I knew that Yaakov was smart; after all he was the first of his friends to learn to ride a bike and catch a ball.
One day I received a call from Yaakov’s Rebbe. “I just spoke to another parent whose son is in Yaakov’s class,” explained the Rebbe. “At the beginning of the year this boy also struggled with focusing issues, but over the past few months he has improved tremendously. He has been attending Neurolinks, a program based on Physio-Neuro Therapy which works to improve brain processing. I made a few calls and everyone I spoke to has given the program raving reviews. I think you should give them a call.”
I called the Neurolinks office in Williamsburg and booked an appointment to have Yaakov evaluated. “Children who have
a hard time concentrating on a specific task and difficulty keeping their eyes and mind on that task are typically diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Usually their attention levels are inappropriate for their age group and they are easily distracted and impulsive,” the director explained. “Yaakov’s underlying problem is really a processing disorder. Medication only treats the symptoms of ADHD, but isn’t a cure. Neurolinks provides an actual cure for poor focus, not a band-aid solution. We believe that Yaakov shouldn’t have to struggle with these issues his entire life.”
I signed Yaakov up and never looked back. Naturally I’m a curious person, and before I knew it I was knee-deep in research about the brain. I discovered that the root of poor focus is the result of undeveloped connections in specific areas of the brain. Yaakov was unable to focus long enough in class to collect all the pieces of information necessary to complete each task that was required of him. As a result his brain was forced to guess and fill in the blanks. Yaakov’s inability to process this information was the cause of his failing grades and disruptive behavior.
I’m now Neurolinks’ number one fan. Their program is based upon the understanding of how one’s own brain can make it difficult to concentrate. The program successfully addressed Yaakov’s issues with a series of exercises to improve the areas of the brain that weren’t working efficiently, ultimately curing him of all ADHD symptoms. Yaakov’s instructor was extremely patient and helpful, so that once he mastered one exercise he was able to move onto a more difficult exercise. The connections in Yaakov’s brain are now stronger than ever and his ability to focus has increased tenfold, even ask his Rebbe!