LearningRx: Finding Solutions in Classroom

The breaking point for Chrisey Hillgen of Winchester arrived when her 9-year-old daughter returned from another day of struggle at school and said through tears, “Mommy, there’s something else going on with me.”

School had always been a struggle for Amaya, a challenge her teachers attributed to issues with her speech.

For five years, Amaya has received treatment from a speech therapist.

And for the past year, she worked with a tutor. Still, her report card was dotted with D’s and even an F.

Those grades came despite her prodigious work ethic. She routinely wrestled with her homework for four or five hours a night on assignments that should have taken 30 minutes.

The symptoms were obvious – she struggled with reading and was easily distracted.

The whole family had grown exasperated and frustrated.

That’s when Chrisey hit the Internet and learned about LearningRx, a national “brain training” program that helps build cognitive skills.

Unlike tutoring, brain training actually improves a person’s IQ through building neural pathways to make the brain work faster and more efficiently.

Impressed, Chrisey met with Aaron Zink, Director of LearningRx in Lexington.

“I felt very comfortable about the environment there,” she said.

“Aaron was open and patient. I bombarded him with questions and he answered them all.”

After an evaluation of Amaya, Zink started her in March on a 24-week program with a LearningRx trainer, who was selected to match Amaya and her personality.

“That made a difference because the trainer went above and beyond, and was very accessible,” Chrisey said.

For the first 12 weeks, Amaya worked for an hour three times a week with her trainer and performed tasks at home.

The second half of the treatment included an hour with the trainer once a week and more tasks at home.

Almost immediately, Amaya showed progress. Her reading and focus improved, and her ability to avoid distractions became a strength.

By the end of the school year, she transformed her D’s and F into all A’s and one B – good enough for the honor roll.

No more tears for Amaya.

“Her attitude has really improved and she has more confidence now,” Chrisey said.

“She now wants to go to school, and she volunteered to join a summer book club, which is a big accomplishment.

“We are very excited and gratified by her progress, and we would recommend LearningRx to others.”