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Learning Rx - Did it help you?


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Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Posts: 14
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Posted Dec 28, 2007 at 11:00:25 AM
Subject: Learning Rx - Did it help you?

I would like to hear from various people who used the Learning RX Think Program and/or the Reading Program to find out whether or not it helped them. We enrolled our daughter in both programs hoping to improve her math skills, language development, auditory and reading comprehension. We found that the reading program focused entirely on phonics, so we did not complete that program since our daughter already knew the phonics rules. On Learning Rx's exit tests, she showed a drastic improvement in reading with her test results being at or above grade level. She's still at least two grade levels behind at school. In fact, our daughter showed two or more grade level improvement in 13 out of 17 areas on the exit tests; however, at school she's performing worse in math and in language arts. If she did show any improvement, it was in her memorization skills, which she has always been strong in this area. A lot of the activities in Learning Rx involved a lot of rote drilling and memorization exercises. On the math activities, she memorized the answers in the order the questions were presented because she practiced them so many times. Learning Rx claims that it can help with Learning Disabilities; our daughter is severely delayed in her language development, has an auditory processing disorder, and has Aspergers. We saw no improvements in the areas where she struggles. Learning Rx would not be operating today if it was not helping somebody. If it helped your child, please tell me in what areas and whether or not child has any learning disabilities. If you saw no progress, please tell me what areas you were hoping to improve and list your child's learning disability if he or she has one. I hope that by reading your responses, parents will know what areas Learning Rx may or may not help with so they don't waste thousands of dollars as we did.

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demarti
Joined Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 84

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Posted:Jan 07, 2008 7:05:23 PM

I was parent trained in PACE/Master the Code and implemented it with my dd when she was 8. Learning RX is the 'franchise' name of the program. They may have some new updates/enhancements since we did the program so I can only comment on PACE/MTC as it was 6 yrs. ago.

PACE addresses cognitve abilities in processing speed, auditory and visual working memory (but more emphasis on visual memory), visual processing, auditory processing (from a phonemic awareness perspective)and logic/reasoning. Keep in mind that PACE was developed by a Developmental Optometrist, so it's heritage is more visual than auditory. I would not position PACE as a good program for 'language' processing issues. I believe that true language disorders are more sensory issues and not cognitive. You need to address the sensory issues before cognitive. My dd has language processing deficits too and I didn't see any real substantial gains either. But I didn't expect too and was doing the program for other reasons.

Master the Code is a reading program that has many similar components as Phonographics(which was the reading program de jour about 7yrs ago) and LMB. It's more than just a phonics program. It teaches how to break down the individual sounds(phenomes) of the words, the sound codes and then blending.

My dd had some phonemic awareness problems that MTC 'fixed'(ex. if you dropped a phonome/sound, can you say the word). She is dyslexic and sees words as a whole. Her tendency is not to read/blend from left to right, but would rather want to start in the middle of the word and guess. MTC really drilled the left to right blending and this helped. What I did not like was I thought all the various sound patterns/symbols were too confusing at 8yr old. Plus we were so burned out on PACE, that we only completed half the MTC program. It did help her jump to the next reading level. My husband was just commenting to me the other night that he felt this was one of the key reasons she can read right now.

A friend of mine has her almost 17yr old son going through Learning RX right now. He is almost half way through. He is a high functioning dyslexic(a very typical boy, popular, athletic etc), no verbal issues. He hit the wall this year in HS academically. I'm finding it interesting that he is somewhat enjoying going to this program, but I think he is experiencing success after feeling very 'stupid/frustrated' this past year. What he has said so far is that he is able to focus and attend better when reading a book, he is not as distracted. Although his grades have not improved, he says he now 'knows' what he 'knows' and what he does not. Before he was just totally lost.

He has a very different profile than your dd.

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Laura
Joined Nov 10, 2007
Posts: 14

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Posted:Jan 12, 2008 11:52:23 AM

Thank you so much for your input. I think we agree regarding the benefits of the reading program. It's probably also helpful to those children who learned to read primarily through the whole language curriculum, regardless of whether or not they have learning disabilities. Learning Rx claims to help with reading comprehension, but the program's advertising needs to be clear that it focuses on the mechanics, not the language. When I complained to the director about this, she told me the root of most children's reading comprehension problems are the phonics not the language; our daughter was the exception.
The math portion of ThinkRx would have been more beneficial if it had been implemented differently. Because our daughter memorized the answers in the math drills in ThinkRx, she is still quite slow and counts on her fingers while adding simple numbers even though she was quick on the math drills in ThinkRx . I warned her trainer about this several times as our daughter was practicing the same column over and over to increase her speed. At home, I started reversing the order in the columns to make sure my daughter was not reciting the answers, but I don't think that was enforced at Learning Rx.
Do you think the age of the child plays a role in how much they benefit from the program? Our daughter was nine when she went through the program.
I talked to a mom who said the program helped her daughter focus; however, at the same time, her daughter started taking medication for ADD, after being encouraged to do this by the director at Learning Rx. I am only interested in hearing from those parents whose child did not change or start taking medication during or shortly after completing the program.
As far as our daughter goes, we have certainly learned our lesson. Our daughter has been in speech therapy since she was three years old, and we will continue to focus on her therapy since she seems to benefit the most from it.

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kipsmommy
Joined Jul 08, 2008
Posts: 2

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Posted:Jul 08, 2008 6:20:13 PM

The ThinkRx and ReadRx programs actually have a huge focus on auditory processing and auditory memory skills and in fact get better results than any program I have researched in that area. When someone has reading difficulties, most of the time they know phonics,lack phonemics but the skill of reading is not automatic. What ReadRx attempts to do is create a fluidity of reading so the person can focus on content and not decoding the word. Their reading program gets very big changes but you have to complete the program. I actually know of three cases where asberger's students lost their diagnosis after completion of the program. Of course not all students get these dramatic results, but 98% of students get very good results. In fact over 50% of parents of ADHD students on medication discontinue their child's medication at the end of training. I wish the program had been more successful for you, I have had the opportunity to watch so many lives change right in front of my eyes and it's been an incredible thing to be a part of.

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Laura
Joined Nov 10, 2007
Posts: 14

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Posted:Jul 17, 2008 3:30:09 PM

From looking at people's responses on other websites and talking with parents, like many other programs, Reading Rx does help with the fluidness of reading. However, my daughter can read a sentence quite well but cannot tell you what it means. She has trouble answering complex why questions or making comparisons after reading a passage. We have enrolled her in a summer language program provided by a speech clinic at one of the local universities. Her therapist is focusing a lot on her reading comprehension, and it has been well worth the money ($175.00)! Compare that to spending thousands of dollars! The program is specialized just for my daughter unlike having a Learning Rx trainer follow a simple script from a book! Also, I have noticed through reading other websites and talking to a parent, Learning Rx can improve memorization skills, but there are lots of other programs and activities that can do that. My daughter's memorization skills improved out there, but she was already strong in that area since she commonly uses it to retain concepts she cannot understand. I also noticed on one mom's website, that her child went from making mostly B's to making A's. Obviously her child did not have any learning problems, but the program did enhance his cognitive skills. I have accepted that my daughter's Asperger's will never go away, since she meets all the criteria to get a true Asperger's diagnosis. Through continual speech and occupational therapy, we will continue to work through her social, language, and sensory issues.

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