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A GRADUATE STUDENT LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM!


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Joined: Dec 22, 2013
Posts: 1
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Posted Dec 22, 2013 at 8:29:08 PM
Subject: A GRADUATE STUDENT LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM!

Hello,

I have spent many hours in front of my computer screen in hopes of finding the right brain-training/tutoring program that fits my needs. My reading speed and phonemic skills are fine, but my comprehension/inferencing/main-point-finding abilities are lacking, and my writing skills/grammar skills are lower than average. I think I can capture my problems by saying that I have GAPS IN MY FOUNDATIONS. I would be very grateful if someone could help me on this matter.

However, after finding evidence for and against all the programs I have researched, I am not sure what to decide on. My budget is quite limited but could be stretched to afford a high-paying program ($5000+) ONLY IF there is a high chance it will help me. :)

Background Summary: My age is 28 years. I am currently a graduate student hoping to either go into law school or pursue a PhD in cognitive science. Not sure yet...Everyone tells me of their belief that I am extremely smart. I think their beliefs are highly unjustified.....Anyway, my disabilities are ADD-inattentive, anxiety, depression, and lower-than-average writing, reading, and math abilities (the psych assessment said that I have a LD.) I was horrible at school (but brilliant at languages and still am. I speak Spanish, Japanese, and learning Chinese) up until college. Decided to turn things around and learn how to do school work. The battle up the 80 degree hill was beyond difficult. I worked so hard (getting a 3.0 was a huge achievement for me).....but did as well or worse as the mediocre semi-lazy students.

I was diagnosed with ADD at 6 yrs. old, but I thought I outgrew it. I didn't. Thought my school struggles were b/c I was just not disciplined enough. I made it to grad school and suffered more than I ever did before. I tried to improve my writing, reading, and analytical thinking on my own (bought Strunk & White's Elements of Style, attended the writing lab, tried multiple "thinking strategies" and a thousand other strategies), but to no avail. The improvements were negligible, and school is still a huge struggle. The medication prescribed to me are Vyvanse and Celexa. My meds are still a work in progress, but I think they are helping a little.

I am in Illinois, and so I looked for centers in that region. This is what I found...

The Programs I have Researched:

1. Institute for Reading Development
http://niu.readingprograms.org/level/7/
http://instituteofreadingdevelopmentteachingjobs.com

- This program seems really appealing. I called them, and they said they could help people like me. I think the program is around the summer, however, and I want to start something next month. BUT, I heard comments that it was a scam and they just proliferate throughout schools networks promoting a program that is not helpful.

-Criticisms-
http://www.yelp.com/biz/institute-of-reading-development-federal-way?nb=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UimxbEKBbCs

2. Lindamood-Bell (I'm assuming that you guys are familiar with this one)

- when I first looked through the website, I was getting quite excited. It seemed like this would be exactly what I need. My suspicion started when I could not find program costs. So I did more research. I found a lot of testimonials from parents saying that it was a godsend. Others stated that it was a complete failure. One pattern I noticed was a high correlation between the parents who had bad experiences and their child being autistic. Maybe LMB doesn't work so well for autistic cases?

I called them for more info. They said that I am a really great candidate for their program (of course.) They have worked with adults before like me. The program will roughly cost around 6300. Woa....I want to be almost sure that this will work before I commit, if I do....

What is with LMB claiming that their methods are validated by science? First off, "validated" is very misleading. I think they wanted to say "supported." Second, they haven't done any experiences, no randomized trials, and no controls. Just case studies. That worries me....Lots of people throw around words like "proven" and "validated" with not much understanding of what it takes for a scientific theory to have such a status. Neuroscience nor fundamental physics in any way has "proven" that these methods work. Sorry for the tangential rant :/.

3. LearningRX (I'm assuming that you guys are familiar with this one)

- So much I could say. I think they border on fame and infamy. This is a franchise that takes profit as a huge motive. But, there are a lot of great motivated trainers. I called them for more info, and was encouraged to get the assessment. Mine is scheduled for early Jan.. At first, I found LRX more appealing than LMB b/c of their more extensive research done and the lower price (roughly $5000
if I only do the 12-week program), but then I started finding countless reviews and reports on how underhanded, deceitful, manipulative their selling strategies are with parents oftentimes being left severely disappointed.

The company has a deceiving guarantee policy, their trainers are not all education specialists and hardly any are scientists. The worker pay is poor, some say the chain of command is dubious, and some say the training is just a bunch of flash cards that could be done at home with store bought materials and a lot of motivation.

-Criticisms-
http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/learning-rx/centennial-colorado-80112/learning-rx-prayed-on-our-desperation-to-help-our-son-with-his-learning-disability-centenn-303368

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2006/04/more_quack_trea.html

This one is great. I wish all programs had reports like these:

http://learningrxcomplaints.blogspot.com/2013_11_01_archive.html

I am really sorry for the super long message. If anyone could give me some ideas on what to look for given my academic situation and disabilities, that would be great!

Thank you for your time.

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eoffg
Joined Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 94

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Posted:Dec 23, 2013 5:47:32 AM

Hi Xharoun and welcome to the forum,

You wrote that you are hoping to find a 'right brain program'.
But behind this right/ left brain idea, is Verbal Learning and Non-Verbal Learning.

Where Verbal Learning uses Auditory Processing.
While Non-Verbal Learning uses a combination of Visual and Spatial Learning/ thinking.
Where I would suggest that your difficulties are with Non-Verbal thinking.
But more specifically, with Spatial thinking.
Where Spatial thinking is how we concieve of numbers. With the math disorder Dyscalculia, resulting from a Spatial thinking difficulty.
But another most important role of Spatial thinking, is that it used to organize our thoughts.
Where we use it form patterns of relationships between main points. Which forms comprehension.
It is also used for analytical thinking, so that we can keep track of where we are up to. As we think through an analysis.
But it is fundamental to writing, where it provides a plan and structure, for what we are writing.

Perhaps I'm making many assumptions that Spatial thinking is your underlying difficulty?
Though people with Non-Verbal difficulties, are very often gifted with Verbal thinking and languages. Which you seem to fit.

But in terms of Programs to help with this?
A most effective tool, is what is called Mind-Mapping.
Which basically uses a screen or page to organise thoughts/ main points, and recognize their relationships.
I'll add a link to a most popular Mind Mapping software program. Which you can download and try out for a month for free. To see if it is helpful?
They have programs for younger and older students. But it can better to start with the younger version, to learn about how to use Mind Mapping. Where it is important to make use of the tutorials they have.
You can then download the older version, for the next month. But many adult find that the younger version does everything that they need.
Though it's a bit cheaper, being under a $100.

http://www.inspiration.com/Kidspiration

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