The following stories I have written up from discussions on the phone with the mothers, fathers and grand-parents; they have all given permission for me to use their stories. Some are from e-mails. Most have appeared first in the Maati Talk or BrainsGrow Brief Newsletters.
Hidden in most of these stories is an open secret: No matter the intervention used, progress occurs when boy or girl (no longer children now) realise that they are able to manage their lives effectively. That they can study, that they can relax when needed that they can have fun AND be good students.
Recently I had a call from a grandfather who had found our address by Googling “Betakit”.
His 19 year-old grand-daughter was soon to have a birthday and when asked what she wanted she said: “A Betakit Study System, because my old tape set is broken. But I don’t know where to get it now that it is not on TV any more.”
Grandfather bought the up-grade Sound Study System and this was duly delivered Speedservice with a free copy of the GEMSHAPES CDROM Study Tips. When we spoke to him to check the delivery, he said grand-daughter was so thrilled to get the kit that she could not wait for her birthday, she had opened it immediately. (Thinking, of course, that she had a real smart grand-dad who could organise such a feat.)
And as we talk, said grand-father, she’s on her computer exploring the GEMSHAPES. Well, you can excuse us a few tears-of-joy.
Ryan A Fishy Tale (Dec 2004)
My son, my darling son Ryan has been a real trial and a tremendous joy. He was/is a classic ADHD case. Over the years, we tried all the therapies and every intervention. Cost plenty. The one that has made a dramatic improvement is the Eye-Q Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid marine oil capsules. For him it works wonders. But he is getting to be a big boy now, at High School, and he eventually persuaded me to let him become a weekly boarder.
Big Step. With a couple of wobbles it has worked well. Promised him a big fish tank if he did well this year. Also introduced him to the Settle and Grow set. Dramatically helped his sleep problem.
Then he started using the Absorb and Recall discs on his own (This I consider an important point. ADDers must be allowed to take responsibility for their behaviour. Life is all about choices and consequences. When they do make good choices on their own it does wonders for their self-esteem.)
One weekend he tells me that the two other boarders who share his room asked if they could also listen to the CDs while they study. He asked why. “Because we have seen how your marks have improved and we also want to improve.” Big, hulking boys!
Then, one night the house-master, unexpectedly, came to their room, and found the three quietly studying. He wanted to know what was going on, and what was that sound of tinkling water? They told him.
Ryan has just got his year-end marks. “A” aggregate with 86% for maths.
He gets his fish tank.
Update on Ryan (June 05)
Ryan, now in grade 9, continues to improve his school marks and his teachers report a “huge” improvement in his social interactions. He uses a personal TIME TIMER and also the Settle and Grow kit which he now uses without supervision from his mother or schoolmasters. He has taken control.
His problem subject at school has always been Afrikaans (he usually got of 25%) and one teacher said that he would never improve. [Ed: No comment.] This last term his Afrikaans mark has gone to 75%, his history to 85%, his maths to 92% and his overall average to 76%.
Of course, he is chuffed with this and he is now really on his way to performing well in the future. He says: “Ma, I’ve had a taste of success. And it feels good!”
Update on Ryan (Dec 05)
Remember the teenager, Ryan, who has also been using the program for over a year. In these last exams, he has achieved an average of 80 %. (Remember this was the boy that failed some subjects last year with Afrikaans at less that 30 %.) His Afrikaans marks were 75% at this year-end. The only new intervention for Ryan was to use the Settle and Grow CDs. He was already on nutritional supplements and Eye-Q and did not respond to Ritalin.
In this last year his self-esteem and leadership abilities have blossomed. He has excelled in academic, sport, and music. One of the remarks on his school report is “We are so proud of your achievements and are looking forward to having you back at school next year to continue with what you started this year.”
Because of his changed behaviour and academic results some of the fellow students in his hostel have asked him for help them. They have a small group of AD/HDers who have regular group discussions; they help and support each other with their problems. [Ed; this is male bonding – plus.]
His Mom shares her thoughts: “Maati, we all, as a family, are so proud of Ryan but it was not easy for me. I had the greatest difficulty in the beginning of the year to accept the fact that I have to stand back and allow Ryan to “get on with it”. There were many times when I felt like intervening but all I said: “Is there anything I need to know? Or do you need any help?”
“There were a few times when the wheels were a bit wobbly but it started rolling again. This year-end’s report card and all the merit awards he received at the prize giving were just wonderful. And the joy to have a functioning AD/HD young teenager to live with. When we first got the Settle and Grow program I gave it to him and said it was his to use as he likes. Since then I have not probed exactly how he uses it. This I think was a turning point. Giving him the control and at the same time giving him a tool to help him use his special brain. He realises his brain is different and he allows for this in his diet etc. And as he found the CDs worked for him so his confidence increased and so his capacity increased. It’s all an integrated empowerment process.”
From a 15 year-old young man in Grade10:
“I have been using the Settle and Grow set of CDs for about six months now. I find the system of programs just great. The sleep programs were the first ones I tried and “whoosh” what a great feeling the first time I used it. I woke up the next morning feeling like a “feather” so light and rested and just wanted to get stuck into the days work. I felt so energised and not tired like I used to be in the morning. I also realised that for the first time, since I can remember, I slept right through the night. I used the program for a few weeks every night and now find I only need to use it when I have had a very exciting or tiring day.
I use the Absorb CD when I study and it is actually quite fun when my study buddies join me some afternoons to do our homework. We all work together with the program playing in the background. Somehow we find that we do much more work and we are amazed at the extra time we have spare to go surfing or play sport without that terrible dread of unfinished homework hanging over you.
Thanks Auntie Maati, we certainly are “growing” well with your Settle and Grow,
Tarine, son John.
“Holiday time is for play not a time for anything else especially when you are on a game-farm with your favourite uncle. John’s only focus is to enjoy this game-farm experience as much as possible. His Zulu friend, who knows all about the animals, will add to this.
So what instruction does mom leave behind for a special son and hope for the best? She decides there is only one important rule and makes this loud and clear to uncle and aunt who are not familiar with an ADHD teenager.
Mom’s rule is simple: it doesn’t matter if John does not brush his teeth, bath or even wash his feet. He can eat at any time of the day, maybe not even healthy food and all the other nutrition rules can go out of the window, BUT, BUT: John has to have all his nutrient supplements every day. (He does not use Ritalin, so that’s not a problem, he just needs his Omega 3 oil and other supplements.)
We learn that this rule was adhered to and I believe John can go back to the game-farm later this year for his winter holiday. So it seems a good time was had by all.
[Tarine, I suspect that uncle and aunt were terrified as to how John might behave if he did not get his nutrients!]
Karlien, Mother, son 14 years.
“Only got the program in September ‘07. We changed schools in the 4th term and up to then school work and results were a disaster. We got the Sound Study System and then the “miracles” happened.” My son Jake has ADD and once we started using the focus program the concentration improved, like, immediately. Attitude changed and school results just improved. And with the study tips and information on the Gemshapes CD learning became a fun time.
He has passed to the next grade with good marks. (Before September this was an impossible illusion.) Believe it …… this teenager of mine is actually looking forward to improve on last years results. We as a family really owe you one. Thank you for your help and support. [Maati says: I guess changing school also played a big part.]
(Maati Note: The Sound Study System has same CDs as Settle and Grow but does not include the Creativity and bedtime story CDs. So it is a better buy for the 14 year-old.)
Anne (mum) Daughter Annamarie (16).
Bought the Sound Study System for daughter only in late September last year but she tells me: “Annamarie and I both used the Recharge CD for relaxing and what a difference. Suddenly the sleeping pattern is better and for the first time Annamarie seems to have less PMS.“ .
“Using the Absorb CD was bliss. Studying became easier. When the exam results came she had a 20% increase overall and this made the difference from failing to passing.
Now we have the confidence to really tackle the New Year and we already have a study plan, especially after playing with the Gemshapes and understanding how to study better using your strong points.
“I am so pleased I did not listen to a “friend” who told not to buy these programs saying: “it will not work”. I have proved her wrong and I feel sorry for my other friends who listened to her advice. It seems that if one really wants to study you are on a very lonely path.
Thank you for all your help and support. Mom Anne [Ref 0210]