When Anita Wixon enrolled her stepson, Ben, in the Pheno Brain Training program, each one had a different experience. As a parent of a child who is struggling in school, you look for tools, treatments, tutoring or anything that will help your child reach their potential. As a student, you want to master the skills that are holding you back from keeping up with your peers. You want to be good at math, or reading, or science or whatever you are struggling in. Anita and Ben were kind enough to share their experience so other parents and kids can see what brain training is all about and reap the benefits they have seen. Read their story, from their perspectives, to get an idea of what the program is, how it works, and how your child can benefit.
Why We Love Pheno Brain Training
ANITA - We struggled for several years before we found Pheno Brain Training. When Ben was in the fourth grade, he was being tutored in math three times a week for an hour each session. Plus, we were doing 1-3 hours of homework a night to finish what he couldn’t finish in school. It was horrible. Although we made sure to carve out important “down time” for him, it rarely amounted to more than a couple of hours because his homework took so long. Ben had a friend who had been in the brain training program at Pheno and that’s how we found out about it. Ben is like a different child now. He’s confident. He solves his own problems. He isn’t forgetful, and he’s actually funnier, too!
BEN - It doesn’t really seem like you are learning stuff while you’re doing the physical exercises George had me do, but it makes your brain work differently. I was surprised to do juggling and jumping rope. It took me a month to master jumping rope, but it definitely didn’t feel like learning. The ball tracking was my favorite exercise. It was relaxing. Now, after school is not packed anymore because I get most of my work done in school. I play games and friends come over right after school so we can play or study together for tests. I feel like I’m more in control of my life.
Getting Off an IEP (Individualized Education Program)
ANITA - We ran into problems with the IEP instructors. Every year, Ben would get a new instructor and we had to retrain them to get to know him and his specific issues and where he needed help in school. I know they were doing their best, but it was frustrating. Plus, Ben was out of his regular classroom setting for several hours a day, missing critical instruction in order for him to stay up to speed with the curricula. It seemed he was falling even further behind at times.
BEN - When I was assessed last year, I was reading at a third grade reading level. I needed to read 85 words per minute to get off of my IEP. When I was done with Pheno less than a year later, I read at 165 while the book is turned in a circle!
Problem Solving Skills
ANITA - Being able to read and retain knowledge and be able to access it again was the biggest thing. George and Pheno taught Ben how to manage his internal filing system. Before, he would take in information, but it would get stored in different places in his brain, so later when he tried to recall the information, he couldn’t access it. Now, he actually hears the teacher, learns the information, and accesses it on demand. Can you imagine how great that must feel for him?!
BEN - I used to get frustrated before and just give up. Now I step back, assess the situation and figure it out.
ANITA - I have seen the milestones and I’ve cried. To see the confidence...it blows me away. He has learned to be his own advocate. He knows now that he can ask his teachers questions if he doesn’t understand something. He would never do that before. He just assumed he would never understand it, so why ask.
BEN - I have more friends. I remember other kids names now. It’s just easier.
ANITA - His overall awareness of and confidence in his physical body has increased dramatically. In baseball, Ben’s hitting and throwing both improved tremendously.
BEN - I used to be afraid of hills on my bike - up or down. Now it just doesn’t bother me. It helped me with my gaming skills too. Better tracking helps with fast focusing, faster reflexes, and memory.
ANITA - The life skills that George goes through with the trainer and the student gives us a language to talk about things within our family. We appreciate the way George worked with both of us. He trains the trainer and then we can take that information and train our kids and family members.
BEN - At school, a boy in my class used to like to turn the lights out in the bathroom and then wait by the door when I left to jump out and scare me. Before Pheno, I was really afraid and hated it when he did this. The last time it happened, I just took out my phone, hit the flashlight app, and shined it in his face when I walked by and I said, “I see you”. He hasn’t done it since.
Improved Family Dynamic
ANITA - His relationship with his sister has improved. Before Pheno, everything was the same “size.” Tickling, stubbing your toe, or getting a cut all had the same reaction. He couldn’t discern which activity deserved which reaction. Now his sister can tease him or tickle him and he doesn’t just shut down because he doesn’t know what to do. He actually enjoys the goofing around and goofs right back. It’s a total change from how he was before and it’s really improved their relationship.
BEN - Before I didn’t like to play board games with my family, or gaming with my sister, because if I lost or it seemed like they ganged up on me, I would get really upset. Before I would have felt threatened and afraid and just stopped playing, but now I just keep playing my best and have fun with everyone.
ANITA - The investment may seem high at first, but if you’re paying $200 - $400 a month for tutoring that goes on for years, the cost is nothing compared to the result. The investment will repay you ten-fold later in life. He now has the tools to do things, to do “life.” He’s changed forever. It really is a fix!
If you’d like to learn more about Pheno Brain Training, give us a call at (913) 608-9343. You can talk to other students and parents about their experiences and success and learn more about the program.