Name: Jayden Fryer
LearningRx Center: Woodbury, MN
Chief Concerns: not being challenged in school led to behavioral problems, lack of confidence
Real-life Improvements: increased confindence, improved social skills, greater challenges in school
LearningRx would like to give a huge “shoutout” to national Student of the Year finalist and second runner up, Jayden Fryer from Woodbury, Minnesota. Before LearningRx, Jayden struggled in school because his teaching team didn’t know how best to help him. He wasn’t being challenged and it was causing aggressive behaviors in the classroom. Jayden enrolled in a LearningRx brain training program and finally experienced the challenge he needed to succeed! Check out Jayden’s video to hear more about his happy ending!
LearningRx environment allowed student with Autism time to think, learn, and grow
Jayden’s trainer Sara had this to say about his time at LearningRx: “As with any student, familiarity and trust in the environment and in me was critical to Jayden’s ability to focus on training. His ‘No’s’ meant, ‘I need time to think.’ So, I learned to be quiet. I had to learn other ways to follow his lead about what was happening in his incredible mind. He was laser focused on my instructions and he wanted to do things perfectly. If he made a mistake, he used his hands to create a box around the number, nonsense word, or picture where he had made a mistake. Then he pinched his thumbs and index fingers together and “pulled” out the mistake. ‘It’s out!’ he would say with much satisfaction. Then he would repeat the exercise with the correct answer. What a tangible way to extinguish an incorrect response.
“Even though I was often tempted to skip some procedures because I just couldn’t fathom how I could explain them in terms Jayden would understand, I knew it wasn’t my choice to skip anything. It wouldn’t be fair to underestimate him. I just needed to be creative. It became an adventure to see what explanation would suddenly flood his brain with understanding. It was also enormously rewarding to keep searching for a way to help Jayden understand, because his joy of learning was so exuberant. With greater understanding of procedures came greater confidence. If he made a mistake, he kept practicing. Never once did he complain about something being too hard. He never made excuses. He never let distractions in the room interfere with his focus. How satisfying it was to train Jayden who was so eager to learn!
“His delight was infectious. Other trainers were jealous that he was my student. We all felt a bit out of sorts if he was absent. Our energy wasn’t the quite the same. Our joy wasn’t quite as fulfilling. Other students, who had initially been a bit reserved as they tried to understand Jayden’s uniqueness, started to use some of his techniques because they were so effective. They chuckled when he muttered some things that had meaning only to him. It was just thinking out loud in a different way, we all realized. That gave voice to other students’ inner struggles. They could relax and be themselves because Jayden was himself. All of us could be more vulnerable.
“The most remarkable realization I had about Jayden was really a revelation about how we think about people in general. I attended Jayden’s IEP meeting to lend support for him at the end of his school year and to try to explain how much he had progressed. Staff members had looked at Jayden through a particular lens. They acknowledged that he had made improvements in LearningRx, but thought that there wasn’t a way to replicate any aspect of our training in the school setting. They thought that I let him direct his training when I gave him a choice between two perfectly acceptable alternatives. They thought he was threatening and weren’t quite sure how to gain his trust. They were not aware of his great capacity. I had had many of those feelings, too, when I began to train Jayden. With LearningRx’s structure, I could put one foot ahead of the other, always focusing on what was possible, how to reinforce Jayden, how to keep pushing for more.
“We didn’t ask Jayden to stop being himself. We expected him to be as socially gracious as anyone else. Other students learned that we would ask only that they consider others with their words and actions. They knew that we would never ask them to stop being themselves.”
Congratulations, Jayden! We are so proud of you.
Call us at 866-BRAIN-01 for more info or visit us at www.learningrx.com.
For more information on how LearningRx goes beyond tutoring to help with homework struggles, visit https://www.learningrx.com/who-we-help/autism-spectrum/