Jenny first met Nora when she was 18 months old and living in a group home in New York City. She adopted her shortly after. Nora had been in five homes by the time she was one and a half.
After the adoption, Nora quickly became attached to Jenny. She wouldn’t sleep unless Jenny held her hand and she would make herself vomit if Jenny attempted to leave the room. Nora also would bite Jenny until she drew blood. Nora’s attachment to Jenny continued even as she entered school. Jenny had to stay in the classroom with her throughout pre-K and kindergarten.
At age four Nora was diagnosed with ADHD. Although Nora’s school agreed with that diagnosis, Jenny was reluctant to give her medication because she was so young. Jenny quickly found that only Nora’s more seasoned teachers could handle her. When Nora was in the first grade, the school tried to hold her back, but Jenny fought it and Nora was advanced anyway.
“It would have taken me a couple of years and a dozen professionals to know the same things I got from the Healthy Brain Network in one report.”
Outside of school, Jenny struggled to find activities for Nora. Jenny says Nora resisted everything. She either quit or was asked to leave every program in which Jenny enrolled her because of behavioral issues.
When Nora was eight, Jenny would wake her up for school each morning. Nora would get up, get dressed and then look at Jenny and say, “I’m not going.” Jenny would tell her she had to go to school, but Nora would cross her arms, roll her eyes and reply, “No.” By October Nora already had missed about 30 days of school.
It was around that time that Jenny found the Healthy Brain Network. After completing the study evaluation, she received a thorough report she says was so useful. Jenny explains, “Nora had about five diagnoses and each one came with detailed instructions about how to work with her. It would have taken me a couple of years and a dozen professionals to know the same things I got from the Healthy Brain Network in one report.” The report diagnosed Nora with many things she’d never been diagnosed with before, including ODD. The clinicians even took the time to help Jenny understand the difference between a child with ODD and a typical child.
“I’m not sure where we would be today if we hadn’t done the study. It was very, very important to our family.”
Jenny immediately called the DOE and got an IEP meeting with an independent team. Jenny reports, “The information was completely accepted as gold standard by the DOE. The DOE took to heart every single instruction in the report and made use of it in helping her learn. The Healthy Brain Network report helps you to understand your child and it helps the school teach them better.”
But Jenny says the report not only helped others better understand how to work with Nora, it also helped Nora understand how to work on her own issues. It helped her socially and in their home. Nora’s attendance improved. Her grades improved. Jenny and Nora’s relationship improved. Nora is now in the seventh grade, and she gets mostly B’s and A’s. She is reading and writing beautiful essays and reports. She is taking Spanish. She cooks for the family. She helps with her little brother. Jenny even considers her a partner in running the house.
Jenny says she still consults the report fairly regularly — even though it’s been a few years, it’s still relevant. “It’s made such a big difference to have the information with instructions for how to apply it using specific methods. I’m not sure where we would be today if we hadn’t done the study. It was very, very important to our family.”