From Kayla’s mother, Sonja:
From a very early age, our oldest child Kayla seemed to have trouble concentrating. She was always very bright, and a fast learner, but anything could distract her. Her train of thought would jump from one thing to another so fast and so frequently, that sometimes it was hard to understand her.
When Kayla got to kindergarten, this became a real problem. When it came time to sit down and do her school work, she just couldn’t. Again, we’re talking about a really smart little girl! But if the assignment was boring, it was so hard for her to focus on it that she would get frustrated and even start crying.
It go so bad that her kindergarten teacher was sending us emails at least once a week, and we could certainly sympathize with her, since we experienced the same thing at night when we tried to do homework with Kayla.
Given Kayla’s age, we felt she was too young for medication, and the thought of taking her to a psychiatrist seemed absurd. As such, we started looking for other ways to help her, eventually discovering the Attention Tech learning center in Chandler, Arizona. They enrolled Kayla in a program called Play Attention, and we’ve seen major changes in our daughter over the past year!
Kayla made the honor roll this past semester and I think we only received three emails from her teacher in all that time (which is so much better than one every week). Kayla is definitely learning to control her emotions and her body. I’m so proud of the progress she’s made. Not only that, but this program has taught us as parents how to better help our daughter. We take the good things we hear from Kayla’s teachers and pass them on at home.
I can’t wait to see where Kayla goes from here!
From Kayla’s Play Attention coach, Jacci Hall:
When Sonja first brought her daughter Kayla to the learning center, Kayla seemed extremely anxious and overly critical of herself. Kayla reacted strongly whenever she made a mistake and would often resort to crying. In fact, on more than one occasion she would climb down from her chair and run to her mother’s lap for comfort—just because she wanted to do well, but felt she couldn’t.
We worked on this tendency extensively with Kayla, using lots of positive reinforcement when she performed well, and being very supportive when she didn’t. Specifically, we came up with the “whoops” protocol, where Kayla was encouraged over and over to just say “whoops” whenever she made a mistake, and then forget about it.
It took a while, but because praise for her positive accomplishments was so much more abundant than the simple “whoops” acknowledgement of her mistakes, Kayla eventually allowed herself to let go and accept her performance for what it was: an ongoing process.
We use a CPT (computerized performance test) to monitor Kayla’s progress. We are glad to see improvements in visual and auditory attention. Additionally, we are seeing improvement in impulse control and motor control.
Since Kayla is still in the program, she still has good days and bad, but the former far outweigh the latter—not to mention what we’ve seen this semester at school. All of us here at Attention Tech are super proud of Kayla for making the honor roll, and we look forward to even more accomplishments as training proceeds!
We will keep you updated regarding Kayla’s progress as she continues with Play Attention. Be certain to check back to find out how she is doing!