My involvement with Play Attention began when my stepson Andy started having difficulties in elementary school. The school was concerned because Andy’s teachers were having trouble managing his behavior well enough to ensure that he and his peers were still able to successfully learn the material. As such, it was not a shock to us when our presence was requested at the school for a meeting to discuss our child’s education.
What was a shock was the fact that the entire focus of the meeting was getting our child put on some sort of medication, which had been prompted by an ADHD diagnosis by the school psychologist (along with an IQ that was only 4 points away from his being considered a genius). My wife and I did not want to put Andy on medication, so we looked into some alternatives. We found several, but by far the one that looked the most promising was Play Attention.
During this time Andy’s troubles at school were getting more and more serious, and his mother and I felt increasingly concerned that the school’s solutions weren’t helping him. They still seemed adamant about putting him on medication, and via some “rating scales” they performed without our consent, they made some determinations about Andy with which we strongly disagreed and they tried to compel him to start meeting with a psychiatrist. This culminated in a meeting in which we informed the administration that we were pulling Andy out of his current class and enrolling him in a charter school to finish up his last year of elementary school. We would then later enroll him back in the district’s middle school for a fresh start.
This entire time, my wife and I continued to do Play Attention with Andy, and he continued to make strong progress. My wife continued to do it with him into the summer as she worked to find him a good charter school in which to finish up his elementary education. Andy completed 5th grade through a very highly rated cyber school with his mom as his Learning Coach at home.
My wife chose this option because she wanted a chance to observe our child as he struggled with his work so that she could get even a small glimpse of what the school had constantly been reporting to us. She had no significant problems with Andy, so she began to wonder if perhaps the entire difficulty was that some teachers had been having difficulties keeping his interest in a larger, more distracting classroom. After all, Andy did have a few past teachers in the elementary school who had reported having no serious difficulties with him either.
By the end of 5th grade, Andy was doing so well with Play Attention that we had already begun decreasing the amount of time he was using it. Andy did not have a major backslide, which was our only potential concern with Play Attention when we first started. Instead, Andy finished up his 5th grade year by making the Distinguished Honor Roll and by graduating out of his Cub Scout pack as the most decorated out of a group of 35 scouts. Andy even won the Super Achiever award, which is earned by less than 5% of all scouts before they move on to Boy Scouts. When Andy received his Distinguished Honor Roll certificate, he smiled at me and asked if he could go with me to pick up his younger siblings at the elementary school. When I asked him why the sudden interest, he replied, “Because I want to show this to the principal.”
Andy is now reenrolled in our district’s middle school and is holding his head above water just fine, and I feel very comfortable saying that while Play Attention didn’t “cure” my child of ADHD, it did save him from possible stimulant dependence and/or a complete alteration of his personality. My wife and I both grew up with diagnosed attention challenges, and we were both afforded the opportunity to overcome our issues without taking medication as children, allowing us to grow into successful adults. We desperately wanted our child to be given the same chance.
My wife and I have now formed our own company called Catalyst Crossroads, and we are Certified Play Attention Providers. Our goal is to find every parent that wants the same chance for their child so that we can tell them what is often one of the most guarded secrets of the educational system: You have options.