Case Study: The Yellin Center
Student’s Knowledge about Brain Functions Leads to Success at School and in Life
Aaron’s mom still recalls her son’s initial reaction following his assessment at The Yellin Center. It was a pivotal event in Aaron’s journey to learn more about himself and how his brain functions.
“As we walked through the streets of New York City after his assessment, Aaron kept hugging us. It was almost like the burden of his learning differences had been lifted. At last, he recognized how bright his mind is in so many areas. He was no longer focused just on his difficulties.”
Frustrations at School
Aaron’s mom says when he entered kindergarten there were no hints of problems. Then, suddenly, school became a “disaster” in first grade as Aaron experienced troubles with math and reading. A guidance counselor even said, “Mom, you need to lower your expectations for this child,” but she refused to accept such a defeatist attitude. Aaron was also labeled a behavioral problem and came home from school most days in tears. In second grade, a school psychologist diagnosed him as having a learning disability and the family went through the IEP (individualized education plan) process. The school kept insisting Aaron had attention deficit disorder but testing had suggested that wasn’t the case. While his special education teacher helped Aaron make progress, the root cause of his learning difficulties remained a mystery. When Aaron began middle school with a new set of teachers his progress stopped.
Pediatrician Recommends The Yellin Center
During this time, Aaron’s Mom first heard about The Yellin Center. She read about the Center’s framework involving neurodevelopmental constructs (attention, memory, language, spatial ordering, sequencing, higher order thinking, social thinking, and neuromotor skills). She also learned about the benefits of The Yellin Center’s unique neurodevelopmental assessment from other parents. Her desire to explore this option was heightened when Aaron’s pediatrician suggested the family turn to The Yellin Center after having three other patients experience significant improvements in school after working with the Center.
Aaron’s Mom recalls the evaluation process at The Yellin Center as very eye-opening. She and her husband sat in a separate room and watched through via camera as Aaron underwent an in-depth assessment with Dr. Yellin and learning specialists from his team. “Despite how extensively Aaron had been tested previously, we were fascinated by the new tests he was given. Witnessing the assessment prepared us to put the results in better context,” she says.
After the assessment team concluded their work, they took the family through the demystification process and explained in simple terms Aaron’s strengths and challenges, along with strategies to help Aaron overcome his challenges. The family shared the findings and subequent report with Aaron’s teacher because the individualized neurodevelopmental profile helps reveal why a student is struggling in school, and what to do to help.
Aaron’s challenges included a handwriting issue, so based on Dr. Yellin’s suggestion, he now uses speech recognition technology to capture his thoughts and turn them into written words. He also struggles with short-term memory retrieval and depth of processing details, both of which the family and school are still learning more about how to overcome.
“He flew with this information about how the mind works and what it means for him. It helped him develop a new way of remembering information so he now passes tests, like spelling, that primarily involve rote memory.”
The Yellin Center provided very specific recommendations linked to Aaron’s specific needs and profile. Dr. Yellin has continued to provide ongoing follow-up care to the family.
Initially, Aaron was two years below grade level on reading, but by the end of the first semester after his assessment he had advanced to the one-year-above-grade level class.
“In addition to his academic improvement, I’ve seen Aaron make new friends and become much more social and confident. He raises his hand in class and participates more often. He can work independently now,” says his Mom.
Aaron’s Dad bought him a robot kit after becoming aware of his spatial ordering strengths through the evaluation process. Aaron built a robot to wash the kitchen floor, and dreams of a career as either an engineer or physicist.
Aaron is still overcoming some of his hurdles. For instance, his grades have been erratic this year and he can be haphazard in remembering to complete homework assignments. However, his parents remain convinced The Yellin Center made a real difference.
“We finally have a system that we can take action on—one that is workable and can be applied to both academic and non-academic settings. This has provided an immeasurable amount of value to my son and our family.”
*Aaron is a pseudonym applied to protect the student’s privacy
646 775 6646