by Sara Erling
I remember talking to David’s mom, Holly, prior to her starting the NACD program. She was familiar with NACD because when she was a girl in the 80s, her mom had helped do program with three children. So when her own son, David, was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, anxiety, and right brain-left brain issues, Holly thought of NACD. At the time they started with NACD, David’s parents had to remove him from school, as he would get so anxious he would throw up. He had issues with sounds, auditory figure-ground issues, math, reasoning, and on and on.
David started his NACD program in April of 2011. At that time his family was homeschooling him since he couldn’t handle school. At the age of 11, he was technically a 5th grader. While he loved and enjoyed things that were age appropriate, he was immature. Academically he was behind in math, although reading was pretty average for a child his age. Neurodevelopmentally, however, he was very disorganized. He had low auditory processing, poor working memory, hypersensitivity to sound, mixed dominance, difficulty with visual tracking, he was overly sensitive to touch (ie. bothered by tags and seams), and lacked overall proprioception. He had poor printing, pencil grasp, and muscle tone, as well as poor physical skills. David couldn’t crawl, and he couldn’t walk or run or skip in a cross pattern. He had poor coordination. Finally he didn’t speak clearly, tending to mumble when he talked – if he talked at all.
Now a year and a half later, after hours and hours of work (Holly accomplished 80-100% of program every day with David, who was very cooperative and did his part!), at the age of 12 he is attending junior high with no anxiety. He is getting straight As. He is playing football. David speaks clearly and can talk your ear off if you let him. He is doing well academically – he loves to read and is doing writing assignments on his own. David has his own responsibilities at home and knows what he needs to do. He is no longer irritated with sound, his dominance is in place, tracking is good, processing is high, gross motor function is strong, and his fine motor function is excellent. He is in drama and orchestra – 1st chair violin! He is a typical pre-teen boy – loves sports, video games, and music; but he also is so sweet and just a good kid. He is more confident in himself and is motivated to do things on his own. He wakes up to do his NACD program at 5:45 am every day before school. I told him at our most recent evaluation that now it is all about accelerating his function (and continuing to mind his parents!). David – you are a star in my sky. Keep up the great work and know that all of what you have done and are doing is only going to help you reach your dreams. I am in your corner cheering you on as you move forward in your journey.