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Derek Hancock: “A Success Story”

Let me start by saying “Thank You” to everyone involved in working with Derek at the Optimal Brain Institute. You saved a Family. You may have only worked with Derek but everyone in our home has benefited in one way or another.

Derek benefits everyday because now he is a healthy, happy boy who can achieve grades we never thought possible. He no longer suffers with headaches, stomachaches, depression, debilitating fatigue or light sensitivities. He is able to focus on schoolwork. He feels so good now, emotionally and physically.

You have also helped me as his mother who suffered along side of Derek while he struggled with schoolwork and wellness. Any parent of a child who struggles knows what I speak of. You have relieved a major stress in my life.

The whole family as well has benefited. Time has been freed up to do other things. Homework with Derek does not stop us all any longer. I have more time, energy and focus to spread around to the rest of the family instead of being consumed with my one problem child who I was beginning to wonder could ever be helped.

When one member of the family suffers it hits everyone. So thank you from the whole Nickerson/Hancock family.

Derek’s issues started as early as age 5 when he was in kindergarten. He progressively became worse over the next 7 years. His issues were mostly school-work based up until about the 3rd grade. At that point many more debilitating physical symptoms started to come into play.

The problems with Derek started with schoolwork. He just couldn’t seem to get the work done and keep up with the rest of the class. If you asked him he would tell you he hated school! As Derek progressed into higher grades, giving him more and more responsibility, his problems became worse and his grades suffered. He was unable to organize and keep up with paperwork. Written output especially became a problem. We tried everything we could to bring him out of this.

After a very frustrating 1st grade with many after school tutoring sessions Derek was now entering the 2nd grade. I finally broke down and brought him to the doctors, which I knew would result in an ADD diagnosis with medication to follow. I must say I was trying to avoid this. I didn’t want my child on medication. But at this point if it was going to help we were desperate. The Dr. prescribed a stimulant medication. Derek did improve slightly. He was able to get more work done and his written output and handwriting improved, but not without side effects. He lost a lot of weight and was very irritable in the evenings. He started to get chest pains, stomachaches, headaches and ticking. He also became very depressed and didn’t smile anymore. We lost our Derek! So we took him off the medication.

It wasn’t easy but we made it to 3rd grade. Here we tried the elimination diet, vitamin therapy, and more medication, this time through an ADHD specialist. Again we had to take him off the medication. So much for the specialist. Unless we were going to medicate our child they were not of much use to us. I then took him out of school. He wasn’t able to get anything done in class.

Home schooling seemed the logical choice. Well, I found out quickly that it was not for me, not with an ADD child. I couldn’t get anything out of him either. So now the 4th grade, lets give the public schools a try. “This is my child, deal with it!” was our new strategy! This would have been OK but now Derek was becoming very ill at school. Migraines, stomachaches, debilitating fatigue and body aches. It wasn’t just school any longer. He couldn’t even do the fun stuff like swimming in our pool, sports or playing games for long. He missed about 2 months of school during his 4th and 5th grades. We even brought him to an allergy specialist who tested Derek for 40 different allergens and found nothing wrong.

Finally a woman told me about Neurofeedback and the Optimal Brain Institute. I had heard about Biofeedback years ago but was told by the ADD specialist that it was not worth the money. I am here to tell you it was worth every penny!

We started Neurofeedback the summer before his 6th grade. Derek was going for, and achieved, all A’s this past quarter of his 6th grade. It has been a remarkable turnaround. No longer does Derek suffer in school. No longer does he come home with all his schoolwork still undone. He is able to stay focused and keep up with the class. I no longer have to keep track of everything for him. He is on top of things and strives to get good grades. He feels good mentally and physically and can now enjoy life and all it has to offer.

I went into this whole process of Neurofeedback with very little expectations for this to be a positive outcome, hoping it would not be another huge letdown. I have come out a true believer. Derek went from a child who could not keep pencil to paper long enough to write his name without constant supervision and direction to one who can now accomplish things on his own. His school journals in the past were always empty. Now he writes to great lengths.

The overall approach to Derek’s problems along with the Neurofeedback was a great success. Addressing the Irlen Syndrome, the physical therapy and the vitamin supplements all played a roll to improve Derek’s overall health and well being. Derek is now happy, healthy and has the stamina to enjoy life!

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