Identical twins, Jeremiah and Joshua van Wyk were born prematurely and with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Although Joshua managed at school, Jeremiah was diagnosed with ADHD and severe learning disabilities in Grade 2, having to repeat the year and being promoted to Grade 3 with support.
The boys’ foster mother, Lameez Armien, wrote about Jeremiah in 2010:
“1.) He was mixing his b’s and d’s.
..2.) He had difficulty in reading and spelling.
..3.) He could not concentrate at all and could not remember anything that was taught to him at school.
..4.) He had no confidence in himself; every day was a fight with schoolwork, with both of us ending up in tears.
..5.) His handwriting was bad; you could often not read anything.
“His remedial teacher arranged a meeting with me and suggested I make an appointment with the school’s doctor who then recommended Ritalin. Or he had to attend school at Eros which is a special needs school. I was very upset and cried practically every day, because I wanted to help Jeremiah.
“After refusing Ritalin and the special needs school, I practically got no extra help from the teachers. A call to the Education Dept for help also reached a dead end. So that meant I had to do something to help him. I felt so alone and it seemed that there was no help.”
Jeremiah’s 2009 report shows that he struggled:
Edublox got discovered:
Lameez discovered Edublox and decided to try out the programme to see if it could help. She had already spent R20,000 on therapy sessions with an educational psychologist, but the intervention had sadly made no impact on Jeremiah’s school performance.
She initially doubted that he would cope at Edublox as the children weren’t doing conventional schoolwork and she couldn’t see how the exercises in cognitive skills would help him. But the twins started the Edublox programme in July 2010, and by December Jeremiah’s school teacher reported that his concentration, reading and handwriting had improved.
|An example of Jeremiah’s schoolwork in January 2010:||Three months after enrolling at Edublox:|
At the end 2010 Lameez commented on Jeremiah’s December 2010 report and on his general progress:
“Results are as follows:
“1.) Improvement in his reading.
..2.) Concentration is better.
. 3.) His grades for Maths went up from 1’s to 3’s.
. 4.) His other subjects went up from 1’s to 2’s.
“Memory is improving so much, he can recall my pin number when I withdraw money at the ATM.
“His teacher sent a note saying that his handwriting is now so beautiful I should encourage him in keeping it that way (and this is in cursive!).
“Jeremiah was again promoted to Grade 4 with support, but happily and with lots of confidence I can say there is less fighting and less tears about schoolwork. His future seems brighter by the day. He has a long road ahead and it is getting better — remember he only started with Edublox 5 months ago.”
Jeremiah continued doing extra lessons at Edublox with Joshua for two-and-a-half years, with his concentration, memory span and reading having improved significantly by the time they completed the course.
“Jeremiah couldn’t write a full sentence when he went to Edublox, but he could do this when he finished the programme,” Lameez said.
In February 2012 the twins featured in a documentary series:
Both are now in high school:
Jeremiah and Joshua continued to improve year by year, and both are now in (a normal) high school. Both boys achieved Bs and Cs in several subjects on their last reports and Lameez attributes this phenomenal achievement to the cognitive skills training they received back in Grade 3 to 5.
She also believes that supplementation has given them an extra edge. Both boys take Omega 3 and 6 daily. Jeremiah has been using KeenMind for the past two years and says that it improved his concentration from Day One. Joshua says he has benefitted from using BioStrath.
Much of Jeremiah’s success is also due to Lameez’s positive attitude and determination to help him realise his true potential. “As a little boy, he used to cry and say that he would never succeed like his brother,” she says. I would say, “Nonsense, you are clever and you will get there!”
Jeremiah’s Grade 8, first-term report: