Common Symptoms may include:
- Low concentration
- Always ‘on the go’
- Disruptive behaviour
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Fussy eating
- Easily distracted
Common Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty reading, writing and retaining spellings
- Writes as little as possible
- Struggling to organise homework or tasks
- Difficulty expressing thoughts verbally
- Difficulty tying shoe laces or doing up buttons
- Low confidence
- Becoming frustrated very easily
Common Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty making friends and keeping friends
- Lack of social skills
- Difficulty understanding social boundaries
- Lack of eye contact
- Difficulty getting to sleep at night or wakes very early in the morning
- Fixated on particular toys or routines
- Shows aggressive behaviour
- Seems not to listen when spoken to directly
Welcome to Learning Breakthrough
Where it all began:
Susan Steele established Learning Breakthrough in Newtownabbey, N. Ireland in 2010.
Reason being, her own two sons had struggled in school. One Son, who was kind, funny and great with young children, struggled with low concentration, difficulty sitting down to do homework, he forgot books, couldn’t get to sleep, was a fussy eater and had trouble understanding consequences. – He was shouted at a lot!
The other Son, who was very mature for his age, played very fairly and was never in bother in school was a very slow, hesitant reader who yawned and rubbed his eyes as soon as he lifted a book. He couldn’t retain spellings and had great difficulty writing a story that made any sense. He had great ideas for a story but couldn’t prove it on paper.
She didn’t realise that there was a specific problem until the children were 12 and 10 years old.
“In-fact, I felt that I was a bad parent; thinking I must be working too much, I’m not dealing with these situations properly, I shout too much, I don’t shout enough, etc!!!”.
“I was called to the school with the eldest boy and told that the teachers were getting increasingly concerned and if he didn’t pull his socks up within 2 weeks he would lose his place in the top class. As for the youngest, when tested by an Educational Psychologist his reading and comprehension age was 2 years 6 months behind and his spelling age was 3 years 6 months behind his chronological age.”
At this point Susan knew she had to do something. She searched the internet and found a balance and movement exercise programme that described the symptoms that both boys were displaying.
“It simply made sense. It wasn’t medication or injections so we felt it was worth a try”. Especially when Susan’s eldest asked her,
“Does this mean that I don’t have to feel like this for the rest of my life?”.
The boys were enrolled on the balance and co-ordination exercise programme. They did the exercises every day for 12 months.
Within weeks the eldest felt happier, teachers noticed that he was much more focused and by 6 weeks he was coming in from school and just going and doing his homework. He was more organised and could get to sleep much quicker. Most importantly, for his self-esteem, he stopped getting shouted at at home and at school. He is now a very well ‘balanced’ happy adult who is a fully qualified chef and has plans to own his own restaurant in the future.
Once the programme was completed Susan brought her youngest back to the Psychologist to be retested. She wanted to see the before and after scores. His reading and comprehension scores had risen to be comfortably within the average range for his age group with spelling ability just 8 months behind – it had been 3 years and 6 months before starting the programme. He too is working full time as an apprentice surveyor and is attaining Distinctions and Merits in his HNC Surveying qualifications.
Determined to spread the word
Having witnessed such a difference in her own children and home life in general, Susan wanted to provide the programme to other families.
A chance conversation with her friend led to her 28 year old Son becoming Susan’s first ‘guinea pig’. He had struggled with Dyslexia all his life, had blocked out primary school as it had been so hard. He was sent to another school for extra English while his classmates went swimming or did Art. His parents had tried everything from coloured glasses, flashing light therapy to changing every light bulb in their house to natural light bulbs – none of which worked for him.
The reason he agreed to be the ‘guinea pig’ was that he had started to stutter at 28 and was becoming quite withdrawn. He wouldn’t go for interviews in work and as a result could not reach his full potential.
He diligently did the exercises for 15 minutes, once per day for one year.
After a couple of weeks of doing the exercises his stuttering stopped. A few weeks later he was able to just go to bed and go to sleep (he had been lying awake for hours before starting the exercises). He was more motivated and organised and he no longer has problems with his memory. At 7 months he noticed that he was retaining spellings and read his first book ever on holiday.
This year he completed a Business Management Course in the BMC in Belfast. He went for that interview and got the job!!! He sent a text to Susan saying;
“I wouldn’t have even thought of applying for the job before as I couldn’t have managed the interview”. He always knew what he wanted to say but could never get the words out!
Everyone who has completed the course has seen improvements across the spectrum. We’ve seen children move up classes and been able to cope with the more difficult work. They’ve received awards for the best improved child in literacy, moved up reading and spelling groups, been able to stop medication, been able to take part in the Christmas play instead of having to sit on the teachers knee and not take part, they can now throw and catch a ball, ride a bike, join the local football club, understand the rules, run in a straight line at sports day and actually get a cheer from their classmates!!! Confidence and self esteem rise and meltdowns and tears at homework become a thing of the past as the child is no longer frustrated.
Please visit the Success Story page for more inspiring stories of progress and achievement.
The Free Evaluation meeting
In order to establish whether or not the Learning Breakthrough Programme is suitable for you or your child a free evaluation is carried out. This is not a test of reading, writing, spellings or maths ability (children are always relieved to hear this). It provides a record of the difficulties an individual is experiencing at that time.
After the Evaluation is completed the individual can try the equipment, the balance board, pendulum ball etc.
The equipment is always in stock so you can take it with you on the day and get started.
Support is provided throughout the year and takes the following format:
1 week – support phone call
3 weeks – support phone call
6 weeks – check-up visit to our offices.
3, 6, 9 and 12 months – Check-up visit to our offices. The evaluation is re-visited in order to chart the progress being made in each area of difficulty.
Skype support is available for families outside N. Ireland.
At Learning Breakthrough we feel privileged to work with and help some of the most wonderfully talented children and adults. Our aim is to enable everyone to unlock their full potential whether it be in the classroom, at home, at work or on the sports field.
Our New Representatives in Kilkenny
We are proud to announce that we now have a new representative in Killkenny. Please see our Contact Page for details.