Seeking experiences with LearningRx
January 23, 2013 7:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested to hear feedback that others have had with using the LearningRx system for improving cognitive processing skill and speed.

I have a 6 year old son who is doing well academically on reading, but we sensed that he had some challenges with math and logic as it applies to keeping focused attention. We had an assessment done with a local LearningRx office and they confirmed much of what we saw, which is that he is well above grade level in some areas and well below in others.

His profile shows him to be very strong in verbal skills but he struggles to slow down enough to absorb instructions to work effectively through logic problems. I got a very good impression of the professionalism and capability of the staff in our local center and it seems like they could make some positive contribution, but it is a pretty expensive program that goes 12-16 weeks for five days a week. I'm prepared to do the right thing for him, but this is all rather new to me and I'm trying to become a quick study on this.
posted by dgran to Education (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: NY Times article on that and similar companies.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are not any well-controlled (i.e., blinded, peer-reviewed) studies that demonstrate that this is an effective program. I would urge caution. Anything that claims to raise IQ, costs families quite a bit of money in a for-profit setting (they are franchised centers), does both the assessment and the intervention (they're more likely to recommend treatment) or offers a "one size fits all" approach to working with children is something I have immediate concerns with. The website claims that they "prove" the improvement through repeated administrations of the same test, something a reputable assessor would not do because you expect improvement simply by having the practice of having taken it recently.

I would recommend getting a second opinion about your son's abilities either through a school assessment or with a private practitioner who specializes in assessment and is not selling a particular treatment like this, vision therapy or any of a number of other approaches that claim to "cure" a variety of neurodevelopmental issues.

I work with children with a variety of neurodevelopmental issues, and would be happy to point you to other resources that might be more helpful. Feel free to meMail.
posted by goggie at 10:35 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I just wanted to follow up with thanks to those who contributed ideas here. The NYT article link lead me to get in touch directly with Professor Oliver Hill who discussed with me his yet-unpublished research on LearningRx. I expected to hear him burst the bubble and tell me that the claims were dodgy, but to the contrary he had a good deal of respect for their work and the outcomes. I'm not qualified to judge the merits of his research but I sense that there is some substantial value in the service and we are proceeding with the program.

If anyone comes upon this topic at some later point and wants to memail me for feedback at some later point I'll be happy to offer it. I'll try to remember to come back to this thread as well.
posted by dgran at 6:22 AM on January 28, 2013

Mod note: Final update from the OP:
I'm writing this a year later feeling wiser, but wishing I would have passed on the LearningRx experiment. It may work for others, but it wasn't effective for our son. I believe we really invested ourselves into the program and my son actually worked hard at it too, but they found no statistical improvement in his scores after 16 weeks of the program going for five days a week. The training facility assured me that this is uncommon (to the point of saying they never saw this in ~250 previous cases) but was unwilling to refund any amount of the sizable cost for the program. I would urge others to proceed cautiously and to negotiate as liberal of a refund grace period as possible before embarking on the program. I believe the people involved sincerely mean well and there is some research to back up their claims, but since my poor experience I've met too many people who also feel dissatisfied to give a positive recommendation for this service.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:30 PM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

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