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From failing grades to 'A' honor roll

When Brad Hoyt saw his 12-year-old son, Ben, who has ADHD, struggling to finish his homework, sometimes working for as long as eight hours, he was greatly concerned. “We were at the point of switching schools just to get him the help he needed, and we visited several,” Brad said.

“Ben’s grades were low and he was not accepted at any of the schools,” his mother, Dori Schlampp, said. “We didn’t know where to turn.”

A close friend suggested that Brad call PACER Center. “I spoke with Virginia Richardson,” Brad said. A meeting was arranged at Ben’s school that included Virginia (PACER’s Parent Training Center manager), Ben’s parents, and several school personnel, including the principal and Section 504 director.

“The meeting was an eye-opener for me,” Brad said. “Not only did I finally find clarity and understanding of my son’s struggles, but I realized they were the same ones that had impacted me my entire life, as well as two of my other children. It was very emotional for Dori and me.”

Two years later, Ben’s life has changed dramatically. After learning study skills and techniques in his classes and through the attention of his teachers, he made the “B” honor roll. “Most importantly,” Brad said, “We had our son back!” The six to eight hours Ben had spent on homework nightly dwindled to two to three.

“He was happy again,” Dori said.

Ben continued to thrive, and is now on the “A” honor roll and tennis team at school. “He was recently named an Outstanding Student along with only two others in his class of more than 300 students,” Brad said proudly.

“His social studies teacher, who nominated him, said she was proud to be his teacher,” Dori reported. “She said that over the course of the year, Ben has become very attentive to who he is as a learner. He’s shown that he can accurately reflect on his progress and take action when necessary.

“She described Ben as a hard worker who was able to advocate for himself, and who always does his best,” Dori said. “She said he is warm, kind, and generous, along with being inclusive and considerate.”

“The darkness and despair that ruled our lives two years ago is now only a memory.”

This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 Pacesetter newsletter.


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