I have always been passionate about education. We have been blessed to be able to offer our three sons rich and varied experiences and a loving and stimulating environment. When our daughter was born with T21 it was natural and obvious for us to continue with this way of life. We used educational toys, did a lot of outings, whether cultural or social, and exposed her to creative arts, music, dance or crafts. From those experiences we could detect some learning trends in Sophie but it wasn't until we discovered the Feuerstein Institute that we took a real interest and understanding in Sophie’s cognitive skills. Doing the training opened my eyes. It is fascinating to find out how you can build learning pathways in your child’s brain using Mediated Learning! It is common sense and yet we tend to be more interested in the product rather than the process.
What really moved us was how all the staff at the Institute in Jerusalem believed in Sophie and her potential to learn. She learned to recognise and draw a square in one session. They encouraged us to aim high for Sophie. Every situation is a learning opportunity.
Using Mediated Learning is not a quick fix solution, it is a way of life! It takes time and perseverance but the outcomes bring hope and joy.
Thank you very much for a very positive intervention. I sincerely hope we can use your services and knowledge to support our child again very soon and for a longer period of time. I have noticed some improvement in concentration, definite positive response to strategies to "unblock" him and get passed "no" and improvements in sleeping pattern. He has become more independent by starting to dress himself and occasional imaginative play. I've also become more patient with him.
Parent of a child with Down's syndrome
Since the birth of our daughter with DS we have been interested how we can support her development so she can lead independent life in the future. At the same time we were very frustrated with lack of available therapies in the UK. At the beginning we were mainly concentrated on her physio development and her general health as she easily became ill as a baby and toddler. We were still search for available therapies not only in the UK. We came across Feuerstein method and information about the Institute in one of books that gave us an overview of various therapies used for children with Down Syndrome. The method was recorded as one of the most successful, the one that can accelerate the development considerably. We began to search for the therapists in the UK and we came across Breakthrough Learning. At that time she was nearly 3 ½ years old. We had difficulties with her motivation to learn and work on her development as she very easily and quickly was losing her interest in all we were trying to do and achieve.
At the sessions with the Feuerstein therapist we were able to observe how to interact with her and we noticed much improvement in her concentration, understanding of activities and motivation and attitude to learning activities. We saw the sparkle of interest and intrinsic motivation that has progressively developed by changing our approach and making sometimes unsightly changes and taking little steps that pushed her development further.
We had very serious doubts at some point whether she would be able to attend the mainstream school and lead a normal school life but thanks to Feuerstein method and our therapist Vanessa we had no doubts at all just before she started the school.
She will be five in two months and now she enjoys mainstream school. She has settled in perfectly and attends school happily every morning. She is involved in activities with her classmates and there are always other children that are willing to play and interact with her. She works very hard and her teacher is impressed with her self-motivation and concentration.
Breakthrough Learning has made such a tremendous impact on how much our daughter enjoys learning and her accomplishments to be part of an inclusive classroom. We have been given creative ways to work with her that gave her a confidence and joy in learning. Vanessa successfully navigates ways for the teacher, child and us parents to work together in helping our daughter succeed. We would like to express our thanks to Vanessa for her help to our daughter and our family and that we are able to see a brighter future for her.
We would really wish that Feuerstein therapy and charities like Breakthrough Learning were broadly recognized and therapist easily accessible in the UK, that is unfortunately not the case at the moment.
Parents of a daughter with Down syndrome