Hanbury, P.

 

P. Hanbury

England 

Dear Sean,

 As promised a letter to tell of the benefits of Alphalearning – where do I begin? Is this about My sons’ accident, my daughters’ dyslexia or my falling from a horse?

It seems so hard to describe what you have done for, first Richard and then Sam and finally me.  “Surely you don’t need to go on the course you haven’t got brain damage” was about the most common remark I had from almost all of my family.  While most of them had seen the enormous change in Richard’s health, some noticed that Sam looked a bit different but couldn’t really understand it.

Richard came back from his first course with the words “I have seen medical history in the making”. See his letter: Richard Hanbury

Sean Adam has proved that Dyslexia is brain damage” both remarks intrigued me but particularly the Dyslexia as Sam grew up seemed to be endless although I always had the conviction that the key was there.  When she had an E.E.G. in London in the early 80’s I was extremely disappointed that they could find no damage since to me “damage” was the only explanation to what went on in her brain when she was trying to read.  For someone who could do so many other things so well it never made sense. 

The misery is well described by her in her letter.  The frustration and lack of self-esteem very hard to bear. See her letter: J. Lowes

 The searching for the answer was pretty painful all round.  We were sent from pillar to post looking for the right school.  Right at the beginning she was sent to a paediatrician for a physical examination.  I think that man gave me the best advice I had during all the time she was growing up “If your daughter is dyslexic you will have to become a “pushy Mum” because you will be the only person who will really know how to help her”.  It didn’t come too easily to me to assert myself in that direction but I kept his words with me which were extremely helpful when one Educational Psychologist seriously suggested that a school run by the Christian Scientists (the Moonies) would suit and would not brainwash the children in their care!  I also turned down the kind offer of a Catholic school who said that they would be happy to accept her at the age of nine and she would go in the Kindergarten with the 5 and 6 year olds! 

I always knew that there was a key although I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that Richard would b the one who found it. 

Way back when she was a few months old I well remember a vet called to see a lame horse and heard her screaming herself to sleep – which appeared to be the only way to get her to sleep, no amount of cuddling, singing or anything else worked – he told me there was always something wrong with a child if it made that noise – how right he was.  She was a highly strung child of that there is no doubt – although she seemed to be very happy first at the play group we had organised between the mums in Germany and then at Kindergarten in England where she progressed to full time at five.  The following year they had a large intake and Sam was deemed bright enough to go up not one but two classes. 

The struggle began.  She developed every excuse under the sun not to go to school – she was checked for appendicitis goodness knows how many times because she complained of stomach pains and really looked poorly.  There were no clues coming in from the school but I began to realise that Richard, 1 ½ years her junior was reading better than Sam.  I well remember going in to the parents day and asking about the reading.  The teacher first of all said everything was fine and when pressed said there was no problem until I pressed once more and she voiced her concern over Sam’s reading skills.  I decided a few days later that something must be done and rang for an appointment to see the headmistress – when questioned by the dragon at the other end of the telephone I was told that “Mrs. P. did not discuss her pupils with their parents”.  By this time I was separated from the children’s father – what to do next?  The only thing I could think of was to pick the brains of my old headmistress who had done wonders for me from 7 to 12 years of age, and her daughter who now ran the school and had taught me netball all those years ago. 

They were absolutely horrified about our story and immediately offered to take Sam in.  So we moved 125 miles to my home which my father was about to sell and Sam went to school there.  Richard started at another local school at five so that seemed alright for him too.  The first week of term probably started on Tuesday and on Saturday morning a very keen little girl was dressed in her uniform bright and early – when told there was no school today the tears appeared in her eyes.  I knew then for certain that I had made the right decision! 

Eventually however that school discovered that she was under achieving (when Mrs Lobascher suggested that she had a reader for the exam papers and she got well into the 90%s on every subject).  Incidentally it was me and another concerned Mum that went to Mrs L in the first place – the school didn’t realise she had a problem.  Her normal exam results had been passes and better than some so they didn’t realise the difference.  With the benefit of hindsight I would have requested that she stayed on at that school and had any extra coaching necessary but then I did not realise just how unhappy she would be a Chelmsford Hall.  However there was no way of telling how unhappy she would be – she was not alone in this we heard of quite a few others who were unhappy there too.  I kept looking for the right place and knew I hadn’t found it.  Then the brief respite of Keffolds Farm and the wonderful Ford family redeemed the situation only to trip up again with the next choice. 

Having searched most of the country the local school was the only possible choice – so many declared that Dyslexia was always cured by 13 years, or they only catered for boys or were hundreds of miles away.  At least with the local school she could carry on with the riding at home – especially as during her last 18 months the teachers strike meant that she came home from school at 2:30 pm cutting down the time that she could be stressed out!  There was one headmaster who saw Sam for about 5 minutes and assured me that she wasn’t dyslexic at 13 years old! 

I also remember the screams that came from the stable yard one winter morning when she was between schools at 11 years – I was convinced she must have broken a leg and that my confidence in the good nature of our animals had been misplaced or she had disregarded all our safety rules which seemed unlikely.  Sure enough I raced to the scene to find Sam clutching her leg and I thought the stain must be blood from a compound fracture because the noise was so intense.  “I’m hopeless, I can’t do anything” she wailed “I can’t even carry a bucket of water without spilling it”! 

It may sound amusing to some but those who know the depths of despair of a dyslexic will sympathise. 

The celebration of leaving school was quite intense!  A few months before the exams one of her class mates announced that she would be getting married in the Summer after school finished and Sam announced that she was not likely to get married and she “would never have children because they might inherit dyslexia and I don’t want to have any child of mine being as unhappy as me”. 

Sean you really did change our thinking!

 So little by little I learnt about Alphalearning.  My first EEG never happened because Richard kept looking at me with a strange look and then declared his machine didn’t work.  Later he admitted that if he had known I had brain damage he would have completed the first EEG!  The machine was not at fault after all!  Eventually I decided to visit Holland for Christmas with Sam and requested to meet you two.  Finally enrolling for the course to be run in Aachen two weeks later. 

What an experience!  Now at last I began to understand what was going on and that children with dyslexia and so many other things could be rescued from their misery.  It was an incredible week.  Then followed a period of intense frustration when my new computer would not work and the company kept telling me that the Lotus programme was faulty and to return to the software producer.  Even explaining that Sean was in Florida or Korea or wherever he happened to be didn’t help. 

Eventually they had to admit that the computer was at fault and I was issued with a better model complete with CD-ROM which is a bonus I suppose – although at the time I would rather not have had my confidence in my computer competence undermined.  I began to find life much easier – I lost one and a half stone in six months.  I determined that I must go on another course to learn more and finally flew off to Hong Kong in May to catch up with the team!

 In Hong Kong I re learned all I had previously heard and much more.  Sean took my vertigo in hand and fixed it.  Vertigo is something I have had since an accident at the age of about 7 and had largely succeeded in ignoring or by-passing but it was quite difficult to ignore when my room in Hong Kong was 25 stories up and it was a real struggle to draw the curtains with my eyes shut – a thing I forgot to do once and nearly knocked myself out hitting the glass. 

So back home at crack of dawn on Friday and to my niece’s wedding and were intrigued to find the cause of my radiance.  (One aunt described me as looking almost as radiant as the bride!)  “I’ve just had brain surgery” did little to convince anyone that I hadn’t found the man of my dreams!!

Back home again and I continue to lose the weight I have been unable to shift for years.  Then I discover that I can actually paint a ceiling without being paranoid about falling off the stepladder – or at least thinking I was going to.  The powers of concentration and memory so enhanced by the course were amazing although I find it increasingly annoying when my memory is challenged by “outsiders” – I am very tactful about that of course!

 One of my hobbies is riding and also rescuing horses and just before the Hong Kong course I did a rescue job on a horse that was really much too large for me but he was a gentle giant and definitely deserved better than to end up in Melton Mowbray Horse Sales in a state not really fit for the meat market.  He improved enormously and was enormously and was well enough behaved for me to dare to go hunting on. 

I had thought my hunting days long since gone but again the new found confidence had its effect.  One day just before Christmas with quite a heavy frost I went for a gently ride but obviously misjudged the conditions since the horse slipped up and crashed down like a ton of bricks.  I was aware of the world spinning a few times and intense pain in the ankle crushed by the horse.  I came to and sat there wondering if I would pass out again – if my ankle was broken or what – very calmly I may say. 

A motorist appeared on the scene, caught the horse and then saw me let him go and then rushed over and thrust his mobile phone at me.  Since I couldn’t remember my own dial code (and hers) or her number which being 842000 should have been quite easy to remember.  I could get no reply and by this time my Samaritan had caught the horse so I decided I had better try and remount.  I struggled home feeling pretty much like death – frozen – nauseous – dizzy and in great pain. 

I finally made it and got hold of my neighbour to check me out in an hours time and went to work on my EEG – the first EEG shocked me so much I nearly passed out again but began to feel much better during the Lotus programme although I did fall asleep in Delta I woke up as soon as it went back to Alpha.  Since I felt so much better and it was a Sunday I decided the ankle could wait till Monday. 

The doctor agreed that the ankle was not broken and then asked about the head injury he seemed a bit non-plussed when I told him I knew there were no signs of concussion!!  He subsequently entered into my notes that I wish any future head injuries to be treated by Richard, Sam or Sean and Gina!  Or any other Alphalearning Instructor.

 It was wonderful working with you again recently in Northumberland and Swindon.  I am really ready to get out there and help some dyslexics.  Sam’s recent visit home was lovely – hearing her volunteer to read a bit of poetry out loud with such expression was really quite wonderful!  I still don’t know what else to say except “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you” and continue to shout your praises from the rooftops!  Thank you so much for giving us all a new lease on life.

 Best wishes,

Pippa