I’ve had so many discussions about learning with parents of past, present and future clients of The Morris Center. Parents from all over the world with one major thing in common……giving our children the best possible opportunity to reach their learning potential. Individually we’ve studied and researched all we can to understand our children’s specific learning challenges and how to help them. Individually we’ve invested and immersed our children into programs that didn’t meet our expectations. These disappointments have left us feeling helpless and our children discouraged. But with each failure, we refused to give up. In our search for an answer, each on our own, found The Morris Center. While there’s been trepidation and uncertainty, we’ve all come to the same conclusion. The Morris Center is legit!
When I first heard about The Morris Center, I thought, “Cool, another intervention, claiming to be the answer.” I just added it to my long list of programs to look into down the line. When I finally took the time to look it up however, I thought, “man, this place is bold! They are making some really big claims about what they are able to do.” The TMC website states, “on average, our clients with dyslexia jump one or more grade levels in reading in one month of treatment.” I’m sorry, what??!! One month? We are on year three of a program and haven’t seen that kind of growth. That can’t be right. So, I dug deeper. Who is this Dr. Tim Conway? Like all good investigators, I googled him. He’s a neuropsychologist (yeah, I had to google that word too just to make sure I knew what it was). I found his TedxTalk, “Mixing Oil and Water so Nearly Everyone Learns to Read.” After watching the video I was intrigued. In my search for information I found a lot of testimonials about how great TMC is and how it had “changed their child’s life.” Okay, but who are they? Are they actors? Paid spokespersons? I was hearing the good, but I wanted to find the bad reviews. I was looking for someone to prove it was too good to be true. Alas, my search came up empty. There simply weren’t people talking about how bad this program was. When I googled other reading programs however, I found a multitude of reviews, both good and bad. So what’s the difference? While browsing the TMC website again, this got my attention:
“TMC changed his life” is a common response we receive after our teams’ treatment. One of the most misunderstood aspects of helping children and adults improve their functional skills is the difference between making weak skills stronger versus learning compensatory “strategies” to cope with weak skills. TMC’s known for using research-based methods, the proper intensity and frequency of treatment and a foundational approach to make weaker skills become stronger – improving functional abilities & leading to long-term improvements.
Dr. Tim Conway, Research Neuropsychologist and Director
Research-based methods… Isn’t every program “research-based?” Sure, lots claim to be. But where can I find this research? And what is the average growth for clients receiving treatment? I looked but either didn’t find this information on their websites or the information was vague. When I checked The Morris Center website however, there was a tab just for RESEARCH. Go ahead and see for yourself. You can read all about it. I did and immediately noticed something different from other explanations of programs……the terminology. It didn’t sound “educational.” It sounded “medical.” (neural networks, neural plasticity, functional neuroimaging, left hemisphere, normalization of the activation). Essentially, the approach is less about helping my kids learn to “cope” with their learning disabilities, and more about rewiring their weak skills to be stronger. Hmmm…. okay, prove it. I want to see the proof. With one click, I was able to see the results of 25 years worth of research TMC has to back up their claims. Real results. Sustained results. And a new way of looking at dyslexia for me. I’ve been told (not by my School district or the educators at my school – they have done an exceptional job with the interventions that have been available to them) my child was born with this and their brain is just wired differently. I’ve learned that’s not true. Brains are wired the same, but some have inefficiencies (weakness). I’ve been told my kids will always have to work harder than their peers. Not true. The Morris Center can “strengthen the processes and develop the skills that are weak. As weak skills become stronger, then learning becomes more efficient and the child or adult feels more competent and confident. TMC helps them unlock their hidden, true potential. Self-esteem comes from success.” Okay. Even though it sounds too good to be true, I can’t ignore the opportunity in front of us. If I can make something easier for my kids, I’ll do it! So we did. Good move. TMC is definitely delivering on their bold claims! It’s been a relief to see dyslexia differently and to actually watch my kids grasp things they couldn’t before. I see less frustration in their faces and more confidence in their eyes. I see them recognizing how this is helping and starting to dream bigger dreams. Isn’t that what we all want. So now more than ever, I’m convinced…..SCIENCE MATTERS!