Testimonial from Adam's dad, Saleh Romeih
At age 5, Adam had a significant speech delay, and was struggling both socially and academically from an early age. Besides not talking much at age 3, he couldn’t form proper sentences at the age of 4 and had a limited vocabulary. We were living in the UK at the time and we had taken him to various specialists, some of whom had given us some pretty dire diagnosis and prognosis. We were disheartened and worried, to say the least, and confused about how best to help him.
When he was 5, we moved to Singapore, and we were introduced to Prudence, who quite quickly identified his issues as Auditory Processing related. We were initially sceptical as we had heard different opinions and didn’t know much about the disorder, but we went along with it, partly as we didn’t have a lot of other solutions at the time in Singapore.
Besides working with him regularly as his speech therapist, Prudence gave Adam and us various strategies to help him manage his processing issues, and pretty quickly he started making progress. (Prudence and Adam also came up with a simple yet effective way of rendering the therapy sessions enticing to Adam, by offering him chocolate chips and cookies at the end of the session.) More importantly, the correct diagnosis meant that his educators at his school were able to provide the appropriate type of support in his classroom. The progress was not instantaneous, but it was noticeable and steady, so Adam himself was positive and adopted a constructive mindset. The cookies did play a part too.
When we returned to the UK when he was 10, we tapered off the regular speech therapy, and he switched to receiving support and accommodations from his school. The support he received continued through middle school, and towards the end of his high school education, he had weaned himself off most forms of support, and simply relied on extra time allocations for assessments. Throughout his adolescence, he formed a small group of friends and focussed on golf as his primary outlet. Adam then set out to apply to American Universities, and in preparation, he scored in the 97th percentile on his SATs and achieved a 3.8/4.0 GPA in his junior and senior years.
Today, he is a sophomore at Georgetown University, and while he does complain occasionally (and not surprisingly) that it is academically challenging, he gets by without any form of support or tutoring, just relying on 50% extra time allocation for his timed assessments. He’s doing well, enjoys his learning and is considering joining the varsity team as a golfer. He stopped by to see Prudence on a recent visit to Singapore and was delighted to see that the end-of-session chocolate chip cookies had become institutionalised in Prudence’s office.
Prudence's Note on Adam:
Adam saw me when he was a 5-year-old boy and because I had a few years of remediation with him, many significant events have formed part of my episodic memories. I remember many wonderful hours of laughter alongside learning. A well-developed taste for fine chocolates and cookies which helped refine my own! The game-like resources, which I enjoyed as much as he did help seal language learning and processing. I also remember Adam coming in perplexed one day to tell me that he was worried his dog, Gabby who was then 2 years old had never barked once, and perhaps I could train it to do since I was a speech therapist!
The very key to Adam’s progress, Saleh and Martine were very involved parents who would take time from their busy schedules to discuss strategies, and progress with me.
By the time it was time to head to the UK, I remember that Adam had reached an age-appropriate level in his language scores. This was by no means an easy feat, it would mean that he had to achieve a couple of years' worth of gains within a single year. Today – I am seeing a very grounded, articulate, sensible, intelligent and caring young man who has a bright future ahead. By virtue of the amount of grit he has, I think it would be telling how far he could go.