Child Behavior Problems

Learning Disabilities

When Your Child Reacts Inappropriately. Is There A Way Out?
Boy Yelling

As told to Sara Leah Green

Meet Yitzi; my youngest and the apple of my eye.

Until recently he was known as ‘Mr. Dramatic’ by his classmates. It wasn’t that he had a terrible temper; it was just that he overreacted to the smallest incidents. For example, a pencil breaking would lead to a major overreaction. I found myself trying to console Yitzi on a daily basis: “The world is not coming to an end, you need to calm down.” I never thought it was a serious problem though, just that Yitzi needed more attention than my other children.
One night at the supper table a major fight broke out. I’d made Yitzi’s favorite dish: spaghetti bolognaise. After enjoying half the bowl, Yitzi spilled some sauce on his shirt and his brother kindly passed him a napkin. All of a sudden my kitchen turned into a war zone. Yitzi began crying and screaming at his brother, and then threw a punch. That was the last straw. “We need a major intervention,” I said to my husband later that night. “What should we do? Try a psychologist? Maybe I should speak to Yitzi’s Rebbe?”
The next day I called Rabbi Cohen. “Mrs. Grossberg, I think it’s more than Yitzi’s inability to react appropriately. He has a hard time determining the importance or magnitude of things in general,” he said. “I gave out a homework assignment three weeks ago. I warned the boys that it was a big project so they should get started right away, and I was giving them three weeks to complete it. Yitzi told me today that he hasn’t started it yet, even though it’s due tomorrow. There are not enough hours left for him to even complete half of the assignment on time. Yitzi’s poor time management seems to be related to his inability to understand size. His perception of the homework is that the task is much smaller than it really is. This might only result in poor grades now, but as Yitzi gets older time management and reacting appropriately to different situations becomes very important.” Rabbi Cohen recommended a few courses of action, but one stood out – Neurolinks. I’d seen the ads for years, but never thought they pertained to me or my family.
I called the mother of one of Yitzi’s classmates whom I knew had attended Neurolinks. “The program performed miracles!” said the boy’s mother. “My son’s transformation was amazing and after years of tutoring and therapy, he no longer struggles academically and socially. It’s an investment for life. I haven’t spent a cent since he finished the program and he’s doing better than I could have ever imagined.” I was won over, I called Neurolinks straight away to book Yitzi an evaluation.
“Yitzi has a problem with something we call Size. It’s a skill we use in understanding volumes and interpreting information that arrives to the brain from all senses,” said Mrs. Yehudis Klein of Neurolinks’ Brooklyn location. “We use it to interpret how loud, how sweet, how pungent, how far, how large a task is, how much time something will take, and how serious a situation is. Yitzi misperception of size is causing him issues when associated with a task, schedule, or reaction to others.” My jaw literally dropped upon hearing this, Mrs. Klein had hit the nail on the head. “That’s his problem! I could never find the right words to explain it,” I exclaimed. I signed Yitzi up on the spot.
Six months later, I am Mrs. Klein’s biggest fan. Yitzi is a different child. He is super organized and always hands his homework in on time. He hasn’t been late to school in months. Our ‘Mr. Dramatic’ has turned into ‘Mr. Calm’, his responses are appropriate and he no longer over or under reacts. I’m so thankful to Rabbi Cohen who introduced us to the Neurolinks program, I’ll never be able to thank him or the Neurolinks staff enough.

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About the Author: Honey Soibelman