Child Behavior Problems

Learning Disabilities

When It’s Not Just Clumsiness: A Cure For Spatial Awareness Disorder
Girl Crying

As told to Sara Leah Green

I will never forget the concerned look on the nurse’s face as she said, “Mrs. Leibowitz, don’t you think it might be time to have Shoshy evaluated? All these accidents seem to be pointing to spatial awareness difficulties.” I was in the ER with Shoshy again; the second time that week, and probably the tenth time that month. My house was upside down, with dirty supper dishes in the sink and a load of wet laundry still in the machine. Overwhelmed, I struggled to contain my composure: “I thought it was just regular clumsiness, but spatial awareness problems?”

Looking back I wonder how I didn’t see the signs. I know they say hindsight is 20/20 but really Shoshy’s clumsiness and inability to understand personal space should have been clear indicators. She was forever bumping into things, dropping things, and knocking over her drink at the supper table. “Have you ever noticed that Shoshy stands right on top of you when she speaks? The nurse believes this is all part of Shoshy’s poor spatial awareness,” I explained to my husband later that night. “I’m going to book her an evaluation right away. I can’t spend another crazy night in the ER; between all the broken bones, bruised ankles, and stitches, we’re keeping that place in business.”

I spoke to Shoshy’s teacher the next day, who confirmed it all. “Shoshy has been struggling with writing which involves measuring the distance between the pencil and paper, as well as knowing how much pressure to apply to the paper to write each letter. Shoshy’s handwriting is very faint, no matter how many times I tell her to apply more pressure. She also has difficulty with coordination in gym class, especially when playing ball games,” said Mrs. Goldenberg. “Once Shoshy has been evaluated and if spatial awareness is the problem, I’d contact Neurolinks in Lakewood. They worked wonders for my daughter who experienced some other processing issues.”

After the evaluation, Shoshy was diagnosed with Visual Spatial Awareness Disorder. After assessing all our options it seemed that Neurolinks was our best bet, as the program provided a cure rather than just treating the symptoms. I booked Shoshy in for a Neurolinks evaluation with Mrs. Chayala Taub in Lakewood. “Shoshy is a perfect candidate for the Neurolinks program,” Mrs. Taub said after completing the evaluation. “She is struggling with what we call position in space, meaning that it is difficult for Shoshy to determine where things are in relation to her surroundings. This isn’t limited to objects but also to relationships with people. This is why Shoshy might invade your personal space while she’s talking to you because she has difficulty determining relationships within an environment. Position in space problems usually include poor coordination of fingers, hands, or arms which can result in poor handwriting and ball skills; poor ability to recognize how concepts relate to the big picture; inaccurate perception of relationships; shyness and anxiety. Neurolinks’ program uses exercises to target and improve the areas of the brain related to spatial awareness minimizing and even erasing weaknesses.”

After six months I can now proudly say that Shoshy is a new child. We’ve long said goodbye to ER visits, band-aids, bandages, and Neosporin. She is doing well socially as well, having just celebrated her 10th birthday surrounded by twenty of her new best friends. Neurolinks successfully cured Shoshy’s spatial awareness issues to the point that you would never even know she was the same child. We’re thrilled, the school is thrilled, and most of all Shoshy is thrilled with the results. Our lives have been changed forever, thanks to Neurolinks!

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About the Author: Honey Soibelman