Case Study 1: Lake Jones/Educational Therapy
La Jolla LearningWorks Student, 2010-14
La Jolla High School Graduate, 2014
Chemistry Major, UC Davis, 2014-present
“My work with an educational therapist at La Jolla LearningWorks has helped me deal with my disabilities and overcome many of the difficulties they cause. I learned to manage my time better, organize my thoughts and ideas for essays more efficiently, and complete my schoolwork in a timely fashion. Now I’m at UC Davis, and while many of my peers are trying to learn these skills, I am ahead of the game.”
– Lake Jones
Barriers to Success
Lake Jones was in 8th grade when his mother brought him to La Jolla LearningWorks. Lake had been diagnosed with ADHD, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia in elementary school. He was also identified as highly gifted. While Lake was a very creative thinker and able to comprehend advanced concepts, he struggled to write legibly, spell accurately, and read fluently. He had difficulty transcribing his thoughts onto paper without losing much of the vocabulary and detail he could express orally. He also had trouble keeping track of his school assignments and resisted using his planner. In spite of his many gifts, Lake felt like a failure. He saw his friends and classmates complete assignments quickly and easily compared to the time he would have to spend after school to finish tests and the hours each night he would spend completing homework.
Building Foundational Skills
Lake worked one-on-one with La Jolla LearningWorks twice a week for 1.5-hour sessions year-round through his senior year in high school. He first learned strategies to break down big words do he could read and spell them accurately and had weekly check-ins on his online grades and assignments; then he developed strategies for active reading to help him analyze themes in English and recall specific details for tests in science and history. He also learned how to use the writing process and technology tools, like Inspiration Maps, to help him organize his thoughts for essays. Eventually, he came to monitor his grades and record his assignments in his planner on his own.
Self Advocacy – Unleashing Super Powers
Over the years of his work at LJLW, Lake also learned about his learning style and came to appreciate his strengths along with his weaknesses. He found a love of chemistry and had his parents to convert their garage into a lab for him to tinker with chemical solutions. With our consulting help, Lake’s high school made adjustments to his schedule to allow for a real elective break that would take advantage of his strengths; soon after, Lake developed a passion for ceramics and found that there was alignment with his interest in science with glaze chemistry.
Realizing Fullest Potential
Lake is now a freshman at the University of California, Davis, where he just completed his first semester with all A’s and one B+. He went to the Learning Resource Center on campus in September and requested a student note-taker; he also received a LiveScribe pen and notebook to assist with class notes. He is working in the ceramics studio on campus, playing racket ball daily, and finding a real enjoyment of learning in having freedom to choose classes that fit his interests.
Text Message from Lake at UC Davis, Sept. 2014
“Hi Megan! I hope all is going well. College is very interesting and all my classes are very cool. My English class is a class on horror films. I have to watch The Shining by tomorrow. I also have met with the student disability center and they have given me full accommodations and they also gave me a smart pen to use for the whole academic year. I am going to use it for math for the first time today.”