Cooper: Video games and DVDs are a small price to pay

I must add this note: from day one Shirley told us we had to cut out the video games.  Kids like Cooper have exceptionally high visual learning skills.  When Cooper was tested he was four years old and his testing showed his visual learning skills at a fourth grade level. He was in Pre-k!  Cooper was one of those kids who would sit all day and play a game, if we let him.  We didn’t allow this, as we had already noticed that he would wet his pants while playing a game and not even realize he had done it – that was just how into it he would get.  We didn’t think that was a good thing so we had already established limitations.  However, when Shirley said “NO GAMES,” we both cringed.  Then she went further to suggest that Cooper not watch any DVDs.  We thought, “Right, has she lost her mind?”

We successfully cut out games and we stick primarily to VHS cassettes if Cooper is watching anything.  Of course, on occasion, he has been given the latest movie on DVD and he is allowed to watch it, but we can immediately see the effects of that movie on him.  While we initially snubbed our noses at the thought of this video game/DVD issue, we have found truth in it.  Over these last two years as Cooper would watch a DVD we would observe his behavior following and there are many DVDs that now have a new home in a spare drawer that Cooper knows nothing about.  These DVDs create an almost immediate change in his demeanor: he’s more aggressive and more obsessive over certain things.  The only thing worse than the effects of these DVDs is going to a 3D movie.  This summer, Cooper’s babysitter, as a “treat,” took the kids to a movie.  When I got home from work I immediately knew something was different.  Cooper told me all about the movie, as he bounced off the walls.  I asked my babysitter how he had been all day, and she said that he’d been wild since they went to the movie.  My daughter chimed in and said, “Yeah, I had to take those glasses off, they made my head hurt.”  My immediate response was, “It was 3d?  Did Cooper wear the glasses?”  Cooper had worn the glasses and it took about four or five days to get his behavior settled back down.  It is the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen to watch the effects of these DVDs, games and 3d movies on my kid.

All this being said, by following the advice that we have been given regarding DVDs and video games, following our Brainjogging prescription and working with Cooper’s physician on his ADD, we have definitely found a way of life that promotes a successful learning environment for Cooper.  Brainjogging has enabled Cooper to be successful in an environment that had once completely overstimulated him.  Further, Cooper’s dad and I were full of anxiety as school approached this year.  We can happily report, three weeks in, that it has gone exceptionally well.

It is almost unbearable, the angst that these learning disorders bring into everyone’s life: the child’s struggles, the parents’ anxiety and its effects on their relationship and the other child who inevitably gets sidelined.  The Brainjogging program has had an amazing impact on all our lives.  It is a part of our daily routine.  I hear Shirley ask clients, “Do you brush your teeth every day?  Do your Brainjogging right after.”  In my mind I am thinking, “Cooper’s teeth may not get brushed, but he is doing his Brainjogging!”

*As always, this parent testimonial has been reprinted without editing for content; testimonials are occasionally edited for grammar, but all changes are bracketed.

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