Sample Congressman Letter
The following sample letter is provided below to parents who wish to pursue political means to bring Neurotherapy into the school systems. Please feel free to individualize the statements to your own particular case and style.
The issue of services for special education is of great concern to me for personal reasons.
There are about 3 million children classified in the US as having specific language, speech or cognitive problems. Between 1975 and 1995, a total of $350 billion dollars has been spent on special education programs for these cognitive problems in the U.S. The state of New Jersey spends some 700 million a year on the special education initiatives. We spend a considerable amount of tax dollars and resources in our state to address this problem. The Reading Initiative pushed by the present Bush administration is receiving considerable attention in the school systems, yet the approaches we are using are not providing the effectiveness we need.
Many of these children end up in the prison system. From my understanding of the research, about 30-50% of inmates are in need of special education.
My child is presently enrolled in the ? grade at ? school. He/She has been classified as in need of special services due to his problems in reading, learning, math. He/She has also been classified as perceptually impaired, ADD, ADHD, emotionally disturbed. It is very difficult for him/her to function in school and at home due to these problems.
The school is attempting several interventions including the Orton-Gillingham method, resource room placement, individualized instruction, Lindamood-Bell intervention program, Fast-Forward program, a phonic intervention program to help him/her gain improved cognitive skills in the areas that he/she has demonstrated difficulty in.
I have been reviewing the scientific research in this area. It appears from my non professional review of this literature that these approaches do not provide the type of improvements that I would like to see and are available.
For example, there is only two adequately designed research studies for the Orton method and one showed that the modest gains (+.37 SD - standard deviation) obtained with this approach (after 350 hours) could equally be obtained with the Orton-Gillingham video tape.
The phonic intervention programs have not been consistently demonstrated to generalize to reading ability. Generally, the interventions are very expensive, take considerable periods of time (100 hours or more) and the results do no appear to justify the expense (increases of +.40 SD, 0-25%). If my child is placed in the resource room, his intelligence and reading ability will decrease.
One relatively new approach, called Neurotherapy, appears to be able to provide the results we would like to achieve with my child. The approach has been around for more than 20 years now and has demonstrated significant improvements on intelligence testing (IQ tests) in a number of studies (average of 15 points) as well as memory functioning (average of 300% in memory functioning in LD children). From my understanding of the literature on this subject, the scores on IQ tests have proven to be the best predictor of success in life.
Neurotherapy involves a simple rewarding of the brain's electrical activity and appears to be very effective for a variety of conditions, including the problems that my child is experiencing. I can refer you to some of the literature or websites so that you may review this information yourself.
I would recommend that you visit any or all of the following websites for more material on this approach.
Center for Health Psychology - chp-neurotherapy.com
EEG Spectrum - eegspectrum.comm
International Society for Neuronal Regulation - snr-jnt.org
Association for Applied Psychobiology & Biofeedback - aapb.org
Biofeedback Certification Institute of America - bcia.org
EEG information - eeginfo.com
EEG Research - eegresearch.com
The following statements briefly summarize what the research in this area has indicated.
- increased IQ (15 points) and memory abilities - an average of 207% in LD children
- decreased impulsivity, distractibility, aggression, criminal behavior
- reduction/cessation of medication in 80% of subjects
- improved attitude, school grades, generalization to diverse cognitive functions
- non medical intervention with no known negative side effects
- follow up studies up to 10 years have indicated ability to maintain gains.
- addresses the specific physical problems known to be the cause of learning problems
- is cost effective in terms of hours and money spent on the interventions
Although there are over 60 schools throughout the US which are presently employing this approach, I have had difficulty in having my local school system implement the program. I know that the neurotherapy information has been provided to over 7000 schools in the New York and New Jersey area. In addition, it has been presented to every state special education department with no response to date.
I am requesting that some political action, a bill, be introduced which would require the school systems to present to the parents all the treatment alternatives and an accurate statement regarding the research results behind the different options. It would be similar to a truth in advertising statement, as presently the schools tell the parents nothing regarding the scientific basis of the programs they are offering.
If this approach is able to meaningful move half of these children off the special education roles, our society would save billions of dollars in taxpayer money and significantly lower criminal behavior rates.