A few years ago Douglas Mapp noticed that his son’s private school was doing something a little different from the norm with its learning styles.
“They were trying to help kids, whether they knew it or not, try to give them the understanding of how to think more so than what to think,” he says. That sparked his interest in how the brain works and processes information.
At the same time, the Maryville College grad was wrapping up more than a decade working in his field of computer science and deciding it was time to go out on his own. Learning Rx was exactly what Douglas wanted to promote: a program that improves cognitive skills in both kids and adults.
“We look at seven core cognitive skills - attention, working memory, processing speed, auditory processing, visual processing, long-term memory, and logic and reasoning,” he says. “We use cognitive tests to see what’s going on with the brain, how they utilize their skills, and then we develop a plan of action of how to address their weaknesses or gaps.”
Learning Rx doesn’t diagnose or treat medical conditions. Rather, its programs work within a variety of diagnoses, such as ADHD, Dyslexia, and Autism Spectrum, as well as personal struggles or barriers clients want to overcome, such as victims of traumatic brain injuries and general memory, processing, and attention problems. Brain trainers work one-on-one with each client to reach specific goals and improve overall cognitive skills.
“Our approach with students is to test them. For adults, we allow them to tell us what’s going on, to let their circumstances tell us where they’re at,” says Douglas. “You don’t necessarily have to test everybody, but it’s good to explain to somebody why they need a particular thing.”
Some may assume that sending their child to a private school, or even the perceived best public school in the area, gives their student an advantage. While more opportunities may or may not be available at that school, the assumption is still that the student will be able to keep up with rigorous academics. Douglas says there’s no guarantee that students will be able to respond to or execute the demands made on them.
“On our side, we say they can work as hard as they want to, but we can pretty much tell you that they’re not going to get where you want them to get to with these gaps or weaknesses,” he says. “Some have perseverance, and if they have that, they can sometimes work past their gaps or weaknesses. The cool thing about that is to watch those people excel, but also I know they’re not running as best as they can. It’s like running with a parachute. You still finish, but what would’ve been your time if you cut that parachute off?”
Getting started with Learning Rx is simple: Schedule a consultation, nail down some goals, and begin working with a brain trainer right away. Every few weeks, there’s a check-in to see if some of the goals are looking attainable. The road is measurable, so no time is wasted.
Learning Rx has a handful of programs that are personalized to meet the specific needs of each client. Unlike tutoring programs that can go on for years, most Learning Rx clients starting seeing results within a few months.
“We’ve studied over 25,000 people in the last five years to come to the conclusions we’ve come to,” he says. “There’s nothing that makes the gains we make.”
For more information about Learning Rx, go to LearningRx.com/Knoxville or call (865) 622-4186.