Claribel Pope tried everything to help her oldest daughter Elaina recover from speech and developmental delays. She was told her daughter would “grow out of it.” She was advised to place her daughter in a special education classroom indefinitely. She drove four hours roundtrip to take Elaina to a 3-hour speech therapy program.
“I was willing to do anything, pretty much,” she says.
Claribel wanted her daughter to not only overcome her delays, but to exceed them. She wanted what every parent wants – to raise a child who is confident and capable to chase their goals. But she found low expectations everywhere she turned, until she found the National Association for Child Development during an online search.
“When I saw it I thought, ‘This is it. This is what’s going to help my child and help my entire family,’” she recalls.
Five years later, Claribel says NACD and Simply Smarter programs have done exactly that. Elaina, now 12, is near grade level performance and Claribel’s middle daughter Leia, 8, a typical child without delays, has surpassed her grade level goals. Her youngest, Camila, is also building her brain power at just 2 years old with the Cognition Coach app – like Simply Smarter for the little ones.
Building confidence in parents and brain processing power in kids
Claribel recalls starting with NACD, being led by inspiring coaches who empowered her to feel confident homeschooling her children.
“I gained confidence in my ability to teach my children. It helps to have clear guidelines for every lesson, and to get support when I need it,” she says.
Soon after starting her NACD program, Claribel started her girls on the Simply Smarter online brain training platform. The girls love the games and the independent time on the computer, she says, but it’s not always easy.
“It’s hard,” she says. “It’s exercise. Sometimes they don’t do as well and it feels harder but other days they’re excited, telling me, ‘Oh look, I moved up in this!’”
Claribel tracks her girls’ progress on the Simply Smarter dashboard. Using the Family Plan, she can monitor all the activity and recent scores. The charts and graphs are great for Mom, but Claribel says her daughters just like the rewards – fun “medals” appear when users pass certain milestones, rewarding and encouraging progress toward stronger brain function.
“They’re proud because they had to work hard to get it,” she says. “It’s like a workout, you start to see the benefits.”
Claribel Pope has become an advocate for NACD and Simply Smarter, especially since seeing more accelerated progress in her children over the past year.
“This has absolutely changed my family for the better,” she says. “These programs made the difference. They empowered me, they gave my girls the tools they need to succeed and I am so grateful.”
Claribel also told her story on YouTube! Watch the full video: