Who We Help


Billy had longstanding difficulty with logic and organization. His notebooks and backpack – assuming he hadn’t lost them on any given day – were chaotic. And, while he had trouble organizing his academic work in all of his subjects, Spanish felt impossible. He simply couldn’t organize the grammatical concepts at all. His parents reported that he fell hopelessly behind even with tutoring from native speakers of the language. Following neuropsychological testing, which showed sequential logic difficulties, his school was willing to let him drop his language requirement. But his parents were very strong believers in the value of learning a second language. Torn between keeping him in a class that made him feel inadequate and giving up on his language studies altogether, his family sought alternative options.

An educational consultant who worked primarily with LD kids suggested that Billy’s parents contact Individual U. She mentioned that they had a specialized Program for Japanese Language and Culture that was created for students with learning issues. The consultant also informed them that a growing number of independent schools, Billy’s school among them, were willing to grant credit for private one-on-one Japanese study at Individual U. His parents met with Dr. Rudin and soon after Billy met with a mentoring team that included Sae Sensei Okihara, the Head of IU’s Japanese Language Program. During their initial meeting, this specialized team of mentors worked to understand the nature of his executive function difficulties as they pertained to language study. They determined that he would benefit from individualized instruction in Japanese, a language many students with executive function challenges are able to master and enjoy.

Individual U. implemented its academic intervention plan in conjunction with Billy’s school and within weeks he was not only learning Japanese in a one-on-one mentored setting but receiving school credit for it. Within several months he attained B+ level performance in Japanese I/II and cultivated a nearly insatiable interest in Japanese language, culture and martial arts. What’s more, as Individual U. incorporated executive function and organizational work into its language curriculum, Billy began to show significant signs of improvement in his other academic classes as well.