Who We Help


Philip was an extremely intelligent student who consistently received A’s in all of his courses and desired to attend a top tier university to begin a career in nanotechnology. His problem was that he had absolutely no understanding of how to navigate his social or organizational universe. All throughout his academic career, his parents had organized everything for him, planned his study schedule, typed his papers, arranged his travel, got him everywhere on time, etc. As 12th grade loomed, his family became increasingly concerned with his inability to organize himself and had him evaluated. They also expressed concern that, going into his senior year, he was as unfamiliar with elements of dating and romance as he was with organizational issues. That he chose to go through all of the details of a complex math proof on his one date with a classmate only added to their concern and to his school reputation as a nerd.

When his family received the results of his neuropsychological evaluation and learned that he had executive function difficulties as part of a larger Nonverbal Learning Disability, they worried about what it would mean for his 12th grade transition and college career. In a few short months, he would have to prepare his college application, apply, decide where to go, and develop the skills necessary to function independently of his family.

The psychologist who did Philip’s neuropsychological testing recognized the seriousness and immediacy of the situation and suggested to his parents that they look into Individual U.’s executive function mentoring program. Following phone and in-person meetings with Dr. Rudin and various members of Individual U.’s team, Philip met one-on-one with mentors and was soon enrolled in Individual U.’s Lifepath program (an individualized, structured remediation program that, in concert with appropriate psychotherapy, helps each student prepare for his or her daunting transition to college and academic and social independence).

Individual U. in turn crafted a highly tailored summer intensive program that embedded executive function tasks within a dynamic one-on-one program drawing upon Philip’s high level understanding of nanotechnology. While working with expert mentors who were well versed in the field, Philip learned how to identify academic and social tasks that required organizational and executive function skills. He and his mentors then devised strategies to help identify how and when to apply these skills. In time, Individual U. expanded its executive function work beyond Philip’s narrow area of interest, using his newly developed skills to help him spearhead the college application process. With his mentoring team, he researched various colleges, prepared for school visits, applied, secured admission, and made a well-informed choice. And, as he enrolled in his new school, he brought with him a robust skill set to help him thrive independently of his parents’ hands-on scaffolding.