My Personal Journey Led to
the Founding of Maxi Mind
By Arnie Gotfryd, PhD
Educational Director & CEO
By the time Adam (name changed) got to Grade 1, we realized something wasn’t right. He was tuned out in class, wasn’t progressing academically, and seemed generally irritable most of the time. Eventually we got him tested and he was diagnosed with ADHD.
Standard treatment back then was the same as now: Medicate. But the Ritalin he was prescribed didn’t help much and the side effects were bad – Adam’s moods got worse. He was prescribed an anti-depressant to deal with his moods but that backfired when he couldn’t get to sleep at night. The solution? Add a sleeping pill.
Between tweaking dosages and switching medications, we felt victimized by pharmaceutical experiments gone wrong. And still no end in sight of the focusing and learning issues.
As a research scientist and classroom teacher I knew what to look for: Scientifically developed and medically endorsed methods that could be taught to a kid and would effectively treat focusing and learning issues. Eventually my efforts paid off.
I discovered some computerized focus training methods that combined neurofeedback with educational games. It was pricy, but it worked! Adam’s focus and learning skills started improving.
Then I bought a state-of-the art sensory integration exercise kit and that helped, too. Better focus, better reading, no meds, no side effects. It was remarkable. But the effects were short-lived. The trick was to get enough sessions into him so as to make a lasting change. Coaching skill was the key to that.
After some time, a local school principal noticed what I was up to and called me in to help some neighbourhood kids using these neuroeducational techniques. The impact was remarkable. All the kids improved.
At the same time, neuroeducation became my passion and I built up a veritable arsenal of upstart technologies with a reputation for upgrading academics and attention. After seven years of research and development I realized that it was wrong to keep this knowledge to myself.
With the blessings of my wife and my spiritual mentor, I decided to create a company dedicated to boosting brain power using effective, drug-free methods that are fun for kids to do. And thus Maxi Mind was born.To launch the service we decided to give it away in schools and teamed up with a children’s charity who subsidized a pilot project. We bought a boatload of technology, hired and trained a small army of therapists and set to work. In the Fall of 2010, we transformed the lives of 40 children and since then we keep growing and developing.
Now over 600 children have benefited from Maxi Mind’s unique Brain Training methods.
And as for me, I couldn’t imagine better job satisfaction. I don’t think any family should have to go through what we went through and it’s a privilege to help kids and families find that healthy alternative they all deserve.