My son's grades and test scores were never “bad enough” for a school evaluation even though he had an ADHD diagnosis and reading intervention in third and fourth grades. He always seemed to slip through the cracks, but I felt something was being missed. At 10 years old, even the psychologist said “he is very articulate, he doesn’t have to come anymore.” But he continued to struggle in school, and especially with homework, which took him at least four hours a day. No matter how much he prepared for a project or studied for a quiz/test, the grade he received did not reflect the effort that was put in. I felt like no one was listening to my concerns that were always met with “that’s typical boys at this age, he just needs to pay more attention”.
Some actual teacher responses to our ADHD diagnosed kiddo were, “The homework was another perfect example of —- missing directions. I feel that this will force —- to pay more attention and it will allow me to work with him on areas of confusion that he may have form listening to directions and paying attention to detail. Again, I want to let you know that I feel that —- is a good student and does well academically. His main area for improvement is to pay more attention to directions. I truly believe that this will help him remember to focus on the directions more.”
Year after year, teachers, the principal, and district superintendent dismissed my concerns and would not help him in any way. I asked to be emailed if he forgot to turn in assignments…I asked if he could use one binder instead of five…I asked if the teachers could ask him for the homework instead of relying on him to put it in a basket. All were a “No”. How is it helpful to repeat “pay more attention”, and not address the root cause? Executive functioning was not addressed.
About a year ago, by some miracle, we found out about Seeds of Learning. I felt like Tera was in my brain! Everything that I was thinking, she was explaining. And although I had previously read about executive functioning and thought I knew a lot about it, the Seeds of Learning approach broke it down even further and made me realize there’s so much more to understand.
Tera’s thorough evaluation uncovered the root cause of my son's issues and could address them, rather than putting a bandaid on them. I felt like someone was finally truly understanding what I had been trying to explain for years, without me explaining it at all. Finally, someone else understood my child, and understood him more than I did. Finally, someone else was going to help him when he was starting to give up on himself because he repeatedly heard that he was “fine” when he knew he was struggling.
The therapists at Seeds of Learning treat the whole child. They instill confidence, which contributes positively toward handling real-life scenarios. My son felt comfortable with his therapists and could be himself because they take an interest in the child’s personal experiences, which make the sessions relatable and interesting. Regarding his non-school responsibilities, I sometimes start to ask reminder questions to prompt him, but he usually stops me and does the “thing” before I can get the words out. He also now prepares everything for his sports/activities with out prompts and even reminds me of what time we need to leave the house for his activities. I’ve never seen him so happy and confident! He recently asked if we could make Emily part of our family and visit her!
We also recently switched schools and one of the teachers emailed me,
“—- is truly a pleasure to work with and have in class. His enthusiasm for learning is great and he is very innovative.” I had to read that about five times looking for the “but…”! Or the “pay more attention” line, but it was not there!
I am so grateful that we found the Seeds of Learning family! Whenever anyone in our house is explaining a situation with vague details, you can bet you’ll hear a “I can’t picture that” followed by our new phrase, “oooh you got Terapized”!
~Vanessa Edson, HT, ASCP, CM
Akron Children’s Hospital
My wife and I have brought one of our children to Mrs. Tera Sumpter because we were concerned that he had a speech delay which we thought would affect him socially and in school. Tera correctly identified the issue right away as a problem of attention and proceeded to help him very effectively. We were impressed that Tera was more worried about the symptoms and potential consequences of our child’s problems, rather than try to label him with a diagnosis. She can use this approach because she has a very vast base of knowledge and is truly interested in solving a child’s problem rather than coming up with a label in order to activate some pre-established plan. She has many tools to help children by solving their language issues. She sees the whole child and becomes very invested in him/her because she is very caring. Our child enjoys working with Tera and after a day of school he has a two hour session with her. Considering he is six years old, this is another expression of her skills.
Not only has Tera helped our child but she has given us tools to understand and help him. As both my wife and I are in health care, it has been remarkable to see someone that not only could give us a professional and educated assessment and plan but also was involved, interested and caring. We consider ourselves very fortunate that we have found her and used her knowledge and skills to our child’s benefit.
Incidentally, she was recommended to us as “exceptional” by a friend who is a world-wide established academic in the field of Speech Pathology and who is also one of the most accomplished and nicest persons we know. We could not agree more with that evaluation.
Bartolo Giannattasio, MD, PhD, FHRS
Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Southwest General Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, CWRU
In life, there are few people who come along and truly change lives. “Miss Emma” with Seeds of Learning is one of those people.
Our 7 year old daughter never really fit in. She never checked off all the boxes in regards to a diagnosis, ie Autism, sensory processing disorder and so on. All we knew was she was delayed but not in a largely noticeable way. My husband and I being medical professionals, had assess to the best of the best. We met with behavior pediatricians, pediatric neurologist, speech pathologist, behavior psychologist and academic tutors. She was diagnosed with anxiety and Combined type ADHD. My husband and I explored and tried every treatment available. (Including the dreaded medication trials.) Still the results would end in disappointment. My wonderful friend then referred me to Seeds of Learning, LLC. I honestly did not know much about executive functioning. However, as my husband and I educated ourselves on the topic, it all clicked.
Our first meeting with Tera (owner) and Miss Emma is where our story truly begins. I remember going into this meeting with my palms sweating and thinking, Please God, don’t let this be another let down. But God knew what he was doing. I went into the meeting with all her ETR’s, IEP’s, doctor summaries and so on. Unlike the past, Tera and Emma set aside the paperwork to review later and each spoke to me and my daughter. I was immediately so relaxed. I left that day, put my sunglasses on and cried all the way home. Cry...because finally I found professionals who “get it.” Emma and Tera understood my child more in 1 hour, than anyone else in 4 years. I knew then that I had found what we had been seeking for so long. Professionals who truly loved their work. Professionals who treated the child and not the diagnosis. Professionals who cared.
My daughter started working with Emma back in June 2019, 3 days a week. My daughter has horrible anxiety when meeting people. She would cry if I left the waiting room. She couldn’t even name a feeling when she was feeling it. She would get anxious and act out. Her reading score were very low. Behaviors were hit or miss at school. I could go on and on.
Fast forward 6 months later. My child is a completely different person. I have had teachers from last school year tell me, “I have never seen such a positive change in a child in 30 years of teaching.” Her reading is improving. In fact, all of her academics have improved. But honestly, that’s not the change I care mostly about. The biggest change is in my daughters emotions. Her ability to have empathy. My daughter now can not only recognize her own feelings, but she can name them. She can explain the feeling but more importantly problem solve through the difficulties.
She walks into therapy now while I wait in the car. Her meltdowns have decreased to maybe a few times a month. She’s doing so well in school that I tell her teachers not to jinx it!!
I realize that this testimonial is very long. But if I didn’t explain it from the beginning you would not understand how far my daughter has come in just a few short months.
I say this with all my being, Miss Emma is the sole reason my daughter is where she is today. Emma honestly is the kindest, most PATIENT human I have ever met. My daughter adores her. I say this because my daughter doesn’t like many people in her space. She freely hugs Emma. She tells Emma her feelings if she thinks she will be in trouble if she tells me! Their bond is something I am forever grateful for. As a parent, you want the best for your children. When you have a special needs child, this becomes quite the challenge. We thought we had exhausted all of our options. Then Miss Emma came into our lives. She in a way is our little family's hero. Because of her, I finally believe that my little girl, is going to flourish! As the saying goes “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” Miss Emma embraces and loves these kiddos as if they were her own!
-Jackie Romito, RN and Dr. Brian Romito
We were extremely concerned about our son when he tested in 9th percentile on his MAPS test scores at the beginning of first grade. Fortunately, we had heard about Seeds of Learning and gave them a call as soon as we saw how much he was struggling. After a thorough assessment, the team at Seeds of Learning helped us to understand what our son's treatment needs were. He started twice weekly sessions with Ms. Hannah, and we began to see the progress at home right away. After just four months of treatment, his reading MAPS test scores increased to the 89th percentile!! We are beyond thrilled with the progress our son is making through his work with Ms. Hannah. She is extremely knowledgeable, and does an excellent job of explaining the concepts she is working on with my son. She is a highly skilled and effective therapist, and always demonstrates kindness and patience with our family. Best of all, our son loves going to therapy and is always happy to see her! We're so grateful for Ms. Hannah, and we know that our son would not be where he is today without her!
Tera Sumpter = Success! We were referred to Tera one year ago when we did not know where to turn anymore. We knew our daughter had a difﬁcult time with speech and it was affecting her learning as well as self-esteem. We sought professional therapy from the schools and private Speech Pathologists, but nobody was able to diagnose or help our daughter including myself.
With a Masters in Early Childhood I had a clear understanding of Phonics and Phonemic Awareness, but I was not able to make a difference for my own daughter. We were told it was just an articulation problem and she would grow out of it. Years of struggling went by and the heartache grew because as much as we searched, nobody was able to help our daughter until we met Tera. After one visit she had a clear understanding of our daughter’s struggles, was able to explain them to us and began a treatment that has proven to be successful. In just six months our daughter had made more than a year’s growth academically and was more conﬁdent in school. Our daughter has freely volunteered for multiple public speaking parts in and out of school.
Aside from the exceptional therapy Tera provides, she has also created a lifelong bond with our daughter. She is a kind, caring individual that has gone above and beyond to make sure this journey ends in success!
Michele Badowski, M.Ed.
Parma City Schools
Jim Badowski, PT, ATC,
Clinical Rehab Manager,
Cleveland Clinic Sports Health and Rehabilitation,
Hope and success are the things that Tera gives to people. I have a large family and many of my children have dyslexia. I, like most of you knew something was wrong, but through the school district and the neurology departments got no where. A friend recommended I try Tera.
From the first moment of testing, I knew she was wonderful. I got to watch her isolate specific brain functions. My son soared through some and painfully failed others. It was so heartwarming. We now knew what was wrong. Seamus was 16 and had struggled his entire life. We were in a bad spot because he went to boarding school and so could not work with Tera and continue in the school he loved. So we took some recommendations from her and had a graduate student work with him at his boarding school. The most amazing things happened. Just with Tera isolating the problem and recommending a course of action we saw incredible improvement. One of my son’s teachers called to say in all of the years of teaching, by all of the teachers at St. Gregory’s, not one had ever seen the improvement in a student that my son made that year. Not only did she help Seamus, she opened the eyes of the doubting teachers.
So then came high school graduation and we all knew Seamus could not just move onto college without some more help. So Seamus got a job at the age of 18 and spent all his own money to pay Tera to help him. This may not sound so impressive to you, but can you picture an 18 or 19 year old paying thousands of his own dollars on Speech Therapy? Yes, that is how wonderful Tera is.
Seamus’s SAT scores improved more that 200 points and he has just successfully finished his first semester of college. He has the confidence and skills to succeed in anything that life throws at him. Thank you Tera!
-Mary Jo Coyne; Lakewood, Ohio
I LOVE going to see Ms Tera every week because she helps me improve my speech and reading. She makes me feel good about myself. She is the BEST!!
-Kelly, age 11
I have recommended Tera Sumpter to families for years because she is the BEST at what she does. Tera will spell out clear goals that are easily carried over at home and both you and your child will understand the “why” behind the therapy activities. Since Tera only uses results-based programs, you will see obvious progress when you bring your child to therapy. Beyond all that, you will see your child begin to love learning!
-Emily Stark Cudnik, M.A., CCC-SLP; Speech-Language Pathologist; Lakewood, Ohio
We spent a lot of years being very frustrated with how our son’s challenges were or were not being addressed by the schools he attended. We feel very fortunate to have had an outside professional SLP recognize what may really have been going on with our son. She recommended Seeds of Learning where we finally felt like we had a proper diagnosis of executive function disorders and have, despite a very late start in his academic career, been overwhelmed and amazed in his progress, improvements, and achievements including a huge boost in his self-confidence.
Seeds of Learning has helped me a lot. By using what I have learned there every day, I have been able to raise my grades significantly in school. “ -Parker, age 16
I have known Tera since her graduate school days when she was placed with me at EMH Regional Medical Center in 2007. At that time, I knew she was going to be a great clinician. After her placement, we worked hard to bring her on to our staff providing speech therapy for hospital patients and out patients. Tera had a love for pediatrics and unfortunately for us decided to start her own private practice several years later. I kept in touch with Tera over the years because she is such a knowledgeable and competent therapist and great friend. We sometimes would refer our patients and families to her after they had exhausted their insurance benefits and did not know where to turn to next. Tera would develop a customized plan to help these children.
When my own daughter, Avery, was struggling to learn to read, spell and complete school work, my wife and I turned to Tera. She was able to complete a comprehensive evaluation of Avery’s strengths and weaknesses and was able to pinpoint the areas that required intervention for Avery to be an effective learner. Tera used her own model to demonstrate how standard school based teaching was ineffective for Avery’s weaknesses.
After several months of seeing Tera, her reading and overall performance in school skyrocketed. Avery went from below grade/age level performance on standardized testing to above average grade/age level. Site words and spelling homework which used to be a nightmare where becoming easier for Avery. Her spelling test scores went from 70% to 80% on each weekly test to 100% every week.
When I asked Avery how Tera helped her, she said, “She helped me to learn how see the words in my mind”. She also said that Tera provided her with a comfortable safe place to learn and she loved to visit with Tera’s cat. Every penny that we spent on the evaluation and treatment sessions was well worth the investment. I would recommend Tera’s services to anyone that cares about their children’s future success.
Michael Stives, M.S., CCC-SLP
University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center
Our family found Mrs. Tera Sumpter a bit less than a year ago when my husband took a job in Ohio relocating our family from Florida. We have one daughter, who at the time was 7 years old which we noticed had a speech delay and was also having issues academically in school. We were concerned about our child and how to help her along. From Florida, I had my very first conversation with Tera and was immediately astounded by her knowledge, interest and approach in working with children. Tera was very eager and invested straight away with aiding us in the development and education of our child. Tera looked at our whole child and all the aspects of her learning instead of just targeting the obvious areas of need. Since we began working with Tera she has continually impressed us with her plan of care, and willingness to go to the extra mile in teaching us tools as well. Her brilliance is matched by her kind heart and desire to help children. We feel blessed to know her and are grateful beyond measure for the light she brought into our life at a time it was needed most. Tera’s professionalism and giving heart drive her in helping children. Tera has our upmost respect and highest recommendation.
-Tyler and Tammie Sommer; Avon, Ohio
Tera, Seeds of Learning, is truly a gifted therapist and linguist, and possesses a specialized skill set that cannot be found in any school specialist we have encountered. My son struggled with visual imagery, phonological processing skills for literacy and all aspects of mathematics. Tera thoroughly assessed my son and set a specific plan of therapy, with defined goals, benchmarks and timeline, all of which my son attained. After approximately six months of therapy, Tera made the accurate and difficult to identify diagnosis of mild apraxia of speech. All the school specialists we had encountered had not known what apraxia was or how to address it. Tera worked with my son for approximately two years, along with supplemental school support (he never qualified for a formal IEP or 504 plan. In fact, the school principal said if I pulled his therapy and additional school support, my son would most likely fail and only then, qualify for a formalized school plan. Clearly, that was not acceptable or an option). With Tera’s plan of action and therapy, along with my son’s desire to improve and feel better about his school performance, the therapy has been a success. I truly believe the specialized services Tera provided, at such a developmentally crucial age of 8 to 10 years of age, made my son the confident and able scholar he is now. He has been consistently on the A/B honor roll for the last few years. In addition, he is benchmarking on state testing as “average-high” performance in both reading and mathematics. Tera has been a gift to my son and our family!
When our son entered school as a youngster, his struggles began and so did ours. We spent years consulting specialists trying to help him succeed. It wasn't until we were referred to Tera Sumpter that we finally found hope! Our son wasn't reading and within a span of just two years, he was almost at grade level. Tera taught us how he was processing the world and how to help him. So naturally, when his younger sister showed similar struggles, we went straight to Tera and saw immediate improvements. Tera understands their brains and how to help them and we are forever grateful to her for unlocking their potential!
-Paula Cornet, Avon Lake, Ohio