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Anke Geiken, Director
My name is Anke Geiken. I live in Half Moon Bay with my family. I want to share my journey with you: I know that no one knows your child better than you and no one wants to help more than you do. You don't need another professional to tell you what the problem is, you want someone to help your child acquire the tools to be a successful learner. I know this because I was you. My older son went through a program similar to Eckstein in third and fourth grade. He was diagnosed as being “twice exceptional”. This term is being used when a person is intellectually gifted but also has a learning disability. Being gifted and having ADHD and dyslexia made school confusing and very challenging. It was painful and frustrating to see my son struggle in school and daily life despite how smart he was. It did not make sense for such a bright child have such a hard time in school. He was two years behind in reading when he first started the program. After finishing the program he was a year ahead. He now goes to high school and is a successful student. It has been a long journey that taught me a lot as a mother and an educator.
My life and career took a different path when I decided I was done watching my son struggle in school year after year. I was disappointed with the solutions schools offered. I wanted an explanation and solution that made sense and helped him overcome his learning struggles.
For the following years, I became an unquenchable researcher. Besides teaching at school I spent a lot of my free time reading, buried deep in the internet, taking courses, and reading medical journals and research studies on all things brain and learning related.
The outcome is what I decided to call “Eckstein Learning Solutions”.
I quickly realized that I did not need to come up with the solution, rather than combining all the research already done into a program to use with families who need help. All the research has been done. Many researchers have already dedicated their lives to finding solutions that are successful. This highly valuable information did not make it past the science in medical journals to the general public. After putting together all the research already proven to work I am ready to share the outcome with you and provide a solution to your child’s challenges.
Finding the help and support he needed, getting the proper diagnosis and learning to advocate for him, is an ongoing process. I have gained a wealth of knowledge on this journey and want to share my knowledge with other parents in similar situations.
I was born in Germany where I got my degree in Physical Education, German, and English as a foreign language at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. I also hold a Montessori Teaching Credential. I worked as a Montessori teacher in Marin County for ten years. Additionally, I worked with an occupational therapist helping children with gross motor and sensory integration deficits. I am trained in the Orton Gillingham Reading Approach and learned to teach math with the Making Math Real method and Montessori Math Program, both structured multi-sensory learning methods. I am a certified Pace provider, a processing and cognitive skills enhancecment program. For the past nine years, I have been working as a Movement teacher at the local public elementary school in Half Moon Bay. In my free time, I enjoy doing yoga, swimming, biking, hiking and dancing.
I have become not only an advocate for my son, his “special needs”, and his individual learning path, but have made it my passion to become a specialist myself in the area of learning differences. My goal is to help children and their families find ways to succeed in school and life. In my opinion, processing and cognitive skills enhancement is the most holistic approach and the only one that actually looks at the root causes of learning challenges and helps children overcome them.