MOSCOW — Andrew Crapuchettes credits his mother with coordinating the against-steep-odds intervention that positioned him for success.
The CEO of Emsi had a rocky start in elementary school. He was dyslexic, had a wandering eye and experienced difficulty hearing because of a milk allergy that frequently left him with fluid in his ears.
The three issues combined to make it challenging for him to follow what was happening in class and explain to his teacher why he was having problems.
At one point as a child, his dyslexia was considered to be at an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
The teacher’s suggestion was to put him in classes with special-needs students. His mom disagreed and decided instead to home-school him.
“My mom said, ‘He gets jokes. We think there’s more going on there, even if he’s having trouble communicating.’ “
She also found a physician in Los Angeles who was doing experimental work with children. The physician cured his wandering eye with a daily routine in which he would cover his good eye and lie on the ground tracking a pink ball on a string swinging back and forth.
“It just gave me wild headaches because the eye didn’t want to do it,” he said. “But I am very grateful, because now I have 20/20 vision.”
The doctor also tackled Crapuchettes’ dyslexia, a condition Crapuchettes describes as making people get things backwards.
“The two halves of your brain aren’t talking to each other very well,” he said.
The physician used a number of exercises, never certain which ones were working. In one of them, electrodes were placed on both sides of Crapuchettes’ head as he read as fast as he could.
His mom continued his homeschooling until about the time he entered high school, when she struggled to teach him algebra.
He took math, public speaking and played sports at a Christian high school that was accommodating to home-schoolers before landing a job as a teenager at a high-tech company that launched his career.
He sometimes thinks about what would have happened if he had been enrolled in the curriculum for special-needs students.
“You can get pigeon-holed really fast, right?” he said. “Honestly, it probably would have completely changed my trajectory if Mom hadn’t been like ‘No. We’re going to figure this out.’ "
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