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Cognitive Skills Training

Cognitive Skills Training

We realize that many learning struggles are the result of undeveloped or underdeveloped processing skills.  We address these weaknesses first and then watch students grow into realizing their potential.

Making your child’s brain the best brain it can be …

Bobby is unable to focus in class.  Annie spends an inordinate amount of time on homework.  Jon is always anxious and fidgety.  Kevin is unable to understand or retain simple instructions.  Caitlyn has no time to play with her friends.  How many times have we, as parents, bemoaned our child’s ability to achieve success in school or to feel self-confident, success and confidence that we know our child can achieve, if only …

For all those to whom this litany of complaints seems familiar, there is hope. Current brain training research has underlined the “plastic” and regenerating nature of the brain.  For a long time it was believed that brain capacity was static and that the brain we were endowed with at birth was the brain that we had to accept without any hope of changing it for the better.  This has been proven incorrect!  Brain training can actually change the physical structure of the brain.  Researchers have demonstrated that when the brain’s neural connections have been damaged in some way, its “neuroplastic” nature will allow it, through rigorous training, to bypass broken neural pathways and form new connections.  We do have the ability to tackle tasks which were originally deemed impossible due to weakness or which were impaired by injury.

How does this apply to my child’s learning? 

We are all aware that many children have learning differences, symptomatic of possible undeveloped or underdeveloped cognitive and processing skills.  At our clinic, we are dedicated first to identifying the processing areas that are impeding learning and then to designing a customized treatment plan to strengthen weak processing skills and to enhance brain efficiency.  We can train the brain to grow stronger, do more, do it more quickly and do it more efficiently.  Our aim at the end of the program is to afford your child the best opportunity to succeed in school and to realize his or her full potential, both in an academic setting and in everyday life.

How is the treatment plan devised and implemented? 

Based on pre-program diagnostic testing, an individualized treatment plan is drawn up for each student.  Typically, two-three 45-minute sessions per week are needed for optimum success, much like improving one’s physical skills requires several training sessions a week.  However, unlike physical training or academic tutoring, cognitive training does not take a lifetime!  And it can result in improvements that persist and may even be enhanced over time because the core deficits causing the academic difficulties have been addressed.

What areas can be addressed? 

The areas that can be addressed include but are not limited to:

Processing & Cognitive Efficiency Skills:

  • Processing speed
  • Working memory (auditory & visual)
  • Planning & executive functions
  • Attention, concentration, & focus
  • Visual attention & processing
  • Problem-solving (induction & deduction)

Adapting Processing Skills to improve:

  • Listening Comprehension
  • Basic reading skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Basic math skills
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Study skills & Time Management

Who can we serve? 

We can assess and work with students of all ages, starting as young as age five. In fact, this therapy is perfect for preschool clients who are at risk for learning differences. Research has shown that early intervention leads to better outcomes and in less time.  In addition, we can also work with adults who are wanting to become more efficient in their work environment.

Is this an alternative to medication? 

In some cases, children have unidentified attention problems or parents may be aware of attention issues but are looking for alternatives to medication. Because of the way our “brain activities” are structured, some children are able to learn attention and focus skills which transfer to home and school environments, resulting in improvement without medication.  

How does the program work? 

Because “school” has become a dirty word for many of our clients, our activities are game-based. Unlike playing games at home, however, we structure, break down, modify, and constantly adapt these activities in a therapeutic environment to address a specific processing area. All activities are “leveled,” and most are accompanied with a metronome; distractions are also added to improve focus. After a client’s baseline is established, he or she works to improve accuracy, speed, etc., building feelings of success, all the while acquiring learning skills. Research shows that brain training is like any other physical training regimen:  repetition, (over)loading, sequencing, and imposing time constraints on task completion are just a few in a battery of techniques that help the brain grow stronger and operate more efficiently.

What benefits can I expect to see? 

Sometimes the results start small: you realize you haven’t had to tell your child repeatedly to pick up his clothes! Then, homework doesn’t result in tears and hours upon hours of time like it “used to.” Classwork and test scores start to improve.  Problem-solving becomes more efficient, and your child can focus for longer periods of time. The difference between our program and others is that we first teach the strategy and then apply it to daily life and formal learning. 

The brain can be pushed constantly to do bigger and better things; let us help your child’s brain be the best it can be!

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