Thursday, June 3, 2010

Arrowsmith School - Strengthening Learning Capacities

Neuroplasticity challenges the idea that brain...Image via Wikipedia
Arrowsmith School was one of the finalist in Sharp Brain's Innovation Awards.  I think their school program is really neat in the way it focuses on neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to reshape itself.  The course is tailored to the student.  Barbara Arrowsmith Young, the founder of the Arrowsmith School,  has identified 19 specific learning dysfunctions:

1. Motor Symbol Sequencing
2. Symbol Relations
3. Memory for Information or Instructions
4. Predicative Speech
5. Broca's Speech Pronunciation
6. Auditory Speech Discrimination
7. Symbolic Thinking
8. Symbol Recognition
9. Lexical Memory
10. Kinesthetic Perception
11. Kinesthetic Speech
12. Artifactual Thinking
13. Narrow Visual Span
14. Object Recognition
15. Spatial Reasoning
16. Mechanical Reasoning
17. Abstract Reasoning
18. Primary Motor
19. Supplementary Motor

The school uses a variety of exercises to fire up parts of the brain that are underperforming and considered weak. These computer and auditory exercises work the brain as if it's a muscle; it is likened to mental Olympic training. When the weak areas of the brain are strengthened, the learning disability is reduced or removed.  In a  court case in Canada, the judge found that "the services provided in the Arrowsmith Program are medical services. The activity undertaken by the participants in the program is a form of neurological therapy designed to treat a medical condition. Such therapy was provided specifically for the purpose of strengthening weaker defective cognitive capacities at the root of the participants' learning disabilities. According to the uncontradicted evidence led on behalf of the Appellant, the techniques used in the program have a basis in neuroscience, and involve the diagnosis and treatment of the Appellant's daughter's disability. As such they are related to the science of medicine and are medical services."

Arrowsmith School - Strengthening Learning Capacities

Dialogue Interview with Sandra Heusel from the Eaton-Arrowsmith School in Vancouver and Victoria.
Sandra explains… #

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