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Schools provide report cards to parents as a means of tracking how well their children are performing academically. But when students struggle, those reports are not designed to help parents identify the reasons for the difficulties.

Without knowing the nature of the underlying problem, a solution is difficult to find. So, what if there was a methodology that first identified the challenge your child was facing, and then implemented a program that focused on strengthening the brain? 

There is: a neuroeducation or brain-based learning approach that relies on the science of neuroplasticity to enhance cognition and improve learning. In this blog we’re going to take a deeper look at the issues that face traditional education when it comes to learning difficulties (or learning disabilities) and how neuroeducation utilizing the principles of neuroplasticity introduces a better solution - where your child’s brain is strengthened and their learning difficulties are overcome.

The Challenges of Traditional Approaches When it Comes to Addressing Learning Difficulties

Our understanding of how the brain shapes behaviour and learning has made significant strides in the past few decades, particularly around the neuroplastic nature of our brain and how it can be used to strengthen our brain through cognitive programming.

Yet traditional education has not caught up. To address learning difficulties, children are typically diagnosed with a label (such as ADHD or dyslexia, for example) and are then given accommodations or modifications to their curriculum to help them work around their difficulties.

Yet these assumptions are based on a belief that is out of date, that the brain cannot be changed.

Anne Marie from Norway faced this challenge as she searched for ways to help her son and to understand why he was struggling throughout elementary school. He had received special education support to accommodate his learning difficulties for years.

Anne Marie wanted to find a solution to those difficulties, not simply work around them. In addition, the approaches that the school used to help with the learning difficulties didn't change the reality of her son's situation.

“Accommodations may help the student get through the school day; however, they don't address the source of the learning difficulties and can often negatively affect the child's self-esteem,” she says.

This is where the importance of a new method of education comes into the conversation, neuroeducation or brain-based learning.

What is Neuroeducation?

Neuroeducation, also known as educational neuroscience, is an interdisciplinary field that explores the intersection between neuroscience and education. It seeks to understand how the brain functions in the context of learning and education, with the goal of improving educational practices and outcomes for all learners.

Researchers in neuroeducation examine how factors such as memory, attention, motivation, and cognitive processes impact learning. They aim to identify effective strategies for teaching and optimizing educational experiences based on a scientific understanding of the brain.

This field recognizes the importance of considering individual differences in learning styles and cognitive abilities, taking into account the diverse ways in which students process information.

One of the key elements of neuroeducation incorporates the concept of neuroplasticity - our brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life in response to learning, experience, and environmental changes. The result: transforming and enhancing learning processes.

By taking neuroplasticity into account, neuroeducation understands that we can strengthen weaknesses within cognitive profiles. Learners of all abilities experience enhanced academic performance and improved mental well-being for years to come.

How Arrowsmith Can Help Strengthen Your Child’s Brain

"Neuroplasticity is the brain's way of rewiring itself to adapt to the world around it."

- Michael Merzenich, Professor Emeritus, UCSF, Kavli Laureate in Neuroscience

Arrowsmith is a pioneer in the application of neuroplasticity and has been delivering a neuroeducational program for over 40 years. Extensive experience and research has shown harnessing the principles of neuroplasticity can both address learning disabilities and strengthen cognitive functions essential for all students in learning and performance.

By identifying an individual’s cognitive profile of strengths and weaknesses through the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment, parents and educators gain an understanding into a student’s unique cognitive profile. The next step is a custom-designed cognitive program that targets and strengthens the student’s capacity to learn.

Research has shown students in the Arrowsmith Program identified with learning disabilities no longer need or even qualify for resource support once their program is complete. Students’ rate of learning is accelerated, and there are significant gains in the acquisition of academic and day-to-day skills.

Take the first step: Recognize Your child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses by filling out our online questionnaire.


Real-Life Arrowsmith Success Stories

While looking for ways to help her son, Anne Marie came across the Arrowsmith School and its free online questionnaire, which, upon completion, gave her insight into her son's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. At last, an understanding of why certain tasks were easy for him while others felt almost impossible.

She was so struck by the cognitive profile generated by the questionnaire describing her son’s struggles, that the family travelled to Arrowsmith School in Toronto to take part in the summer program (hyperlink to CIP). He also received a full cognitive assessment from staff certified to administer the Arrowsmith assessment.

“The assessment puts all the pieces together,” says Anne Marie. “In front of us we had a report that was a map of his strengths and weaknesses, his unique learning profile. The Arrowsmith assessment gave us the insight we needed to better understand our son's challenges.”

After a transformative summer in the Cognitive Intensive Program, Anne Marie observed remarkable improvements in her son’s learning and behaviour. She decided to move from Norway to Toronto for the year so that her son could participate in additional cognitive programs. Matias participated in an individualized program strengthening the very cognitive functions which the assessment identified were causing his learning issues.

“The unique approach at Arrowsmith not only increased my son's cognitive capacity, it strengthened his self-esteem, increased his motivation, and gave him daily experiences of mastery and progression. For all of this and more, we are very grateful for the Arrowsmith Program.”

Donna Bell experienced similar frustrations trying to identify her son’s challenges. At five years old, she watched him begin to fall behind the other students in his class. She completed Arrowsmith’s questionnaire and found the results eye-opening. The experience motivated her to bring her son to the Arrowsmith School for a full assessment.

“When we did the assessment, they identified that he was challenged in 10 of the 19 cognitive functions,” she says. “It’s unique, untraditional, but it delves into the human as a whole person, and I think that goes beyond a grade that someone is going to get.”

Donna enrolled her son in the Arrowsmith School in Toronto to participate in a customized program of cognitive exercises.

“When he walked out four years later, he walked into his class in Grade 5 and needed no accommodations in school,” she says. “Who came out after four years was a confident, bright, successful boy who was ready to take on the world... this school, I will forever be in their debt.”

Strengthen Your Child’s Brain With the Arrowsmith Program

Every parent of a child struggling at school is looking for answers. Identifying your child’s learning profile of strengths and weaknesses is the first step in finding a solution, to put your child on a path of learning grounded in competence and filled with confidence.

Arrowsmith sees your child for who they are, and who they can be. Imagine your child learning with ease, confidence, and joy.

Book an Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment today and we’ll give you a complete understanding of your child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and how they can strengthen their brain moving forward.

Learn About the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
Post by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
May 16, 2024
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the international best-selling author of The Woman Who Changed her Brain, and a pioneer in using neuroplasticity to change the brain, cognition, learning and social-emotional well-being of learners worldwide. Though she began life with severe learning disabilities, she built herself a better brain and developed the Arrowsmith Program, which has helped thousands to increase their capacity to learn.

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