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Frequently Asked Questions

The Arrowsmith Program harnesses the power of neuroplasticity to strengthen the brain and improve performance for both children and adults.

Not sure what that means or how the program works? We answer some frequently asked questions here.


About Arrowsmith

Who is Barbara Arrowsmith-Young?

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is an innovator and author in the field of neuroeducation. Her work, utilizing the principles of neuroplasticity, is used worldwide to enhance cognitive functioning.

Her journey and work is documented in her bestselling book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, and in her TEDx talk. As the Director of the Arrowsmith Program, Barbara continues to engage in research to understand how we can drive neuroplastic change in the brain to benefit learners of all ages.

Watch TEDx talk video

What are Cognitive Functions?

The brain is central to everything we do. Its design is a series of highways and stations – networks and connections that collaborate to shape our every thought and action.

These networks and the specialized regions within the networks have specific jobs or roles to play within intellectual processes – which Arrowsmith calls cognitive functions. Some of these cognitive functions are active in every conscious moment, while others are more active during particular tasks.

Whether higher order or foundational, these cognitive functions are critical in our daily navigation of the world. Every action we take and thought we have is made possible by a combination of cognitive functions.

Learn more about cognitive functions

What is neuroplasticity?

Neuroplasticity is a remarkable feature of the brain. Neurons are built to be able to rapidly adapt to the demands placed on them. 

Neuroplasticity is one of the most important human discoveries of the last 400 years, giving us the knowledge we need to improve our capability to learn, perform well at work and even enhance our social lives. Our brains can be improved throughout our lifetime.

By strengthening neural networks, Arrowsmith measurably enhances the ability to learn. 

Read more about the 5 key principles of neuroplasticity

How is Arrowsmith based in neuroplasticity?

Arrowsmith's suite of cognitive exercises have evolved from neuroscientific research. These programs utilize the necessary conditions for neuroplastic change to occur.

The Arrowsmith cognitive exercises target and strengthen specific cognitive functions, and have been shown to create structural and functional changes in the brain, which in turn lead to greater ease and independence in learning and performance.

You can read more about Arrowsmith's methodology here.

How can Arrowsmith help?

The Arrowsmith program enhances and strengthens a range of cognitive functions that are the building blocks for learning by utilizing the principles of neuroplasticity which has been demonstrated to be possible throughout our lifetime.

Arrowsmith adapts to each participant’s unique cognitive profile so children, adults, and seniors can all benefit from programs suited to their goals.

The Arrowsmith Program is used within schools, community agencies, treatment centres, therapy clinics, tutoring and executive coaching businesses that are interested in augmenting their existing programs and services with comprehensive, evidence-based neuroplastic programs.

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Is Arrowsmith Program available online?

The Arrowsmith Program is available online both in a virtual facilitator-led environment and in an independent check-in model that offers flexibility in scheduling.

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When was the Arrowsmith Program Founded?

The cognitive exercises that are the foundation of the Arrowsmith Program began to be developed by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young and were first offered to students with specific learning difficulties (referred to as learning disabilities in North America) in 1978. 

Learn more about the Arrowsmith timeline

What is Arrowsmith?

Arrowsmith is a revolutionary program involving cognitive exercises, innovative technology, and comprehensive support platforms – all designed to fundamentally enhance cognitive capacity through the science of neuroplasticity.

Arrowsmith is available around the world to individuals and families, and to organizations interested in delivering cognitive programs to their own students, clients and community.

Learn more about Arrowsmith’s methodology here: How Arrowsmith Works

How can my child or I participate in Arrowsmith?

Contact a participating organization in your region or timezone. These are schools, clinics, centres and coaching organizations around the world licensed in the Arrowsmith methodology. All organizations licensed by Arrowsmith meet standards of integrity, offer high-quality cognitive programming, are engaged in ongoing professional development and are part of the Arrowsmith community.

Organizations may offer Arrowsmith within an in-person or online, virtual experience. Each organization operates independently and may offer academic or therapeutic programs to complement you or your child’s cognitive progress.

Find information about members of the Arrowsmith community

How can my child’s school offer Arrowsmith?

Parents can be wonderful advocates for their children and in introducing Arrowsmith to school communities. Please contact us directly to discuss how you might advocate to have a school or organization in your area become a licensed Arrowsmith provider.  

Arrowsmith Advocates

How does Arrowsmith support lifelong learning?

Arrowsmith fundamentally enhances the quality of learning throughout life. As children, young adults, professionals and seniors constantly face opportunities to learn, a stronger brain allows for greater satisfaction, ease and independence. Arrowsmith's cognitive programs can meet increasing intellectual demands throughout our lifespan, and are suitable for participants age 6 to 90+.

Read more about Lifelong Learning

Does Arrowsmith provide tutoring?

Tutoring focuses on what your child is learning. Arrowsmith changes how they learn. Arrowsmith works on the principle of strengthening the brain so that learning becomes easier and more efficient. It changes a student’s fundamental capacity to learn across academic subjects. 

Tutoring and accommodations are rarely available in the workplace or in adult life. The benefit of a changed brain is it transforms one’s future reality. 

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Who can benefit from the Arrowsmith Program?

We believe that everyone can benefit. Individuals ages 6 to 90+, across a wide span of starting ability, have experienced significant cognitive, academic and social-emotional benefit. Whether the goal is to enhance performance to provide a competitive edge or to address a learning disability, Arrowsmith's customizable range of cognitive programs can provide a solution.

Arrowsmith can enhance the cognitive functions required for all academic learning; improve social-emotional well-being; enhance cognitive functions critical in demanding academic and professional settings; address the cognitive function weaknesses that underlie learning disabilities and difficulties; improve cognitive functions as we age; and improve cognitive functions necessary for the therapeutic process.

To get a snapshot of your cognitive profile and the cognitive functions that can be enhanced, take the Arrowsmith Cognitive Questionnaire.

Is the Arrowsmith Program effective in addressing attentional issues such as ADHD?

The Arrowsmith Program has been successful in addressing attentional difficulties such as ADHD. Many individuals with specific learning difficulties (referred to as learning disabilities in North America) experience attentional issues which can arise from different underlying causes. In many cases these issues are a result of a combination of specific learning difficulties making it hard for the student to sustain attention in specific learning situations; others are related to specific learning difficulties related to regulating attention. These types of attentional difficulties have shown significant improvement as students engage in the cognitive exercises. 

Read more about ADHD

Is Arrowsmith only for those with learning difficulties and learning disabilities?

We all have a brain, and can all benefit from cognitive programming. Arrowsmith benefits all ages, and those with a wide range of ability.

In consultation with Arrowsmith, organizations can select the cognitive programs and delivery models that best suit their population. Currently, licensed Arrowsmith Providers offer cognitive programming to:

  • general student populations, both elementary and secondary schools
  • students with learning difficulties and learning disabilities including:
    • dyslexia
    • dyscalculia
    • ADHD and attention issues
    • auditory processing issues
    • expressive and receptive language issues
    • executive function issues
  • clients with mental health issues
  • clients in recovery from addiction
  • clients recovering from TBI and ABI
  • seniors facing cognitive decline due to aging
  • adults looking for self-improvement or career changes
  • professionals who want to be more effective in their profession
  • young adults preparing for post-secondary educational and professional opportunities
  • gap year students

Simply put, Arrowsmith is available for organizations who recognize the value of a stronger brain, at all stages of life.

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How can I discover my cognitive profile and how it impacts my learning?

To learn about your/your child's unique cognitive profile that explains how you/your child learns, complete the Arrowsmith Program® Cognitive Profile Questionnaire. The detailed learning profile generated provides insight into many aspects of learning and each of these cognitive functions can be enhanced.  

Discover your cognitive profile with the Arrowsmith Questionnaire 

Where is the Arrowsmith Program located?

Arrowsmith licenses its cognitive programs to organizations around the world. Many Arrowsmith providers offer online programs.

Find a provider

Is an assessment required to participate in Arrowsmith?

The program an individual is participating in determines whether an Arrowsmith assessment is part of their experience.

In some cases, a full Arrowsmith assessment is not required and instead, a thorough consultation between the individual/family and an Arrowsmith expert can determine whether Arrowsmith is well suited for the individual and their needs and interests.

Some organizations offer the Arrowsmith assessment as a tool for individuals and families to obtain a comprehensive and customized cognitive profile, which can be illuminating and informative.

Read more about Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment

About Licensing Arrowsmith

What types of organizations can offer Arrowsmith?

Schools, allied health clinics, learning or tutoring centres, community agencies, non-for-profits, corporations, treatment centres, therapy clinics, coaching centres, wellness centres.

Any organization which recognizes the essential role the brain has in learning, performance, and mental health, and understands the value that cognitive programming brings to their stakeholders including students, clients, employees, families, and community.

Any organization interested in augmenting their existing programs and services with comprehensive, evidence-based neuroplastic programs.

We are happy to meet with administrators, leaders and professionals curious about the Arrowsmith approach.

Arrange a call with one of our experts today

What can I expect as a licensed provider of Arrowsmith?

Administrators and staff within licensed organizations have access to training, methodology, technology, support, consultation, and the Arrowsmith community as a licensed Arrowsmith provider. This comprehensive model enables the authentic delivery and integrity of the methodology: all stakeholders play an important role in building stronger brains.

The relationship between licensed Providers and Arrowsmith means transformative cognitive change in participants and an effective and sustainable implementation for the organization.

Learn more about our service model

How does Arrowsmith benefit schools and other learning organizations?

All learning starts in the brain. When students strengthen core cognitive functions responsible for the acquisition of academic and social skills, their learning experience is transformed. Studies show participation in Arrowsmith leads to:

  • Improved learning outcomes
  • Improved social and emotional well being
  • Improved self regulation and behaviour

Learn more about Arrowsmith in schools

How does Arrowsmith benefit corporate settings and employee wellness?

Arrowsmith can be an excellent companion to organizations’ wellness programs in building stronger employees through:

  • Improved working memory, processing speed, focus and attention
  • Improved cognitive flexibility and cognitive efficiency
  • Improved emotional intelligence
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Improved social and communication skills
  • Improved problem solving, decision making and people skills

Contact us to discuss how Arrowsmith can be integrated in corporate settings and executive coaching settings.

How much does Arrowsmith cost an organization?

This depends on the type of programs offered and the number of participants and is designed to be as affordable and accessible as possible. Please arrange a consultation with our experts so we can design a cognitive program that best suits your organization.  

How can we get Arrowsmith introduced in our organization?

Arrange a free consultation with us to discuss possibilities. We would be happy to learn about your organization’s goals and design a cognitive program that provides enduring and transformative gains for your students, clients, employees, business, and wider community.  

How is Arrowsmith integrated into organizations?

Organizations determine how to integrate Arrowsmith into their infrastructure, including scheduling, program type, participants, fees, and admissions protocol. Cognitive sessions are between 40 minutes and 2 hours in length, and are typically offered in groups of 10 participants to 1 facilitator.

Arrowsmith cognitive exercises are primarily cloud-based, and can be offered within an in-person or online setting. Participants are monitored and supported by a trained facilitator, and Arrowsmith’s innovative tracking and support platform.

Each exercise uses neuroplastic principles to strengthen a different cognitive function. No matter what the participant’s starting ability, these cognitive tasks are challenging, but achievable. Through mastery, participants gradually increase their capacity in functions essential for reading, writing, mathematics, memory, communication, executive function skills, reasoning, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. Participants may engage in one, or several, cognitive exercises, depending on their own goals and needs.

There are a variety of program types and delivery models available starting from as little as 4 hours per week, as well as programs with facilitator support and others offering more independence.

Our Approach

How does Arrowsmith benefit non-profit and community agencies?

Children and adults need strong brains to lead successful, independent lives. Through supporting the development of stronger capacities in core cognitive functions, community agencies can use Arrowsmith to support initiatives like:

  • Improved mental health
  • Improved learning and earning outcomes
  • Improved social-emotional well-being
  • Improved social and communication skills
  • Improved job readiness
  • Improved education outcomes

Learn more about Arrowsmith licensing

How does Arrowsmith benefit clinical and therapeutic mental health settings?

The link between cognition and mental health has been well documented. Therapists report participants in Arrowsmith have greater success in treatment programs due to gains in:

  • Improved problem solving
  • Judgement and reasoning capacity
  • Improved social-emotional well-being
  • Increased motivation and impulse control
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Improved ability for insight and self-reflection

Read about Arrowsmith within treatment centres here

How can I get trained in Arrowsmith?

Arrowsmith facilitator training and certification is accessed through an innovative online learning platform, and supported by our team of Trainers. Training is scheduled throughout the year, and there are a range of courses available. Please note this training is reserved for staff associated with a licensed organization.

Learn more about licensing possibilities here

Does Arrowsmith offer Professional Development courses?

Arrowsmith’s cognitive experts have contributed to conferences in the educational, mental health, and personal development space. We also design workshops and webinars for organizations interested in learning more about neuroplasticity, cognitive programming, and innovations in learning, performance, education, therapy and self-improvement.

Contact us to arrange a professional development session for your staff or team.  

About Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment

What is the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment and is it different from a Psycho-educational assessment?

The Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment identifies each individual’s unique learning profile. It provides an informative perspective of one’s learning experience and forms the basis for designing individual programs to strengthen a range of cognitive functions that underlie learning. Understanding the WHY behind performance, behaviour, and even struggles, can be answered through an Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment.

"It is like an operator’s manual for the brain, each one unique.”   Charlie, Parent, Canada

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What does the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment involve?

Individuals will spend 1 to 1.5 days completing an assessment to identify their unique learning profile specific to a range of different cognitive functions.  The assessment is made up of tests designed to assess an individual's unique cognitive profile. The outcome of the assessment will provide recommendations for programming options.

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Can assessments performed elsewhere or other reports be used in place of the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment?

While it is beneficial to review any previous assessment reports to learn about the individual’s learning history, a traditional psycho-educational report will not replace the Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment. The Arrowsmith Cognitive Assessment identifies which cognitive exercises and at which level an individual begins their Full or Part-Time program.

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Research and Outcomes