Archive for August, 2010
No More Tears Math
By Jan Bedell, M.Ed, M.ND, Neuro-Educational Specialist
All children must feel a sense of accomplishment to experience motivation when learning. The question for many parents is, how do I promote positive feelings in my child when he is struggling with his schoolwork and he hates math, hates reading, hates writing, etc? Here is a tip on how to motivate your children to enjoy math.
This may sound strange to many of you but if your child hates math and sits for hours staring blankly at his page, or, rushes through making careless errors; do his math for him! What!? Did you say, “Do his math for him?” That is exactly what I said. Now I’m not saying that you sit down and do his math for him while he is watching TV. What I’m saying is that you do a problem with him watching. Talk as little as possible during this process as math operations are visually retained. If you talk a lot, it will distract him from receiving the information his brain needs. After you have done one problem, have him do a similar problem. If he does his problem easily, then you know he has had enough input to do that type of problem and you can move on to a different operation. Repeat this process of you doing one problem and him doing one problem for about 5-8 minutes. Come back to math later in the day (at least 10 minutes later) and repeat the process for another 5 – 8 minutes.
If you are introducing a new concept or operation, you might do three problems before letting the child do one. This three to one input session should continue for a few days for each new concept. Every child is different but they all need input when presented with new information. You can reduce the ;amount of problems you are doing to only two, then the child does one until you see he is proficient in the new concept. At this point, go back to the parent does one and the child does one type protocol.
It is best to make sure the child sees all of the operations he has been taught each day to maximize retention, but it is not necessary to do 18 problems (exaggeration I know) a day of each! This “operation review” procedure can be accomplished with any textbook, but drill books work best. Just put a paperclip on each page of a specific operation i.e. addition with and without carrying, subtraction with and without borrowing and beginning multiplication.
The protocol for a child that has mastered several math operations is: parent does one, child does one of each type of operation that the child has mastered. Then parent does three problems and child does one problem for the new operation being taught. This should be done twice a day, with each session lasting 5 – 8 minutes.
Understand? I hope so! This technique can revolutionize your child’s attitude about math. www.littlegiantsteps.com
After having been exposed to the Neuro-Educational Programs for more than 25 years and witnessed some pretty amazing successes; I’ve not only been surprised in my own son’s life, but in the lives of children with labels ranging from ADD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, PDD, Sensory Disorder, Dysgraphia, Cerebral Palsy, Mentally Challenged, Special Needs and others.
So how can one program help so many different aspects of difficulty? It has to do with the breadth of the program and the fact all is geared to addressing root causal areas of the brain. We know from years of experience if the developmental steps were not completed during the early years of development, then the neurological inefficiencies are the unifying functional behavior that shows up with different accompanying symptoms. It is through symptoms that learning issues are diagnosed. The Neuro-Educational System addresses a broad spectrum of core functions. Those functional areas that present as lagging through the course of the evaluation are exposed and appropriate brain-based techniques are indicated. These activities bring wholeness to under-developed areas whether it be due to disease, trauma, or sensory deprivation as an infant or toddler. If vital developmental steps were not taken, such as receiving stimuli from being on the infant’s tummy, then the natural way of mapping the brain and growing connections between the mind and body are circumvented from occurring. Without gaining the ability to crawl and developing good cross patterning abilities leaves many children in a less than desireable state where learning is concerned. The good news is that children with learning disabilities can be effectively dealt with and the symptoms of the learning disability can be eliminated and re-mediated so the child can become successful and the shadow of low performance and struggle simply is no longer a component of their life.
Follow this link. Take the time to learn, first hand, how other parents and their children have succeeded in overcoming what seemed like a life sentence of always struggling academically. Discover the real key to educational success ~ neuro-efficiency!
One of the “Best Kept Secrets In Education” is what proficient auditory processing can add to improve academics, reduce stress in learning, and even improve behavior. You may not really know what auditory processing is and how it impacts your child globally where learning is concerned. Here is the information from Jan Bedell, M.Ed,”The Brain Coach” that can literally change your child’s academic life. Read, investigate and then bring your child up to grade level in his or her auditory processing:
Auditory processing is the ability to sequentially hold multiple pieces of auditory information together. It is a person’s capacity to take in auditory information and use it in their short term memory which refers to information coming into the brain and then immediately coming back out. Each person’s auditory processing ability has a global affect on their lives and functional capabilities. Auditory processing is vital for picking up on social cues, following a conversation, reading comprehension skills, following directions, attending, ability to read utilizing a phonetic approach, and many other skills needed to be successful in school and life.
Behavior is also greatly influenced by one’s auditory function. For example, if you have a 12 year old child that processes information at 4-5 level, he is developmentally more like a 4-5 year old. He will be socially immature, interacting better with younger children and interrupting conversations so he won’t forget what he wants to say. He will be unable to follow multi-step directions such as, “Go upstairs, change your clothes, and bring your jacket down with you when you come”. You, the parent, are soon angrily stomping up the stairs to confront an otherwise compliant child who did go upstairs, did change his clothes and then promptly forgot what else he was supposed to do. He simply couldn’t hold all the auditory instructions together long enough to accomplish the task.
Another prominent symptom of a child with auditory dysfunction is the inability to accomplish age appropriate responsibilities (i.e. having to be reminded everyday for years to take out the trash, brush his teeth or feed the dog). Having to be redirected in order to stay on task is also a common symptom of low auditory processing.
To get yourself better informed, please go to the articles section on our website at and read about Learning Disabilities. There you will find out more about auditory processing.
Also, we have FREE Auditory Processing Test Kits, if you’d like to know the processing level at which your child is functioning at this time. You can make a significant difference in your child’s life by doing some very simple steps : Click Here To Order
To say my son’s handwriting was bad is to put it mildly. It was (to borrow from Judith Viorst), “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad” handwriting — which breaks my heart to say, because he tried so very hard. It’s as if his hands just didn’t work right. We tried everything to help him: We bought handwriting workbooks. We tried copy work. We quickly gave up on dictation. It seemed that everything we tried only added to Jake’s frustration, and the more we practiced the worse it got. We couldn’t understand – why was this so difficult?
For years I kept thinking things like, “At least it can’t get any worse!” or “He’s just a boy and all boys have bad handwriting, right?” or “There’s always typing!” It was such a source of frustration that we had all but given up. And then we found LGS. (Little Giant Steps Neuro-Educational Program)
Eventually, Jan would teach us about mixed dominance and its effect upon motor control. We began doing the prescribed exercises, and Jake began to make steady improvement in all areas. We were so hopeful! But something still wasn’t quite right; after about a year, Jan noticed Jake was regressing. Thanks to her experience, she recognized the cause immediately: Despite what we all thought (Jake included), he wasn’t right handed after all — he was a lefty!
It has taken us two years and a lot of work, but he is making amazing progress! We just started cursive this week. He’s gone from hating handwriting to enjoying it: No more complaining when I pull out the handwriting sheet, no more tears and frustration. Thank you, LGS!
My son Will was officially diagnosed with dysgraphia in the 7th grade by a public school diagnostician. He had a post-high school vocabulary and reading level but wrote like a 3rd or 4th grader. He was told that he would never be able to take notes on lectures because it would take too long for his brain to process what he heard and then put it down on paper. Once he wrote something down, it was predicted he would miss one or two of the next points taught!
Will appreciated the label because it was the first time in his life that he believed the learning problems were not his fault. Suddenly, he could believe he was smart and that there was help available to get him through school with coping and compensating strategies. On the other hand, I felt like the diagnosis was a terrible thing. Would he always struggle in school? Would he not be able to go to college? Would he be unable to get a good job to support a family?
Shortly after we learned of Will’s disability I was helping to lead a prayer group in the home of Jan Bedell. When I asked her if she had a job, she explained that she worked with children who struggled with learning. I asked her if she was familiar with the term “dysgraphia.” She shrugged her shoulders as she walked casually into the kitchen saying, “Oh, that’s just because of a disorganized brain.” My jaw dropped to the floor. The “death sentence” my son received seemed to be an easy thing for this lady to understand and to fix!
Within a few months Will had an evaluation and two of his sisters and I went on program to improve our brains. It was a busy four years that followed of doing what seemed like crazy activities. I say it like this because in all my training for a Texas teaching certificate and in all my 15 years of teaching in public, private and home schools I had never heard of neurodevelopment. Nobody had ever taught me about the brain and how to make it work better so learning could be easier.
Today, Will is a successful upper classman at McMurry University in Abilene and his two sisters are making straight As with an extraordinary online high school called College Preparatory Academy. My brain is working better, too, because now my closets and cabinets are organized, I can remember a 7 digit phone number and I only rarely lose my keys or sunglasses.
You ask, “Could my child have dysgraphia?” At Little Giant Steps we say “no” to labels and “yes” to hope. We don’t focus on the learning disabilities or assume they can’t be remedied. Instead, through an evaluation process and an individualized neurodevelopmental program we help our clients build new nerve pathways so their brains work better. [It's called neuro-efficiency.] Carefully chosen physical activities target strategic parts of the brain to improve organization. Clients play auditory and processing games to increase their short term memory that results in global maturity for children. For adults these games help keep the mind sharp. As brain function improves, learning gets easier.
Whether you are a home, public or private school parent, you have the ability to set a new course record for your child academically. It doesn’t matter the age of your child, as all children being raised in this day and age are missing vital developmental steps. Why? Because, in this day and age we are rearing our children off the floor, and off their tummies. With that deficit, they miss the required stimulation on the skin, through their muscles, and the significant pressure needed to map the brain, so that there is good communication between the mind and body. Along with being in infant seats, swings, walkers, etc. comes the lack of connections (dendrites) that need stimulation to cause the ends of the nerves to grow. When there are massive connections your child will be neurologically efficient. This efficiency results in improved learning abilities. Some children will manage to hide their difficulties until about age 9. They hide their struggle, because every child wants to be like all the rest of their peers. However, at age 9 they typically can no longer cope and compensate for these neuro-inefficiencies due to the academic, social and psychological complexity that comes at this time in their school and life experience. Now, there are some children you can see problems much earlier. In my case, my son showed great intellectual capacity, but the disparity between his intellect and his motor skills were almost frightening. I’ve seen him leave dyslexia behind, his success in his ability to organize himself and his academic achievements far exceed anything I’d thought possible, because he did stay on a Neuro-Educational Program for about 24 months. (Not all kids require that much time, but he had many issues to get resolved.)
As a back to school incentive, LGS has gone all out to provide an incentive to get on-board with a special back to school sale. If you are asking yoruself, but where do I start? I’d recommend you start with getting one of our free test kits. (Both auditory & visual are available.) You can check for the auditory and visual processing abilities. The test will let you know if your child is up to grade level. If they’re not, then there are home programs that can get them efficiently functioning and bring them up to grade level. If you have a child with significant involvement, the there is a professional evaluation, which will result in you knowing specifically where the deficits are, a LGS Neuro-educational Specialist will write a program that will remedy those problems and bring your child up to speed so they are functioning (receiving, comprehending, storing, retrieving and communicating) at their own appropriate grade level. Once they get there, your work is done. These children typically take off because they will have become whole and functioning correctly, or as we say, “neurologically efficient”. You, with the use of our programs, will have optimized their ability to read, do math, write and communicate. In the case of many learning disabilities such as dyslexia, autism, PDD, ADD, ADHD; when the symptoms are remedied at the root cause area in the brain, the symptoms and the label simply go away. It’s true. Dyslexia and many of these labels are not a life sentence. If you fix the root cause, then the need to cope and compensate are no longer needed. Our program called Developmental Foundations is an excellent at-home program that will help you help your child realize their full potential.
As one client said, “I used to never be able to remember how to get to a destination, even if I’d been there before, but after the LGS program my life changed significantly. In fact, one day I had to go somewhere (I never even thought about map-questing the location). I just got in the car and drove there. When I arrived, it struck me….. I had no anxiety, stress, no maps to follow….. I was able to get there like other people do, for the first time in my life! I wept with joy for about 5 minutes, as I knew then my life had changed and I was free.”
Where does one begin to share about one of the greatest gifts God has given our family? Little Giant Steps has been part of our lives for almost 2 years and has truly changed our son’s life. Luke was 9 when he began the program. To understand the miracle LGS has been, you need to know a bit about Luke’s story.
From birth, Luke was not making the normal “mile stones.” Since he was our third child we knew what to expect. It was at his 9-month appointment we started a battery of tests to search for answers. His diagnosis ended up being mild to moderate Cerebral Palsy. The doctors shared that they did not know if he would ever walk or talk. Eventually, our son mastered both. From 9 months on, Luke has always had some form of therapy and he has slowly progressed. Then at age 4, Luke began to have complex partial seizures. These were controlled by medication. Luke went to our local elementary school and we were pleased with the care he received. But, he always seemed to take one step forward in mastering something, to take three steps back. We tried many various options, from repeating Kindergarten to trying more time in “therapy.” Nothing ever seemed to help…
In fourth grade, we moved and our new school was not able to accommodate his special needs. We were distraught to say the least. As we looked into other options, each one had roadblocks. Weeks before the new school year were to begin; a friend asked if I had heard of LGS. Unfortunately, we had not up to this point. Quickly, we watched a video, hopped around on the website and made an appointment to be evaluated. (To be honest, we had to be very creative in our finances and even at this point, God provided).
From the beginning, EVERYTHING about LGS has been exactly what we needed. Jan Bedell has been a tool in God’s hands to literally begin to transform Luke’s life in a few short months. Luke has struggled from day one with an array of challenges from physical to learning (dysgraphia, dyslexia, processing issues and at age 9, he still was unable to read). Once evaluated, we began our INP and within 6 weeks Luke was reading. His retention seemed to double, his tactile issues lessened and over all our son’s confidence began to change.
Recently, our journey has been marred with more challenges in regards to Luke’s health. Last year, he was diagnosed with a low grade, brain tumor. Sadly, Luke’s hippocampus was removed, along with part of his temporal lobe. We had to take a break from LGS and months ago begun the program again. While Luke is healing, there is clear evidence that his memory is hindered. Our hope is God will use LGS once again to do what no other program or therapist has ever accomplished. So far, we see good progress. I am not sure what would have become of Luke had God not placed LGS in our lives. It has done miracles in our boy…and we are forever grateful for Jan’s evaluations, Michelle’s constant contact, guidance, encouragement and Alyssa’s administrative gifts.
It Works In Schools – It’s Guaranteed – It’s Rapid Recall System
“What a fantastic math facts system! In 18 years of teaching, (first-graders) I have tried many ways to teach math facts but this system was by far the easiest to implement and I had better results with this system than anything else I have tried – all in just 7 minutes a day! Even my lower-level students flourished and were successful under this system. (3 students did 100% in 3 min or under.)
Here are just a few of the results that made me sit up and take notice:
Child #1 – Able to do all 70 problems in 2.5 minutes – 100%!
Child #2 – Unable to identify numbers at year start. At end of the year, he did better than all the top students in other first-grade classes.
My biggest success story in math!
Child #3 – Considered RTI, he was easily able to do math and was keeping up with the rest of the class.
An Exciting and Unexpected Result
After using the neurodevelopmental approach in my classroom this past year, my students improved academically, gained strength physically and matured emotionally. These students individually were able to complete sequences of tasks without prompting, as well as staying focused on the task that was before them. Other adults around them commented that their reasoning skills as well as their organizational skills were far above those of peers. Unlike other first grade classrooms in my past 18 years of teaching and those around us not participating in the program, these students were more respectful of each other and worked together to accomplish tasks without arguments. Students were successful, so both the students and teacher’s stress level came down. Together, we were working “smarter”, not harder.”
Tanda Trussell, First Grade Teacher, Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips CISD, Stinnett, TX
Our son came up two years academically in 3 months after using the LGS Neuro-Educational Program. The biggest indicator of progress to me has been that he is reading for pleasure! His problems are quite minor compared to what many families are dealing with, we were just frustrated at the lack of progress in several areas and felt like we needed an outside viewpoint. Jenny M.