Archive for April, 2011
“I noticed when my son was beginning to play with toys he did not play with his toys like the other children in his play groups; he was a sorter. He would line them up along the window sills throughout the house. When he was finished lining them up in ascending order, he would start all over again in descending order, the day was complete when he finished by lining them up by color.
I was not concerned about my son, until a friend pointed out that when Elijah picked up a toy, he passed the toy from one hand to another and never crossed his body. This was the beginning of my quest for information on such odd behavior. Meanwhile, he entered pre-k, a personal nightmare. The teacher and director pulled me aside and asked me to have him hearing tested; he was obviously deaf. This proved incorrect, and then came the recommendation to speak to my doctor about ADD/ADHD. What to do, what to do?
My doctor recommended ADD medication without first evaluating Elijah. I picked up my purse and transferred to another doctor. Would a doctor treat for cancer without first finding out if a patient had cancer?
In the beginning of Elijah’s second grade year, I spoke to some parents who had their children in Little Giant Steps. I had heard of them before, and their name kept coming up. My husband and I made a commitment to the program and made our appointment for evaluation.
Elijah has mixed dominance, which interferes in his ability to retrieve information, thus he appears to be “a million miles away”, the false ADD/ADHD appearance.
The commitment to the Little Giant Steps Program cannot be made without first considering what it entails. It is work; however, the reward is amazing. Elijah has gone from the child in the classroom with a great amount of uncertainty and trepidation, to a child growing in ability and confidence. There has also been a marked improvement in his maturation in the past six months.
Please do not misunderstand the commitment necessary to accomplish even a percentage of the objectives needed in order to be successful. There are times when 100% of the objectives cannot be accomplished; however, 100% effort to accomplish them must be made in order to realize the optimum result.
Since we began working with Faith Haley at Little Giant Steps, there has been a progression in Elijah’s ability to retrieve information and in his maturity. Gone is the “million mile stare”, replaced with an insightful child able to make cognitive connections that we previously had glimpsed on occasion. To see my son successful in the classroom, equal amongst his peers in ability and maturity is priceless. If you are considering Little Giant Steps for your child, take the next step and call or e-mail; the sooner you call, the sooner your child is one Little Giant Step closer to success. “ T.S. Katy, Texas
Today we finish Ruth Young’s article regarding all the many things you can do to make an improvement in your or your child’s academic experience in school next fall. Ruth is a Certified Neuro-Educational Specialist. She continues in part two with teaching you the importance of neuro-developing activities that results in neuro-efficiency. (Neuro-efficiency is the ability to receive, process, store and recall information via high speed transmission of messages between the brain and body.) A good comparison of what it’s like to be neurologically efficient is likened to the difference between dial-up and high-speed internet service. Let’s continue with the activities she began to teach us last time:
• A cross pattern crawl (army crawl on the tummy) two minutes two times a day can organize the pons level of the brain to build strong, well-bonded relationships; empathy for others, the ability to (Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.) discern danger, pain, hot/cold and hunger and to interpret social cues.
- The midbrain influences impulse control, memory for learning, emotional responses, the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system and eye/hand coordination. To accomplish improvement at the midbrain level, a well synchronized cross creep on the hands and knees for two minutes two times a day is recommended.
- A cross march (hands touching opposite knee while marching) and a cross skip done twice a day for two minutes each, plus a twenty minute fast walk with a good arm swing will organize the cortex level of the brain. The cortex is responsible for formal reasoning, inner speech (thinking before acting), test taking and the ability to respond quickly and intelligently to new situations.
In addition to brain-organizing activities, you may wish to improve short term and long term memory to help you and/or your student remember the details, increase maturity levels, improve behavior, follow directions, be successful with phonics, comprehend reading and recall quickly what is learned.
Make your plans for a summer camp that can organize your brain for a lifetime of success in learning at school and on the job. A free auditory processing test kit with tips on improving short term memory is available at www.littlegiantsteps.com. A DVD on “The Neurodevelopmental Approach” from our online store will explain how to increase long term memory.
Developmental Foundations is a program which includes the foundational aspect of brain development for all the areas previously described. It includes free auditory and visual processing test kits for all ages (including tiny tot test kits for under age three), “The Neurodevelopmental Approach” DVD, The Rapid Recall System (a popular math facts memorization program), online instructions for every activity that you can view for thirty days, a tool kit of supplies and much more. Developmental Foundations is a great idea for summer camp or can be implemented during a school year for the whole family as a physical education and brain building program. A successful summer camp, success in school, success in a career or success in managing a home can happen if you make your plans for developing full potential through organizing your brain so you can remember the details.
During that first summer after graduating from high school; it was an exhilarating experience for me to reach my goal of climbing a mountain by hiking to the top (elevation: 14,000 feet) of the Rio Grande Pyramid at the head waters of the Rio Grande River for a breath-taking view of the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountain peaks touching the sky as far as the eye could see.
You can reach your goal for full potential with a plan to organize your brain by implementing a program of specific physical and mental activities this summer and throughout the year for a lifetime of academic benefit and learning pleasure.
As we come to the end of a school year and hopefully you will have more time with your family, I wanted to share with you a very appropriate article (in a two-part series) written by one of our associates, Ruth Young, Neur0-Educational Specialist.
“The best summer camp I attended as a youth was a backpacking trip to the San Juan Wilderness of Colorado; a gift from my parents for graduation from high school. Later, my husband and I led rustic junior high conference camps at the H.E.B. Foundation in Leaky, Texas for years. Our five children attended church camps during the summer and three of them became counselors for YMCA camps.
Our family has always enjoyed attending summer camps; but recently, I had the privilege of helping Jan Bedell, the Brain Coach, create a summer camp model for families and groups of children that is full of brain boosting fun and can produce a lifetime of learning success.
Whether your goal is to climb a mountain this summer, put in a garden next spring or to help your child graduate from high school, it is important to plan, organize and remember the details. If your goal is to apply for a job or help your child to succeed academically, then you will want to plan for full potential. It will be important to get organized; then it will be crucial to remember the details of your project.
My dream at age nineteen was to climb to the top of the world and see as far as I could see so I could enjoy seeing God’s great mountains and vast beautiful creation. Therefore, I set my heart on the heights! What are your plans? What do you plan for your child? Are you getting organized to implement your plans for the summer or for the next school year?
For my hike along the continental divide in Colorado I carefully organized my backpack with dehydrated food, layers of clothing, a tent, tent stakes, a sleeping bag, and a thin foam mattress for a total of thirty-seven pounds that I would carry for fourteen days. Getting all family members’ brains organized will help adults organize cabinets, balance the checkbook, clean the garage and can help students write better papers, organize their time and clean their room. So let’s take a closer look at specific physical activities designed to build and strengthen nerve pathways for intelligence:
- • By stimulating the tactile system with deep pressure for 1.25 minutes on each limb twice a day and lightly tickling with bath gloves on each limb 45 seconds twice a day you will be building brain/body connections; you will be stimulating the nerves that run up the spine to the brain and back down to the extremities enabling a child to experience the benefits of better connections like holding his pencil correctly and resolving bed-wetting issues.”
- More to come next time… be sure to stay tuned for more “insider tips” that can make a huge difference in your child’s or any one’s life!
We wanted to remind you of our free educational webinars.
Successful Strategies to Make Learning Easier, and to help you succeed in eliminating Learning Difficulties
FREE EDUCATIONAL WEBINARS
Please join us for these sessions on the neuro-educational approach. Learning difficulties are not a life sentence. It is neuro-efficiency that is the game-changer.
Many bright children struggle needlessly in school, while others have significant challenges. What is a parent to do?
Jan Bedell, “The Brain Coach” offers powerful strategies to unlock learning potential including tips on supplemental programs for struggling learners.
We always appreciate it when parents share what’s happening with their child who is on the LGS Neuro-Educational Program. This mom had some exciting news and we thought you’d enjoy it, too.
“I want to take a moment to share with you how excited we are about Miles’ progress. His improvement of more than 4 grade levels over the last 8 months is fantastic! Thank you for your periodic reassurance to keep at it and your reminder that progress takes time.
For any of your other families that question whether continuing with the program has value I can only say, the change in your child may not be obvious since it is incremental and you are seeing him or her every day. Trust your initial desire to help your child.
As each of Miles’ reevaluations approached I repeatedly wondered whether I should stop “wasting” our money. Was he making progress? Was this an exercise of futility? Miles has made a tremendous leap in ability in less than a year. The sense of achievement and pride that Miles enjoyed when he saw the results of his reevaluation was worth everything to us.”
Cyndi Ringoen, BA, BS Neurodevelopmentalist, Copyright, 1999
The controversy between phonics and sight reading has been a long standing argument. Phonics usually wins out in homeschool circles. Despite a strong stance in favor of phonics, many parents find themselves at a standstill in terms of their child actually being able to learn the phonics and then read. It is fine to stand up for phonics, but if you can’t make it work, then it is time to learn more in-depth about the brain that processes phonics.
The brain has two main pathways with which to process information. They are the visual and auditory systems. Each of these has both a long and short term memory capacity. It is the auditory short-term memory that I would like to address in this article. When phonics was introduced many decades ago we lived, primarily, in an auditory society. The children grew up with family dinners, listening to radio and stories of the old days from their grandparents. Children in this rich auditory environment had the opportunity to develop excellent auditory processing ability (short-term memory). Today we live in a very visual society-the likes of Nintendo, VCR’s, T.V., billboards etc. None of these things is necessarily negative, but it contributes to the development of children with stronger visual processing ability and reduced auditory processing ability.
Phonics is an auditory learning system. It is imperative to have a sufficient auditory short-term memory in order to learn, utilize and understand reading using the phonics method. So, if a family is convicted that a child must learn reading by phonics, then they also must provide the opportunity for the child to develop a well functioning auditory short-term memory so that it can be utilized.
A two-year-old should have a short-term memory of 2, a three year old of 3, etc. up to seven years old. The average in our society for a 7 year old to adult is 7. In order to begin to utilize phonics beyond memorizing a few individual sounds, a child must have an auditory short term memory close to 6. If it is below this, you will see a child who can say all the sounds of the phonemes and possibly put a few together into words; however, at the end of the sentence or paragraph cannot understand what they have just read.
To test your child’s auditory processing ability, follow these instructions: In a monotone voice, slowly (at one-second intervals) give them either numbers or objects. For example: You say, “5…8…1…7” and have the child repeat these numbers back to you in the order in which you spoke them. The child must be able to say a 4-digit sequence back correctly 75% of the time on the first try to be considered at a short-term memory of 4. It is the same for each higher digit.
Children who have an auditory digit span of 4 may (with drill) learn all the sounds of the letters, but they will not be able to efficiently utilize phonics to sound out words. The reason is that short-term memory is a reflection of holding pieces together. For phonics to work you must be able to hold individual auditory pieces (sounds) together and then transform them into a word.
When a child gets to a digit span of 5, they will begin to be able to sound out words more efficiently. By the time they get to the end of a sentence and/or paragraph, the comprehension will be lost. It is not until a child has an auditory digit span of 6 that phonics begins being utilized in an effective manner. So if you are convicted to teach your child phonics, you must first exercise their brain and build good auditory processing ability. Do the above exercise several times a day for a few minutes; you will gradually improve the brain’s ability to process. Each gain of one digit is equal to a developmental year. It is an activity which will take consistency for improvement to happen.
To insist on teaching a child phonics before they are developmentally ready is to set the child and parent up for a lot of frustration and laborious struggle. Focus instead on using your time and energy on expanding the child’s auditory short-term memory. And some parents, once they understand the brain’s role in learning phonics, decide to utilize flashcards for sight words while they are building the processing ability. This enables the child to view reading as pleasurable, and then later adding phonics to build the reading skill.
Little Giant Steps (LGS) has been dedicated to improving learning experiences for all people for almost two decades. The Neuro-Educational Programs they provide will assist people of all ages and across all spectrum’s of I.Q. Why is this approach so universal? Because we address the root causes in the brain that effect the function and efficiency in processing, and ultimate out-put ability. As we say, “It’s all in the wiring!”
It’s interesting that the more resources we have in our technological society, the further behind our schools are performing when compared on the world stage. Currently the U.S. is 9th in the world educational rankings. What happened? Didn’t curriculum get better? Didn’t teaching methods get better? The increase of dollars spent on education has continued to mount. So, why does it appear we’re not getting our money’s worth?
It has to do more with something that’s gone missing in what the human biology requires than with any thing! You see the human being arrives in this world not completely developed. There are steps and stages of development that the mind and body must achieve in order to be as whole as possible and to function as efficiently as possible. When our society was more simple with less gadgets, our children’s ability to process information was better. Over the last 50 years, we’ve changed the way we rear our infants. We’ve gone from an auditory society to a visual one. But, we still have two ears that effect us globally when it comes to processing information! Most of our children’s auditory processing abilities are below grade level. (Which can be reversed very easily – see the Free Auditory Test Kit or Auditory Processing Booklet).
Infants need to be on their tummies most of their waking hours in order for the body to map the brain regarding their functional development. Unfortunately, what has been happening is we’ve been putting our infants in all kinds of carriers or seats and have been depriving the developmental needs for the convenience of being able to see the babies face and having them up off the floor.
Quite frankly, for the best chance of development, the floor is the infant’s best friend. The experience of texture, temperature, feeling pressure, resistance, and all sensory advantages the floor provides to the largest surface of the body is just what the brain needs to develop. (And they won’t fall off of anything while moving around!) It’s through”whole body sensations and stimulation” that the neuro-pathways, coordination, and sensory connections for the brain really begin to grow and become sophisticated. The brain learns through experience where the parts of the body are, how they work and how it can refine function. Having an infant sitting upright in a seat with arms and legs flailing around in mid-air gives little to no feedback to the brain. It doesn’t learn how to control the limbs and all the other sensory information goes lacking, as does the development of neuro-connections when the sensations and stimulation are less than strong. Babies need hard surfaces to push against to not only development their brains, but their neuro-musculature development is dependent on this as well. All this is essential for learning, thinking and processing information. The faster the body and brain can communicate; the better the learning ability.
You see, the LGS Neuro-Educational Programs has been filling in those gaps for children, teens and adults, regardless of whether they are gifted, typical, or challenged. The brain and it’s circumstances of function can always be improved and become more efficient regardless of I.Q. Read the stories of those who have turned things around through our methods. I think you’ll begin to understand. Then read the free articles about the Neurodevelopmental Approach and Learning Disabilities. I believe you’ll be inspired!
I recently read an article written by a teacher from the 1800′s. It’s as true today, as it was then. She understood that the brain needed to be prepared to learn. Now, we need to learn what’s been missed and forgotten in our child-rearing practices that leave gaps in our children’s development and hampers their learning abilities. The good news is that regardless of your age, the neuroplasticity in the brain always allows for those gaps or lack of function to be filled and either created, restored or repaired! It’s a win-win even for those with ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, because it’s all about working at the root-cause level of the brain. When the connections are in place, function improves and people are set free from learning disabilities and learning struggles!
Artice written by: Faith Haley, Neuro-Educational Specialist - Part 4
It would be a good idea to take a look at your children and see if stress, anxiety and fear are a part of their daily lives. If you’re not sure whether they are being affected, you can just look for the fruit of stress, allergies, asthma, thyroid problems, retaining heavy metals, a disorganized central nervous system, Candida, parasites, diarrhea, insomnia, eating disorders, etc. (This list is not exhaustive.) Are these things present in their lives? Then some changes are in order.
What causes us to have less stress (fear and anxiety)? Short of living with an oxygen tank and trying to live a more peaceful life, what can we do? Well, thankfully, there is a more excellent way! (I Corinthians 12:31)
The Bible tells us over 365 times, “Do not fear; do not be anxious about anything; do not worry; do not be dismayed.” There’s a reason for that, don’t you think? Our bodies just weren’t built to take it! It causes us to age before our time and opens us up to all manner of disease. We can already see by the verse in II Timothy 1:7, (For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind) that having no fear or stress in our lives is related to having a sound mind.
There are two things that can be of great help to us:
1. Do all things in moderation.
2. There should be an absence of stress, fear, and anxiety in our lives.
We will find the peace we are looking for in our obedience to the Word of God. We need to cast all our cares on Him because he cares for us! “Do not fear”; that’s what we need for the ability to take in sufficient oxygen and to have a strong immune system. Our brain and body systems will function as they were intended, pulling in all the oxygen they need. Be quick to repent and ask your Heavenly Father to forgive you for not obeying His Word. You tell your children not to play in the street so they won’t get hit by a car. Your Heavenly Father has told you not to fear, not to be anxious for anything because He doesn’t want your body to get hit with a disease.
Hopefully, by now you have a greater understanding of what is happening with your brain when you are anxious. Perhaps you have a clearer picture as to why your immune system may be in need of help.
The Bible does not say, “You are what you eat”; but it does say in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It is important to examine your own life, taking your thoughts captive, making sure that you’re not anxious and worried, being obedient and following “Your Maker’s Instruction Book” thus increasing your ability to live a long, healthy life as God intended. If we are obedient and at peace, if our children are obedient and at peace, our immune systems will be strong; our bodies will automatically take in all the oxygen they need and will be healthier. Our brains, the brains of our children will have the ability to function optimally; we can live in peace and in health. How wonderful is that!
By the way, Dr. Hannaford (Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Smart Moves) also agrees with the experts about how fear and stress can open us up to disease.
She says that when you have …unresolved emotions where they build up over time into fear, the stress response is stimulated, leaving the system vulnerable to disease and inhibiting the learning process.
She goes on to say that …research has found a connection with people and personality types who are unable to express their emotions and the increased chance of cancer and heart disease. p187
In the book, A More Excellent Way by Henry Wright, which has personally changed my life, it tells us about all the ways our disobedience, like stressing out every day, has adversely affected our bodies. We’ve allowed disease to enter through an open door, robbing us of the life we so desire. Here is an excerpt from page 236:
…In the case of allergies we have a combination of less oxygen or too much carbon dioxide coming out of anxiety …when we have stress, our heart starts to race; we have repetitive breathing and the respiratory rate increases. We also have potassium levels that have been depleted, and the third stage of an anxiety disorder called the exhaustion stage sets in…
It’s in that exhaustion stage that we have the onset of many allergies and begin having problems with either hyper or hypothyroidism. Since a compromised immune system gives you a much greater chance of getting dreaded diseases like cancer, the following information is important.
This is the cancer profile from Pastor Henry Wright that he has found to be true in almost 25 years of research and ministry:
Cancer Profile: Denies certain strong needs and represses a lot of feelings – shuts down; poor ability to develop and maintain meaningful, long-term relationships without fear; hopelessness and despair; holding resentment; tendency towards self-pity and introspection; unresolved grief from the loss of a love object; getting fired or being rejected in a vocational pursuit.
You’ve just heard about a few ways that stress and fear can affect the body like developing disease, premature aging, digestive issues, breathing (i.e. asthma), or thyroid and heart disorders, just to name a few. It’s a good idea to check your thoughts and see if any of this rings true in your own life.
Now is a good time to check and see if any of the above sounds familiar. Are you holding onto bitterness, self-pity, the “why me?” syndrome; do we have unresolved grief, perhaps a death of a person or the death of a dream?
As a personal testimony I will tell you that I home schooled for a total of 23 years. I recognized, after some of Pastor Henry Wright’s good teaching, that I had been entertaining some bitterness and self-pity, “It all falls on me to do – the housework, the bills, the teaching and the directing of the children, the cleaning, the shopping, the everything!” I quickly repented of that self-pity and bitterness that had built up over the years because it just wasn’t going to get done unless I did it! Wow, what peace arrived at my door when I finally just let it all go! I used to proudly tell people that the big “S” on my chest did not stand for “Super Mom” but it stood for “Stressed Out”! That was not much of a testimony, was it!
Did you know that diseases like cancer will thrive in an oxygen starved environment? That’s why some recommend taking antioxidants daily. However, we can take all the supplements we want but if we have a compromised immune system those expensive pills and potions will end up in the toilet. Our bodies cannot use them because of the cell membrane rigidity as a result of being worried, anxious, and stressed. Our supplements simply cannot be absorbed well. I will share this with you from my own experience; when I was in this state many years ago, stressed out all the time, my doctor showed me exactly what my cells looked like. He put them up on a big TV screen. Although it was fascinating, as I had never seen my cells before, it was not a pretty picture because they were not healthy looking. Although I diligently drank a lot of water every single day and took a ton of supplements, the doctor explained that my cells were unable to take in the nutrients because I was so stressed out all the time. That was the first time I heard the term “cell membrane rigidity”.Thankfully I’m not who I used to be nor am I who I’m going to be!
This is good news, Smart Moves , by Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., there is an amazing chapter on “Fight or Flight”. Dr. Hannaford has this to say about the brain and oxygen: “Balanced, aerobic activity, where we don’t go beyond our bodies’ messages and over secrete endorphins or diminish dopamine, increases oxygen intake, so important to learning ( and our health).
Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Smart Moves p193. She says that it is important to learning and our health to increase our oxygen; and there’s that statement again about not over doing the exercise. It’s just not good to over do anything whether it is good or bad. Physical activity is good for everyone as it increases our oxygen levels. It can help us to learn and think more efficiently. Stress, however, (fear and anxiety) can have big, bad consequences on our health. For one thing it increases cortisol levels, which in turn affects the following body systems:
• Stress (which includes fear and anxiety) produces upper beta brain waves.
• Cellular potential decreases and the sensory system goes on hyper alert.
• The cortisol that is released supplies energy to muscles, depresses the immune system, breaks dendritic connections and decreases learning and memory.
Stress (fear & anxiety) activates the hypothalamus, which triggers the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotrophic hormones (ACTH) through the blood stream to the adrenal glands. Adrenaline then causes these problems:
Eyes move laterally to see where the danger is. Pupils dilate.
Breathing becomes fast and shallow.
Heart rate increases. Incoherent heart rate variability pattern occurs.Digestion slows or stops.
Tendon guard reflex at the back of the knee locks to protect the Achilles tendon, forcing body forward or backwards off balance. This can cause you to walk up on your toes.
Tightened muscles decrease cerebral spinal fluid flow.
Blood pressure rises
Blood flow increases to big muscles, arms and legs. Muscles contract for fight or flight
Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Smart Moves, p177. More next time…….