Better Brain Programs

At the Caribbean Center for Child Development, we recognize that children and adults, not only learn at different rates and abilities of speed, but that each person has different learning style and needs. Because we believe that Educational Remediation and Enhancement cannot be taken care of in a generic "one shoe fits all', we offer the following programs that are specifically chosen to provide the individual with the success that they deserve.




Academic Coaching

 

Many students with ADHD have a difficult time with organizational skills and executive function. We offer coaching and support for those students to become more responsible for their academics as well as time management of their life in general. We provide assistance with organization for major projects, turning in of assignments, organizing their backpacks and various other skills including time management and planning.

 

Cogmed –  A coach-supported computerized program designed to improve working memory, a key deficit in many individuals with ADHD and learning problems. This research-based and tested program provides a unique combination of effective software, pre- and post-assessment, and effective support and motivation methodology.

Cogmed has made a breakthrough discovery that individuals can train and improve their working memory, a key function of the brain that allows individuals to store and manipulate information "online" for brief periods of time. Cogmed Working Memory Training helps people with attention deficits improve focus, impulse control and complex problem solving. Through a combination of software-based working memory exercises and personal coaching, participants engage in a challenging five-week program using an Internet-connected computer at home. More than 80 percent of those who have completed Cogmed's rigorous and rewarding training have demonstrated tangible and lasting improvements. Cogmed's program has been validated by high-impact research in controlled scientific studies at the Karolinska Institute, a world-renowned medical university based in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as replicated by several independent research institutions. More information on the research can be found at  www.cogmed.com

Earobics - The Earobics® Auditory Development & Phonics Programs teach the skills that are fundamental to learning how to speak, read and spell. Developed by language-learning and literacy specialists, Earobics® uses scientifically-based, clinically proven, techniques to teach the listening, language and phonics skills that make your student a better reader, listener and learner.

Earobics® is designed to give you an efficient way to provide individualized, explicit instruction that meets the needs of a varied caseload. It uses sophisticated computer training techniques, including adaptive training, acoustic enhancement of the speech signal and systematic control of key learning variables. Its adaptive training technology automatically adjusts game play to the skill level and progress of each student. Earobics® also systematically controls the amount of visual cueing and auditory feedback, the rate at which sounds are presented, the length of sound units and the amount of background noise competing for the student's attention. The software carefully guides students through learning, giving them more help when they need it and fading cues as their skills develop.

Lindamood-Bell family of Programs

Seeing Stars – Caribbean Center for Child Development  provides Nanci Bell’s Seeing Stars Program.  This Program is based on Bell’s research-supported theory that those who are good spellers have good symbol imagery.  Bell’s research has shown a high correlation between symbol imagery, phonemic awareness and spelling ability.   Phonemic awareness is the ability to perceive the identity, number and order of sounds within words (e.g. “I know that the word “boat” has 3 sounds, 4 letters, 1 syllable, and that the sounds are in this order: b-oa-t”).  Symbol imagery is the ability to visualize letters in words.  Phonemic awareness is the foundation skill necessary for reading and spelling, while symbol imagery is the glue that makes this foundation stick in memory.    For example, an individual may be able to sound out the word “boat” when they see it in print (demonstrating intact phonemic awareness), but be unable to spell the word from memory (demonstrating weak symbol imagery).  When strong spellers attempt to spell from memory, they have an “image” in their minds of what the word looks like.  Individuals who have trouble spelling from memory do not have this image in their minds, and consequently, tend to spell in the more laborious manner of sounding the word out.  Given the fact that the English language provides many different spelling patterns and rule exceptions, sounding out a word to spell it, rather than having an image of the word, will not always result in successful spelling.  In addition, in order to identify and correct errors in reading and spelling, an individual must be able to hold an “image” of the two words (the correct and incorrect word) in their mind to compare.  This ability involves holding an image in memory.  Without this ability to hold the image in memory, it is difficult for an individual to self-correct errors in reading and spelling.

The Seeing Stars® program uses a multisensory approach to teach symbol imagery, beginning with imaging letters and progressing through to imaging multisyllable words, while incorporating these techniques into reading and spelling activities. 
Developing symbol imagery through the Seeing Stars® program assists individuals with improving the following:

       -
 Automaticity in phonological processing, to hasten word attack skills and the ability to self-correct
       - The ability to remember sequences of letters, to develop sight word recognition
       - Fluency in contextual reading (through increasing speed of phonetic processing and developing sight words)
      - The ability to remember words for spelling 

Visualizing and Verbalizing Program-  Nanci Bell has identified visualization as a primary factor basic to language comprehension and critical thinking.  Language comprehension is the ability to connect to and interpret both oral and written language.  It is the ability to recall facts, get the main idea, make an inference, draw a conclusion, predict/extend, and evaluate.  It is the ability to reason from language that is heard and language that is read.  It is cognition.

For many individuals, gestalts (defined as a complex organized unit or whole that is more than the sum of its parts) are not easily or successfully processed.  Instead, “parts,” bits and pieces, facts and details, dates and names are processed but not the entirety of the concept.  This language comprehension disorder underlies the reading process.  The main idea cannot be discerned if only a few “parts” have been grasped.  An adequate inference cannot be determined or an accurate conclusion drawn from “parts.”  The gestalts are the entity from which the interpretive skills of identifying the main idea, inferring, concluding, predicting, extending and evaluating can be processed.  It enables the reader or listener to bring meaning to what is read or heard.

 Many individuals have weak gestalt imagery that creates a commonality of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. They often display a range of symptoms including the following:

                   ¨      Weak reading comprehension

¨      Weak oral language compression

¨      Weak oral language expression

¨      Weak sense of humor

¨      Weakness in following directions

¨      Difficulty with “cause and effect”

 The Visualizing/Verbalizing® (V/V®) process is very powerful. Once developed, it enables the individual to:  1) image parts and gestalts form oral and written language, 2) recall and relate the imaged gestalts, and 3) reorganize and verbalize concepts, using the imaged gestalt as a reasoning foundation. This results in significant improvement in:

1.  Reading Comprehension

Visualizing and Verbalizing® enables the student to read material and comprehend it more than just recall. The student can generalize to the main idea, infer, conclude, predict, and evaluate from imaged gestalts. 

2.  Oral Language Comprehension

V/V® enables the student to receive, organize and express language concepts. The student will respond to oral directions, humor, cause and effect relationships, and improve attention to oral language. 

3.  Oral Language Expression

V/V® enables the student to receive, organize and express language concepts. The student is more able, organized, succinct and fluent in verbalization. Imaged gestalts are the foundation from which he or she verbalizes. 

4.   Written Language Expression

V/V® aids the student in writing skills. The student is more able to organize and structure the content of paragraphs and reports, due to improvement in oral language expression and awareness that writing creates images for the reader. 

5.   Critical Thinking

The techniques embodied in the V/V® process aid in the development of critical thinking. The approach is based on inquiry. Once the student has developed an imaged gestalt for a concept, interpretive questions are asked regarding main idea, inference, conclusion, prediction, and evaluation.

On Cloud Nine -The On Cloud Nine® Math Program is based on the theory that math is thinking (dual coding) with numbers, imagery and language; reading/spelling is thinking with letters, imagery and language.  Both processes require the integration of language and imagery to assist in the foundational and application processes.  Dual coding in math, just as in reading, requires two aspects in imagery:  symbol/numeral imagery (parts/details) and concept imagery (whole/gestalt).

Visualizing numerals is one of the basic cognitive processes necessary to understanding math. For example, when we see the numeral “3”, we know that it represents the concept of three of something—three pennies, three apples, three horses, three dots.  If someone gives us two pennies for the numeral three, we have a discrepancy between our numeral-image for three and the reality of three.  While imaging numerals is important to mathematical computation, another aspect of imagery is equally as important:  concept imagery.  Understanding, problem solving, and computing in mathematics requires the ability to process the gestalt (whole)—another form of imagery.  Mathematical skill requires the ability to get the gestalt, see the big picture, in order to understand the process underlying mathematical logic.  While weaknesses in imagery may cause problems in reasoning and math, strength in imagery is a foundation for math.

The On Cloud Nine® math program moves through three basic steps to develop mathematical reasoning and computation: 

  1. Manipulatives to experience the realness of math
  2. Imagery and language to concretize that realness in the sensory system
  3. Computation to apply math to problem solving

 The On Cloud Nine® math program teaches the concept of imagery and incorporates this to improve comprehension of the following mathematical procedures and concepts:

·         The number line
·         Addition and subtraction family facts
·         Word problems
·         Place value, decimals, fractions
·         Carrying and borrowing
·         Multiplication and Division

Handwriting Without Tears: Handwriting fluency is fundamental to learning because children think and write at the same time. When we teach children to write, we also teach them how to express themselves. If they struggle to form their letters, their ability to express themselves will suffer. Children who don’t master handwriting may be slow, sloppy, or illegible writers.

We focus on fun and achievement to optimize children’s curiosity and joy of learning throughout school. Our goal is to help students learn proper handwriting habits and then, apply those habits naturally and automatically to all writing experiences that they’ll take throughout elementary school, high school, and beyond.

The HWT curriculum starts when children enter kindergarten. By playing, singing and building letters, they develop important skills they need to print words, sentences, paragraphs, and eventually transition to cursive.

Apple Tree Curriculum for Written Language: Apple Tree Curriculum for Developing Written Language is a language system that provides a sequence of procedures for the construction and development of basic English sentence structures. Retaining the same time-tested teaching strategies as the original, its main thrust is to help the student develop written language skills.

Although this curriculum was originally designed for the hearing impaired, it is also appropriate for students learning English as a second language, those with specific language impairment and delays in written expression.

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