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Pyramid of Potential
245 Washington St., #3369,
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

518-260-3937
www.pyramidofpotential.com


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  Where's Kathy?

 

Below are the upcoming workshops that Kathy Johnson is giving. If she is not coming to your area, why not hire her for your next professional development?

 

5 Fun Activities to Improve Attention, Memory and Processing Speed

 

Bring your children, ages 6 to 18 for a fun evening about the brain. At any age, our brains can improve so that we can learn easier, shorten homework time, and get better jobs. Kathy Johnson of Pyramid of Potential will show you how to change your brain to overcome various obstacles. Put this on your calendar because this is going to be fun!

Saratoga Springs Public Library

March 13, 2014 6:30-8pm

Free and open to the public

 

The following workshops are sponsored by PESI. If one is not coming to your area, but you would like to see this workshop, on April 30, the workshop will be aired live via webcast.Click here for more information.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 in 
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 1/30/2014 ** 
 
Thursday, February 20, 2014 in 
MOUNT VERNON, IL
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 1/31/2014 ** 
 
Friday, February 21, 2014 in 
SPRINGFIELD, IL
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/1/2014 **
 
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in 
DAVENPORT, IA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/6/2014 ** 
 
Thursday, February 27, 2014 in 
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/7/2014 ** 
 
Friday, February 28, 2014 in 
DES MOINES, IA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/8/2014 ** 
 
Thursday, March 20, 2014 in 
ROSEVILLE, MN
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/28/2014 ** 
 
Friday, March 21, 2014 in 
BLOOMINGTON, MN
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices 

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 in LOUISVILLE, KY
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 3/19/2014 ** 

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 in BLUE ASH, OH
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 3/20/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Thursday, April 10, 2014 in COLUMBUS, OH
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 3/21/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Monday, April 28, 2014 in TULSA, OK
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 4/8/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 4/9/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in DALLAS, TX
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 4/10/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Thursday, May 08, 2014 in CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 4/18/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Friday, May 09, 2014 in FAIRFAX, VA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 4/19/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Thursday, May 22, 2014 in CARLSBAD, CA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 5/2/2014 **

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach
Friday, May 23, 2014 in SAN DIEGO, CA
Speaker: KATHY JOHNSON, MS ED
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 5/3/2014 **


Math Sense and Working Memory
February 12,  2014  

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  The brain is experience dependent. A child must have opportunities to move, explore and use all senses to create the connections that physically wires and grows a healthy brain.

©Worldwide Brain Team, 2014

Announcement!! 
Pyramid of Potential Series Exercises are now available as apps for your iPhone or iPad!

For more information, see below the main article today.


Dear All,

Today I am answering an email about math that I received last week.

 

Hi Kathy,

      Not sure if this is classified as Dyscalculia or something different but would love your input.

 

      My son has never been able to memorize his math facts.  This has always been a problem and he is now 14.  He learned touch math in elementary school which was a big help and now in high school he uses a calculator for everything.  He now doesn't even try to think of the answer just plugs it into the calculator (even something as simple as 5 + 2).

 

  When he first began to learn his math addition facts I would practice with him every day.  Purchased all kinds of fun math games, cards, kits...   We would go through them and through them but he just could never memorize them.  If I thought he was getting it the next day it would be like starting over.

 

   Math is such a struggle in our house.  He is an extremely bright child.  He can tell you every ounce of trivia about Walt Disney, historical times and places, scientific discoveries but he cannot tell you what 5 + 5 is.

 

 I think he can figure out money ok now.  He can tell if a number is greater than the other.  He can't calculate change though.  If something is $9.68 he would know he had enough money if he had a $10 but he couldn't calculate his change in his head. 

 

I don't really remember when he learned to count.  He was kind of non-verbal until he was around 4.  Spoke some words.  In preschool they were doing sign language with him.  Going to kindergarten he was still not completely using words.  I think once he could talk and sing he learned to count that way.  I remember trying to teach him to count to 100 was painful and long.

 

He is quite verbal now.

 

Thank you for your newsletter.  Hoping to find something that I can use to explain to the teachers why he works so hard and gets nowhere.   I have forwarded the newsletter on to his tutor which is one of the special education teachers at the school.  This research is fascinating.  It sounds like they are describing him to a T.

 

   Any input you have would be great!

Thank you,

Karen Miller   

Dear Karen,

Although I cannot see into your son's head, I am going to write about what I think may be going on, and how to improve it. Let me know if this helps.

 

I see two things that are making it difficult for him to use numbers correctly. First of all, it appears he has very little "math sense", an understanding of just what numbers are all about. Also, it appears that he cannot keep a significant amount of information in his head (working memory), requiring him to use a calculator.

 

So let's examine these issues one at a time. There are external clues that will help you decide which of the 2 might be contributing to his math difficulties.

 

Math Sense

First is math sense. This comes from a general understanding of the logic of our world, and is created in our brain normally in the first few months of life. If a child does not easily go through this stage of development and "integrate the moro reflex" you will see many of the bodies systems underdeveloped. You may see an underdeveloped nervous system, causing anxiety including math and test anxiety. You may see an underdeveloped vision system, causing excessive blinking, sensitivity to light, or inability to maintain eye contact. You may see problems with the auditory system, in that the person may be hypersensitive to sound (which can look like ADD/ADHD). And underdeveloped digestive system can contribute to hypoglycemia or sensitivity to sugar. You might see a poor immune system causing allergies. An underdeveloped vestibular system causes poor balance.

 

So if you combine the poor math sense and also see some of the other symptoms above, chances are good that your child has a "retained moro reflex" meaning that for some reason he did not go through this stage of development well. Luckily, we can replicate this stage of development at any time of our lives.

 

Let me tell you a story of a 12 year old student I had who had just this problem. The first day I had her, she could not count objects correctly. If I gave her 5 things to count, she would count to 10, because she had that memorized. After one month of doing the first module of the Pyramid of Potential Series, she was able to understand math and apply it in a real situation. Her mom told the story where she had taken her to a music store and saw her in the corner with a cassette in one hand, using her fingers on the other. The mom asked what was up, and the daughter replied that the cassette was $7.99, she had $5 at home, which left $2.99. She knew her mom owed her $2 for allowance which left $.99, so she then asked her mom for $.99!! I could not possibly have taught this girl how to count, subtract, and apply math in real situation in just one month! It was because during that time she had integrated her moro reflex.

 

The Pyramid of Potential Series includes a DVD with exercises and a workbook to therapeutically go through these stages. You can find it at http://www.pyramidofpotential.com/products-for-parents/

 

Vision

Another thing to check here is vision. If someone cannot see the symbols well, it may be very taxing on the brain to be able to process the visual information. You know it is time to have a full vision test if your child covers one eye when reading, rubs his eyes frequently, blinks excessively, complains of headaches, skips over lines or words when reading, or doesn't enjoy reading. A regular optometrist will check for acuity, but a behavioral optometrist checks for many other additional issues, including double vision, tracking, convergence and others. 

 

The vision system is improved during the first year of life, while the baby is integrating his reflexes. If he did not get all the way through all of these developmental stages, his vision may not be fully developed. First do the reflex integration, then see a behavioral optometrist, who has 2 years more schooling than a regular optometrist. You can find one near you at www.covd.org.

 

Working Memory

Here are a couple of ways to determine if his working memory is low. Can he remember 3 instructions you give him, or does he forget the first by the time you have finished saying the third? When writing an essay, can he write his thoughts while also remembering to use correct spacing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization? Working memory is the part of the cognitive abilities that allows us to hold a significant amount of information in our brains. If he has had a WISC IQ test done, his coding and digit span scores would be below 10.

 

One student I had, a 14 year old girl, had low working memory. She would get glassy eyes and "mental fatigue" after doing only 1 difficult math problem. She was in remedial reading and had only 1 other student in her class. After improving her working memory during a 3 month period of cognitive training, her math teacher said it was a miracle, because she now was an "A" math student! The working memory had held her back.

 

Working memory can be improved through daily cognitive training. Carol Brown of Equipping Minds created the Academic Success Center Workbook which has many activities to improve working memory. You can find it at http://www.pyramidofpotential.com/products-for-parents/

 

Karen, I hope this helped get to the bottom of your son's math issues.

 

Next week I will be addressing sequencing, step-by-step procedures and time.


 

Have a great week, 

 

Kathy Johnson

 

 

 

Announcement!! 
Pyramid of Potential Series Exercises are now available as apps for your iPhone or iPad!

These apps contain exercises that, if done daily for at least 30 days, have helped many people improve the issues identified below! Based on brain development research and "integration of primitive reflexes", the exercises are appropriate for ages 5 through 99, are simple, and take about 10 minutes a day.

  

Use these for home therapy at a price anyone can afford!

  

For the Overview app, click here  

  

Hypersensitivity and Anxiety

Are you anxious or nervous? Are you sensitive to light or sound? Would you like to live a calmer, easier life?

For Hypersensitivity and Anxiety click here    

 

Organization and Time Management

 Are you disorganized? Are you frequently late but don't mean to be and mix up time? Do you find it hard to keep things in sequential order?

For Organization and Time Management click here  

 

ADD-ADHD, Memory & Bed wetting

Do you have trouble paying attention, are fidgety and impulsive? Do you have trouble with short term memory or with things that are said? Perhaps someone you know has had trouble with bed wetting?

 For ADD/ADHD, Memory and Bedwetting click here

 

Dyslexia and Dysgraphia

Do you or someone you know have a hard time reading, especially with reversing letters and numbers at an older age? Do you have poor handwriting? Do you have a hard time getting your thoughts down on paper?

For Dyslexia and Dysgraphia click here

 

Vision, Co-ordination & Attention

Do you know someone who struggles with vision - getting headaches when reading, eyes jump over words and lines, or who can read but doesn't like to? Or who had trouble learning to swim or is a messy eater? Who has problems concentrating, but not necessarily hyperactive? 

For Vision, Coordination and Attention click here