Pyramid of Potential

What I haven't told you

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June 12, 2014
I hope your June is going as well as mine. I have been home for almost a week now after traveling 16 times throughout the country teaching families and educators how to overcome learning disabilities, and I admit it - I'm tired!! But also, I am so happy that so many more people have been trained in various techniques in improving the brain. 

I pledge to continue to bring you usable information about how to improve brain functioning for all people. To help me, I have brought Bob Johnson on to help. He will be the one who talks to you regarding questions about products, while I will continue to share my 16 years of experience with educating people of all ages.
If you need to contact Bob, his email is, and he can be reached at the office phone. As always, you can email me by replying to this message.
Enjoy the end of your school year, if you are indeed still in session, and enjoy the summer! And stay in touch by reading the newsletters. I still have so much to teach!


Kathy Johnson

What I haven't told you


Perhaps you have been to one of the training sessions I gave, or perhaps you have been looking around the website. I realized last week that there is an important part of the Pyramid of Potential that I haven't stressed but should have.


You see, I have a friend who is an occupational therapist who does primitive reflex integration and listening therapy. She had a client who she was so proud of because he had made huge gains using her work. That is so great! So, she was surprised to hear from the mom recently that he is failing high school. How could that be?  They did everything! And he did so well!


But they did not do the entire pyramid. They stopped before improving cognitive skills, and did not find academic success.


He did not need body and mind health. They did the neurodevelopment and sensory development. But they stopped there. The next level of the pyramid is cognitive development. Cognitive skills, such as memory, attention, processing speed and logic MUST be in place in order for there to be academic success.


The other levels are absolutely key to being able to make progress, especially in the cognitive skills area. For example, to learn in school or life you must have memory and attention. In order to be able to improve auditory and visual memory and attention, you must be able to process auditory and visual information. And in order for the auditory and visual therapies to work well and stick, you must integrate the primitive reflexes. These all work together, and if you ignore a piece of the puzzle, you will not get the best results.


We have known for decades that the brain is plastic. This means that it can change and grow throughout life - otherwise, you could never learn anything new. Research shows that in order to make gains in cognitive skills, you must work at least 16 hours over 8 weeks. Let me tell you how I have worked over the past 11 years as a brain trainer. My clients worked 6 hours a week for 12 weeks. I always had them work on primitive reflex integration, auditory processing, and visual processing before starting. The work we did was challenging. If it was easy, it would not be making changes in the brain, because the connections were already there. If it was too hard and frustrating, my clients would shut down and no new learning happened. So the level of difficulty had to lie somewhere in between.


An example of a cognitive training exercise to improve processing speed and visual perception (reversals) would be to have the client circle the b's in a paragraph as fast as he can, and "passing" would be if he completed it in 30 seconds. It might take a couple of tries. Once he could do that, the next level would be slightly more challenging, like doing the same paragraph even faster. If I wanted to improve their length of attention, I would use a longer paragraph. If I wanted to improve working memory (the most important skill to improve for learning disorders), I would additionally have him cross out the d's, and once he passed that, add in putting a box around the p's, etc.


I work with my clients on multiple skills at the same time, and usually play 6 different games in each hour. You can see that with this type of schedule, amazing changes can be made in a short period of time. Children get out of special education. IQ scores sour. The ability to learn, grow and thrive intellectually blossoms! You can see why I LOVE my work!


Next week: creating your own summer cognitive training program


If you are looking for a good cognitive program, I have several suggestions. The very best is working one-on-one with someone experienced, but if that is not available try one of the following, all of which can be found at (and all are 10% off in June!):

  • BrainWare Safari is a video-game like program that works on the computer.
  • Equipping Minds Workbook, which I use, includes many exercises with many levels. It is up to you to create your own schedule to individualize training. Some additional materials are suggested to purchase
  • BrainSpark! is a kit that is all inclusive, and is similar to Equipping Minds
  • Growing Brains Everyday is a 150-day curriculum for elementary school children. It is written for teachers in mind, and can be completed in as little as 10 minutes a day.




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Kathy Johnson, MS Ed

Bob Johnson

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

Where's Kathy?

It is now time to set up your professional development at your school - Kathy is available for many dates this summer! Call now to secure YOUR date!


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?


  Kathy Johnson Photo 2010


Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach 
Monday, September 15, 2014 in ELLICOTT CITY, MD 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 8/26/2014 **   


Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 in 


Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 8/26/2014 **  


Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach

 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 in 


Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 8/26/2014 **  

If you aren't near any of these on-site professional development conferences, consider the following:


Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach   Price: $169.99  Author: Kathy Johnson, MS Ed.  Format: DVD



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