Pyramid of Potential






Ear Dominance and Auditory Processing 






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October 23, 2014


Hello Everyone

One of the Brain Advancement Coaches from Texas asked me to share a photo of the changing leaves here in the Northeast. It has been a particularly spectacular fall, and the photo shows it! I hope that your Autumn, wherever you are, is just as wonderful.


Recently Carol Brown of Equipping Minds and I had the following discussion that you may find VERY interesting:



I have an interesting case with a 7 year old little     (very little) boy. Diagnosis of anxiety ( on Celexa ) and ADHD ( on quillivant). 


 Struggles with social relationships with peers- always has to be first and have his way.  

The only academic concern is comprehension. 


In doing the assessment, I could not check his reflexes but his back was very ticklish. We started meeting on 9/15 M-F for 30 minutes doing the cognitive exercises.  He started the reflex exercises on 9/15 and sound therapy. 


Mom called yesterday really upset. Supposedly he is now having mood swings. He has started yelling at mom and last week when he didn't get his way told her that he didn't want to live there anymore. She said this has all started with the therapy- though initially he was acting "like a different child" in a positive way the first 2 weeks...and school was sending positive reports- more focused.... sharing more...


Sister made the comment in a session this week, " Jonah always manages to get his way."   He is very bright. Right now I told her to suspend the reflex exercises...


What do you make of this?



I've seen this, and you won't believe it until I say it - he is literally going through his terrible two's!!!


Some of the children were much easier when they had such anxiety and shyness. The parents didn't have to say no often. Now, the boy is exerting his newfound intelligence and seeking independence!! The parents now have to buckle down and say no forcefully and immediately. It is normal development - just 5 years late. Tell them thank goodness he isn't 100 pounds - LOL!


You can give them the option of going swiftly through the development and deal with it all the best they can or go slower and hope that the mood swings slow down. I think given the option, they will realize that it is best to power through it.


Finally, congratulate them on having their son go through developmentally appropriate behavior. It's not easy being a parent. It will be much better on the other side.



THANK YOU  Kathy! I had equated it to Tim's case when his mom told me that her 18 year old was finally acting like a 13 year old. She thankfully saw it all as positive.  


That is where I was leaning ...oh my goodness... he is SO acting like a two year old.



We will start the next session in a couple of months. We have added a Brain Advancement Coaching section to the newsletter. Take a look at it and take a look at our website:

Ear Dominance and Auditory Processing


Excerpt From "The Roadmap From Reading Failure to Success" 

By Kathy Johnson, MS Ed

To be published December, 2014




Hemispheric Dominance


Our brains are set up that each hemisphere - left and right - controls the opposite side of the body. The brain is also set up that we have a dominant ear and a non-dominant ear for listening/hearing. The brain also generally processes language primarily in the left hemisphere. So, if the brain processes language in the left hemisphere, and the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, which ear would we prefer to be dominant for listening to language (as opposed to numbers or music)?


Right, right? Right!


When the right ear is dominant, language primarily gets processed through the right ear and the left hemisphere. The connection is immediate. When the left ear is dominant, there is a slight delay in transmission from the left ear to the right hemisphere and then to the left hemisphere.


The Brain - Corpus Callosum


This delay can be prolonged for a person who does not have a fully formed corpus callosum - the part of the brain which connects the left and right hemispheres. The language gets "stuck" in the right hemisphere and slowly migrates over to the left hemisphere for processing. Students with this issue have slow auditory processing speed and can be caught processing directions or questions that have been dealt with while rest of the class moves on.


To test for ear dominance:


Turn a cell phone on and play some music quietly.

Hold the phone at your mid-line, so that you are not favoring either side.

Ask the student to turn their head and listen to the music.

Whichever ear they place on the phone is their dominant ear.


Alternatively, ask the student to go over to the wall and place their ear on it to see if they can hear the people on the other side of the wall. 

The ear that is placed on the wall is the dominant ear.


To test for a fully formed corpus callosum:

Someone who does not have this cannot easily use both sides of their body at the same time.

Ask them to march in place. If they automatically use opposite arm and leg, they are fine. Otherwise, there is probably not a fully formed corpus callosum present.


What to do:


There are many listening therapies available today, listed on the previous page. They are all left-ear weighted, because it is possible to change the ear dominance. If listening therapy is not affordable or accessible, you can try using a listening device, listed on the next page.






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Contact Us
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 Fall! 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 is speaking at the following conferences. More information can be found at

  Kathy Johnson Photo 2010



"Maybe We Should Teach the Way They Learn"
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 

New York, NY


"Supporting ALL Diverse Learners in the Classroom"
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Coconut Creek, FL



"Towards Successful Inclusive Classroom Environments"
Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 12:00pm through 

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 5:30pm
Teaneck, NJ



Monday, December 08, 2014 in BUFFALO, NY 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 11/18/2014 **

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 in ROCHESTER, NY 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 11/19/2014 **

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 in SYRACUSE, NY 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 11/20/2014 **

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 in MERRILLVILLE, IN 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 1/8/2015 **

Thursday, January 29, 2015 in FORT WAYNE, IN 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 1/9/2015 **

Friday, January 30, 2015 in CARMEL, IN 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 1/10/2015 **

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in MISSOULA, MT 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/5/2015 **

Thursday, February 26, 2015 in BUTTE, MT 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/6/2015 **



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



Did You Know?
Neuroscience For Kids

One Brain...or Two?

How many brains do you have - one or two? Actually, this is quite easy to have only one brain. However, the cerebral hemispheres are divided right down the middle into a right hemisphere and a left hemisphere. Each hemisphere appears to be specialized for some behaviors. The hemispheres communicate with each other through a thick band of 200-250 million nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. (A smaller band of nerve fibers called the anterior commissure also connects parts of the cerebral hemispheres.)



Are you right-handed or left-handed? As you probably know, most people (about 90% of the population) are right-handed - they prefer to use their right hand to write, eat and throw a ball. Another way to refer to people who use their right hand is to say that they are dominant. It follows that most of the other 10% of the population is left-handed or "left hand dominant." There are few people who use each hand equally; they are "ambidextrous." (Most people also have a dominant eye and dominant ear...test your "sidedness" here.)

Exactly why people are right-handed or left-handed is somewhat of a mystery. Dr. William Calvin has developed a fascinating theory about the origin of handedness and has written an essay called The Throwing Madonna to explain it.


Right Side - Left Side


The right side of the brain controls muscles on the left side of the body and the left side of the brain controls muscles on the right side of the body. Also, in general, sensory information from the left side of the body crosses over to the right side of the brain and information from the right side of the body crosses over to the left side of the brain. Therefore, damage to one side of the brain will affect the opposite side of the body.

In 95% of right-handers, the left side of the brain is dominant for language. Even in 60-70% of left-handers, the left side of brain is used for language. Back in the 1860s and 1870s, two neurologists (Paul Broca and Karl Wernicke) observed that people who had damage to a particular area on the left side of the brain had speech and language problems. People with damage to these areas on the right side usually did not have any language problems. The two language areas of the brain that are important for language now bear their names: Broca's area and Wernicke's area.

Cerebral Dominance

Each hemisphere of the brain is dominant for other behaviors. For example, it appears that the right brain is dominant for spatial abilities, face recognition, visual imagery and music. The left brain may be more dominant for calculations, math and logical abilities. Of course, these are generalizations and in normal people, the two hemispheres work together, are connected, and share information through the corpus callosum. Much of what we know about the right and left hemispheres comes from studies in people who have had the corpus callosum split - this surgical operation isolates most of the right hemisphere from the left hemisphere. This type of surgery is performed in patients suffering from epilepsy. The corpus callosum is cut to prevent the spread of the "epileptic seizure" from one hemisphere to the other.


Dominant Functions

Left Hemisphere

  • Language
  • Math
  • Logic

Right Hemisphere

  • Spatial abilities
  • Face recognition
  • Visual imagery
  • Music


To find out more about the two hemisphere of the brain follow this link:



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