Pyramid of Potential



How to Maintain Your Edge - The Aging Brain Series




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May 7, 2015


Hey Folks!


During May, I will be writing about the Aging Brain. If you only work with children, please pay attention - this information is relevant for all ages, young and old.


If you are local to the Capital District in New York State, you may want to put May 21 on your calendar, when I will be addressing Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Details are in the Where's Kathy section on the right.


We are continuing the sale of our Hypersensitivity and Anxiety download (, which includes the exercise from the video, plus others to help with anxiety and motion sickness. Be sure to get yours before the end of the month!


Our early bird special for the Brain Advancement Training is continuing through the end of May. Head over to for more information. Contact us if you are interested or have some questions. Act now and be sure to save money.


Thank you so much! Kathy

How to Maintain Your Edge 



Are you over 40, or know someone who is, and who is not happy about getting older? Perhaps they misplace their keys frequently or can't read without their "cheaters". Maybe you can't concentrate like you used to or are embarrassed because you have to get up frequently at night. As people age they complain more and are more anxious. This is just normal aging, right?


Well, normal, yes. But, because of the notion of neuroplasticity - that the brain can change at any age - life doesn't have to be this way!


In the book, "The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness", Alvaro Fernandez and Elkhonon Goldberg describe how to optimize brain health and performance at any age. Each chapter includes relevant research to back up the notions, as well as give plenty of information on each step that can improve your life.


Step 1: Physical Exercise

In a study from 2010 with 300 participants whose average age was 78, the conclusion was that the longer distance that they walked the larger their brain volume. The sections of the brain that were most improved are associated with a lower risk of developing dementia.


Step 2: Nutrition

Several studies showed that following a Mediterranean diet (lots of fruits, vegetables, cereals, and olive oil with little dairy, meat and saturated fats; moderate amounts of fish and alcohol) can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slow down mental decline.


Step 3: Brain Training

When you work on training your brain specifically for improved mental skills, more brain matter is created. As people age, the connections in the brain are slowly pruned, so the more connections a person has, the slower the decline - the pruning rate is the same, but there are more to start with. Much more on this in the next few weeks.


Step 4: Social Engagement

Studies show that the greater the social network of people, the larger the size of their amygdala, the seat of emotion. A different study showed that high-quality, satisfying relationships may matter more than the number of relationships.


Step 5: Manage Stress

Chronic stress (frequent, high sustained) can cause physically harmful problems such as sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, loss of muscles and bone density, and lower immunity. Reduce stress through exercise, meditation, yoga, socializing, laughter and positive thinking.


It may be overwhelming to do all five of these things right now all at once. And that would only cause more stress which would hurt your brain - so don't do that. Instead, try adding a new routine to your day that will help one of these areas. Next month, after you have made the last change a habit, add in another one. Before long you will notice that your brain is already so much better, and very likely you will be so much happier!!


Next week we will be looking at primitive reflexes - and you thought that subject was only for kids!






June Conference - Don't Miss It!!

Saratoga Jazz Festival:

Consider a vacation in Saratoga Springs, New York!

June 28 - The Plastic Brain:

Improving Memory, Attention, Processing Speed and More

Registration is at

Save by registering before May 15!!


Throughout the day, Ms. Johnson will train participants in exactly how to remediate some of the most difficult problems that are a result of incomplete brain development in infancy. However, as she likes to say, there is no silver bullet! Each child is an individual who will require a unique approach.

Ms. Johnson will describe a model where the emphasis changes from spending increasingly more time and energy on academics to incorporating brain development into early childhood, special education, and regular education classrooms, freeing up the teacher to teach more academics as a result.

She will share the results from an elementary school in Wisconsin who is implementing these methods with significant cognitive improvements in less than a year! "the improvement in the classroom has been the best news that we hear" Wisconsin Teacher Ryan McBurney


The Developing Brain and Case Histories

Body and Mind Health, and the effect on brain development

     Nutrition, Stress, Exercise, Sleep

Neurodevelopmental Stages; Why Cognitive Skills never Developed

     Primitive Reflexes

     Symptoms and Integration exercises

     Incorporating reflex exercises into the school day

Sensory Development

     Auditory Processing

       Symptoms of an auditory processing disorder

       What to do

     Visual Processing

       Tracking and Convergence Screening

       Simple eye exercises

       Irlen Syndrome and Colored Overlays

       Vision Therapy

Cognitive Skills Development

     Phonemic Awareness



     Logic and reasoning

     Processing speed

Integrating brain development into school day without losing precious academic time


June 29 - Primitive Reflexes:

Foundation for Learning

Registration is at

Save by registering before May 15!!



The primitive reflexes have been around as long as people have been around. They are present primarily to force the infant to move the body in such ways that it develops and matures to survive. The additional benefit, as humans, is that along with motor movements, many other brain components are developing that help with academics: the visual system, the auditory system, the ability to concentrate, remember, and understand.


Several people have commented that they believe this is the missing link. And indeed, in my experience since 2000, I have found that the integration of the primitive reflexes to be one of the least expensive and most effective therapies today.


 "I have a student that a year ago was basically a selective mute on the Autistic Spectrum.  I have put a lot of work in class working in the Moro and can report that she changed like a light switch coming on.  She is speaking in class, she will transition independently, is reading basic readers, and is exhibiting significantly fewer behaviors to the point that we may be removing the 1:1 behavioral specialist from her IEP." - California Teacher Mark Steiner



     Case histories

     History of Reflex Integration


     Primitive reflexes guidelines

     Beyond Primitive Reflexes

Moro Reflex:

      Symptoms, Testing, Integration

Palmar Reflex:

      Symptoms, Testing, Integration

Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex:

      Symptoms, Testing, Integration

Spinal Galant:

      Symptoms, Testing, Integration

Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex:

      Symptoms, Testing, Integration

Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex:

      Symptoms, Testing, Integration


NOTE: Please bring a yoga mat or blanket plus a small pillow and wear comfortable clothes as we will be practicing on the floor

Contact Us
Kathy Johnson, MS Ed

Bob Johnson

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

Take a Look!
May Sale!
Get Hypersensitive And Anxiety - Starfish Module Download with a  savings of 20%
The Starfish Module is the first of five series of exercises based on brain development research, designed to complete stages of development that may not have been completed in infancy, or which may have re-emerged due to trauma. Find out more - Sales Page
Offer Expires 5/31/2015. 
Video of the Month!

The best Moro reflex integration exercise

Kathy Johnson of Pyramid of Potential shows the correct way to do the Starfish exercise and why it works so quickly for 90 % of people.
Kathy Johnson of Pyramid of Potential shows the correct way to do the Starfish exercise and why it works so quickly for 90 % of people.

Upcoming Local Presentations

Stroke and TBI: What to do beyond Insurance-covered Rehab 

May 21, 6:30 - 8:30

63 Putnam Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


Improving Reading When Reading Methods Don't Work Well Enough 

June 18, 6:30 - 8:30

63 Putnam Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


Improving Handwriting and Composition Abilities

August 20. 6:30 - 8:30

63 Putnam Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


Improving Math and Word Problems When the Methods Don't Work Well Enough

September 17, 6:30 - 8:30

63 Putnam Street, 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 Photo 2010

Leading Edge Seminars Inc.

Working with Children with ADD 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

June 1, 2015 9:00 to 4:30


Wednesday, May 13, 2015 in FORT LEE, NJ 
Early Registration: $189.99 

Thursday, May 14, 2015 in PARSIPPANY, NJ
Early Registration: $189.99 

Friday, May 15, 2015 in SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ 
Early Registration: $189.99 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 in WHITE PLAINS, NY 
Early Registration: $189.99 

Thursday, September 24, 2015 in PLAINVIEW, NY
Early Registration: $189.99 

Friday, September 25, 2015 in MANHATTAN, NY
Early Registration: $189.99 


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