Pyramid of Potential



Important Information about Stroke




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May 21, 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.This week we are focusing on strokes. Next week we will be talking about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Stay tuned and always follow the links for more information. 


Tonight Kathy 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

Important Information about Stroke



Training-induced brain plasticity in aphasia  

Mariacristina Musso , Cornelius Weiller , Stefan Kiebel , 
Stephan P. Müller , Peter Bülau , Michel Rijntjes

This study supports the role of the right hemisphere in 

recovery from aphasia and demonstrates that the improvement 

in auditory comprehension induced by specific training is associated 

with functional brain reorganization.

Cognitive Training for Memory Deficits in Stroke Patients

Kees Doornhein & Edward H. F. De Haan

Berg, Koning-Haanstra, and Deelman (1991) developed a training 

procedure which successfully improved the memory performance 

of a group of closed head injury patients. The training programme 

consists of six simple memory strategies, which are applied to daily 

memory problems that are selected with the patient. After a four week 

training period retesting showed a significant improvement of the trained 

memory skills, but there was no improvement on control memory tasks. 

Subjective ratings of everyday memory functioning did not differ between 

the two groups.



Stroke Rehabilitation Clinician Handbook


Starting on Page 12 - Cognitive Rehabilitation Post Stroke


Kathy Johnson's story:

Several years ago a 70 year old woman contacted me. She had seen my 

brochure at Dr. Fox's office where she had been receiving vision therapy 

after her rehab was done at the local rehabilitation hospital, post-stroke. 

She told me that she could not remember words, and could I help her? 

I told her that I had never worked with anyone before who had had a 

stroke, but if she was willing so was I.


I will never forget the first day. We worked just outside her kitchen on the 

dining room table. I had brought my brain training kit with me, and started 

by using a sheet with 24 arrows on it. There were 4 across and 6 down, in 

the direction of left, right, up and down. She only had to recall those four words. The first line had the following direction of arrows: up, up, up, left. I pointed to the first, and she said, "um, up". At the next one, she said, "um, up" and at the third she said, "um... um... um..." I stopped her and gave her the answer, which was once again up. She had said it twice and couldn't remember from that short time ago. I knew I had my work cut out for me.


We practiced that sheet until she was tired. To give her brain a break, I had her do some finger exercises - touching her thumb to her fingers from pinky to pointer and back again.


We alternated activities for an hour. As soon as I could, I had her say the directions in beat with a metronome set to 60 beats a minute. When she couldn't remember, I simply supplied it and we continued on. She did the finger exercise to a beat of 120 beats per minute.


We worked together an hour a day, 3 days a week. She practiced in between, and was very motivated! Some of the other activities were to say colors of blocks, starting with 6 colors, and progressing to colored words. We did this to the metronome, a very important part of the training. We continued with the fingers. Food was an important functional issue for her, especially difficult ordering in a restaurant, so I created sheet of food for her to say to the metronome.


We worked for two and a half months. Normally training is 3 months, but when she informed me that she was able to talk to her cousin for an hour on the phone and only missed one word, we were done! I love being able to finish the work early!


Remember, neuroplasticity means that the brain can improve throughout life. There is always hope!


Kathy will be speaking tonight, May 21 at 6:30 at The Hub Classroom, 63 Putnam Street, Albany, NY. She will be showing participants examples of activities for memory, attention, processing speed and of course, word retrieval! This talk is free and open to the public.


Next week Kathy will be writing about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). She will include a couple of activities in the article. Don't miss it!

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 Week!

Palmar Reflex for better handwriting
Learn why going through normal development of the Palmar Reflex is important for good handwriting, and how it affects speech as well as the ability to play recorder and use 10 fingers for keyboarding.
Learn why going through normal development of the Palmar Reflex is important for good handwriting, and how it affects speech as well as the ability to play recorder and use 10 fingers for keyboarding.

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, 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