Many children experience a variety of testing situations, be it in school or with other professionals. Any testing situation often brings with it the unstated expectation that only a correct answer is possible. This can create anger and anxiety in children who often already believe they are failing and therefore not living up to expectations.
Dynamic Assessment recognizes that intelligence is dynamic, changeable and adaptable - neither static nor fixed. Dynamic Assessment (DA) has introduced interaction and collaboration between tester and child. This is in contrast to the traditionally non-interactive and standardized process of assessing learning skills. The dynamic and reflective interaction in which the thinking process is emphasized and valued permits the tester to assess the individual’s lagging skills as well as the potential for learning.
Learning to Learn
Learning challenges happen to anyone. In these circumstances most children will perceive themselves as being the problem, judging themselves as unintelligent, becoming unmotivated and too often giving up. Why do some children succeed in school and others struggle? To be an independent and successful learner one needs to have the necessary thinking skills. Thinking skills do not develop automatically.
It is expected that children will learn independently with classroom teacher guidance and support. For many this works, for too many it does not. Auditory difficulties, visual difficulties, sensory motor difficulties, poor thinking skills and other issues render learning challenging.
After developing effective tools and skills, children can experience success. They understand: “I have the tools to succeed. I can use these tools to be successful in my life - I can succeed.”
Brain Stimulation Method - de Jong
Brain Stimulation Method – de Jong, developed by Mrs. de Jong-Koutstaal of the Netherlands, is an exciting and unique approach to learning, behavioral and developmental challenges. In 2012 the Queen of The Netherlands granted Mrs. de Jong Knighthood in the Order of Oranje Nassau for her development of and work with BSM de Jong and for the difference she has made in the quality of people's lives.
Childhood is a period of dramatic brain growth. During the 18 years an individual grows from infancy to adulthood, countless developmental milestones follow upon each other - from learning to crawl to walking, from babbling to coherent speech - sometimes in multiple languages.
It is not surprising that a number of these developmental moments do not always progress as expected. Although every child develops at his or her own pace, delays in development can also occur. When the senses or certain areas of the central nervous system do not function efficiently or robustly enough, disturbed or delayed stimulus transfer to the brain can ensue.
The result can include:
Motor development progresses more slowly or milestones are skipped: rolling over, crawling, walking, difficulty learning to cycle or swim.
Falling often, bumping into objects, clumsy behavior.
Difficulty learning to speak reduced hearing, not listening.
Tantrums or anxious behavior, not wanting to sleep in his or her own bed.
Hyperactivity or dreaminess, ADHD and ADD.
Learning difficulties: dyslexia, dyscalculia.
Problems with food intake.
Our personalized home-based program consists of a series of daily activities and movement exercises all of which enhance the performance of the central nervous system. These exercises are recommended after a thorough assessment of hereditary and biochemical factors, pregnancy, birth, nutrition, and individual development.
The saying “Timing Is Everything” underscores the centrality of timing within our nervous systems. Our “internal clock'' which is responsible for detecting where sounds come from, regulating sleep and waking states, aiding our ability to focus attention, remembering information and coordinating our muscles and movements, must beat in time. Many conditions leading to learning differences and other challenges are often the result of brain based and other physiological issues. Researchers believe these problems also impact the brain’s internal clock and timing. Interactive Metronome therapy addresses this problem.
Interactive Metronome is a neuro-motor therapy which involves auditory and visual stimuli activities as well as movement exercises. The program requires the individual to perform a number of exercises in coordination with a beat on headphones. The IM program provides feedback to assist the individual to coordinate his internal clock with the beat.
The movement exercises are combined with visual, cognitive, reading and memory exercises. The Interactive Metronome method addresses focus, attention, speech, language, coordination, gait, balance, and sensory difficulties.
Interactive Metronome has been shown to improve:
ADD, ADHA, Autism & Dyslexia related issues
Collaborative and Proactive Solutions
“Children do well if they can.”
All children have times when they struggle at managing life's expectations. Some children seem to have more of those times and can respond in the extreme. Whether your child responds in ways that are aggressive -- hitting, kicking, screaming, swearing, biting, spitting -- or in ways that are less so -- whining, pouting, sulking, crying, withdrawing -- our goal is, together with you and your child, to collaboratively identify and solve the problems causing these behaviors.
We do not focus only on the challenging behavior which is how a child expresses the difficulty of meeting expectations. Nor do we focus only on a diagnosis which is the categorization of a challenging behavior. Challenging behavior occurs when the demands and expectations placed upon a child outdo his or her capacity to respond adaptively.
Too often the children who most need our help are viewed as disrespectful, out of control and beyond help. They are often the recipients of ineffective and punitive interventions.
Based on Dr. Ross Greene’s work we focus together with parents, teachers and caregivers on those factors underlying a child’s or young person’s challenging behaviors. Together with the child or young person we develop realistic strategies to address the unsolved problems and thus build relationships that understand and solve problems proactively and collaboratively. We strive to improve communication, address the lagging skills and reduce challenging episodes. Such relationships empower a person toward becoming an independent and successfully functioning individual in any situation and setting.
Workshops and Parent Coaching
We endeavor to create a workshop experience that is based on a dynamic and interactive experience. Our objective is to equip the participants with insight and ownership of his or her own learning process.
As we believe in the possibility of change for the child with whom we work, so we believe in the possibility of change with parents and collaborators.
When you receive feedback from a teacher, psychologist or other professional working with your child, you can often feel powerless, guilty and worried. This experience can be very disorienting. As much as you understand the recommendations and conclusions, translating them to daily life can often prove difficult.
We will sit with you to discuss and explain the processes underlying the behaviors described by the professional. Together we will develop strategies for you to equip your child to successfully meet daily expectations.
A common response in our coaching sessions is, “That’s right, I always see her behave in that way in such and such a situation.” Simply said, you will recognize your child in the feedback and that change is possible as well.
This is the beginning point of coaching and collaboration. You, the parents of the children we work with are our partners – these are your children!!! It has been our experience that the parent who understands the process is an empowered partner in that process. This is our goal in parent coaching: for you to understand your child’s challenges and gain the tools to help your child.
Johansen Individualized Auditory Stimulation (JIAS)
Many children with speech and/or language difficulties, including difficulties with reading and writing, have inefficient Auditory Processing (listening). Researchers believe that Auditory Processing Difficulties may contribute to problems with language processing and the way in which children perceive (or hear) sounds in words. Individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, speech and language difficulties, specific learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorders may have inefficient auditory processing.
Johansen IAS is an Auditory Stimulation program which involves listening to music specifically designed and arranged to stimulate the nerve pathways into and within the brain – in particular the areas dealing with language. This approach has been developed to make use of audiometric information gained during assessment in order to target specific areas of difficulty and to increase the effectiveness of auditory stimulation. Johansen IAS allows for maximum flexibility to organise the listener’s auditory processing.
This is the only auditory stimulation programme which uses music recordings customised to the individual’s own hearing curve to organise and enhance auditory processing skills. This innovative program can be of benefit to children, adolescents and adults with a variety of speech and/or language difficulties, both spoken and written. The effectiveness of teaching and therapy can be greatly increased if these skills are improved.