Equipping Minds Cognitive Therapy is designed to be implemented either in person or via Skype.
What separates Equipping Minds from other programs is its brain strengthening exercises and holistic approach? The Equipping Minds’ program uses EyeQtm Advantage, primitive reflex exercises, sound therapy, in addition to cognitive brain training exercises. We are unaware of any other program that takes this holistic approach to educational therapy.
The brain training exercises are designed to push a student to his limits and “make the brain sweat!” Students participate in fun games and activities. These games are used to find the specific areas in which the brain struggles with working memory, processing speed, perceptual reasoning, and/or, verbal comprehension. From there, the therapist can hone in and “give the brain a workout.” Much how an athlete trains at the gym, the therapist uses these games and activities to stretch and strengthen the brain.
Equipping Minds also differs from other programs, in that, these brain strengthening exercises use what the student already knows. Equipping Minds ingeniously sets aside academic skills allowing us to get to the foundational roots and cognitive functions, quickly and accurately. Working memory and processing speed are two of the most common weaknesses we see in students with learning challenges. This program addresses these areas directly as well as visual and auditory processing, attention, logic, comprehension. We have never seen a program address these cognitive functions with more intensity and accuracy than the Equipping Minds program; this is why we are so excited about it!
What makes the Equipping Minds Cognitive Therapy holistic?*
Cognitive Therapy Exercises: One-on-One cognitive therapy, using the Equipping Minds Workbook by Dr. Carol Brown. Cognitive therapy is a fully integrated system of drills and training exercises that are delivered in an intense, one-on-one environment, and are designed to attack and rapidly correct weak or underdeveloped cognitive learning skills. It is not designed to tutor or teach academic subjects; rather it will develop the underlying skills requited to learn effectively. Cognitive skills-auditory processing, visual processing, working and long-term memory, comprehension, logic and reasoning, and attention skills – are foundational to a person’s ability to receive, process, and retain information. The Training program strengthens these skills allowing one to learn efficiently.
This program is designed for five one-hour therapy sessions per week in concurrence with the programs listed below implemented at home. Most individuals will complete the program in 12 weeks. The Cognitive Therapy program is a holistic program. Participation in the entire program is imperative. Partial participation will yield partial results.
EyeQtm Advantage: The EyeQtm program was developed to engage more of the brain when reading or learning. The EyeQtm training strengthens the eye-brain connections, enabling users to see and process information faster while improving the eye’s ability to track efficiently. The eye exercises strengthen all six sets of eye muscles and generally increases peripheral vision, which is why athletes use EyeQtm . Athletes have reported improvement in their vision and reaction time. Near-sighted users generally see an improvement in their vision and may need to have their glasses adjusted. EyeQtm is an effective tool for brain enhancement, reading improvement, and vision therapy. (adapted from eyeqadvantage.com )
Neuro-Development Intervention: Primitive Reflex Movement Therapy starts with the testing and integration of the Primitive Survival Reflexes. These reflexes help provide the newborn with learning experiences that act as a foundation for more complex muscle movements and later cognitive tasks. The reflexes are integrated in a sequential fashion from 3-11 months. Lack of integration of these reflexes past 6-12 months can interfere with cortical and cerebellum processing, affect learning, movement, and attention. The visual motor system is intimately involved in the transition from primitive reflexes to the cortical cerebellum control of movement patterns. By replicating the stages of development, the neuro-pathways can be opened allowing the treatment to be successful. According to Sally Goddard, in Reflexes, Learning, and Behavior, “Most education and many remedial techniques are aimed at reaching higher centers in the brain. A Neuro-Development approach identifies the lowest level of dysfunction and aims therapy in that area. Once these problems have been remedied, the program attempts to build links to higher centers through the use of specific stimulation techniques.” You may learn more about primitive reflexes from Pyramid of Potential’s website. There are several free videos and links. (adapted from pyramidofpotential.com)
Brain Highways has great informative videos on the importance of primitive reflexes. We highly recommend visiting https://brainhighways.com/ to view these short educational videos. The Brain Highways program is expensive. We recommend the Pyramid of Potential program based on cost. In our opinion, the main differences between the two programs are production quality and cost.
Sound Therapy: Sound Therapy is a unique listening system using new knowledge about the brain. The Sound Therapy Synergy program is designed to work in synchronicity with the other treatments, meaning that all methods enhance each other. Based on the discoveries of the ear specialist, Dr. Tomatis, the Patricia Rafaele Joudry’s Sound Therapy method is available as a portable self-help program. Specifically recorded programs of highly filtered classical music are used to rehabilitate the ear and stimulate the brain. Sound Therapy stimulates the ear by presenting it with constantly alternating sounds of high and low tones within the complex structure of classical music. Stimulation via the sensory pathways re-maps the brain, improving the way we understand and process sound. The brain, in turn, sends signals back to the ear to improve its function. One theory suggests that this feedback loop results in better performance of the middle ear muscles and of the tiny, hair-like cells in the inner ear. As the ear becomes open and receptive to high-frequency sounds, these are then passed on to the brain. Research has shown that brain function is improved through high-frequency sound. There is an increase in blood flow to certain centers along with increased electrical activity. The results observed in Sound Therapy listeners include increased energy, reduced fatigue with improved focus and creativity, and a reduction in the need for sleep. To learn more about sound therapy visit http://www.soundtherapyinternational.com/ (Joudry (2004). Why Aren’t I Learning. Sound Therapy International Pty, Limited)
Cognitive therapy is a form of educational therapy that helps to develop new and repair broken neuro-transmitters. Each piece of the program is important to the strengthening of working memory, processing speed, visualization, and auditory deficits; therefore each exercise (eye, primitive reflex, and sound) is vital to the success of the student. It is imperative that you set aside time each day for the program. This includes weekends. Thirty minutes a day for a few months is a small inconvenience for the benefit of cognitive therapy.
Daily Schedule: One-hour cognitive therapy session 5 days a week (30 – 45 minutes sessions may be recommended for younger children)
In addition to the cognitive therapy session, the following should be completed at home:
- 10 mins for iPad games 5 days a weeks
- 10 mins EyeQtm Advantage 7 days a week
- 10 mins primitive reflex exercises for 45 days 7 days a week
- 1 hour of Sound Therapy 7 days a week – you may turn the sound down so that you can just hear it. The listener may engage in conversation, work, or sleep. Sound Therapy is just as effective sleeping as it is if you concentrate on the music/stories. It is a passive therapy.
* Most of the information provided on this page is from the Equipping Minds Workbook, Cognitive Development Curriculum, Brown (2014)