inspiration, soi-ipp

How I Became an SOI & IPP Practitioner

The truth is, I found SOI by accident! I became a certified teacher in the field of physical education, but the reality is that I have never used my degree in a traditional sense. My first teaching job was as an instructional assistant working in a Life Skills classroom. I followed that with a position for two years as an instructional assistant working one-on-one with an autistic student.

I took a break because my granddaughter needed a caregiver who was familiar with her specific medical issues, but four years later, I was able to get back into a classroom when a private school asked me to come and teach grades six to eight. I was happy to take on the challenge.

It was at this private school that I was first introduced to SOI/IPP. I have to tell you, I was hooked right away! The whole concept intrigued me. When the private school did an offshoot charter, I transferred over to teaching for the charter school. The new addition specialized in at-risk students and was based upon the SOI concept.

I continued to be fascinated by SOI and was really enjoying learning from the wonderful woman doing the training. I was always asking her questions! One day she said, “Judy, why don’t you think about becoming SOI Basic trained?” I thought, “Why not?”

It was at this time that the charter school was moved to another location. In the midst of the move, I got my training and became one of two SOI specialists at the school. SOI made such a difference in the students and their learning. Every student was making progress on their state testing. But Continue reading “How I Became an SOI & IPP Practitioner”

inspiration, learning skills, Testing, training

The Actions You See – The Words You Never Hear


“Oh no, we’re going to read out loud again? I wish I could just disappear. She’s handing out the books. I can’t, I just can’t read out loud again and have the guys laugh when I stumble over the words. I don’t get why they can read without stumbling and I read like a K student. When we go out to recess, someone always says something dumb to me and I just shrug my shoulders. My parents and teacher hate when I do that. Think… I’m good at making people laugh, especially the girl next to me. Maybe it will work again and the teacher will have me sit outside the room. She’s tired of me she says. Oh man, now I’m in for it. How am I going to explain to my parents why I was sent to the office? I hate school.”

  • SOI Assessment showed extreme visual issues that were corrected with Developmental Optometry.
  • Sam did SOI paper/pencil modules at my learning center for the school year.
  • Was at grade level in reading by the next year.
  • Sam is soon to graduate from medical school as a pediatric surgeon.
  • He still makes people laugh and has the most caring nature.
  • In his chosen field, his personality will be a gift to many families.


“Not one single person can give me a good reason why I have to Continue reading “The Actions You See – The Words You Never Hear”


The Internal Gift of Motivation Fuels All Change

There is nothing more heartbreaking to me than a child or adult that has given up in a learning situation. They have struggled to do well for so long that it is easier to not try, to act as if they don’t care, or to act so poorly that it takes the focus off of their failures – failures that never seem to have answers or solutions. It is right at this point of discovery that my dedication to the Structure of Intellect (SOI) begins.

When a student or adult is given the SOI Assessment of Learning Abilities (Form L, Form CR, ALA, or PLA), so much information is revealed as to how information is processed, understood, remembered, evaluated, used to solve problems, and used creatively. I never tire of sharing the results of the assessment. The way that the assessment process is structured allows us to pinpoint each of the areas I listed above. We now have information that also includes visual processing and stamina, auditory acuity and listening skills, and sensory motor issues that may be contributing to learning challenges. I am always grateful to see relief on the faces of the students, parents, or teachers to finally have information that not only makes sense, but accurately describes what the learning challenges are!

Now for the exciting part:

Not only does the SOI Assessment identify areas of concern, it identifies areas of strength that the student or adult has not been aware of. Understanding areas of strength allows for a feeling of empowerment to face challenges in learning or in life with an increased confidence! I have had the privilege of working Continue reading “The Internal Gift of Motivation Fuels All Change”

certified learning, Classrooms, inspiration, learning skills, SOI News, soi-ipp, Testing, The Basics, training, Unique Issues

Building a Real Student Support Team


What if you were able to…

  • anticipate, identify, and intervene with ninety percent of your “at-risk” students in kindergarten or first grade
  • help eliminate students’ self-esteem issues related to failure in school
  • bypass reliance on the observations of overextended classroom teachers for most intervention referrals
  • develop an individual and developmentally appropriate plan to effectively intervene with students by the first semester of kindergarten
  • develop an efficient, systematic, easily documentable Student Support Team/RTI procedure for teachers as well as students
  • significantly reduce your Special Education referrals and greatly reduce the number of non-qualifying referrals

What do schools need besides money?

More important than money, they need the information to make good decisions. We have an education system that demands more of young children than they can deliver developmentally.

The system is demanding academic skills that are not accessible to a child until their motor sensory, visual, and cognitive skills are in place.

Our frenetic lifestyles, work schedules, and testing agendas rob our children of appropriate early learning experiences both cognitively and physically. As a result, we are labeling some students with learning disabilities that, given the right interventions, might never cross the threshold into Special Education.

Teachers are frustrated and dismayed because at least twenty-five percent of their students are not able to do what they are asked academically. They come to a Student Support Team meeting with their concerns. “Student can’t read, can’t spell, can’t do math, and can’t pay attention.” What are we to do? How can the student go to the next grade level without the requisite skills in place? How will they ever pass the standardized tests? Continue reading “Building a Real Student Support Team”


Alex’s Story

Every once in a while I receive mail at SOI that is not a bill, an order, or junk mail. On this day it was a letter from clinician Betsy Schooley of California, updating me on Alex, who was a student of hers for the past 2 years.

Last year, Betsy explained the resistance Alex had to writing because it was so difficult for him. Not just getting the words on the paper, but the physical effort of printing the letters. Part of Alex’s SOI program was a DFU module.

After speaking with Betsy, and as an incentive for Alex to finish his DFU-I module, I promised that SOI would publish his writings.Green Pencil

Apparently that worked, because Betsy would periodically email me about both his progress and frustrations. To say that handwriting is hard for Alex would be an understatement. It is like torture to him. Trying to form each letter of each word and make it readable is a great challenge.

In September, I received Alex’s DFU module along with notes from Betsy (just in case I had trouble deciphering his handwriting). With the help of Lauren, who runs our publishing department, we went to work creating graphics and typing the written words of Alex. What a joy it was to read! Continue reading “Alex’s Story”

certified learning, inspiration

Certified Learning Welcomed on the High Plains of Texas

Lubbock, Texas sits high on a windy plain, atop what is known as the “Caprock of Texas.” This area is one of the most recently settled areas of the entire United States. Why? One answer is weather. For years, tornadoes, hailstorms, lightning strikes, windstorms, blizzards, unpredictable rains and lack of surface water discouraged all but the very hearty from settling these wide open spaces.  There were no trees, little topography and therefore little protection from the elements. This vast grassland was reportedly named the “Llano Estacado” or “Staked Plains” by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado who,  when striking out across its expanse, was reported to have driven stakes along the way so that he could navigate his way back across the seemingly endless plain.

Innovative approaches were the way of the pioneers, who lived in half-dugouts (no trees for wood) and warmed themselves with cow chips, long before coal was available or the area’s vast resources of oil, natural gas and wind were discovered and harnessed.

Today, the area is still a center of innovation and pioneering spirit.  Perhaps this spirit makes it a perfect place to become one of the newest seedbeds of SOI Certified Learning.   Continue reading “Certified Learning Welcomed on the High Plains of Texas”

Classrooms, inspiration, learning skills, soi-ipp, training

Opening the Venetian Blinds

I read with dismay an article in the Washington Post about the Obama administration’s new plans to tighten oversight of states’ special education programs by applying “more stringent criteria” for outcomes. Unfortunately, this means the standards will be based on standardized tests.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Tuesday that for the first time his department will also consider outcomes such as: how well special-education students score on standardized tests, the gap in test scores between students with and without disabilities, the high school graduation rate for disabled students, and other measures of achievement.

“Every child, regardless of income, race, background, or disability, can succeed if provided the opportunity to learn,” Duncan told reporters. “We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel.”

I disagree. High expectations for students with underlying deficits in foundational thinking skills and learning abilities will not help them succeed. Continue reading “Opening the Venetian Blinds”