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”

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Helping Students Around the World

Rafael came to the SOI Center with behavioral problems and academic disorders. His parents were very worried because Rafael had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. What upset them most was that he struggled with social interaction and anxiety/mood disorders that included excess verbiage, an explosive temper, and a very low tolerance to frustration.

Rafael was bullied a lot at school. He also constantly questioned any new information that his teachers gave to him. They had no idea how to guide his intellectual curiosity. All this because his conversations were all unidirectional and had difficulty paying attention to instructions.

In February 2013, Rafael took the SOI ALA test; his results were very significant. Many of Rafael’s skills were very good, but he had areas to improve such as vision, audition, reading, and semantics.

For 16 months, Rafael worked through SOI modules to strengthen his weak areas. He completed the IPP program (Integrated Practice Protocol)  followed by IPP Auditory. He did visual and breathing exercises to improve his temper.

All  of this hard work led to a great improvement in reading comprehension. Rafael learned to Continue reading “Helping Students Around the World”

inspiration, SOI News

A Tribute to Dr. Mary Meeker

Meeting Dr. Mary Meeker was like a strong wind that comes unexpectedly. It blew my mind and life in a totally different direction. It was like waking in a new dimension that was full of truth, energy, understanding, and hope. Though not tall in stature, the force of her determination to share the SOI Model, her genius in development and enhancement materials to meet the needs of all ages, and her ability to train thousands of individuals defined her as a brilliant giant. Her goals never wavered. She believed that individuals deserved to know what kind of intelligence they had, not simply how much.01

The different SOI assessments of learning ability create a profile that identifies very strong abilities that can be used and applied to all learning situations, and abilities that need further development to strengthen learning potential. This profile is printed into a report to be shared. I was mesmerized by Dr. Meeker’s capacity to look at an individual’s profile to see so clearly where help was needed. She wasn’t quick to put a label on anyone. She wanted to strengthen all abilities available and then determine if further intervention was necessary. That is a profound method that attracts people to the SOI Model.

Mary wanted to share her knowledge to all wanting to learn. She lit a spark within others and Continue reading “A Tribute to Dr. Mary Meeker”

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Davis’ Story

Davis was tested at MindMenders in October of his sixth grade year. He had been diagnosed at six with dyspraxia, and later with sensory integration dysfunction and “mild Asperger’s Syndrome.” He began resource class for language arts in first grade and for math in fourth grade. By the beginning of sixth grade, Davis was in resource classes for language arts, social studies, math, and science.

When Davis came to MindMenders for the SOI test, he exhibited poor eye contact, poor social skills, and anxiety in peer-group settings. He was still struggling academically, especially in math. Davis was given the Structure of Intellect Test (SOI) and Integrated Practice Protocol Screening (IPP). Davis scored in the high average to gifted range on 3 of the subtests. On the remaining 24 subtests, Davis scored from average to disabling. The IPP screening indicated that Davis was struggling with handwriting, balance, crossing midline, and focusing skills. His mother reported that he liked to read, but the SOI test indicated that he was a very inefficient reader.

That October, Davis began attending 2-hour MindMenders sessions twice a week. He had great difficulty completing the IPP exercises, and it took 4-5 months before he could walk the line heel to toe, up and back one time without falling off. Performing the trampoline and balance board exercises was a little easier, but he was extremely uncoordinated and lacked stamina.

Three months into the training, Davis retook the SOI tests and scored high average Continue reading “Davis’ Story”

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Success with SOI: A Personal History

I was in high school when I first experienced the SOI model. Of course that was 50 years ago, and since I am Mary Meeker’s daughter, my experience of SOI might have actually begun in utero!

At 30, I began shipping SOI materials at the SOI Institute in El Segundo. Oh how I long to go back in a time machine to relive just one day downstairs shipping SOI workbooks, having lunch with my mother and Bob Meeker, and talking about interesting profiles! Like my mother, I have seen tens of thousands of profiles, and helped so many understand their unique pattern of intelligence. Continue reading “Success with SOI: A Personal History”

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Brian’s Story

I had been warned about Brian. “Low, low,” they said. “In fact, so low that he can’t tell the difference between a 4 and a 6! Good luck with this one. There’s only so much you can do. And frankly, you can’t save them all.” Thus began my first special education teaching assignment in public education.

They were right. This amiable first grader was a challenge to teach. Print of any kind was a huge obstacle. In fact, he didn’t recognize his letters or his numbers. Since I was also trained as an art teacher and had subbed a lot in special education classrooms, I had been hired to teach in this resource room because of my ability to do hands on activities to promote the learning of these highly challenged youngsters.Space Shuttle

Story time was Brian’s favorite. He especially liked the activity time after the story when I would set out a variety of papers, glue, scissors, markers, and random collected items with instructions to make, draw, or design a way to tell me about what we had just read. That became a glorious time of day when this challenged little boy became a skilled designer of three dimensional space shuttles, haunted houses, and pilgrim villages.

The reading table was a different story. Brian’s desire to read and learn and please his teacher was impressive. But the outcome was much less magnificent.

As I sat across from him and watched him struggle, always willing to try, but plodding and strained, it struck me, “It’s the eyes! Wow, look at those eyes! No wonder he can’t recognize letters and numbers, let alone put several together! But wait, he’s been screened by the school nurse! Everything is 20/20! Still, if I could just get behind those eyes and see what he is seeing, I think I could help.” Continue reading “Brian’s Story”

Classrooms, inspiration, learning skills, Testing, The Basics, training, Unique Issues

Daughter’s Reading Disability Diagnosed with SOI

My family traveled a very long road before finding out about SOI in 1982. As a nine year old in the fourth grade, our daughter had not yet learned to read. We had exhausted the medical community (we thought) and her school was perplexed and at times agitated with our daughter or with us.

The SOI program gave us the solutions that resulted in her ultimate success in reading, in her education, and in finding her self-esteem and confidence. Her avid love of animals sustained her through those really difficult years of school failure. A teacher friend of ours once asked her what reading group she was in. At nine she answered, “The eagle group. I can’t read and the eagle flies alone.”

Simply stated, we all missed the problem. The SOI assessment did not. Continue reading “Daughter’s Reading Disability Diagnosed with SOI”