Avoiding concussions and treating concussions is a big topic in the news today. This morning the national news question of the day was, “Should high school football be banned?” Here in Texas, high school football is “king” so I don’t see that happening anytime soon. On the news, they were saying that perhaps there should be a licensed trainer present at every football game with a concussion protocol that is followed to the letter. That’s not a bad idea.
Coaches are sending players back onto the field after concussions. Last week one of my high school clients told me about a friend who plays select soccer. Last summer during a tournament, this girl went for a header and collided heads with a member of the opposing team. The girl on the other team was rushed to the hospital. After answering a few questions this friend was sent back onto the field to play. It was not until she fell on her head two more times that the coach decided to pull her from the game. This girl suffered severe problems from concussion in the weeks and months that followed. This formerly straight-A student is still struggling to pass her senior classes. When my client asked me if the SOI program could help her friend, I answered with a definite “yes!”
I have seen the SOI Program help several of my clients who had suffered from brain trauma. One was a sixth-grade boy brought to my center a few years ago. A year before he came to see me, he had fallen from the school’s eight-foot-high monkey bars onto his head. His neurologist had released him from care and declared that he had completely recovered, but his mother knew that everything was not completely back to normal. Continue reading “SOI-IPP Program and Concussion Care”
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”
A few years ago, a doctor friend of mine referred a young student to me for assessment as he was not doing well at school. Nick, as I will call him, had a history of seizures and I was concerned he might have cognitive impairment. He was taking drugs for the seizures that made him drowsy at times, but he was now stable medically and his mental clarity was improving.
Certainly Nick had cognitive abilities that scored below average – particularly those required for reading. Yet it was obvious that he was an intelligent and engaging ten year old with a great vocabulary and basic ability with numbers.
Nick’s IPP assessment results were daunting. We uncovered difficulties with balance, cross-over, spatial development, and most of the vision abilities assessed. The vision issues were linked to the medication and included some very low scores in tracking, focusing, and teaming. Many individuals would have been very discouraged by these results, but not Nick! He had some secret weapons Continue reading “A Breath of Fresh Air”
IPP (Integrated Practice Protocol) is one of our most popular programs at SOI.
Why? Because it addresses visual, auditory, and sensory-motor skills through a series of exercises customized to meet every student’s needs! Each student gets to work on building his/her skills.
The IPP program is a system for treating learning difficulties. It works to improve attention span, memory, comparison/contrast thinking, eye-hand coordination, systems reasoning and other skills essential to the learning process, helping students perform better in school and in life.
With IPP, the following areas are screened. An explanation for each is given.
- Balance: Balance is a motor skill. At the beginning of life, motor activity develops before mental actions, then both work together and coexist, and, finally, mental action subordinates motor activity. The premise here is that proper development of motor skills is critical for learning – that motor experiences are the foundation of mental development. When motor skills are not fully developed, cognitive learning can be affected.
- Crossing the Midline/Mentally Crossing the Midline: When an individual is able to cross the midline (literally reach across or move across the middle of the body), it means that his/her brain has learned to plan and carry out a sequence of movements in proper order. When internalized, it leads to the ability to know your right from your left. We use ourselves as a reference point in understanding the orientation of an external object or a word. If a child had difficulty in understanding his/her own left and right, he/she will have difficulty with the proper orientation of a word or letter, and this may cause word or letter reversals.
- Body in Space: An individual should know where his/her body is in space with or without benefit of the visual system. Knowing this contributes to the knowledge and development of left/right, directions, spatial relations, visualization, etc.
FOCUSING SKILLS Continue reading “Addressing Learning Difficulties”
In the fall of 1991, I had the privilege of meeting a young man named Lonnie. Dr. Mary and Dr. Robert Meeker were in the beginning stages of creating IPP (Integrated Practice Protocol) and meetings with Blanch Brandt from San Bernardino were taking place. Ms. Brandt played a critical role in the San Bernardino Detention Center that housed youth that had committed significant crimes. Some of these youth would be transferred into an adult correctional institution to continue serving their sentence.
Other youth would be released upon serving their required time. Ms. Brandt served many of these youth with a program that addressed perceptual deficiencies that interrupted the learning process. One of the valued outcomes from her work was a reduction in out of control behavior. She was searching for a program that would further develop specific learning abilities and found SOI. Ms. Brandt played a critical role in the development of IPP, as did the youth she served. Lonnie was one of those youths.
I had been learning SOI and working with the Meekers during this time. Ms. Brandt invited me to come down to San Bernardino to see the work she was doing. It was at this time I met Lonnie. Lonnie had been assessed with the SOI Form A. I was impressed with his ability level and asked if I could spend some time with him. It is at this point where my dedication to SOI is found. With truth and clarity, I was able to share with Lonnie his strengths and to explain some of the challenges he faced in learning. He could not deny the information; he was the one that answered the questions correctly.
I only reflected back to him what he had accomplished. He shared what he wanted to do upon being released to return to his parents’ home and to his community. He and I spent time daily talking and I learned so much from him. I shared that Continue reading “The Early Days of IPP”
On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, I had Level 2 training for SOI/IPP (Structure of Intellect’s Integrated Practice Protocol). It was so great! My instructor was Diane Hochstein, and I’m truly honored to have her as both a trainer and friend. Her 20 years of knowledge and experience in the field of special education and alternative learning programs are amazing. I had five students the she IPP screened, and although none of these children have really bad learning issues, she was able to find areas that they could improve on! Each student was treated with respect and love, and each walked out of the clinic feeling very special.
This is what is so great about the SOI/IPP programs. You, or your child, don’t have to be a person with BIG issues to benefit from SOI/IPP. We all have areas that could use “sprucing up.” These areas may not seem to interfere with our everyday life. Maybe we have learned to cope with them or they’re just not severe enough to complicate things, but working on them might improve everyday life!
Think about it: what would your life be like if that “little issue” was gone and you didn’t have to deal with it ever again? What would life be like if you were able to process information faster? How about being able to walk better or play sports better? What if you could read faster and/or better comprehend what you read? What if you could just make working and living a little easier?
You have the power in you to change. SOI has the power to help you!
Now granted, YOU may not need SOI to function well in life, but what about the child or adult that struggles with even basic achievements? They consistently have to Continue reading “What Can You Do to Improve Learning Effectively?”