SOI News

Announcement: New Online Learning Abilities Tests

In 2010, Dr. Robert Meeker upgraded and integrated 50 years of experience into two new SOI tests. The ALA (Advanced Learning Abilities) and PLA (Primary Learning Abilities) tests were originally designed for our colleagues in other countries, but the need for an online version of SOI testing was another driving force behind the project. The ALA and PLA tests are currently in paper-pencil format and will be available online in September 2016.

To jump straight to our website for details on online testing, click here!


The addition of Critical Thinking subtests within the ALA adds value for the career-oriented client.

SOI continues to offer paper-pencil versions of both tests as a means of observing the student taking the test. Group testing is often more practical using the written forms, as well.

Students who struggle with concentration or anxiety issues find that the computer versions of the tests have allowed them to focus and relax during the test-taking process.

The ALA and PLA continue to Continue reading “Announcement: New Online Learning Abilities Tests”

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”


Trauma Treatment and SOI ALA-PLA Learning Therapy


A psychiatrist referred an adult male, a 52-year-old American citizen, who grew up in El Salvador. He was on psychiatric disability and taking multiple strong medications. Juan was abandoned by his parents, placed in a brutal orphanage, and had witnessed multiple murders and murders, as well as the assassination of Archbishop Romero, who was declared a martyr by the Pope; he was often beaten severely for being dyslexic. He felt hopeless, useless, and in perpetual panic. He was a hard worker, but eventually, he was unable to do his job.

As a psychologist, I used a trauma-erasing technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and deep relaxation therapy. After five sessions, it was so successful that he felt “happy” for the first time in his memory. His psychiatrist diminished his medications, and I thought it was the last session, but Juan said, “There’s one last thing I want to work on. Can you teach me to read?”

Of course I said “yes” and I explained how he could take the SOI test online. A month went by and I hadn’t heard from Juan, so I texted him. He replied, “Good evening Doctor. I’m almost done, but I have taken long cause it gives me high anxiety when taking it and it blocks my mind. I just need 6 more modules. I should finish tonight. I’m so afraid of the results.”

When Juan submitted his transmit file for his SOI test he added, “Only God can decide my future. I follow Him.”  His profile revealed the following:

With the exception of auditory memory, Juan tested at the bottom stanine in every subtest! He will begin LOCAN, and then will work on his own SOI individual CD and workbook! I will continue to monitor his progress and report it to you. I hope to have exciting results to report at the Advanced SOI workshop in July.

The moral of the story: When a student, no matter how old, has suffered complex trauma, the psychological must be treated first using specific and evidence-based trauma treatments. According to the Meeker Paradigm, this second area, “Social-Emotional,” precedes area three, “Cognitive-Academic.”

written by: Valerie Maxwell, Ph.D., Psychologist

Click here to read the next part of Juan’s story.