Classrooms, soi-ipp

Alternate Schools – Alternate Programs

There is a very strong case to support the existence of alternate programs. Most people are aware of alternate programs that are geared to students who are at risk socially or who struggle academically. Many students can be guided to become successful, productive members of the community with the right kind of intervention.

What you may be less likely to know about is that there is a profile for the “Gifted with Learning Problems” student. These are the ones we refer to as having mountains and valleys.

These students’ potential may be completely derailed as their needs go unmet. They may be brilliant in math with visual or auditory issues that impede reading success. Or they may excel in reading and composition but struggle with algebra.

Teachers are often aghast when their most brilliant students choose to pass on higher education. I’m always amazed at how many truly intelligent people are unaware of their gifts. Or they know they have potential but cannot face the education system with their problems and, for them, so many doors close. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dr. Robert Meeker has pointed out that most learning problems are not profound. They are for the most part undiagnosed and untreated. In our school system, the focus is usually on teaching the child with problems to “cope.”

Most learning problems can be helped – poor auditory processing included – if you understand what’s needed and have the tools to deal with it. Likewise, most problems with math can also be corrected.

Continue reading “Alternate Schools – Alternate Programs”

inspiration, The Basics

I Can Do It When It’s Tough

FullSizeRenderHappy 2016! As I was contemplating our success and challenges over the past year, while looking forward to the new year, I realized there is a key value in using the SOI philosophy: perseverance. Perseverance is defined as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” I love the synonyms for perseverance: tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, purposefulness; patience, endurance, application, diligence, dedication, commitment, doggedness, tirelessness, stamina; intransigence, obstinacy; stick-to-it-iveness.”

When working with our children and their parents, the process of overcoming learning barriers through training is not easy or quick; it is a not sprint but a marathon. At our school, we believe that building character is an important way to help kids learn the value of perseverance.  We use the program “ We Choose Virtues”  and recite them and reinforce it in our content. When reciting the virtue of perseverance, we say together, “We are perseverant. We are not going to Continue reading “I Can Do It When It’s Tough”

SOI News

SOI Top Sellers!

SOI’s ability to develop learning abilities is what makes us stand out! Take a look at our list of top-selling SOI products and programs.

Find out what they are and why they’re so popular. Keep in mind that they can all be used in both schools and clinics.

Basic Reader: Basic Reader is designed for elementary-aged students who are struggling with reading. The program addresses three common causes: students do not have the necessary perceptual skills, students are not ready cognitively, or the teaching method doesn’t match the student’s learning style. Basic Reader is an easy-to-use, all-in-one program that includes screening, testing, and student materials to address all three causes of reading difficulties.

Memory Matrix: Memory is one of the easiest learning abilities to train, so it’s a great ability to work on with all of your students. You will begin to see improvement with 15 minutes of daily memory training. The Memory Matrix program contains 13 different visual and auditory exercises that help with reading, math, language arts, and more. Figural, symbolic, and semantic abilities are all trained in exercises that vary in levels of difficulty.

Personalized Workbooks and CDs: SOI is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve learning abilities. Every personalized workbook and CD is designed specifically to target each student’s learning needs – the abilities that will benefit the student the most. Low and average abilities are improved and high abilities are enhanced. Each student must take an SOI learning abilities test in order to determine what abilities are in need of improvement.

Certified Learning: Certified Learning teaches young students the intellectual abilities needed for academic success. The program allows students to work at their own pace in three different learning centers: computer, workbook, and group. One of our Certified Learning teachers said it best, “In my opinion, the Certified Learning program is fantastic at filling in the gaps that kids have. This is my 20th year as an educator, and I have seen nothing that does it better.”

IPP: IPP is a program for addressing learning difficulties. 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 skills that are essential to the learning process. This program is successful because it tackles the causes of the learning difficulties!

soi-ipp

A Breath of Fresh Air

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”

inspiration, learning skills, Testing, training

The Actions You See – The Words You Never Hear

SAM, AGE 8

“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.

JOHN, AGE 16

“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”

learning skills, training

Vision: Focusing Skills

Vision: “The ability of sight, the manner in which one sees or conceives of something”

Think about it:

If you are unable to scan horizontally – a visual requisite for reading and closing letters into words that are meaningful – your achievement level drops.

If you are unable to distinguish small differences (visual discrimination), which is especially critical for sustained reading over an extended period of time, your achievement level drops.

If you are unable to understand vocabulary and verbal ideas due to visual fatigue and loss of concentration, your achievement level drops.

If you have jerky eye movement when following an object, excessive head movement, overshooting the target, fatigue, and clumsiness – symptoms of poor eye tracking – your achievement level drops.

The SOI-IPP program has been able to screen people with these conditions and prepare a course of action. For severe cases of these vision issues, the best therapy is a developmental optometrist. SOI realizes the value of such treatment and encourages people to pursue this venue.

Vision can be the hindrance for learning success. Students receive the OK from the school nurse that their vision is 20/20, but classroom performance says otherwise. If a student is suspected of having vision problems, every avenue should be pursued to correct the deficiency. Build a foundation: strengthen the teamwork of the eyes so the learning experience is enjoyable.

SOI has designed a new vision workbook that targets these focusing skills! The workbook concentrates on the areas of visual tracking and stamina. Parents and teachers are invited to use this tool as part of their student exercises in developing good vision skills. Whether you are in a school, clinic, or at home, this workbook is great option! Take a look at the sample pages below.

written by: Jody Brooks, SOI Systems general manager

soi-ipp

Addressing Learning Difficulties

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.

SENSORY INTEGRATION

  • 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”