The Basics

Don’t Miss It!

Early in the 1990s, I knew in no unmistakable terms that I was to serve “the least of these.” Throughout my career as an educator, I endeavored to do that. But late in 2014, I began to ponder the question again with greater intensity: “Who ARE the least of these that I am compelled to serve?”

Since I had spent a good deal of my time in socioeconomically disadvantaged schools, I had always assumed it was “the poor.” But recently, as I began working with a broader range of students, I realized that “the least of these” fit into an entirely different paradigm. The least of these were not just those who had no material advantages. Difficulty in learning, caused by any number of difficulties, became the great equalizer in this regard.

Was it lack of resources? Yes, for sure, but not material resources. The answer lay in cognitive/academic, social/emotional, and physio-neurological resources. Dr. Mary Meeker outlined it in 1975 to the U.S. Office of Education in the Meeker Paradigm. I had known about the Meeker Paradigm since my earliest exposure to SOI. But as of late, it began taking on new meaning as I pondered the reason for the impact of SOI and why it had so completely changed my approach to learning and teaching and set me on a course that would inform the rest of my life’s work.

As I considered the question, I was admonished by a friend, a fellow educator, and grandparent of one of my students, “You don’t Continue reading “Don’t Miss It!”

learning skills

Empowering Students to be Successful: SOI Paradigm

Working with children with learning challenges and concerns for the past twenty years has given a meaningful direction and purpose to my life. I have traveled extensively from New Delhi, India to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; and Sacramento, California in my journey as a student and a facilitator for the children with learning issues and their families.

I started my career as a remedial education teacher at Educare, New Delhi, where I learned the basics of the Orton Gillingham approach of teaching phonics and reading skills under Dr. Sunita Sodhi. This was a very fulfilling experience of understanding the concepts of learning disabilities and helped me to do my PHD in the area of learning disabilities in math (dyscalulia) among the elementary grades.

I landed in Pittsburgh in the summer of 2003 with my family and worked as a volunteer with the Learning Disabilities Association of America for almost two years and simultaneously joined the 32 Degree Masonic Learning Center to do my certificate course in remedial education therapy under IMSLEC (International Multi-Sensory Language Education Council). This gave me an opportunity to study and gain insight into the details of the language teaching process and improve my style of teaching along with the correct pronunciation.

I enjoyed working with students and could observe the significant changes with the remedial education but always wondered for how long to provide these interventions to the students. School systems have been giving modifications to students with learning issues within the regular classrooms such as extra time to finish the assignments, assessing the student on multiple choice questions, or using the scribe to write the answers for them. These accommodations and benefits are available in the United States as well as in India.

This does help the students stay in the mainstream schools in an inclusive environment, but I always failed to understand that what happens to the child when he/she steps out of the school environment and interacts with the community at large. This system and the accommodations/modifications do not equip the students to apply problem solving skills, use their memory skills, or build comprehension abilities.

Our present education systems both in the United States and India are helping the students to do well in schools by modifying the environment but not giving them the essential learning skills and abilities to become independent learners.

My family and I moved to Denver in 2008 and I started working with a local school district as a substitute special education teacher. I started Continue reading “Empowering Students to be Successful: SOI Paradigm”

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!

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

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”

training

Modules? Seriously.

The ideal SOI recipe for success for learning and career is simple: test, cognitive and IPP training, retest.

The initial testing is often rewarding and intriguing, as we figure out some of our enigmatic client needs. However, the re-testing often is not as critical. What about the training? I believe it’s the middle of the recipe that’s absolutely unique and valuable: the personalized follow-up plan based upon the individual’s SOI scores, with new insight into the learning styles and needs – especially for those who struggle in school or the workplace.

This is the heart of the recipe. Many of us bring areas of expertise to the table – either in teaching; or from the Meeker Paradigm area #3 (physio-neurological), where medical or mental health barriers to learning and functioning are discovered. However, the SOI modules – both paper and computer – remain the main course. Here are a few of my emphases and SOI recommendations from my personal toolbox along the SOI remediation way.

I use lots of SOI “brain-building” modules. Remember, they have been developed for specific learning ability building. They are potent. I always use more Continue reading “Modules? Seriously.”

Testing

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

ASSESSING PARENTS AND CHILDREN: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

On many of the occasions where I have assessed both parents and their children, I have been fascinated by the results. Here are two examples.

Many years ago, I assessed a father and son. Both had a high incidence of gifted scores, were left-handed, and had significant hidden visual perception issues. In the case of the father, the vision issues didn’t prevent him from becoming a good reader. He attained good scores in English literature, qualifying to be a teacher and entering a Master’s program. The son, whose visual perception problems were all in the same areas, but who scored at a lower level in them, almost didn’t graduate from Grade 13 because of his reading and writing difficulties.

Both excelled in mathematics and symbolic thinking. The father eventually entered business as a financial adviser and the son, who had never read a novel or written a report without assistance, became an engineer. Both were very successful.

When I was managing an SOI/IPP program in an alternate school here in Vancouver, I assessed three members of one family. The mother was SOI assessed as she was being trained to help with the IPP program. The two siblings that were tested were attending the school and taking IPP training. The mother was Continue reading “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree”