The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree


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”

SOI News

Q & A Series II

Basic Information

Name: Laura Mayer

Center: The Learning Turtle

Title: Owner/Tutor

Location: Washington DC Metro Area: Central Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia

Number of years using SOI: 9

Why did you decide to start using SOI?

I was trained in testing SOI and implementing the modules when I worked for a learning center early in my career in education.   I was fascinated by the simple-yet-effective method. Later, as a teacher in a public, suburban high school, I saw the majority of students struggle with the standard curriculum. Accommodations, “pull outs,” during-school homework/help time, and medication all seemed to be quick, temporary fixes (albeit with good intentions). I started testing my own students with SOI and tutoring them several days a week after school. Then I decided to make it my full time job!

Tell us a little bit about how you incorporate SOI into your clinic.

I describe The Learning Turtle as a “holistic tutoring company” because we look for the cause of academic challenges using a variety of perspectives. However, SOI is our cornerstone method. We build cognitive skills in conjunction with academic skills (which are the sole focus of “typical tutoring”). For instance, our SAT prep students work on math problems, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and test-taking strategies (which are all a part of a typical SAT course), but we also focus on visual processing, verbal processing, spatial reasoning, evaluation, etc. (which are the foundational skills that support the former).

Our greater vision, however, is to teach SOI to educators. Therefore, we are also a “tutor training company” that wants to prepare an army of tutors to help struggling students everywhere, but we’ll settle with working in the DC Metro area first!

What is the biggest benefit of SOI?

My specialty in education is the English language; specifically, I taught remedial reading for several years using another researched-based methodology. I did see it help some students, but not many. I still felt something unspoken was amiss.

While teaching that course, I saw the widest range of abilities per class I had ever encountered in my career: ESOL, Special Education, 9-12th graders, reading abilities from 2nd to 8th grade all “under the same ceiling.” Even with a co-teacher and assistants, it was challenging to meet every student at his/her needs AND help raise them to meet the same expectation or curriculum. We all felt like we were being pulled in several directions at once to help these students.

I realized that using SOI enabled all my students to have the same chance at success. It “levels the playing field,” so that Continue reading “Q & A Series II”