inspiration

SOI Changes Lives in Many Ways

In 1988, I experienced SOI for the first time when my now-grown son struggled in the third grade. He was given the SOI test and completed sessions throughout the year at Brainworks (formerly of Carrollton). After I retired from teaching school in 2002, I became the math coordinator at Brainworks and learned a lot more about the SOI tests and modules.

In the spring of 2008, one of my adult clients at Brainworks was James O’Connell. James had finished a tour of duty in the army and was back home  trying to figure out what to do with his life. James had attended Carrollton schools and struggled because of his ADHD. He was apprehensive about going to college because of his past school experiences and struggles with math/algebra.

When I first began working with James, I had no idea what a big part of my life James and his mother, Patti O’Connell, would become! I still hear from Patti from time to time whenever James reaches a milestone in life. A couple years ago, she emailed me to remind me of where James began when I first met him.

James’ initial SOI test was on October 31, 2007. At that time, we estimated that James would need approximately 73 hours of SOI cognitive skills training and 40 hours of work with me on math and algebra. That amounted to about 50-60 two-hour sessions.

After only 38 hours of session time, however, James was Continue reading “SOI Changes Lives in Many Ways”

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!

GENERAL INFORMATION

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”

Testing

SOI Career Guidance

Two recent private female clients of mine, both historically considered “misfits” by their schools and parents, took the SOI-ALA computer test. I was struck by the similarities in profiles: high creativity (DFU & DMU) and low evaluation.

My mother, Mary Meeker, identified years ago a pattern of the struggling creatively gifted. Both of these girls have had difficulty keeping jobs and finding work that was meaningful. Both had creativity scores above the 98th percentile. Evaluation scores were below the 10th percentile. They both reported that they not only cannot make good decisions about the jobs they choose, but that they are indecisive on the job and often get criticized or fired because of indecision. They also have both chosen poorly in their social lives with boyfriends and friends.

While it is never easy to deliver the news to a client that they have a severe learning disability, if done in the right way, it can be very helpful, as it was with each of my clients. Remember to use the “sandwich approach,” which is positive-negative-positive.

“So, Jayne, the SOI test confirms that you are gifted in creative writing, and you should finish that book proposal! However, were you aware that making decisions is not your strength? It is probably something you have struggled with your whole life. We can help you develop those abilities. In our philosophy, a disability is simply an opportunity to develop a true learning ability. We can do this together. We also found that your creative drawing ability is fantastic!”

And so we began to train intellectual abilities that support the psychotherapy.

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

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.”

Classrooms, learning skills

Boyhood

Fall temperatures have finally arrived in Texas after a very long, hot summer. This weekend, I had the opportunity to take three of my grandsons to the Botanic Garden here in Fort Worth. We meandered through the gardens, having a picnic by the fountain pond, counting turtles by the bridge, throwing sticks in the water, exploring “mysterious forest paths,” and climbing on rocks. The boys led the expedition, and huffing and puffing, I followed.

These three grandsons also attend our school, Shady Oak Learning. Major, age 4, is currently in his “junior fireman” stage after crawling on a firetruck last week on one of our field trips. I consider our outing a victory because he did not fall in the pond. Deacon, age 6, whose favorite color is green and is obsessed with trains, showed his excitement by flapping his arms while looking at all the turtles. Wyatt, age 8, an extraordinary reader, read all the signs to us about the plants, and was so absorbed in the sights and sounds that he ran ahead, totally tuning out my voice calling his name to slow down, since my sore knees could not keep up with him.

This “Grammy Field Trip,” as I decided to name it, inspired me both as a mom/grandmother and as a teacher who is passionate about educational reform. As I observed my grandsons, I noticed how engaged and curious they were. The beauty and complexity of nature gave them endless moments to engage their thinking and wonderings. The boys led the expedition, and even though I feared that they might stumble while claiming a high rock, fall in the water, or go ahead of me and get lost, we made it safely with no harm done. I think that they will remember this for a long time – I know I will!

BOYS ARE AT RISK

Boyhood, in the way God created it to be experienced, is seriously at risk. Boys spend fewer hours moving and playing, and have become “feminized” by our culture’s obsession with safety at the expense of exploration and free play. Our educational system has boys sitting and confined to desks and high expectations and abstract thinking standards have been pushed down to inappropriate ages. Many developmental problems can be traced to a child’s lack of movement during early years.

HOW CAN WE CREATE JOY IN BOYHOOD?

We expect boys to sit in desks at age 5 and be able to read by the end of kindergarten as well as write complete thoughts going into first grade. Last week after giving the SOI Form L (K-2nd ) assessment to a beginning first grader, I lamented the fact that his private school thought he was behind in writing. His NFU score was above expected range, he wrote Continue reading “Boyhood”

Testing, Unique Issues

Why Gifted Students Can Benefit from SOI Assessment

There are many kinds of giftedness. One of the most common misconceptions about gifted individuals is that they will excel in all areas.

Some individuals who are highly academically gifted can be very average when it comes to creativity. The reverse is also true. Some of the most highly creative individuals have gaps in their ability to thrive in a primarily academic setting.

Dr. Mary Meeker, who was given the Torrance Creativity Award (a prestigious national award given to an educator of gifted children), was concerned about meeting the emotional needs of the gifted child. She wrote, “Since the gifted have a tendency toward acute sensitivity, with feelings of being different and lonely, their motivation is easily diminished or extinguished when they are locked into an environment at home or at school which is neither supportive nor accepting.”

To ensure that gifted students meet their full potential, they need to be acknowledged for their giftedness, assisted with any learning issues, and given an opportunity to express themselves in ways that are meaningful to them. SOI (the Structure of Intellect) – the brain child of Dr. Meeker – offers a way to assist the gifted by giving important feedback on areas of giftedness and by identifying and correcting learning problems.

The SOI-LA, is an assessment tool that measures abilities. It measures multiple intelligences with the intention of empowering a person to develop their full potential by first understanding their own strengths and weaknesses. SOI has a long history in the field of giftedness. Dr. Meeker, who created the SOI assessment based on the theory of J.P. Guilford, was herself very gifted. And misunderstood.

When she began testing students in the school system in California, she discovered an interesting fact about gifted students – that many of them have learning difficulties that are seldom addressed. Continue reading “Why Gifted Students Can Benefit from SOI Assessment”