Helping your students excel!
If you're like most teachers, you're dedicated to your students and your profession. Your goal is to bring out the best from your students, preparing them for life.
DISTRACTIONS & TIME DRAIN
Unfortunately, every teacher has students that can't seem to learn. Perhaps these are frustrated, boisterous in class, and rebellious. They distract other students and make demands on your time and emotional energy. On the other hand, some students might be quiet, shy and studious, but their grades don't reflect what you know they are capable of. Unfortunately, these struggling students can take up much of your valuable time, leaving you less able to do the job you want to do with your other students.
The conditions of
are being recognized in students by more and more teachers as they become educated about these conditions. Often, the first step you might take is to recommend that the student be tested by a school psychologist or an outside resource such as the child's pediatrician.
While most professionals do the best they can, the testing tools they use and the time they have to spend with the student may not be adequate to determine the underlying cause of a child's struggles. Most commonly used testing procedures looks more at external behavioral symptoms (those observed by the teachers and parents) than at the root causes of those symptoms.
Root cause factors may be:
If behavioral symptoms are simply examined (these generally are related to impulsivity, distractibility, inability to pay attention), then it is highly likely that the child will simply be diagnosed and labeled with ADD or ADHD and a medicative solution recommended.
Psychotropic medications, such as Ritalin ®, Dexedrine ®, Adderall ®, Concerta ®, while popular and considered to be a "standard of care", are just one way to treat the symptoms of A.D.D., A.D.H.D. or dyslexia. However, none of the meds address an intrinsic ROOT cause, a deficiency in brain functionality, i.e. inadequate "wiring" of the dendritic bundles and neural pathways in the brain.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, after a fairly extensive study concluded that psychotropics do NOT help academic performance LONG TERM. In other words, while short term academic performance in the lower grades may improve, as the child grows older, the underlying cognitive dysfunctions become more predominant, and grades begin slipping.
Increasing evidence points out that long term chronic usage of psychotropics may increase the risk of damaging consequences. These include early onset of Parkinson's disease and stroke.
Further, each pharmaceutical company states that their meds are not complete solutions in of themselves. For example, Novartis in its prescribing insert for Ritalin includes the following statement:
|"Ritalin is indicated as an integral part of a total
treatment program which typically includes other remedial measures (psychological,
educational, social) for a stabilizing affect in children with behavioral syndrome."
"Adequate diagnosis requires the use not only of medical but of special psychological, educational, social resources."
However, as a matter of practicality, most students don't receive other remedial measures for the underlying cause. This can leave them open to future dysfunctions including excessive anger and outbursts, withdrawal, violence, anti-social and criminal behavior, poor academic and work performance, poor decision making, pregnancy out of wedlock, conflicts in relationships, abuse and much more. See our Special Report for more details.
HELPING YOU, HELPING STUDENTS
Sharper Minds can help you and your struggling students. We specialize in two areas:
Let's look at these two areas a little more closely.
Sharper Minds TESTING AND EVALUATION
While we do look at external behavioral symptoms (such as those listed in the DSM IV), the Sharper Minds testing process primarily focuses on how a student's brain processes information. It also looks at the past history of a child and family, examining genetics, health, family dynamics and relationships, dietary issues and much more. One aspect of the testing process includes a 12 page family and educational history questionnaire. When the family comes into our office, we ask the student to complete a wide variety of exercises. We observe HOW they carry out the requested tasks. Altogether, we look for the:
- Position in Space (one’s or something’s location physically, mentally, socially relative to others or other things)
- Figure Ground (the ability to pull detail out of the background)
- Directionality & Angle
Attendance at appointment: If the child's parents are married (or divorced, but on good terms), we require both parents to be there for the testing process. If a parent is single, we ask them to bring the child's grandparents or a friend with them to the appointment, someone that they can discuss the test results with afterwards. Time slots for testing depend on the mutual availability of our staff and the parents. Sometimes we will have late afternoon and evening time slots available, but at times these may be quite full and an appointment earlier in the day may be necessary to get in sooner, especially with the doctor.
Results: At the end of the testing process, we review our immediate findings with the family. If the problems are predominantly intrinsic, we will discuss our program of neural-cognitive therapy as an option. If the primary causes of the problems are extrinsic, we will refer them to the proper professionals who can deal with these issues. About a week after the testing is completed, we provide the family with a written test report of our findings.
Duration: The in-office testing process takes about 3½ hours for a single evaluation, 4 hours for a double evaluation.
Fees: Our current fees are listed on the fees page.
Special Educational Rates: If a school wishes to make arrangements for us to do the testing on their behalf of a number of students, a special school rate package may be arranged for.
NEURAL-COGNITIVE THERAPY PROGRAM
The Sharper Minds program is substantially different from other cognitive programs. It is based upon the latest in neural research and learning development. It contains a synergistic blend of elements drawn from:
Its goal is to stimulate the brain to grow the nerve pathways that have been missing, atrophied, latent, etc. in order to move the brain to normalcy, if not superiority. The effects and improvements are fairly dramatic. Following are some real examples:
Real Stories, Real People
Matthew, a 2nd grader struggled with his alphabet. The school tested him, then told his parents that he would be fortunate to be reading at a 2nd grade level by the time he finished 4th grade. Our staff discovered his lack of right-left brain coordination. 11 weeks after beginning our program, the school retested him and placed him at the 1.89 grade reading level, a dramatic change. 16 weeks later, he was the 2nd best reader in his class.
Justin, a 12-year-old 6th grader, couldnt write his name after 5 years in Special-Ed. The school had done their best, but there was no progress. We found Justin to be highly dyslexic. Twelve weeks after starting therapy, he earned a 90% on a 20-word spelling test. 16 weeks later he was reading simple books. 7 months later, at the beginning of the next school year, the school tested him and said he didnt need Special-Ed any longer!
Hugh an 11th grader, was reading at a third grade level. Self-motivated, he completed the mental training program in just 9 months. At the end of 8 months, he was reading at a college level. He went on to graduate from college, earn a commercial pilots license and now plans to start his own business.
Jamie was born with a heart defect. After her third open-heart surgery, she had a stroke. At 8 years old, she still struggled with walking smoothly and with the alphabet. Within weeks of starting our program, her walking smoothed out and learning became easier. She learned her alphabet and how to read. Shes now doing great academically, taking piano lessons, and her parents couldnt be prouder.
Rudy, a 42-year-old man with ADD had no trouble getting good paying jobs; it was holding on to them that was the problem. His aspirations to go into the legal field were being affected by his lack of attention to detail, ability to focus and persistence. He and his 39-year-old brother enrolled in our program. By the end of the year program, both were dramatically improved and he was working for a law firm. He stated that he would have gladly paid $50,000 for the program 25 years earlier, because he had lost twice that in missed earnings.
Typical results of therapy include the following:
WHAT SHARPER MINDS DOES NOT DO:
No program can claim to be an "end-all" solution. Here are some of the items that Sharper Minds does not do, nor include in our claims:
Our focus is primarily on enhancing mental performance and overcoming ADD/ADHD, dyslexia and other learning challenges due to intrinsic issues.
TIME INVESTMENT AND COMMITMENT
For families local to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the first 2 sessions are done in office to get the family grounded in the exercises. For those elsewhere in the US or Canada, the first two phone sessions take around 75-90 minutes. Thereafter, both for local and long distance clients, all subsequent accountability and instructions sessions are done by phone, with email of the assignment sheets and forms. Equipment for the program is provided to the family at or before the first session. This method has proven to be the most cost effective for the family as well as produces very good results. Additionally, the student and his or her family practice the therapy at home for about an hour a day for 4-5 days a week for best results. Improvements are usually noted within 8-12 weeks, often as soon as 2-3 weeks.
The entire program takes about 12 months to complete. A small investment for a lifetime of benefits.
SCHOOL LICENSING OPTION
If you feel that your school might be interested in licensing the methodology for both testing and training in the future when that option is available, let us know as well. Call for details.
In closing . . .
Sharper Minds TEAMS UP WITH. . .
in a program that benefits all!
WE TEAM UP WITH TEACHERS
If you are local to one of our Centers, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, a teacher group, your school staff, or your teachers association to provide you with more information. See the Center Locations section of this website for the Center nearest you.
TO CONTACT US
Call Toll Free: 1-866-HELP-ADD (435-7233) to speak to someone at our headquarters office.
To E-mail us, contact us via the Feedback page. An E-mail will be sent to us immediately.
If you know of a parent that should receive our series of informational mailers, you may also enter their information via our Data Entry Page (this is geared for parents). Type your name into the data entered by field so that we may properly reference you.