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Autism
ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia

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Overview

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ADD / ADHD, Dyslexia.  It's a family issue.   Improve grades and self-esteem.  Evaluation and non-drug therapy that really works!

Teaming up with TeachersTeaming Up to Help Your Students Win! (6k)

Helping your students excel!

DEDICATION

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.  

DEFICITS

The conditions of

  • A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder),
  • A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), 
  • Dyslexia (generally an inability to work properly with language, whether written or spoken), and
  • Other learning disabilities

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.

TESTING

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:

  1. External to the brain (Extrinsic) such as 
    - home dynamics: divorce, trauma, sexual abuse; 
    - dietary factors: food allergies, excess sugar or caffeine, hypoglycemia; 
    - parasites, 
    - heavy metal toxicity, etc.
  2. Internal to the brain (Intrinsic) such as 
    - mixed brain dominance, 
    - true ADD/ADHD, 
    - lack of right-left brain integration, 
    - auditory or visual discrimination issues, 
    - one of the 7 forms of dyslexia, 
    - retained infantile reflexes, etc.

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.

MEDICATIONS

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:

  1. The accurate diagnosis of the root cause of a student's processing problems. We can provide the school with a detailed letter sharing our findings and making accommodation recommendations.
  2. An intense program of neural-cognitive therapy to deal with intrinsic issues.  The program helps students develop the brain functionality and dendrite bundles needed for efficient mental performance.  Program graduates can proceed through life functioning at normal or above normal levels.

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:

  • Possibility and probability of the occurrence of ADD-behavior causes. (see list in the Special Report)
  • Preferred mode of learning
  • Age of Neurologic development
  • Adequacy of the following mental programs.  The ability to correctly discern . . . 
  1. Shape
  2. Size
  3. Position in Space (one’s or something’s location physically, mentally, socially relative to others or other things)
  4. Figure Ground (the ability to pull detail out of the background)
  5. Directionality & Angle
  • Orientation towards Skimming and/or Detailing
  • Random Alphabet Recognition Test
  • True ADD/Irregular mental tempo
  • Ability to remember and follow instructions
  • Right-left brain integration
  • Brain dominance
  • Image retention
  • Self Esteem Test
  • Eyesight Recognition Test
  • Eidetic-Phonetic Memory Test
  • Auditory Discrimination skills (auditory dyslexia)
  • Reading Recognition of Words/Reading Grade Level
  • Eyesight Spelling Memory
  • Auditory-Phonetic Memory Test
  • Stress Response

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:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Vision Therapy
  • Auditory Training Therapy
  • Balance Therapy
  • Memory Skills Training
  • Success Skills Training
  • and more.

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, couldn’t 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 didn’t 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 pilot’s 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.  She’s now doing great academically, taking piano lessons, and her parents couldn’t 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:

  • For the fairly bright student that has a mental block, grades will usually improve from Ds and Fs, to As and Bs within the year long program.  These are sustained afterwards.
  • For the developmentally delayed (retarded) student, they are usually making Cs and Bs by the time they finish.
  • Around 90% of children that begin therapy while on medications such as Ritalin, are off within 8-12 weeks.  The decision to discontinue meds is usually made by the parents or their pediatrician, and not our staff.  Withdrawal symptoms are likely and the process should be planned for.  Children whose mothers smoke, drank or did illicit drugs during pregnancy (or whose biological fathers smoked, drank or did illicit drugs in the 6 months prior to pregnancy) may take 6-9 months to see improvement to the point where the children may discontinue medications.
  • Hand-eye coordination and sports skills dramatically improve.
  • Social skills and self-disciplined behaviors all improve.
  • The overall performance of the brain is enhanced, overcoming ADD/ADHD, dyslexia and other learning challenges.
  • Reduced propensity towards addictive behaviors.

Graduates becomeSuccess! (4k)

  • better adjusted,
  • more focused,
  • happier,
  • have better confidence,
  • better self-esteem, and
  • become a greater asset to society.

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:

  • The Sharper Minds program is NOT a tutoring service.
  • We do not teach academic subject matters per se.  Reading skills are dealt with.
  • We do not do "official" counseling (we can steer the parents to excellent cost-effective resources).
  • We do not claim to reduce or eliminate the needs for meds such as anti-seizure medications or medication for schizophrenia. Some have noted a reduced need for meds of this sort after completing the program.
  • While we are planning on a program for autistic children, we do not focus on this group at this time.
  • While we will address issues relating to diet, health, parenting, entertainment and other extrinsic factors, these are not our specialty.

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. . .

  • Teachers, who are generally the first to suspect a problem,
  • Struggling students,
  • The student's parents and family,
  • The student's physician,
  • The school to reduce long term costs of special education,
  • The school district to reduce costs and optimize student test scores and educational requirements,
  • Society to reduce the direct and indirect costs of behaviorally, learning related or perceptually challenged individuals, whether through reduced schooling, justice system costs or the costs of broken homes,

in a program that benefits all!

WE TEAM UP WITH TEACHERS

  • To help you minimize the stress in your classroom and school.
  • To know you are doing the best for your students, seeing the cause of the problem dealt with.
  • To suggest or refer to Sharper Minds  for testing students that you suspect may have A.D.D, A.D.H.D. or dyslexia.
  • To encourage the students as we work together.

GETTING TOGETHER

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.

 

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Last modified: September 25, 2017