Cognitive skills training is a type of brain exercise designed to help strengthening specific cognitive abilities in a child. The underlying principle is to help improve “core learning” abilities in a person, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving capabilities. Comprehensive cognitive skills training is the most effective and efficient way to increase learning and reading skills.

The success of a class depends upon good teaching as well as how well each student learns. Appropriate cognitive skills training aims to help student build a strong foundation, which will enable any student to achieve their full potential. Full potential automatically helps in giving better leaning results. It is not about studying or working for a long time but delivering better results for the small time you read.

Learning success comes with building new neurons networks in the brain to allow information to travel faster, more efficiently, and with greater precision. Reading, math, language, and motor skills improve when the mind and body can work together. Typically, significant gains can be achieved through cognitive skills training in only 8 to 15 weeks.

Brain/Cognitive skills training is different from tutoring at a very basic level. Tutoring is simply re-teaching material that a student missed the first time it was presented. The hope is that the material will stick this time. Here is how to tell if tutoring will work for your child.

If you’ve ever sat down with your child and gone over, or repeated, school assignments—and he or she immediately got it and needed no more help—then re-teaching or tutoring will work. But, if simple explanation did not solve the problem, or if a few days later the problem persisted or was repeated, there is most likely an underlying skill weakness that tutoring or re-teaching cannot correct.

Until the underlying skills required to learn are strengthened, tutoring can only produce temporary progress at best. Struggles will re-emerge because the root of the problem—weak cognitive skills—has not been addressed. If your child faces recurring problems with each new academic year or challenge, training (rather than tutoring) is your best answer.

Brain training provides you and your student the chance to get to the root of the problem and literally rebuild his or her basic abilities to read and learn with specifically designed and delivered training exercises. To understand the advantage brain training has over tutoring consider how different your expectations would be if you enrolled in a 12-hour lecture on piano basics versus 12 hours of piano practice with a good one-on-one piano coach. In the lecture you would be receiving information about the piano—you would be tutored. In the piano practice, you would end up actually playing the piano—you would be trained. Tutoring increases information. Training builds skill.

Specific training programs are available to strengthen key cognitive skills such as auditory processing, visual processing, memory, reasoning, and processing speed, memory (short term as well as long term). Skill gains at this foundation level of learning capability result in easier, faster, and more successful learning.

Training Can Help Everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are facing. Cognitive Skills/Brain training can be successfully applied to everyone. Cognitive skills training can help:

  • Students struggling well behind grade level who need to catch up
  • Children or adults looking for a competitive learning or performance edge
  • Athletes seeking an edge in the “mental” aspect of their game
  • People seeking enhanced reading skill and fluency
  • Students looking for an enhanced foundation in numeric and math skills
  • Preschool and first grade students wanting a successful launch into school
  • Senior adults desiring to prevent age-related memory loss and mental decline

SOI is a set of tools based on J.P. Guilford’s Structure of Intellect (SOI) theory to help students and adults improve their learning abilities. By focusing on improving the underlying brain functions that are impeding their progress, we see huge gains in overall cognitive function, and even the remediation of learning disabilities. Anyone can benefit from SOI, from beginning learners to the learning disabled, to the academically gifted. SOI can offer this broad range of testing, teaching, and training services because it is based on a proven theory of human intelligence.

SOI is an assessment tool and a system that systematically develops learning functions. Dr. J.P. Guilford developed the theory underlying SOI in military and academic research. During World War II, the US Air Force was using IQ, vision assessment and good health as the basis for choosing pilots. With these conventional criteria, 35% of the individuals selected “washed out” during the training. Guilford was asked to develop a more effective screening tool. He did so and when his new screening was applied the “washout” rate dropped to 9% for bombardiers, and 5% for pilots and navigators.

Mary Meeker a doctoral student of Guilford’s, along with her husband Robert, took Guilford’s theory and developed it into an effective tool to assess learning capacities and to develop learning abilities where needed. It is this ability to develop potential learning abilities that makes SOI stand out from the many other intelligence tests.

The expanded SOI program is IPP – Integrated Practice Protocol. IPP is a program of sensory integration, visual and auditory processing training and brain exercises. SOI/IPP Training has dramatically enhanced the ability to develop potential intelligence.

IPP or Integrated Practice Protocol is an expanded SOI Program that gets to the root of learning difficulties by addressing the perceptual problems that often underlie poor academic performance.

IPP is a system whose goal is to integrate messages from all the senses. Many learners who experience academic difficulties are not integrating perceptual messages. They have gaps or blocks in comprehending certain kinds of information.

IPP consists of SOI Assessments and Cognitive Development

  • Twenty-six different cognitive abilities that affect learning are measured. If a student shows a pronounced weakness in any of these abilities, we a have a strong indication as to why he or she is not learning. The SOI cognitive development program systematically teaches undeveloped abilities.
  • Assessment of sensori-motor functions and a program to correct dysfunction. The test of sensori-motor functions tells us whether the student can integrate different perceptual functions. Without sensori-motor integration, many of the perceptual inputs are garbled, scrambled or confused, and since perception is the starting point in any learning process, the student will be dealing with incomplete or confused data.
  • Assessment of visual perception followed by exercises to improve visual processing. If visual processing functions are not developed, the student will have problems processing data quickly enough to assimilate information in a timely fashion. As a result, the student will probably be labeled as “slow” or “learning disabled” – suggesting that he or she is subnormal cognitively – whereas the root problem may be visual processing.
  • Auditory assessment and a program to develop listening skills.

Each client’s program is individualized to target his/her strengths and weaknesses. The time it takes a client to complete his/her program depends on the test scores and the amount of time the student uses the materials.

Brain Gym is part of Educational Kinesiology’s comprehensive personal development program. It is a gentle and energizing program that includes movements to coordinate the brain and body for greater productivity and learning. Brain Gym helps develop body awareness so that you can recognize the physical, emotional, and mental signs that you are tuning out and getting stressed. A successful change in strategy for persons of all ages and all walks of life, Brain Gym is used in homes, schools and businesses around the globe. Specifically, Brain Gym is beneficial for:

  • Teachers who use Brain Gym regularly in their classroom and school environment.
  • Adults working with children labeled as ‘learning disabled’, hyperactive or with Attention Deficit Disorder.
  • Families where parents and children work together for better communication.
  • People working in health, medicine, counseling and allied professions.