What are the criteria for students entering the Arrowsmith Program?

Students who come to the Arrowsmith Program are of generally of average to above average intelligence but are having difficulty learning academic and social skills efficiently and independently. The Arrowsmith Program addresses a wide range of specific learning difficulties (often referred to as 'learning disabilities') such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory and/or visual processing disorders, attention difficulties and non-verbal learning difficulties. The Arrowsmith Program is also designed for individuals who do not have identified specific learning difficulties but are challenged with issues such as organisation, processing, problem solving, communication, memory, and independence.
There are also students who just want to do better in life.  They enrol in the Cognitive Enhancement cognitive unit - Symbol Relations.  This unit strengthens the ability to take mulitple sources of information into account quickly when making a decision, reading or learning.  It is a great unit to do just by itself.

Which students are suitable?

Find out if the Arrowsmith Program is suitable for you/your child, by completing the Arrowsmith Program® Cognitive Profile Questionnaire. Whilst it does not guarantee your enrolment, it will allow you to work out whether the learning issues you/your child experience could be addressed through the Arrowsmith Program. Should you/your child be within the low average, average or above average range of intellectual functioning and are experiencing the types of issues described in this checklist, you/your child are likely candidates for the Program.  

We will be happy to answer your questions and, if appropriate, can arrange an assessment for you/your child. Call Joanne on 0410045134.

What age are the students?

The students in an Arrowsmith School range in age from six to over 70. Parents of children under six are encouraged to contact the Cognitive Strengthening Centre when their child is old enough to be considered ready for participation.

Do you have adult students?

Absolutely.  These are often our most motivated students as they have goals they want to meet.  Adults understand the pain of having a learning disorder and do not want to remain disadvantaged by something they can overcome.  

Other adults want to strengthen their cognitive ability so they can do exceptionally well in university or to prepare for a promotion at work.  

Is the program suitable for people with Autism or Intellectual Disability?

The Arrowsmith Program is developed for individuals struggling with specific learning difficulties (SLD) referred to as learning disabilities in North America. The standard definition of SLD is that the individual has an average or above average full-scale intelligence score, and has a specific difficulty in an area related to learning or academic skill acquisition. The Program is designed and therefore most suited for individuals within the average to above average range of intelligence.

Diagnoses such as Developmental or Intellectual Delay may indicate an impairment of general intellect and function, and students with these conditions have needs that are more significant than a student with a specific learning difficulty. It may also be, however, that these students have a range of learning disorders that has resulted in a mis-diagnosis. The Cognitive Strengthening Centre is committed to ensuring that every student who could benefit from participation in the Arrowsmith Program is considered and evaluated carefully and fairly to ensure there is no exclusion of people from the program as a result of an incorrect diagnosis.

Individuals with learning difficulties who also have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have benefitted from the Arrowsmith Program.  The Program will enable these individuals to address the cognitive learning needs which so often accompany autism.  Our most recently published research specifically discusses people with autism in the Arrowsmith Program.

Does the program help with attentional disorders?

The Arrowsmith Program has been very successful in addressing attentional difficulties. Many individuals with specific learning difficulties (often referred to as 'learning disabilities') experience attentional issues which can arise from different underlying causes. In many cases these issues are a result of a combination of specific learning difficulties making it hard for the student to sustain attention in specific learning situations; others are related to specific learning difficulties related to regulating attention.

As an example, if a person has difficulty remembering what the teacher has said to them, it is highly likely they will be seen as 'not paying attention'.  If this is complicated by an inability to understand language then your ordinary 10 year old will begin to 'misbehave' in class. It is only the child saying, in the only way they can, 'this situation is not working for me and I don't know what's wrong and I'm worried about it'. Over a period of time, the child might gain the reputation of being unable to concentrate and thus the diagnosis of ADD is considered.

These types of attentional difficulties are specifically identified during the assessment and addressed by the exercises.  As the cognitive areas strengthen, the behaviours that indicate they are a problem, fade.  Many children on ADD medication are able to come off it after their program has finished because the underlying cause of their symptoms has been addressed.

Do you accept enrolments during the year?

The Cognitive Strengthening Centre accepts enrolment during the year subject to availability.  Each student's program is totally individualised so they are not disadvantaged by their starting date.

Are beginning students assessed?

All students enrolling in the full time and part time programs are assessed. The assessment takes 5 - 6 hours to complete so is generally done over at least two sessions.  
Neither the Motor Symbol Sequencing nor the Cognitive Enhancement programs require a full initial assessment - only an evaluation.
Please discuss the assessment process with Joanne on 04100 451 34.

What's the initial assessment for and how much does it cost?

The assessment identifies each individual’s learning profile.  It takes 5  - 6 hours to do and is generally done over at least two sessions.  The raw data is sent to Canada and a few days later comes back as a very detailed report with an individualized program to address the particular range of specific learning difficulties that the individual has.  
Each person's cognitive profile is different, so each person's cognitive program is different, and exactly suitable for the person. We then have a meeting to discuss the way forward for the person.

The assessment costs $2250 at the beginning of the year. $1750 of this pays for the license fee and is credited to the cost of the first cognitive area enrolled in. As the year progresses the license fee becomes cheaper and so does the assessment.  Each student is re-assessed at the end of the year to measure progress. Once enrolled in the program on an ongoing basis, there are no additional assessment costs.

Please note the assessment is not used as the basis for determining suitability for the Arrowsmith Program; suitability is determined through discussion with yourself and Joanne (0410045134). Or, you can work it out yourself by doing this questionnaire.

Who does the assessment and analyses the results?

The assessment of students is done by an Arrowsmith Program trained teacher  at the Cognitive Strengthening Centre. The results are then sent to the Arrowsmith School in Toronto for scoring, analyzing and the creation of a tailored program for the person.
Once we receive the report we will contact you and arrange a meeting to discuss the results with you.  You will have every opportunity to ask questions and to decide the right way forward for you or your child.

Can I access the Program online?

The Arrowsmith Program has become available online as well as onsite since the COVID outbreak.  Students participate in the Arrowsmith exercises online or within a classroom setting and under the supervision of an Arrowsmith Program trained instructor who is in ongoing correspondence with the Arrowsmith Program. Enrolled students are able to do extra sessions of the computer based programs on their own at home.
Arrowsmith and the Cognitive Strengthening Centre are committed to maintaining the integrity of the program and to monitoring each student’s experience closely. This means that students who are enrolled in the online version must login with a teacher at negotiated times each week.

When and where can I be assessed?

Each student is given a full Arrowsmith cognitive asessment by the Arrowsmith teacher when they enrol into the program.  Teachers are trained by Arrowsmith in the assessment process and the tests are scored and analysed at Arrowsmith Program Toronto.

The assessment is made up of tests designed to measure the strength of specific cognitive functions that impact learning. This enables Arrowsmith Program to identify each student’s learning profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and provides the basis for designing individual programs for each student.

The assessment is available in onsite and online versions.

Please note the assessment is not used as the basis for determining suitability for the  Program. Suitability is determined through the pre-screening discussion between the family and the Cognitive Strengthening Centre.  You can also work it out yourself by doing this questionnaire.

How long does the Arrowsmith Program take to work?

Neuroplastic change is slow but profound. The student and their family should notice change in the person after three months of the program. There are more subtle changes that may be noticeable before then.
The majority of students with learning difficulties will require a three-to-four year program of full time attendance to address all of their learning issues fully. If a student is unable to complete the three-to-four year full time program, they achieve benefit each year they are in the program or by participating on a part time basis.
You will notice that the student becomes able to learn independently, effectively and efficiently. This is the essential difference between the Arrowsmith Program and other interventions for learning disorders. The majority of our graduates no longer have problems learning. In fact, research shows that the students, who were previously labelled as having a learning disability and expected to learn at a slow rate, learn at twice the expected rate for an average student per year once they have addressed and strengthened the cognitive areas initially identified as being problematic.
As teachers we see this outcome frequently.  

Do students maintain their changes?

Students who have been followed up 30 years after completion of the program have maintained their improvements. Once the improvements are in place, it is thought that the person maintains their gain by using the cognitive area in everyday functioning.

How many students are there in each class?

The student to teacher ratio in an Arrowsmith classroom is 10:1.

How is attendance at the Program organised?

Students can attend the Arrowsmith Program on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students attend on 4-5 days per week. Part-time students can negotiate their attendance pattern providing several requirements are met. They must come at least twice a week and may not do more than two hours of work on each cognitive area per day. The aim is always to maximise the best conditions for neuroplastic change to occur.

The Motor Symbol Sequencing program can be done at home. This program develops the ability to write, express thought in speech, read, and spell consistently. Students doing the MSS program work at home and visit the Centre once per fortnight (at a negotiated time) for monitoring their progress and adjustment of their program.