“What makes this program different from others is that Carol has the research and the data to backup its effectiveness. The research on the association between working memory and academic achievement makes this program an ideal choice for sharpening a student’s academic skill. As a father, uncle, teacher, and educational researcher, I would recommend this program to any parent seeking to build the learning capacity of their child’s brain.”
John Almarode, Ph.D.
Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education
James Madison University
Equipping Minds® Cognitive Therapy is designed to be implemented either in person or online. Dr. Carol Brown’s doctoral research has been accepted for publication in a peer reviewed medical journal to be released in April 2018.
Our primary mission is to work with children and adults to increase their cognitive abilities and decrease learning, emotional, and social challenges. We work individually with children and adults of all ages and abilities to reach their full potential through our onsite and online programs. We see working memory, processing speed, attention, comprehension, critical thinking, and communication skills increase.
When we first meet a family, we work to identify the strengths and challenge areas. We then strengthen their cognitive abilities through a holistic cognitive development plan created to meet their individual needs. Through lots of hard work, we have seen transformations take place in their lives. Read their stories here. Students succeed academically, improve communication and social skills, perform better in sports, and grow in self-confidence. Adults notice an increase in work performance and working memory. We encourage you to contact us for an evaluation or phone consultation. Parents can purchase the program and implement themselves or work with an Equipping Minds educational therapist. Some parents begin working with an educational therapist until they feel ready to take over the sessions.
Equipping Minds Cognitive Development Program
What separates Equipping Minds from other programs is its holistic approach. The Equipping Minds program uses nutritional therapy, primitive reflex exercises, sound therapy, vestibular therapy, and vision exercises in addition to Equipping Minds cognitive training exercises which were developed by Dr. Carol Brown. We are unaware of any other program that takes this holistic approach to educational therapy.The cognitive training exercises are designed to integrate different areas of the brain at the same time. Learners participate in fun games and activities. These games are used to find the specific areas in which the brain struggles such as working memory, processing speed, perceptual reasoning, and comprehension. From there, the therapist can hone in and “give the brain a workout.” Much like an athlete trains at the gym, the therapist uses these games and activities to stretch and strengthen the brain.
Equipping Minds also differs from other programs, in that, these brain strengthening exercises use what the student already knows. Equipping Minds ingeniously sets aside academic skills allowing us to get to the foundational roots and cognitive functions, quickly and accurately. Working memory and processing speed are two of the most common weaknesses we see in students with learning challenges. This program addresses these areas directly as well as visual and auditory processing, attention, logic, comprehension. We have never seen a program address these cognitive functions with more intensity and accuracy than the Equipping Minds program; this is why we are so excited about it!
What makes the Equipping Minds Cognitive Therapy holistic?
We know that physical, cognitive, behavioral, and relational skills develop together rather than in isolation. Providing a more holistic approach to build challenge areas and enhance strengths increases confidence, communication skills, memory skills, comprehension, processing skills, and relational skills. Treating the whole person through a multidisciplinary approach will give the best results. As Dr. Karen Purvis states in The Connected Child, “Too often, parents and experts look at behavioral and learning disorders as if they existed separate from sensory impairments;separate from attention difficulties; separate from early childhood deprivation,neurological damage, attachment disorders, posttraumatic stress, and so on.”
Many children and adults tried tutoring, medication, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and vision therapy. However, they typically have done these in isolation and were only seen twice a week for 30-60 minutes. While there has been some improvement, we have seen that the combination or “cross training” the brain in many areas five-seven days a week for an hour a day over three-four months allows the neuropathways to connect.
Cognitive Therapy Exercises: One-on-One and small group cognitive therapy uses Equipping Minds Cognitive Development Workbook by Dr. Carol Brown. Cognitive therapy is a fully integrated system of drills and training exercises that are delivered in an intense, one-on-one environment, and are designed to attack and rapidly correct weak or underdeveloped cognitive learning skills. It is not designed to tutor or teach academic subjects, rather it will develop the underlying skills required to learn effectively. Cognitive skills-auditory processing, visual processing, working and long term memory, comprehension, logic and reasoning, and attention skills – are foundational to a person’s ability to receive, process, and retain information. The training program strengthens these skills allowing one to learn efficiently.
Cognitive therapy is a form of educational therapy that helps to develop new and repair neuro-transmitters. Each piece of the program is important to the strengthening of working memory, processing speed, visualization, and auditory deficits; therefore each exercise (eye, primitive reflex, and sound) is vital to the success of the student. It is imperative that you set aside time each day for the program. This includes weekends.
This program is designed for five one hour therapy sessions per week in concurrence with the programs listed below implemented at home. Most individuals will complete the program in 12 weeks while others may need longer. The Cognitive Therapy program is a holistic program. Participation in the entire program is imperative. Partial participation will yield partial results.
Classroom Connection with Equipping Minds Once the underlying cognitive skills are strengthened, the academic skills become easier. Though we do not train specifically in math, English or other academic subjects, the students are taught to make the connection to those subjects through vocabulary development, visualization of letters for spelling and reading, oral and written expression, reading comprehension, attention skills, study and outlining skills, and visualization of numbers for math facts and math sense. All of these skills are required throughout life. By improving and automating these skills, the key to learning fast and efficiently is discovered. The Equipping Minds specialist can provide support in writing, reading, math, and curriculum selection if needed.
Suggested Daily Schedule:
- Cognitive Exercises 30-60 minutes a day online with our staff or you can purchase the program to implement at home. We can also work with you initially to train you in our program. $30 ( 30 minute session) $45 (45 minute session)$60 (60 minute session). Younger children may only need 30 minutes a day. Recommend 60 total hours. No interest payment plans are available.
- 15 minutes: Maintaining Brains Everyday DVD or USB at home. Purchase from the Equipping Minds SHOP. We also recommend the book The Symphony of Reflexes. QRI treatment available at the office in Frankfort, KY.
- 30-60 minutes: Sound Therapy strengthens the auditory system. It should be worn during the cognitive exercises and while reading, relaxing, swinging, or while sleeping. Purchase from the Equipping Minds SHOP.
- 10 minutes: Eye Q Advantage or EyeCanLearn for additional vision exercises if needed.
- Meclizine twice a day if needed. Learn more about the vestibular system below. Consult Dr. Brown for the proper dosage.
Watch the Neuro-Development video here.
Primitive Reflex Therapy:Primitive Reflex Therapy starts with the testing and integration of the Primitive Survival Reflexes. These reflexes help provide the newborn with learning experiences that act as a foundation for more complex muscle movements and later cognitive tasks. The reflexes are integrated in a sequential fashion from 3-11 months. Lack of integration of these reflexes past 6-12 months can interfere with cortical and cerebellum processing, affect learning, movement, and attention. The visual motor system is intimately involved in the transition from primitive reflexes to the cortical cerebellum control of movement patterns. By replicating the stages of development, the neuro-pathways can be opened allowing the treatment to be successful. According to Sally Goddard, in Reflexes, Learning, and Behavior, “Most education and many remedial techniques are aimed at reaching higher centers in the brain. A Neuro-Development approach identifies the lowest level of dysfunction and aims therapy in that area. Once these problems have been remedied, the program attempts to build links to higher centers through the use of specific stimulation techniques.” You may learn more about primitive reflexes from Pyramid of Potential’s website. There are several free videos and links. (adapted from pyramidofpotential.com)
Brain Highways has great informative videos on the importance of primitive reflexes. We highly recommend visiting https://brainhighways.com/ to view these short educational videos. The Brain Highways program is expensive. We recommend the Pyramid of Potential program based on cost and effectiveness. We have seen very positive results with Maintaining Brains Everyday found on the SHOP. Watch the Sensory Motor video’s on Sound Therapy, Vision Exercises, and Vestibular Therapy here.
QRI™ – QUANTUM REFLEX INTEGRATION available at the Frankfort office.
QRI is a program of low level laser therapy on specific acupoints and reflex patterns to achieve reflex integration. Reflexes are the body’s primitive response, forming in utero, and are supposed to activate during certain developmental milestones and then integrate. When reflexes are not integrated fully or not at all, this can affect cognition, movement and behavior.
Using reflex integration, QRI has been successful in addressing many cognitive, behavioral, and physical challenges, which include but are not limited to, learning disabilities, autism, strokes, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease.
Sound Therapy: Sound Therapy is a unique listening system using new knowledge about the brain. The Sound Therapy Synergy program is designed to work in synchronicity with the other treatments, meaning that all methods enhance each other. Based on the discoveries of the ear specialist, Dr. Tomatis, the Patricia Rafaele Joudry’s Sound Therapy method is available as a portable self-help program. Specifically recorded programs of highly filtered classical music are used to rehabilitate the ear and stimulate the brain. Sound Therapy stimulates the ear by presenting it with constantly alternating sounds of high and low tones within the complex structure of classical music. Stimulation via the sensory pathways re-maps the brain, improving the way we understand and process sound. The brain in turn sends signals back to the ear to improve its function. One theory suggests that this feedback loop results in better performance of the middle ear muscles and of the tiny, hair-like cells in the inner ear. As the ear becomes open and receptive to high-frequency sounds, these are then passed on to the brain. Research has shown that brain function is improved through high-frequency sound. There is an increase in blood flow to certain centers along with increased electrical activity. The results observed in Sound Therapy listeners include increased energy, reduced fatigue with improved focus and creativity, and a reduction in the need for sleep.
Vision Exercises: The EyeQ program was developed to engage more of the brain when reading or learning. The EyeQtm training strengthens the eye-brain connections, enabling users to see and process information faster while improving the eye’s ability to track efficiently. The eye exercises strengthen all six sets of eye muscles and generally increases peripheral vision, which is why athletes use EyeQtm . Athletes have reported improvement in their vision and reaction time. Near-sighted users generally see an improvement in their vision and may need to have their glasses adjusted. EyeQ is an effective tool for brain enhancement, reading improvement, and vision therapy. (adapted from eyeqadvantage.com ) We also recommend www.eyecanlearn.com exercises.
Vestibular Therapy: Dr Levinson’s pioneering research has revealed an important piece in understanding learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD and ADD, dysgraphia, anxiety, dyspraxia, phobic and mood disorders. Most importantly, a simple and safe combination of “inner-ear enhancing” medication, meclizine, and nutrients can rapidly and often dramatically improve the above disorders and hundreds of diverse symptoms — all resulting from a previously hidden fine-tuning or signal dysfunction of inner-ear or cerebellar-vestibular (CV) origin.We recommend the 12.5 white tablets. You can purchase the Rugby brand from Amazon. Begin with 6 mg in the morning and afternoon and gradually increase. Please discuss the dosage with us. If you are on other medications, discuss this with your doctor.
Nutritional Therapy: There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain. We will work with each family to discuss this area and make recommendations. Inflammation in the body causes inflammation in the brain. A gluten free, sugar free,dairy free diet, and processed food free diet is optimal. Our wellness coordinator will review your diet and discuss any gastric intestinal dysfunction symptoms, allergies, immune system abnormalities, use of multiple antibiotics, and swelling. We also find a functional medicine doctor can be very beneficial.