The Arrowsmith Program is for individuals struggling with specific learning difficulties (SLD), often referred to as learning disabilities in North America. The standard definition of SLD is that the individual has an average or above average intelligence score, but has a specific disability in an area related to learning or academic skill acquisition.
The Arrowsmith Program addresses a wide range of specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory and/or visual processing disorders, attention difficulties and non-verbal learning difficulties.
The program is also designed for individuals who do not have identified specific learning disabilities, but are challenged with issues such as organization, processing, problem solving, communication, memory, and independence.
The typical student enroled in an Arrowsmith Program class:
- is of average or above average intelligence,
- has a combination of the learning dysfunctions described in the Descriptions of Learning Dysfunctions,
- does not have severe intellectual, cognitive, emotional or behavioural disorders that would significantly affect his or her ability to participate in the Arrowsmith Program,
- does not have acquired brain injury or illness,
- is of elementary, secondary or post-secondary school age.
What about autism?
In some cases, individuals with learning disabilities who also have high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Asperger’s have benefitted from the Arrowsmith Program.
Some professionals consider Asperger Syndrome to be the same as or similar to high functioning autism, others associate it with nonverbal learning disorder. There is no hard and fast rule, and appropriateness for the Arrowsmith Program is made in consultation with the school offering the program.
Note that while the Arrowsmith Program will enable these individuals to address their cognitive learning needs, it will not address features related to the specific Autism Spectrum Disorder. In such cases, there is careful deliberation when determining appropriateness during the admissions process to ensure suitability.
What about attention issues?
The Arrowsmith Program has been successful in addressing attentional difficulties (often diagnosed as attention deficit disorder or ADHD). Many individuals with specific learning disabilities experience attentional issues which can arise from different underlying causes. In many cases, these issues are a result of a combination of learning difficulties making it hard for the student to sustain attention in learning situations; others are related to specific learning disabilities in regulating attention. These types of attentional difficulties have shown improvement as students engage in the cognitive exercises offered by the Arrowsmith Program.
Take the first step.
Complete the Arrowsmith Program® Cognitive Profile Questionnaire, which helps to determine whether your or your child’s learning difficulties are typical of those addressed by the Arrowsmith Program.