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For children and youth with learning disabilities, school can be a frustrating and complicated experience. Academic performance is affected by any number of difficulties, and for some students, despite training, repetition, and even remedial interventions to address a lack of social and academic skills, failures are recurring.

The Arrowsmith Program takes a cognitive approach to addressing a range of learning problems, with targeted exercises honed through many years of meticulous implementation, each designed with the goal of strengthening and enhancing the cognitive capacities underlying any of the following dysfunctions:

  1. Motor Symbol Sequencing: Ability to learn motor plans used in writing, reading and speech.
  2. Symbol Relations: Ability to understand the relationships among two or more ideas or concepts.
  3. Memory for Information or Instructions: Ability to remember chunks of auditory information.
  4. Predicative Speech: Ability to see how words and numbers interconnect sequentially into fluent sentences and procedures.
  5. Broca’s Speech Pronunciation: Ability to learn to pronounce syllables and then integrate them into the stable and consistent pronunciation of a word.
  6. Auditory Speech Discrimination: Ability to discriminate between similar sounding speech sounds.
  7. Symbolic Thinking: Ability to develop and maintain plans and strategies through the use of language.
  8. Symbol Recognition: Ability to visually recognize and remember a word or symbol .
  9. Lexical Memory: Ability to remember several unrelated words.
  10. Kinesthetic Perception: Capacity for perception of where both sides of the body are in space.
  11. Kinesthetic Speech: Awareness of the position of the lips and tongue.
  12. Non-Verbal Thinking (Artifactual Thinking): Ability to register and interpret non-verbal information and plan and problem solve nonverbally.
  13. Narrow Visual Span: Number of symbols or objects a person can see in one visual fixation is below four.
  14. Object Recognition: Capacity for recognizing and remembering the details of visual objects.
  15. Spatial Reasoning: Ability to imagine a series of moves through space inside your head before executing them.
  16. Mechanical Reasoning: Imagining how machines operate and effectively handling and using tools.
  17. Abstract Reasoning: Ability to carry out in proper sequence a series of steps in a task.
  18. Primary Motor: The speed, strength and control of muscle movements on one side of body or the other.
  19. Quantification Sense (formerly called Supplementary Motor): Ability to carry out internal sequential mental operations, such as mental mathematics.

To better understand each of these learning dysfunctions, download our Chart of Learning Functions and Learning Outcomes (PDF), which includes common signs that may indicate a problem in that area, as well as the learning outcomes that students may display after completing their individualized Arrowsmith Program.

Note that any one individual may exhibit all, or only some, of the common features listed. The Arrowsmith Program Assessment is designed to identify which of these 19 specific areas of learning dysfunction underlying factors are contributing to a student’s learning difficulties, with the goal of using cognitive exercises to strengthen and enhance the cognitive functions underlying each.