Archive for the ‘Educational Resources’ Category

Sensory Processing Disorder: The struggle is real!

Thursday, February 9th, 2017 by Karishma Bakshani

Do you have a bright child who can’t seem to focus when asked to perform a sequence of tasks?  Does your son or daughter jump from activity to activity?  Do you know a child that NEEDS to climb, run, and touch everything?  These are all examples of children displaying sensory processing disorder (SPD).  A  lot of kids with ADHD and autism, also have sensory processing issues that affect their organization and focus.  You know your child is smart, if only she would just calm down for a minute!  Sound familiar?


courtesy of pixabay


Carol Stock Kranowitz, author of The Out of Sync Child recommends the “3Rs”:

  • Recognize that your child may have a sensory issue.  Kranowitz suggests putting on “sensory goggles” to observe what your child needs more or less.  Noise may cause your child to have outbursts.  A quick run around the block, may be what your child’s body is seeking to organize his thoughts again.
  • Re-channel the behavior.  Avoid punishing your child for his extra energy.  Find a way for him to use that energy purposefully.  Take younger kids to the playground or have them jump on the trampoline.  As children get older, assigning chores around the house (think raking leaves or vacuuming) are a great way to teach responsibility and have them expend excess energy.
  • Reward the child with specific and positive words.  Rather than a treat and a “Good job!”, try saying “Wow, you read that passage very well!”  Avoid sugary and material awards.  Praise from a parent is usually the biggest reward for a child.

Therapists will often recommend a sensory diet to help “sync’ the brain and body.  Here are some activities recommended by Kranowitz, plus a few more!

  1. Reach for the sky – While laying on her back, have your child stretch one are to the sky while you both count to five.  Hold it high while counting to five.  Then tell your child to pretend she is melting, and slowly bring her arm down for five counts.  Do the same with the other arm.  Repeat this exercise alternating between right and left arm and then right and left leg.  This slow and calming activity encourages patience and improves coordination. (Kranowitz)
  2. Copy Cat – Face your child and say, “Watch and copy what I do.”  Do different movements that require balance and coordination and let your child copy you.  For example, you can balance on one foot and wiggle the other foot in the air.  You can even take turns being the leader!
  3. Copy Can’t – In this variation, have your child do the OPPOSITE.  When you reach high with your hands, your child will have to reach low.  This is a great activity for building body awareness, visual processing, and motor planning.  (Kranowitz)
  4. Make your house sensory sensitive. – Be sure to have designated quiet areas.  A quiet area can be as simple as a corner with a bean bag chair or weighted blanket.  Providing a small trampoline or exercise ball in your child’s room or playroom are simple activities for releasing energy.  Your child should also have a designated area for homework.  His desk or table should be clear of all distractions to help him focus on his work.
  5. Encourage outdoor play and exercise.– Exercise is important for everyone.  However, for individuals with SPD, physical activity helps with processing, focus, and self-regulation.  Biking, running, and other sports help children use excess energy, increase body awareness, and improve focus.

No matter how mild or severe your child’s SPD is, remember that many of their behaviors have an underlying cause.  Refrain from over the top reactions such as, “Why do you always do that?”  Instead, put on your investigator’s hat, and try to figure out what caused the behavior.  Once you have the cause, find an activity or a sensory tool to help your child become more aware of his own body and regulate his own sensory issues.

Brainjogging helps with SPD by helping to syncing the auditory, visual, and language pathways in the brain.  A child who is better able to understand the world around him will feel more in control and will be able to remain calm in different situations.  Combine Brainjogging with a sensory diet and you’ll have a calm, melt-down free child in no time at all!


Kranowitz, Carol, “When Your Child is Out-of-Sync”  ADDitude Magazine, Winter 2016.

Arky, Beth, “Treating Sensory Processing Issues”

Diet and Brainjogging will manage and minimize ADHD symptoms

Monday, June 27th, 2011 by admin

Children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often characterized as being

hyperactive, fidgety, impulsive, distracted and anxious.  These individuals, particularly children, can be considered difficult to handle.  Approximately ten percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.  Traditionally, these children are treated with medication, but a new study in The Lancet suggests that a restrictive diet may yield a significant decrease in the manifestation of symptoms.

Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, the study’s lead author, suggests that many ADHD diagnoses result from external factors, which can be treated by changing the environment in which the affected individual exists (NPR).

Pelsser suggests that there needs to be a shift in the way in which ADHD is treated.  ADHD needs to be approached as a collection of symptoms rather than a disease.  Pelsser goes so far as to draw a comparison between ADHD and eczema, saying, “The skin is affected, but a lot of people get eczema because of a latex allergy or because they are eating a pineapple or strawberries.”

Pelsser’s research indicates that approximately 64 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD are actually experiencing a hypersensitivity to food. By starting children on very elaborate diets and then restricting that diet over a period of five weeks, researchers were able to minimize symptoms of individuals with ADHD.  Over this five-week period, researchers are able to study which foods cause problems with different children.

Astonishingly, teachers and doctors who worked with study participants reported observable changes in behavior.  The children were more attentive and less reactive.

Despite Pelsser’s research team’s promising results, a restrictive diet is not the answer for all children with ADHD.  As with medication, a diet program should be modified or abandoned in the event that it does not translate directly into results for the child being treated.  Regardless, beginning treatment with a diet, rather than medication, may lead to successful management of symptoms without resorting to medication.

Additionally, Camp Academia, Inc.’s patented cognitive processing software, Brainjogging, successfully manages ADHD and its traditional symptoms.  Brainjogging can be used in conjunction with a diet that treats ADHD.

Listen to this story on NPR here.

Kindergarten readiness and cognitive abilities – know where your child stands

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 by admin

Kindergarten.  Perhaps this is your child’s first year in a formal school environment. Perhaps he or she attended a church preschool or a local playground. Maybe he or she was even a pre-kindergarten student.  Kindergarten is, nonetheless, a vital cornerstone of your child’s education. Camp Academia, Inc. can help prepare your child and your family for kindergarten. First and foremost, Camp Academia, Inc., is an institution of learning.  It is also an educational firm that specializes in enhancing cognitive processing speed.  Processing speed is the most reliable indicator of a child’s reading ability.  A cognitive evaluation for your child will inform your family about his or her cognitive abilities.

A cognitive evaluation investigates your child’s strengths and weaknesses in areas most relevant to reading.  A recent study, conducted by Annmarie Urso, investigated the correlation between slow processing speeds and poor reading skills.  Urso administered the following Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities:  Verbal Comprehension, Visual-Auditory Learning, Sound Blending, Visual Matching, Numbers Reversed, Decision Speed, Rapid Picture Naming and Pair Cancellation and Cross-out.  Camp Academia, Inc. completes the same tests in its cognitive evaluations.  These tests yield a measurement of your child’s processing speed, which correlates directly with reading ability during his or her academic journey.

Call 706-884-4492 today to schedule your child’s cognitive evaluation.

It is important to know where your child stands cognitively.  A cognitive evaluation predicts your child’s learning capabilities before he or she enters school.  If there is an issue, you will be able to identify it and pursue a solution before your child even begins his or her education.

Early intervention is the key to identifying, addressing and treating learning disabilities. It is also essential for understanding your child’s cognitive foundations before he or she enters kindergarten.  Camp Academia, Inc.’s cognitive processing software, Brainjogging, can enhance cognitive processing speed for students whose processing speeds are slower than desirable.  Brainjogging sessions provide additional support for students in need of cognitive enhancement.

Feel good about where your child stands cognitively; a cognitive evaluation will illustrate the nuances of your child’s cognitive framework even before he or she begins school and problems can be identified by a teacher.

Urso, Annmarie. Processing speed as a predictor of poor reading. Diss. University of Arizona, 2008. Ann Arbor: UMI, 2008. Print.

Boost language proficiency by treating your child as a conversation partner

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by admin

Some topics are not appropriate for children, particularly those between the ages of three and six.  Children at this age do, however, need to be treated as conversational partners in order to increase their capacity for and understanding of academic language.  Academic language is not independent of a child’s natural language; academic language is the language that teachers and other professionals in the field of education use to communicate with children – and usually expect students to employ. Academic language typically includes abstract concepts and words, difficult words and elevated sentence structures (Science Daily).  It also contains clauses and conjunctions.  Simple sentences are not typical of academic language, but compound, complex and compound-complex sentences are. Many instructions are conveyed using academic language, both in the home and in educational environments.  Verbal instructions are very often conveyed in academic language.

Lotte Henrichs, a Dutch researcher, investigated the extent to which 150 children, ranging in age from three years to six years, were exposed to academic language in the home and in a nursery school and then early education environment.  Henrichs followed the students for three years.  She found that even in nursery school, teachers use academic language with students.  At home, reliance upon language varies. The children of parents who approached them as conversation partners, by encouraging turn-taking in conversations and the discussion of interesting subjects, were more likely to be receptive to, understanding of and comfortable with using academic language.  Allowing children to participate in conversations often enables them to become fluent in academic language without tremendous direct effort to address the need to develop familiarity with academic language.

Some children, however, do not become fluent in academic language, even if their parents and siblings treat them as conversational equals. That’s where Camp Academia, Inc.’s Brainjogging can be of assistance.

Children with learning disabilities, particularly language processing disorders, are in particular need of assistance with learning to use and understand academic language.  Camp Academia, Inc. tutors students in the tools they need to understand and employ academic language.  Brainjogging, Camp Academia, Inc.’s cognitive processing software, primes students’ brains to be receptive to language and abstract concepts.  Tutoring-like sessions complement Brainjogging, which is used twice daily in the home environment and once during Camp Academia, Inc.’s Brainjogging sessions with a cognitive therapist.

Katie Cyphers named to the board of directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of America

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 by admin

Camp Academia, Inc.'s Katie Cyphers has been named to the board of directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America.


Katie Cyphers of LaGrange, Georgia was recently named to the board of directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) for the 2011-2014 term.  Cyphers 26, the youngest person ever to be named to the prestigious board, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and holds  Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Special Education.

“LDA is the premier organization in the U.S. for individuals concerned about learning disabilities,” said Cyphers.  “I love that LDA has followed me throughout my career; it isn’t just for teachers or parents. As a student, I found opportunities to connect with wonderful mentors across the nation, including the authors of my textbooks. When I became a new teacher, I found myself connecting with others who taught me valuable teaching strategies. Now as a young professional, LDA has given me the opportunity to advocate on a national level for students with learning disabilities and has provided me with the latest research. At the most recent conference, I was able to meet Dr. Janet Lerner and Dr. Larry Silver, two of the most well-known professionals in the field.”

Cyphers, who works as the Director of School Systems and Special Projects for Camp Academia Inc., Home of Brain Jogging, at 1507 Vernon Road, LaGrange, Georgia, is responsible for implementing the ground-breaking, patented computer software, known as Brainjogging for students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, language processing disorders, attention deficit disorder,  autism,  and developmental delays.  Cyphers  implemented Brainjogging in a Senior Adult Pilot Program in local retirement communities to improve short-term memory, processing speed, and retrieval.  Camp Academia also has an office in Columbus at 6501 Veterans’ Parkway.

Cyphers is passionate about her cause, “LDA is more than just an organization; it is a family that will support me for the rest of my career. Together, we will create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities and seek to reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations.”

You can join Cyphers in her fight to reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations by visiting or visit the LDA website at

Contact: Katie Cyphers, 706-884-4492

Camp Academia, 1507 Vernon Road, LaGrange, GA 30240

Work it out: train your brain

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by admin

Research from the Salk Institute suggests that using a muscle can cue neuromuscular synapses to form around that muscle, making that muscle more efficient.  The brain is a muscle – exercising it as one would any other muscle strengthens the brain’s ability.  All messages in the body rely on synapses, small junctions that “coordinate communication between nerves and the muscles they control” (Salk).  Synapses are not finite; individuals can cultivate development of synapses even when synapse growth seems to be independently stagnant.  Salk Institute researchers, including Kuo-Fen Lee, the senior author of the study, hoped to discern whether or not initiation of synapse development is nerve-independent.  Essentially, they hoped to understand if cues from muscles could stimulate synapse development.Researchers studied growing mouse embryos, specifically the clustering of neurotransmitter receptors, which are considered “an acceptable indicator of synapse formation” (Salk).   In 14-day old embryos, neurotransmitter receptor clusters were “not apposed by nerves,” which indicated that initiation of synapse formation was not nerve-dependent. The scientists genetically altered the embryos so that they would not grow a phrenic nerve, “which normally innervates the diaphragm muscle that is essential in controlling breathing” (Salk).  Despite the absence of a phrenic nerve, the mice had normal receptor clustering in the diaphragm muscle.  The clustering occurred around the midband of the muscle, where contractions occur in the fully-formed diaphragm muscle.  It appears that “by beginning to form synapses along the midband, the muscle attracts nerve cells to the appropriate location to form connections” (Salk).

The significance of this study cannot be overstated – individuals can use specific muscles to attract more clusters of neurotransmitter receptors and stimulate the development of synapses.  Stroke victims can regain function of their limbs by slowly exercising muscles and facilitating synapse formation; so, too, can paraplegics.  Individuals with learning disabilities can also gain more control over their body.  These individuals may not have enough synapses; by using Brainjogging, they stimulate synapse development, thereby increasing their brain’s efficiency.  Increased synapses allow communication to occur more quickly in the brain.  This increased communication leads to greater processing speed.  Individuals with learning disabilities can increase their overall ability to process information by working their brain using Brainjogging.  Brainjogging actually trains the brain to be more efficient by stimulating synapse creation.

ADHD, depression and suicidal thoughts

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by admin

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalentdisorder, affecting approximately 4.4 million children in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  ADHD is often characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.  A study from the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh suggests these traits may make children with ADHD more susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts as young adults. This study was also reported by CNN.A long-term study published in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that children diagnosed with ADHD between ages 4 and 6 “are more likely to suffer from depression as adolescents than those who did not have ADHD at that age” (Science Daily).  The inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity so commonly identified in children with ADHD may “cause poor performance in school, difficulties in social situations and a loss of confidence and self esteem.”

The study followed 123 children diagnosed with ADHD at age 4 to 6 for up to 14 years, until they reached ages 18 to 20.  It compared them with 119 children from similar neighborhoods and schools, matched for age, sex and ethnicity.  The children were assessed annually in study years 1 through 4, 6 through 9 and 12 through 14. (Science Daily)

Eighteen percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD at a young age suffered depression as adolescents.  This figure is approximately 10 times the rate of that found in adolescents without ADHD.  Kids with ADHD were also five times more likely to have considered suicide at least one time, and twice as likely to have made an attempt (Science Daily).

Benjamin Lahey, Ph.D., a professor of health sciences and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, cautioned, “Suicide attempts were relatively rare, even in the study group.  Parents should keep in mind that more than 80 percent of the children with ADHD did not attempt suicide and not one in this study committed suicide.”

Nonetheless, the study indicates that parents of children that are diagnosed with ADHD at a young age should be keenly aware of their child’s emotional state.  Additionally, “children with inattention or combined subtype were at greater risk for depression.  Those with combined type or hyperactivity were at greater risk for suicidal thoughts.” Children with more complicated ADHD were more likely to be depressed and/or have suicidal thoughts than were children with less complicated ADHD.  Complication refers to the extensiveness of ADHD’s prevalence, whether or not children suffered from anxiety, displayed oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Although more boys than girls have ADHD, “being female increased the risk for depression.”  So, too, did having a mother who had suffered from depression.

Unfortunately, Brainjogging has witnessed the tolls of ADHD and depression on some of its own students.  Brainjogging, however, counteracts depression and enhances impulse control in individuals with ADHD.  Brainjogging is a viable solution to ADHD and related depression.

Brainjogging supports Brain Awareness Week

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 by admin

At a recent physical and mental health fair in LaGrange, Georgia, Brainjogging team members raised awareness for Brainjogging's cognitive processing software and for the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives' Brain Awareness Week.

The Alliance’s next BAW week will be March 12-18, 2011.  Please visit visit the Dana Foundation’s Brain Awareness Week website to access free publications and resources on neurological research, as well as information on Brain Awareness Week.

Each March, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives sponsors Brain Awareness Week (BAW) to promote awareness of brain research and its incredible benefits.  Over 300 neuroscientists, 10 of whom are Nobel laureates, comprise the Dana Alliance fro Brain Initiatives.  The Alliance was established as an affiliate of the Dana Foundation, an organization dedicated to conducting brain research and distributing it internationally.  Both the Dana Foundation and the Alliance for Brain Initiatives are on the forefront of brain research, and serve as a liaison between neuroscientists and the public.

Brain research helps neuroscientists to understand and interpret not only human behavior and understanding but also brain disorders and injuries.  Because of neuroscientific research, scientists know how neurological disorders work — and how to accommodate them.  This is important in the diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities.  Neurological research has shown that dyslexia affects the V5MT area of the brain and that Wernicke’s area is important in the development of language.

Camp Academia, Inc.’s Brainjogging® program is based on over three decades of brain research.  Organizations like the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives receive grants for clinical and laboratory research, allowing their neuroscientists to conduct studies and disseminate their results to BAW partners like Camp Academia, INC.

Sports lead to happy, healthy young adults

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 by admin

Dr. Keith Zulling and Rebecca White from West Virginia University found that “taking part in sports is good all around for young teens: physically, socially and mentally” (Science Daily).  Zulling and White studied middle-school teenagers and found that those “who are physically active and play on sports teams are more satisfied with their life and feel healthier” than other teens.

The study sought to explain the link between physical activity, specifically participation on sports teams; life satisfaction; and self-rated health concurrently.  Participants included 245 middle school students in seventh and eighth grade and between the ages of 12 and 14 years.  Boys and girls were included in the study.  Participants completed questionnaires that assessed “their physical activity levels, their overall satisfaction with life and [asked] them to describe their own health.”

The study compared vigorous physical activity, completed within the last week, to participation on a sports team.  Boys did not indicate that participating in vigorous activity in the last week had an effect on their life satisfaction or self-rated health.  Girls that participated in vigorous physical activity within the past week, on the other hand, were “significantly more satisfied with their life compared to girls who had not.”  However, the participation in vigorous activity did not affect girls’ impression of their self-rated health.

Playing on a sports team, though, “was linked to higher life satisfaction in both boys and girls.”  Boys “were five times more likely, and girls 30 times more likely, to describe their health as fair/poor when they were not playing on a sports team.”

Participation on a sports team not only promotes physical activity but also influences young adults’ impression of their life satisfaction.  Sports teams also allow young adults access to a social network they may be more keenly aware of missing if not on a sports team.

Hand movements in children with ADHD may predict severity of disorder

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 by admin

Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center recently conducted two studies, both of which were published in the February issue of Neurobiology, on the ability of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to control impulsive movements.In the first study, “children with ADHD performed a finger-tapping task” (Science Daily).  Unintentional “overflow,” or movements occurring on the opposite hand, were noted using video and a device that records finger position.  Mirror overflow is “defined as unintentional and unnecessary movements occurring in the same muscles on the opposite side of the body.” The study included fifty participants, 25 with ADHD and 25 typically developing children, ages 8-12 years.  All subjects completed five sequential finger-tapping tests on each hand.  Children tapped each finger to their thumb of the same hand.  Children alternated tapping hands between the left and the right.  When children with ADHD completed left-handed finger-tapping tasks, they demonstrated twice as much mirror overflow as typically developing children.    Boys with ADHD showed almost four times as much mirror overflow as typically developing peers.

Dr. Stewart Mostofsky, the study’s senior author and Director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, stated, “This study used quantitative measures to support past qualitative findings that motor overflow persists to a greater degree in children with ADHD then in typically developing peers.  The findings reveal that even at an unconscious level, these children are struggling with controlling and inhibiting unwanted actions and behavior.”

In the second study, researchers further examined ADHD “be measuring activity within the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls voluntary movement.” Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), researchers applied “mild magnetic pulses for brief durations to trigger muscle activity in the hand, causing hand twitches.”  Researchers applied single or double pulses in 60 trials and measured the corresponding brain activity, called short interval cortical inhibition (SICI).  Children with ADHD demonstrated “a substantial decrease in SICI, with significantly less inhibition of motor activity during the paired pulse stimulation compared to typically developing children.”  Children with ADHD showed 40 percent less inhibition control than their typically developing peers.  Additionally, children with ADHD with “less motor inhibition (decreased SICI) correlated with more severe symptoms.”  Measures of SICI predicted motor impairment in children with ADHD and predicted behavioral symptoms as substantiated by parents.  Researchers believe SICI “may be a critical biomarker for ADHD.”

*WebMD also posted an article about this study.