Archive for September, 2010

Individuals with autism have slower pupil light responses

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 by admin

Autism is not well understood, despite the fact that its prevalence among children is more staggering than that of childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.  University of Missouri (MU) researchers recently “developed a pupil response test that is 92.5 percent accurate in separating children with autism from those with typical development” (Science Daily).  Children with autism, according to MU’s study, “have slower pupil response to light change” (Science Daily).

Prior to this study, conducted by Gang Yao, associate professor of biological engineering in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering, there had been no comprehensive evaluation of “pupils’ response to light in children with autism” (Science Daily).  Scientists used “a short light stimulus to induce pupil light reflexes in children under both dark and bright conditions” (Science Daily).  They used a computerized binocular infrared device,

University of Missouri researchers used a computerized binocular infrared pulillography device to analyze data regarding the extent to which pupils react to light.

which eye doctors normally use for vision tests, to measure how pupils react to a 100-millisecond flash light.  A pupil reaction tests reveals potential neurological disorders in areas of the brain that autism might affect.  The results showed pupils of children diagnosed with autism were significantly slower to respond than those of a control group.

MU’s research illustrates the autism’s interaction with pupils’ light response.  Increasingly, the eye is becoming the focus of studies on various types of learning disabilities; it seems that the eye is a kind of key to neurological disorders.  Camp Academia, INC.’s Brainjogging program actually strengthens peripheral vision by forcing student to track their eyes across a computer screen.  By training the eyes, Brainjogging simultaneously trains the brain!

*This story was also published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Brainjogging serves military families

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by admin

Fort Benning is a thriving military base in the southeast – and one of the

Brainjogging now offers military families a 10% discount on therapy sessions!

busiest Army installations in the United States. Over 130,000 Soldiers and civilians live, work, train or use services at Fort Benning.  Brainjogging is proud to serve military families!  Our offices in LaGrange, Georgia and in Columbus, Georgia are accessible to Fort Benning’s Soldiers and their families.  Our convenient Columbus location, at 1022 2nd Avenue, provides expedient access to services for military families of children with learning disabilities.

Brainjogging specializes in learning disabilities and behavior disorders.  Living with a child with a learning disability or behavior disorder can be difficult even when two parents are involved; it can be even more difficult when one partner is deployed.  Brainjogging has been proven to increase attention levels, increase memory retention, build perceptual and processing abilities and improve motor skills!  We have enormous success with students with learning disabilities and behavior disorders.  We hope to be able to use our talents to serve Fort Benning military families and their children with learning disabilities.  Brainjogging is excited to extend a 10% discount on therapy sessions to military families! Please call our main office at 706.884.4492 for more information.

Cognitive therapy’s benefits for adult ADHD

Monday, September 27th, 2010 by admin

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers recently suggested that the impulsive behavior and inattentiveness that characterize attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “often [last] into adulthood.”  MGH’s report reveals that “adding cognitive behavioral therapy – an approach that teaches skills for handling life challenges and revising negative thought patterns – to [medication] for ADHD significantly improved symptom control in … adult patients” (Science Daily).

Massachusetts General Hospital finds that adding cognitive therapy to ADHD medication treatments in adults is highly successful.

Steven Safren, PhD, ABPP, director of Behavioral Medicine in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, stated that, “Medications are very effective in ‘turning down the volume’ on ADHD symptoms, but they do not teach people skills” (Science Daily).

Michigan State University researchers divided adults with ADHD into two groups.  The control group “received training in muscle relaxation and other relaxation techniques, education on how to apply relaxation to ADHD symptoms, and supportive psychotherapy” while the experimental group partook in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions including “skills training in areas such as organization and planning, setting priorities and problem solving, coping with distractions and developing adaptive thought responses to stressful situations” (Science Daily).  After the 12-week study, “participants receiving cognitive behavioral therapy had significantly better symptom control than did those receiving relaxation training” (Science Daily).  Cognitive behavioral therapy generated sustaining benefits three and even nine months after the study ended.

Brainjogging helps adults with ADHD narrow their focus and increase their attentiveness.

Brainjogging, Camp Academia, INC.’s cognitive therapy
computer software, stimulates the brain.  Brainjogging instructors teach students life skills, to which their brains are more receptive after  receiving stimulation from the Brainjogging computer program!

Approximately 4.5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD; if these children’s ADHD symptoms go untreated, their symptoms will continue to manifest into adulthood.  Early intervention reduces adults’ ADHD symptoms.  Even with medication, many adults “are still troubled by continuing symptoms” (Science Daily).  Brainjogging teaches individuals with ADHD and other learning disabilities to narrow their focus and apply life skills, thereby instructing these individuals in coping strategies and productive habits.

Approximately 4% of adults in the United States have ADHD – that is roughly 9 million individuals!  Imagine how Brainjogging can affect the lives of individuals with ADHD!  Nearly 9 million people could lead less stressful, more productive lives – and that’s without considering the 4.5 million children that have also been diagnosed with ADHD.  Brainjogging is an extraordinary tool for individuals with learning disabilities!  Review some of Brainjogging’s students’ success stories, in the form of parent testimonials, for feedback on just how greatly Brainjogging can affect change in individuals’ lives.

Minorities have minimal access to effective ADHD treatments

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by admin

Camp Academia, INC.’s recent obtainment of SES Provider status is of significant importance to under-served populations.  The majority of students students eligible for Camp Academia, INC.’s SES belong to minority groups. Michigan State University research suggests that “several barriers prevent minority children with ADHD from receiving the most effective treatments,” primarily because there is a lack of “culturally competent health-care providers, financial hurdles and little dissemination of information about treatments that work.”

Brainjogging can help break this vicious cycle for students.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, “making it one of the most common childhood disorders” (Science Daily).  ADHD is “characterized by impulsive behavior and inattentiveness, [and] often lasts into adulthood” (Science Daily).  For this reason, it is important to provide early intervention to students struggling with ADHD or other learning disabilities.

Camp Academia, INC.’s services to under-served populations are an incredible resource, particularly to those children that might have ADHD or any other type of learning disability.  Research by Michigan State University suggests that medication alone does not do enough to lessen ADHD symptoms; medication works to an extent, but cognitive therapy teaches children skills to cope with their symptoms.  Brainjogging, by toning students’ brains and helping them learn to narrow their focus, targets several areas that medication alone will not relieve for students with learning disabilities.  Brainjogging is the answer!  Through Camp Academia, INC.’s Brainjogging program, students on free and reduced lunch at Brewer, Forrest Road and Fox elementary schools; and Baker, Eddy and Marshall middle schools, have access to FREE cognitive therapy treatment that has been proven to reduce the manifestation of ADHD and other learning disability symptoms.

Camp Academia, INC. receives opportunity to work with under-served children

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 by admin

Camp Academia, INC. is excited to announce that we have been approved as a federally-funded Supplemental Educational Services (SES) Provider for six Muscogee County schools during the 2010-2011 school year.

Camp Academia, INC. will not give up on under-served populations. All children deserve the opportunity to reach their learning potential!

Camp Academia, INC. is serving elementary schools Thomas H. Brewer, Forrest Road and Fox; and middle schools Baker, Eddy and Marshall.

SES Providers serve “students from low-income families who are attending Title I schools that are in their second year of school improvement (i.e., have not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for three or more years), in corrective action, or in restructuring status” (Georgia Department of Education).  Additionally, students must receive free and reduced lunch to be eligible to receive SES assistance.  SES Providers offer “educational interventions designed to increase the academic achievement of students in low-performing schools” (Georgia Department of Education).  SES services are provided outside of the regular school day and are not conducted in schools themselves. For extensive detail, visit the Georgia Department of Education.

Katie Cyphers conducted a study using Brainjogging in Gwinnett County’s Berkmar High School during the 2009-2010 school year.  More than 90% of participants were English Language Learners.  After only eight weeks of Brainjogging twice daily at school, participants reading levels increased by an average of 2.4 grade levels.  These were students that Berkmar did not expect to pass the Georgia Graduation Test, but after using Brainjogging for only eight weeks, 80% passed the math portion and 60% passed the literature portion.

Brainjogging will be tailored to students’ needs.  As is the case with other clients, SES recipients will have their school subjects filtered through the program; this academic information will become the stimulus provided during each five to seven minute session.  Positive changes have been reported between three to six weeks, if students show continuity and consistency using the program. Camp Academia, INC. is so excited to have the opportunity to work with under-served populations!  All children deserve to reach their learning potential, and Camp Academia, INC. hopes to help children in Muscogee County achieve greatness!

A mother’s perspective: September 2010 (sixth installment)

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 by admin

Brainjogging's added bonus: making new friends. Nicola and fellow Brainjogger, Cooper, have become great buddies through Brainjogging!

Brainjogging is thrilled to reveal N.’s identity: Nicola.  Nicola’s family is so excited about her progress and her current level of cognition that they want readers to be able to picture “N.” as an actual person with a name and an identity, rather than as a mere initial on a blog.

“It is difficult to find the right words to express how excited we are with Nicola’s progress.”

- Nicola’s mother

Over the last few weeks, readers have been able to read Nicola’s mother’s personal testimonials of her daughter’s progress using Brainjogging.  Nicola’s mother has gifted Brainjogging and readers, especially, with six months of personal insight into Nicola’s gradual cognitive development.

At least for a while, this will be the last installment regarding Nicola’s wonderful progress.  As further developments occur, Brainjogging will share them with readers, but there are other success stories to share!

Nicola asks for Cooper every time she comes to LaGrange, Georgia for Brainjogging sessions!

September 16, 2010

Dear Brain Jogging,

It is difficult to find the right words to express how excited we are with Nicola’s progress.  We had another wonderful week at Brian Jogging!  During this visit, I am leaving Nicola to play with her teachers without me in the room, and I think she focuses a little better.  She worked really hard on making sentences and fine motor activities.  I feel like at the end of this week, we are saying more sentences!  Her brain jogging itself has improved.  Nic is starting to point at the letters and continues to improve with saying three letters.  We still have some challenging days, but we push through them, and we are doing some wonderful things.

A wonderful memory from this week will be Nicola deciding to count beyond 10 and going for 20!  She started with 11 all by herself and got some of the other numbers on her own.   AMAZING!!  We are now going to practice counting to 20….I think we can do it.  She also requested to go to the potty.  Her memory is improving and more and more words are coming.  I am really hoping to break through on some of her fine motor skills as well. She is going to work hard on elbow to knee as well.  Her language is really coming; I can’t imagine when we have all our words and sentences flowing what we are going to learn from Nicola.  Nicola’s school is very excited for her as well!

Thank you very much for all your support…we cannot wait to show off [during] the month of October.

Sincerely,

Jamie

*As always, this parent testimonial has been reprinted without editing for content; testimonials are occasionally edited for grammar, but all changes are bracketed.

Gastrointestinal problems in autistic individuals explained in research

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 by admin

While certain biological traits have been said to lead to autism, their causation of the disorder has not been proven.  However, most health professionals and parents of autistic children agree that there are certain metabolic abnormalities among autistic individuals.  While one study by the

The difficulty of potty training children with autism is compounded by their tendency toward "holding" their waste.

Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network suggests that there is no relationship between gastrointestinal problems and type of autism, gender, race, or IQ, the findings show that gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation are common among autistic individuals (Science Daily).  Often, individuals with autism will “hold” their fecal matter; to expedite potty training an individual with autism, parents and/or guardiansshould praise “going number two” as an enormous accomplishment.

As it stands now, a child must undergo evaluations which map his or her “social interaction, communication and imaginative skills” (Science Daily).  Recently, however, research has suggested that autism might one day be detected by a simple urine test.  Many major scientific and medical journals and websites have produced articles stating this theory.  It is strange to think that a disorder commonly linked to brain activity could be detected by a simple urine test, but autistic individuals have a different bacterial makeup in their intestines than do people without an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  All humans have bacteria in their intestines, 90-95% of which is E. coli.  However, a study in Australia shows that levels of E. coli are much lower in autistic individuals, generally around 56%, and even as low as 10% in some cases (“Cellular Malnutrition and Intestinal Dysbiosis in Autism,” Behavioural Neurotherapy Clinic, September 2010).

Scientists believe they might soon develop a simple urine test to expedite diagnoses of autism.

A urine or fecal test would show levels of different bacteria, thereby making it easier to test for autism through non-invasive means.  While these tests would not be the decisive factor in an autism diagnosis, they could be used in conjunction with traditional evaluations to determine more precisely the individual’s prognosis.  This could also lead to new treatment options, such as replacement or supplemental bacteria and digestive enzymes.  This study is a positive leap for parents of individuals with autism!

A mother’s perspective: August 2010 (fifth installment)

Monday, September 13th, 2010 by admin

N. continues to progress in her verbalization and enunciation – her memory is improving and her attention is increasing, too!  Below, N.’s mother, J., shares the changes she’s noted during August 2010, N.’s fifth month of Brainjogging.

August 12, 2010

Dear Brainjogging –

Hi!  Yeah … another wonderful week!  N. has once again made great progress, and we will leave with PROUD smiles.  It has been interesting to look back at the initial testing and retesting done at the 5 month mark.  It is a good reminder not to stress about some of the things I wish N. were doing or achieving at a higher level.  She is so [much] better at verbalizing everything … There are phrases coming out!  She is definitely expressing her opinion J.  She can count 1-10; it is not all the time, but we can do it!  ABCs are there, and we will get the sequence.  N. is more in tune to the world around her.  She noticed my new shoes today without me saying a word.  She loved her visit at First Baptist.  I was delighted that she did not want to leave.  She loves other children.  We are still working on balance, but N. is starting to pedal a little on the tricycle.  She can stand on one foot.  Amazing to see her name all the flashcards without repeating the “teacher” … that is on her own.

We definitely still have our moments where we don’t want to Brainjog, but we are always doing it, and N. has some wonderful pronunciations of Xs.  The three letter sequence is still improving!!  What is so exciting is the compliments from her therapists and family!  Everyone is so proud of her.  Her memory is there.  For instance I told her one day she would take tap, and she is reminding me.  It is so great to know we are tapping into everything that is inside my smart girl.  Once we are 100% verbal, I can’t imagine.  It still feels like a lot of work, but the progress makes it seem like a no-brainer to always do our work.  I am raising my expectation.  We start school tomorrow.  She is going to do so well!  Thank you for a wonderful week.

-J. and N.

P.S.  I am going to step up the potty-training.  She comprehends the act; it’s a matter of effort!

*As always, this parent testimonial has been reprinted without editing for content; testimonials are occasionally edited for grammar, but all changes are bracketed.

A mother’s perspective: July 2010 (fourth installment)

Friday, September 10th, 2010 by admin

The following is J.’s letter from July 2010 about her daughter’s continuing progress using Brainjogging!  Little N.  is doing a great job!

July 16, 2010

Dear Brainjogging –

Yeah!  We are at our fourth weekly visit to Brainjogging, and once again N. has done very well.  She is really waking up.  By the end of the week, N.’s focus during the sessions increased.  She demonstrated her throwing ability by launching chalk as Ms. Anna when she did not get her way.  She typically would only do that kind of thing at home.  It is amazing how her cognition is just popping.  She had a definite opinion on what shoes she wanted to wear … now this is my child.  She was even telling me she did not want to wear a particular shirt.  Very exciting!!  N. was able to recall a friends son’s name, as well as an aunt and uncle!  [My husband] C. and I are so proud.  In the elevator today, I was stalling and she told me to push up.  Articulation needed work, but it was there!  She has improved repeating the three letter sequences.  We have discussed possible ways to assist N. with focusing on the computer; hopefully, once she pays more attention to Brainjogging, letter recognition and memory will continue to increase.  I have worked a lot with physical and fine motor skills, and she has improved there as well.  She learned to chew Bubble Gum without swallowing.  We are moving forward in Bear Crawl.  I am just so proud of her, and my expectation is rising.  Thanks for a great week!  Oh, I love it that she knows all her teachers by name at Brainjogging!  Can’t wait to see what every day brings!!

-J.

A mother’s perspective: June 2010 (third installment)

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 by admin

June brought more changes in N.’s life.  Her mother, J., shares her reflections on N.’s third month of Brainjogging!

June 18, 2010

Dear Brainjogging,

Hello.  Well, N. will complete her third week here at Camp Academia tomorrow.  Once again, I am just in awe of how much progress she has made! Our family is so proud of her!

Over the past few months, we have been faithful to Brainjogging at home.  As I have said, there have been some very challenging moments where N. has not wanted to Brainjog; however, we have not given her the option.  One could pull from those times that N. is demonstrating her strong will and own personal opinions, which is a great thing to see J.  It is great to see some of the older students because I know eventually it will become second nature and just part of her life, or our lives.

This week, N. has continued to say some amazing things.  I will forever smile at the moment of N. coming up to me in our hotel and saying, “Hi, Jamie.”  She can name all her immediate family members … now that is a new N.!!  She has continued to say some more words, and she seems so much better at pronunciation.  N. even remembered we have always gone to the park after Brainjogging on previous visits.  Monday, she asked to go to the park.  We switched to the pool, and Tuesday she requested “pool” J.

The past few months, we have made Brainjogging part of our lifestyle.  It is a big commitment, and I was terrified of how to fit it in.  I am proud to say Brainojogging fits in nicely … the laptop travels, and we have just made it a priority.  Even when N. refused and closed her eyes J, it is “N.’s job.”  N. has a lot of homework all around.  I do feel like we’ve got a great home-program that complements goals of Brainjogging.  Play is very intentional, and we try to use our time wisely.

I arrived wondering what the week would hold because the first week was so intense.  I mean we went from not saying ABC letters to saying them.  Cognition is popping.  Following instructions, memory improvement.  I loved that Shirley said Brainjogging will lead to improvement in motor coordination and fine motor.  When one steps back and realizes how much is going on and what N. is doing now … well it is awesome!  I was watching N. and I realized I was wondering why she wasn’t recognizing all the letters yet when I almost missed all of the great things that she is improving on.  I mean we all saw her catch and throw today, and she knew when to roll.  She recognizes most pictures in the flash cards, which she loves those cards.

There is a remarkable difference in saying two or three syllables.  Today was a great day.  She was actually recalling more three letters in her letter flash … She was consistently following two-step instructions.  Remember the ball throwing!!  There were smiles across the room.  Her ball throwing and catching has improved.  We are getting better and better at saying ABCs on our own, as well as counting 1-10, wow!  Colors … we are getting them!  Letter recognition will come, I know it!  As I’ve said before, I am kind of a “chop chop” person J so N. teaches me everyday to be in the moment and enjoy the ride.  I can still get overwhelmed with many things, I [want] her to accomplish on my time frame.  But if you look at how much she has learned and is doing since April, it is just fantastic!!  We have come so far.

The people around her are excited to see her progress.  We have received compliments on “how much better N. is doing.”  Without a doubt, N. is a bright little lady.  Brainjogging is helping us pull all the parts to get it out.  Even tonight I was reading 8 Monkeys Jumping on the Bed with N..  I stopped to see if she could complete the sentence, and N. said “bumped his head” and “doctor.”  All I can say, bright smile from me J.

N. is doing so well, and I feel like we are just starting … stay tuned, so much more to come!  Thanks so much!!  Brainjogging everyday!!

Warmly,

J. and N.

P.S.  … I forgot to add how excited I am already for N. to strut her stuff once she starts school.  Her therapists are already so excited about her progress.  N. has shown so much improvement this week.  She just took a bow, and I did not know she can do that.  She also did an incredible drawing.  Each color was in a circle, and she named all the colors.  Thanks again!!

*As always, this parent testimonial has been reprinted without editing for content; testimonials are occasionally edited for grammar, but all changes are bracketed.