Archive for December, 2013

Overlapping Disorders

Monday, December 30th, 2013 by admin

If you have a child with a learning disorder, attention deficit, or any other neurological issues, you may have already discovered that the diagnosis rarely stands alone. There are typically overlapping problems. New interdisciplinary research from Western University, Ontario, has uncovered fundamental connections among three major learning difficulties in school-age children. Although many children have specific problems with dyslexia, specific language impairment and dyscalculia, this study is the first to show a significant portion of these children have overlapping deficits. (Dyslexia is a deficit in the development of reading while specific language impairment is a disorder related to poor development of spoken language skills. Dyscalculia is a severe difficulty in making mathematical calculations.) Importantly, the research team also devised a 10-minute screening test that could be administered broadly in primary schools to identify children at risk for the different disorders.

Researchers tested learning profiles of a large sample of school children aged 4 to 10-years old in the region of London, Ontario. Although some of the children showed specific deficits in reading, spoken language, or math, “a significant number of children exhibited a mixed profile of a reading plus a math deficit, or an even wider-ranging weakness spanning math, reading, and spoken language.”

Children who showed weaknesses across the three types of abilities also scored very low on a working memory assessment. “According to the findings, such children may require a more targeted approach to remediation, due to the complex nature of their difficulties.”

Teachers and educational personnel face many challenges in identifying learning problems in children, time being one of them. With additional testing, Western University anticipates that a new tool developed as a part of this study will someday provide educators with a quick and effective method for identifying which children need extra help. In the meantime… knows!

Shirley Pennebaker’s life work has been to diagnose children accurately and create targeted data bases for her patented software! Each student has an individualized program! In record time, students achieve remarkable improvement!

A wonderful tool for improving working memory and educational strides is found through Camp Academia, Inc.!! Camp Academia’s program is used 5-7 minutes, twice daily and improves a child’s brain! As the kids return to school from holiday break, think about contacting Camp Academia at for more information about getting YOUR child started today!

Bedtime Reminders for Holiday Break

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 by admin

We have said it before and it is a great reminder over the holidays: Kids need a bedtime routine and a regular bedtime hour. Researcher Yvonne Kelly, from University College, London, has been studying all the details surrounding bedtime in thousands of homes in the U.K. She found that kids with irregular bedtimes exhibited more behavioral issues. Kids with no bedtime schedule were more likely to hit, act out, not get along with peers, and be emotionally withdrawn.

“Kelly thinks young children probably experience an inconsistent bedtime like having jet-lag.” If the time switches from 7:00 to 9:00 to 10:00 to 8:00, the kids experience a jet-lag effect and behavior problems increase. Just like adults, kids are lethargic, become cranky and can have difficulty interacting with others. As parents, we want our kids to be able to handle some of the social expectations that we encounter during the holidays – parties, shopping, and last-minute changes in the family schedule.

We have this biological clock deep inside the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. “This tiny cluster of nerve cells, no bigger than a grain of rice, is super-sensitive to sunlight and other light coming in through our eyes. At the end of the day, when the ambient light starts to fade, a brain hormone called melatonin starts to rise, causing drowsiness.”

Sleep researcher Russell Rosenberg says that children have this rise in melatonin earlier in the evening than teenagers or adults. The natural time for young children to fall asleep is around 7 or 8 o’clock at night. It’s very important to turn off light sources starting about 30 minutes before bedtime. Make it a part of the routine: TV off, computers off, and video games definitely OFF, then brush teeth, read and snuggle into bed. This way, the child’s natural melatonin release will maintain a healthy level in the body and help your child drift naturally off to sleep.

Over the holidays, remember to get your child Brainjogging every day, twice daily, as a way to keep the brain healthy and more prepared to face the inconsistencies that come with the holiday season! If you have questions or need a boost of cheerleading, contact Camp Academia at!

Vitamin D and Brain Health

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 by admin

We all know how wonderful we feel when the sun is out – we are more likely to get outside, enjoy the warm sunbeams on our faces, and feel more inspired to get things done! But what happens when the colder weather arrives and we lose much of that warm outdoor time? We need to replenish Vitamin D through our daily nutrition, as a new study from the University of Kentucky found that a diet low in Vitamin D causes damage to the brain.

Vitamin D, found in foods like tuna, salmon, mushrooms, milk, and eggs, is important for maintaining bone health. It serves other important roles in the health of our organs and tissues, including the brain!

The UK study showed that middle-aged rats that were fed a diet low in Vitamin D for several months developed free radical damage to the brain, and many different brain proteins were damaged. These rats also showed a significant decrease in cognitive performance on tests of learning and memory.

Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with development of Alzheimer’s Disease and certain cancers and heart disease. “Given that vitamin D deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, we investigated how during aging from middle-age to old-age how low vitamin D affected the oxidative status of the brain,” said lead author on the paper Allan Butterfield, professor in the UK Department of Chemistry, director of the Center of Membrane Sciences, faculty of Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and director of the Free Radical Biology in Cancer Core of the Markey Cancer Center.

Knowing your vitamin D levels is the first step, and, if low, begin eating foods rich in vitamin D, take vitamin D supplements, and/or get at least 10-15 minutes of sun exposure each day to ensure that vitamin D levels are normalized and remain so to help protect the brain. Older clients have also found much success with Brainjogging 5-7 minutes, twice daily! Brainjogging both prepares the brain for learning and improves working memory! If you want more information, visit to learn how to keep your brain sharp!

Dental Wise for Mental Strides

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by admin

Reminders from dentists are beneficial this time of year when candy canes and sweet treats surround us, but you might be surprised to learn that soda pop is the single biggest source of calories in the American diet. Kids drink it often – some drink it several times a day. A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health found that soft drinks may be responsible for the doubling of obesity in children over the last 15 years! This is not only a body issue but a brain one!

The carbonation and caffeine in soda pop can cause tooth decay, acid reflux, and can disrupt sleep cycles in children. What do we know about the importance of sleep and brain health? Sleep is vital to good brain health! Painful teeth and acid reflux can create problems with attention in school. If a child is distracted by pain, he is less likely to be attending to academics or social experiences.

Soda pop is not just bad for teeth; it has overarching outcomes that ultimately affect how the brain works throughout the day. The best approach is to cut down or avoid carbonated drinks altogether. Schools are starting to remove the soft drink vending machines in hallways and cafeterias. You can choose to stop bringing these drinks into your home. Think about healthier alternatives, like cider, natural juices, milk or good old fashion water!

A small change, like drinking more water can help children feel better, look better, sleep better, and perform better. Brainjogging 5-7 minutes, twice daily, also improves a child’s brain! Why wait!? Here’s to a healthier family! Contact Camp Academia at!