Posts Tagged ‘dyslexia’

Raising a Reader in a Few Simple Steps

Monday, March 20th, 2017 by Karishma Bakshani

courtesy of pixabay

A child who can READ can LEARN! The process of learning to read is just as important as reading. Learning letter sounds, breaking down words, and later comprehending the meaning of sentences and passages are all key to cognitive development. Not being able to reach one of these milestones is often a signal to parents of a learning difficulty.

To help the process, parents can encourage a love of reading right from birth! Check out this acronym from

Look for new books and authors that your child may enjoy.
Organize an area dedicated to reading and writing tools.
Visit the library for story time and book recommendations.
Encourage your child to talk about what he’s read.

Talk to your child, and sprinkle interesting words into your conversation.
Offer a variety of books to read.

Read with your child every day.
Expand your home library to include magazines and nonfiction.
Ask questions if you’re concerned about your child’s development.
Decide to raise a reader!

The more you expose a child early in development to books and reading, the more likely that child will want to read. Another benefit of early exposure to reading is the fact that you can address reading issues sooner rather than later. Experts agree, difficulties in reading have a cognitive basis. The earlier the intervention, the more likely the child will be able to overcome learning challenges, and be able to achieve academic success.

A child who has dyslexia, ADHD, Language Processing, visual processing, or even who experienced an external challenge earlier on in life such as extreme poverty or health issues may find the process of learning to read difficult. Brainjogging can help! Whether the issue is a cognitive delay or a lack of exposure, the result is a brain missing the necessary connections to learn. Brainjogging’s patented exercises help to strengthen the pathways in the brain responsible for reading and comprehension.

Call Camp Academia at 706-884-4492 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about the Brainjogging method.

Strengthening this Area of the Brain Improves Reading

Monday, March 6th, 2017 by Karishma Bakshani

courtesy of pixabay

What if we knew exactly what part of the brain is used when we learn to read? In August 2016, scientists at MIT were able to do just that! Using MRI scans in children at age 5 and then at age 8, the MIT researchers were able to isolate the area in the occipito-temporal region that is often referred to as the Visual Word Form Area, VWFA. These scientists are now working on using the same brain imaging techniques to be able to predict a child’s functional development. In other words, experts would be able to identify children who are at risk of developing dyslexia or other learning difficulties connected with issues in that area of the brain.

What is the VWFA?

The VWFA, Visual Word Form Area is a novel brain network located in the left occipito –temporal (LOT) region of the brain. This system is responsible for the rapid, automatic, fluent identification of words. In other words, the neural pathways work together as a system to rapidly decode strings of letters into words. Individuals with dyslexia have a disruption in this system explaining why reading becomes a big challenge.

How will this information help my child and me?

Dyslexia can be frustrating for both parents and children. Fortunately, as we have seen, researchers have been able to narrow in on the disrupted neural pathways that cause dyslexia. This information combined with the brain’s ability to change and heal itself (plasticity) gives hope to individuals and their families. The fact that dyslexia has a cognitive basis, means that to overcome the problem, you need a focused, cognitive-based solution.

Brainjogging can help!

Brainjogging is a cognitive-based, multi-sensory program designed to strengthen weak connections in the brain. The key issue with dyslexia, or any other reading challenge, is a disconnect between what an individual sees and what the brain processes. When Brainjoggers, see, say, and spell words during each exercise, they are combining proven methods for enhancing reading, with research-backed techniques for improving cognition and processing.

To learn how Brainjogging can help your child, call  Camp Academia at 706-884-4492.


Shaywitz, S., Mody, M., and Shaywitz, B., “Neural Mechanisms in Dyslexia”, Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2006



Transitioning to Middle School Made Easy

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 by Karishma Bakshani

If you have a child with Dyslexia, ADHD, or even Autism, you are probably used to helping your child each step of the way.  However, as children get into middle school, they are faced with different pressures both social and academic.  How do we help our kids transition to middle school and teach them to be independent at the same time?

1.  Confirm or create a support system

  • If your child already has an IEP, the first step would be to have a meeting the Spring BEFORE she starts middle school to discuss any additional supports your child might need as they start middle school.
  • Be sure to know what supports your child already has, what works, and what doesn’t work.
  • Have some samples of your child’s work to show their strengths and weaknesses.  You can even keep track of how much assistance your child needs during homework.  This is a good indication of how much she is retaining from her classes.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher and work together for what is best for your child.
  • Be sure to tell your child what supports will be available to ease any anxiety she might feel about going to a new school.

2.  Organize

  • Children with learning difficulties often have trouble keeping track of their schedule and homework.  If your child’s school does not provide a planner or agenda, go out and buy one appropriate for your child.  If he has messing handwriting, you might consider buy a planner with big spaces to write assignments and due dates.
  • Also, create a system for organizing school work. Assign a color for each subject. For example, science’s blue notebook will have a blue folder to keep handouts and assignments.
  • Put together a daily checklist for before going to school and before coming home.  The checklist will help your child see clearly what he needs to take to school and what he needs to complete work at home.
  • Implement a homework and extra curricular routine to keep your child on track.
  • Praise your child when he is organized and completes tasks.  He will feel encouraged to continue using the methods you have both implemented.

3.  Encourage Independence

  • Teach your child to advocate for herself.  If she is supposed to sit in the front row but has been seated in the back, she needs to be able to communicate her needs to the teacher.
  • Let your child know that you are here to help, but do not do your child’s homework.  Let her come to you for questions.
  • Listen to what your child has to say without judgement. Children are often faced with a variety of new social and academic situations.  Nagging or judging will close the lines of communication.  Listen and give advice calmly.  Let your child know that know matter what the situation, they can always come to you.  If she is able to solve a problem on her own, give praise!  The more our children can take care of themselves, the more success they will see in school and in life!







Who is Shirley Pennebaker’s Mentor?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 by admin
Pennebaker and Eden

Shirley Pennebaker, Gwinevere Eden, and Katie Cypers at the conference for learning disabilities in Orlando.

Last week, at the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Conference in Orlando, Shirley Pennebaker, creator of the Brainjogging method, reunited with her mentor Gwinevere Eden!  Gwinevere Eden and her colleagues were the first to apply functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to the study of dyslexia. Eden’s findings helped experts understand the neural basis of dyslexia. In other words, researchers and medical professionals were finally able to understand the difference in function and appearance between a typical brain, and a brain of someone with Dyslexia. She continues to investigate the neural representations of sensory processing and reading, and how these may be different in individuals with learning disabilities or different early childhood experiences.

A lot of Shirley’s early research includes imaging from Eden’s studies. What a wonderful meeting between two experts in the field of Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities!





Reading is FUNdamental!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 by admin

What was the last book your child was excited to read? What was the last book you were excited to read? We know the importance of reading, but how do we get our children to love books? As with anything, we need to make it fun!

If you were give a choice between reading Poor Richard’s Almanac and the latest New York Times bestseller, what would you choose? I’d choose the book I was more eager to read! Think about your kids for a minute. You can choose books you think they should read, or you can take them to the library or bookstore and have them choose books that they WANT to read.

One of our students with language processing issues had a tough time choosing a book to read for his weekly reading comprehension test. His mother sent a note asking for an age appropriate book from the Flat Stanley series. When her son brought home the book, he quickly lost interest after reading one or two chapters. It was a struggle to finish the book and an even bigger struggle to get him to review the main concepts.

At a trip to the book store she noticed her son looking at the Mercy Watson series of books. She asked her son, “Why don’t you bring home a book about Mercy Watson from the library?” Well that did it! He not only brought home one book about that silly little pig named Mercy, he has been bringing every book in the series, and reading on his own!! He even got a 90% on his last test!

Let’s get our kids on the path to succeed by helping them them love to read!

Save Big $Bucks$ with a Library Card!

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 by admin

According to Arianne Weldon of Get Georgia Reading, spoken vocabulary to young children predicts reading growth!  See Arianne Weldon’s chart below of a comparison between children from lower income with less vocabulary spoken to them versus middle income with greater vocabulary spoken to them in early years.


achievement gap

The reading gap increases every year between middle and lower income groups!


1. GET A LIBRARY CARD! Then download the One Click eAudio Reader app to listen to audiobooks from your local library FOR FREE!

2. Go to to get access to 8,000 free audiobooks!
School Name: Get Georgia Reading
Username: read
Password: read

What a great and cost-effective way to increase our children’s receptive vocabulary!

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!

Take a Look at a Book!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 by admin

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”    Dr. Seuss

When traveling around this summer, make sure that your children have a stack of books – hard copies or audio CDs – within reach! We all know reading is important, but reading over the summer is even more vital to your child’s success in the coming academic year! The University of Tennessee History Center provides us with some recommendations to get your children jump-started on their explorations, adventures, and imaginations:

New Readers:
“Dodsworth in Tokyo” by Tim Egan
“In Andal’s House” by Gloria Whelan
“Let’s Go, Hugo!” by Angela Domingues
“A Long Way Away” by Frank Viva

Elementary Readers:
“Racing the Moon’ by Alan Armstrong
“I’m Not a Plastic Bag: A Graphic Novel” by Rachel Hope Allison

Middle Schoolers:
“Chomp” by Carl Hiaasen
“Fenway Fever” by John H. Ritter
“Summer at Forsaken Lake” by Michael D. Beil
“The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth” by Anita Silvey

Young Adults:
“Endangered” by Eliot Schrefer
“Meant to Be” by Lauren Morrill
“Wanderlove” by Kirsten Hubbard

When choosing books, teach your children how to use the 5-Finger Rule to determine if a book is just right for them:
1. Open to any page
2. Start reading that page
3. Hold up ONE finger for every word that you don’t know or have trouble pronouncing
4. 0-1 fingers, book is TOO EASY; 2-3 fingers, the book is at the INTEREST level; 4 fingers, the book is at the CHALLENGE level (you can read it, but it should make sense); 5 fingers, the book is at the FRUSTRATION level and is not a good choice for now.
5. Ready to READ!

And remember, you can add vocabulary words from the more challenging books right into your Brainjogging word lists and they will not be frustrating for long! Happy Reading!