Archive for May, 2011

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.

Virtual conversation simulator beneficial for adults with autism

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 by admin

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. recently published a study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking that investigated the effectiveness of a virtual conversation simulator in enhancing the conversational integrity of adults with autism.

A hallmark of autism is a degree of difficulty in communicating with other individuals, particularly in social interactions that require insight into and awareness of non-verbal conversational clues.  Many individuals with autism have normal intelligence levels but struggle with social situations.  Doctors from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and SIMmersion LLC in Columbia, Maryland, engaged adults with autism in a virtual conversation simulation program.  The prototypical program was designed to assess the value of such a program for individuals, specifically adults, with autism (ScienceDaily).

The study’s participants included 12 adolescents and adults with autism.  These individuals engaged in a virtual conversation simulator with an onscreen partner designed to replication realistic feedback triggered by the participant’s conversation responses (Trapgnier, C.Y., Olsen, D.E., Boteler, L., & Bell, C.A., 2011).  After two weeks, the participants were asked to use a Likert-type scale to rate the degree to which they found the simulator beneficial.  Study participants rated the simulator as highly beneficial.

One of the particular deficits associated with autism is the ability to understand and utilize pragmatic language, specifically elements of pragmatic language that often arise during conversations.  The researchers’ prototype rated individuals on their ability to manipulate, maintain and pleasantly conclude conversations on various topics, not just the participant’s preferred topics (Trapgnier, C.Y., Olsen, D.E., Boteler, L., & Bell, C.A., 2011).  This initial prototype for a virtual conversation simulator program supports the development of a more sophisticated program to investigate the degree to which virtual conversation simulators actually improve upon the pragmatic language skills of individuals with ASD.

Camp Academia, Inc. offers tutoring services for students with learning disabilities, and is particularly successful with individuals with ASD.  Camp Academia, Inc. has offices in Columbus and LaGrange, Georgia, and utilizes BrainJogging, its patented cognitive processing software.

Trepagnier, C.Y., Olsen, D.E., Boteler, L., and Bell, C.A. (2011). Virtual conversation partner for adults with autism [Abstract]. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 21(7).

Personal testimonial from the grandfather of a child with autism

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 by admin

Riley was diagnosed with autism and is completely nonverbal. He was five years old when his parents approached Camp Academia, Inc.  Riley’s family lives overseas and discovered Camp Academia, Inc. online.  Prior to being introduced to Brainjogging, Riley manifested various adverse behaviors: spitting on things and polishing them; compulsively doing crunches; climbing on furniture; standing directly in front of the television or washing machine and refusing to be moved; and failing to show interest in personal relationships, among other habits.

After spending several weeks with Camp Academia, Inc., Riley and his family returned home. Riley’s grandfather sent a letter to Camp Academia, Inc. two months after leaving LaGrange and settling back into a home routine.  One weekend, Riley went to his grandparents’ house.  Following the visit, his grandfather sent a letter to Camp Academia, Inc., outlining various changes in Riley’s behavior.  The following are excerpts from Riley’s grandfather’s letter.  Please note that the excerpts have been edited for grammatical consistency and protection of personal identity, but have not been otherwise altered.

Riley’s behavior actually changed…
As you are aware Riley had built up a lot of “habits” in his behavior and initially this was what gave us the clue some 4 years ago that perhaps he was autistic and we brought this up with Riley’s pediatrician. It was not about what he should be doing it was about what he was doing when he came to our house or we took him out that we brought up with the pediatrician. There has been a big change in regards to the habits Riley had 2 months ago.

Riley’s actions reflected personal investment in relationships…
When his dad left, there were a lot of tears and crying as Riley saw his dad get in his car and go. Riley was deeply upset. Prior to [Brainjogging], Riley would never have given a darn who came and went and had absolutely no interest in what other people were doing, only what he was doing at the time.

Riley’s grandfather was able to engage him in a bedtime activity…
I read his first story to him that night in bed.  Previously, he would show absolutely no interest and would want to play with the light switch, jump on the bed or anything other than lie there and listen and look at the pictures. Actually, he went to sleep as I read. He really likes the repeating ABC song and wanted to hear it the next morning after he had got out of bed and was dressed.

Riley now understands instructions and takes “no” for an answer …
Riley liked to jump, swing and clamber on side tables and do lots of things on the bed. Now this is minimal. Sure, he has a bounce or two, but not for 20 minutes. Riley accepts a no and stopped [jumping on the bed] when he first started to do it on his visit.

Riley desired to communicate with others …
I saw and heard Riley telling his dad about the day, making all sorts of sounds. None of them intelligible, just a lot of excited noises that went on and on, but clearly he was pleased to see his dad and was, in his way, telling his dad about the day and making Luke sit in the one spot whilst this went on.

Even over a short span of time, Riley’s behavioral changes were evident …
We had him just overnight and these were all the changes we saw and we thought we would share these with you about the progress we see happening.  We are both thrilled at what is happening to our boy.

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