Archive for October, 2013

Stuttering in Children

Monday, October 28th, 2013 by admin

Results of this study out of University of Alberta could increase understanding of the brain and speech production, ultimately improving treatment for stuttering.

This new study has shown that children who stutter have less grey matter in key regions of the brain – the regions responsible for speech production – than children who do not stutter. These findings affirm the importance of seeking treatment early.

Dr. Deryk Beal scanned the brains of children between 5 and 12 years of age (half the children being stutterers). The inferior frontal gyrus region of the brain develops abnormally in children who stutter. This part of the brain is thought to control articulatory coding – taking information our brain understands about language and sounds and coding it into speech movements.

Stuttering is a speech-motor-control problem. Beal sees results as a first step toward testing to determine how grey matter volumes are influenced by stuttering treatment and understanding motor-sequence learning differences between children who stutter and those who do not.

Isn’t it great to know, Camp Academia has the solution?! Brainjogging works! This is one form of cognitive therapy for children who stutter, because it works on speech motor control each and every time a child Brainjogs!

Brainjogging has had great effects for children who stutter – their stuttering reduces remarkably! If you have a child who stutters, contact Camp Academia today!


Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 by admin

This past week, researchers at the University of Rochester released study results indicating that while the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins. This study was conducted in mice; however, the implications are that this cleansing process may actually reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in adults.

The flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases quite dramatically during sleep. This increase in flow helps wash away the waste proteins that build up between brain cells. Scientists discovered that when mice went to sleep, their brain cells shrank, making it easier for fluid to circulate. Upon waking, the brain cells enlarged again and the flow between cells slowed to a trickle. Dr. Nedergaard, an author of the study, said it was like opening and closing a faucet; that the differences between sleep and wake were that dramatic.

This process during slumber is important, because the waste proteins getting washed away are toxic to brain cells. It could explain why prolonged lack of sleep can cause problems with brain functioning, like attention and memory. This process also takes a lot of energy, which is why it happens most efficiently while we sleep.

Even though this brain-cleaning process has only been observed in rats and baboons, it could offer a new way to understand human brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. One of the waste products removed during sleep is beta amyloid, the substance that forms sticky plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

These findings are yet another reminder that good sleep is important and vital to our health. In addition, Brainjogging can also play a role in better brain health. Children are not the only clients to benefit from Brainjogging! Older adults, who have been experiencing memory loss and foggy attention, come to Camp Academia for help. Instead of spelling words and mathematical formulas, individualized Brainjogging word lists include family names, addresses, favorite poems, literary passages and hobby-related vocabulary. It still takes just 5-7 minutes twice daily to make a noticeable difference in more reliable brain functioning!

Not the ONLY Answer!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 by admin

ADHD Meds have been shown to improve concentration, attention, and even short-term memory; however, there is a growing body of research reporting that academic outcomes (grades, achievement scores, and repeating a grade) are no different for students with ADHD who take meds and those who do not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.7 million kids were taking medication for ADHD in the U.S. as of 2007, the most recent data available.

A summer study out of Quebec looked at 4,000 middle-school aged boys, and found that the ones who took ADHD meds actually performed worse in school than those with a similar number of symptoms who did not take medication. Girls taking the medication reported more emotional problems, according to a working paper published on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit economics research firm.

What can we learn from these studies? It is important to realize that research findings are showing that the medicine proves effective on classroom behaviors like sitting still and interrupting the teacher less, but it doesn’t help with other factors important to successful completion of homework or test-taking.  Even if children can focus, drugs don’t help them with what to focus on; rather, it needs to be coupled with cognitive control skills training, such as memory work, working memory in the form of making application of learned information and increasing processing speed.  It is important to build new neurons and strengthen the synapses for a more efficient brain!

Unlike ADHD drugs, cognitive skills training for the brain causes structural changes in the brain to permanently increase the attention skills and reduce or eliminate focusing struggles for those with ADHD. Brainjogging is a rapid and efficient solution! Just 5 to 7 minutes, twice daily, prepares the mind for the day! Add at least 18 cognitive control therapy sessions and the individual is amazingly preparing for lifelong learning!

Make the formula for success a comprehensive one, involving the family, the child, the teacher, the pediatrician, the therapist, and other professionals who can lift the child up for a lifetime of success!

Let the Kids Play!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 by admin

(Your child’s success may depend on it!)

In 1955, Mattel was the first company to advertise a toy before the Christmas holiday season. Overnight, children’s play became focused on THINGS instead of activities, more specifically, their own, imaginative play. In the second part of the 20th century, there was more concern about safely, so parents moved toward safe play environments, like adult-moderated classes providing their children with enriched lives and improved self-esteem. These changes in how children play have led to changes in their cognitive and emotional development.

Psychological Researchers, back in 1940’s, conducted a series of tests on children, ages 3, 5 and 7. Standing still was one of these activities. The 3-year-olds could not do it at all; 5-year-olds for about 3 minutes; and the 7-year-olds could stand still as long as the scientists asked them to. In 2001, Dr. Elena Bodrova at Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning repeated the experiment and the results were drastically different.

The 5-year-olds were acting at the level of 3-year-olds sixty years ago; 7 year olds were barely approaching the level of the 5-year-olds. The children were less likely to have self-regulation skills. This is the ability to control emotions and behavior – It’s a key component of a broader set of skills called Executive Function. Kids with good self-regulation are not impulsive; they have self-control and discipline. Good self-regulation is a better predictor of success in school than a child’s IQ.

Self-Regulation predicts effective development in virtually every domain, says researcher Laura Berk, from Illinois State University. She found that make-believe is a powerful tool for building self-regulation. While in imaginative play, children engage in private speech. They use this speech to say what they are going to do and how they are going to do it – laying out the rules of play for themselves.

Private speech has been found to be predictive of Executive Function. Adults engage in private speech as well; we use it to surmount obstacles, master cognitive and social skills, and to manage our emotions. The more structured the play, the more children’s private speech declines. Kids are not getting the chance to police themselves. When they have the opportunity, the results are clear: self regulation improves.

Yale psychological researcher Dorothy Singer found that teachers and administrators are starting earlier and earlier in basic fundamentals. Because of all the testing, kids are working on educational skills and drills, and playtime is being squeezed out. In the rush to give children every advantage — to protect them, to stimulate them, to enrich them — our culture has accidentally compromised one of the activities that helped children most. Make sure your child gets time to work his imagination in his own creative way!