Tag Archives: cognitive skills

Let’s Go On A Brain Safari!

EmpowerKidz is pleased to offer award-winning BrainWare Safari to our clients. Here is an overview of BrainWare Safari:
  • A neuroscience-based program that helps students become the best learners they can be.
  • An engaging video-game format that kids of all ages enjoy.
  • Supported by published research demonstrating an average of over 4 years of intellectual growth.
  • An award-winning program developed by an award-winning company. Kudos include: 2006 Parents’ Choice Award, 2007 EdNet Rookie of the Year, 2007 & 2008 Software and Information Industry Association, Codie Award Finalist.

Because learning without cognition is like flying without wings
Cognitive skills are the basic mental processing skills that support our ability to understand, interpret and apply information in the world around us. Underdeveloped cognitive skills get in the way of processing, retaining, and using information. Well-developed cognitive skills are essential for anyone to perform well academically or in a work environment. When basic cognitive skills, such as
visual processing, attention, and memory, operate at an automatic level, they enable an individual to engage more effectively in higher-order thinking and
knowledge acquisition. Improving students’ mental skills helps raise their
learning potential, leading to gains in intelligence, self-esteem, and the ability to learn subjects like math and reading.

Evidence Based
BrainWare Safari looks like a video game – and children love playing it – but unlike video games, it is founded in science and rooted in decades of clinical
experience. In one study, BrainWare Safari was used for 11 weeks at home by students in 1st through 7th grades. Another group of students in the same age range from the same school served as a control and simply followed their
normal routines. Outcomes, as measured by pre- and post-testing with the Woodcock-Johnson III Cognitive Battery, showed:

  • 4 years and 2 months average improvement in cognitive skills, compared to 4 months improvement for the control group.
  • 1 year and 11 months average improvement in tests of achievement (reading and math) compared to 1 month for the control group.

This study has been published: “A study of the effectiveness of cognitive skills therapy in a video-game format,” Volume 38, Issue 1 of Optometry & Vision
Development, 2007.

In another study, BrainWare Safari was incorporated into the curriculum for two classes of 4th and 5th grade boys in an Indianapolis public school. The students
had previous behavior/discipline issues and pre-tested almost 3 years behind their chronological age. After 11 weeks of using BrainWare Safari, their average
performance on the Woodcock Johnson III Cognitive Battery improved by 6 years.

Remarkable Success
Parents Say … This Program Has Been a Gift
“Fourth grade was miserable for my daughter. Even though she did her homework every night and had a reading tutor, she wasn’t able to retain facts, read at a second-grade level, and rarely passed tests in class. Her teacher requested holding her back. She started using BrainWare Safari two weeks before fifth grade. After just 3 weeks of practicing 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes each session, she was not only telling me her multiplication facts, but figuring out our her division facts. Her reading comprehension has increased and her ability to write paragraphs. This program has been a gift.”

Educators Say … I Could See Changes in Their Ability to Think Logically
“It is sad, as an educator, to see many students who come into my class lacking the confidence they need to be successful in school. It is imperative that students are given the opportunities to excel. BrainWare Safari was that opportunity and the students definitely took advantage of it. I could see changes in their ability to think logically and to solve problems. They looked forward to practicing the skills in BrainWare Safari. They just wanted to keep going.”

Parents Say … A Miracle
“BrainWare Safari is a miracle. I would have paid anything for it, now that I have seen what it can do to help my son grow his brain right before my eyes. I am confident that it will transform his academic failure into brilliant success.”

Educators Say … The Program Boosted Their Self-Esteem
“I love BrainWare Safari and so do the students. The program is indeed a great way for the students to learn while having fun. Many of them have shown more willingness to work independently. The program definitely has boosted thier self-esteem as they have graduated many levels. It is rewarding to watch them solve problems and reach success.”

Homeschooling Parents Say … I Find the Exercises Challenging for Myself
“My daughter, who is 8 years old, really enjoys BrainWare Safari. She has Sensory Processing Disorder; her vision and auditory system are impacted by this. The games do a great job targeting the skills she needs improvement on. We’ve found some of the games are similar to exercises her vision therapist was having her do. The one exception though is BrainWare Safari does it in a way that’s more fun. As a parent, I enjoy watching her play the games and find them challenging for myself.”

For more information on BrainWare Safari and other programs offered by EmpowerKidz, contact us: info@empowerkidz.com


Video Games for Brain Training

When your child isn’t ‘getting it’ at school –  they can’t keep up with the pace, can’t take good notes, aren’t understanding what they’re reading – it can be disheartening and stressful for not just your child, but you too. Once you’ve decided to commit brain training with a professional, you’ll have access to top-notch, cutting-edge brain knowledge and tools. One tool that is having amazing success in transforming kids’ thinking process is (this may be surprising) a video game based cognitive training program called Brain Ware Safari.

Based on sound cognitive skills training research, Brain Ware Safari is built to develop students’ processing skills. An engaging video game that’s actually fun, children enjoy playing Brain Ware Safari games and don’t even know they’re learning! As children advance through levels of the game, growth is difficult to discern at first, but over time, you’ll notice signs including increased focus, attention to details, speedier processing of information, faster reading. Testing shows that students using Brain Ware Safari can actually achieve an average of four years of cognitive growth in just three months (“A Study of the Effectiveness of Cognitive Skill Therapy Delivered in a Video-Game Format” by D. Helms and Sara Sawtelle, Optometry & Vision Development, 2007, vol. 381, pages 19-26).

Watching your child achieve a new sense of mastery and the resulting confidence boost is an amazing gift. At EmpowerKidz, we’re pleased to offer Brain Ware Safari to our clients. If you’d like more information about cognitive skills assessment and training, or specifically about Brain Ware Safari, contact us.

How Are Cognitive Skills Assessed?

Taking a cognitive skill assessment is the first step to laying a strong foundation that enables any student to achieve their best. Because knowing the cognitive skill profile of a student is so important, there is evolution in the available resources for the assessment of cognitive skills. We at Empowerkidz have done extensive research to identify the research based and standardized screening and diagnostic tests for cognitive skills. We use the following tests and techniques to measure the cognitive skills depending on the needs of the individual children.

  • Online screening through Gibson Test
  • Structure of Intellect theory based Test
  • Perceptual Skills Assessment ( Visual & Auditory Skills Assessment)
  • Motor Skills Assessment

The Gibson Test is an online cognitive skill assessment that blends the best elements of several industry standard tests into one  unique screening that consists of seven sub-tests and reports on nine core cognitive skill values. The assessment is internet based, takes 35-40 minutes to complete and is very affordable. The title of the each subtest area identifies the cognitive skill that is being measured. The tests are intended to start off with easy questions and gradually move to harder questions. In all but one test, the test is terminated if the student misses three in a row. If they miss three in a row, it is assumed the student is guessing. If the student misses the first question, the instructions are repeated once. The seven subtests are:

1) Processing Speed
2) Working memory
3) Word Attack
4) Visual Processing
5) Auditory Analysis (segmenting and dropping)
6)Logic and Reasoning

SOI stands for Structure of Intellect, which is a theory of the functions and products of human intelligence.  It is a system of tests and training materials to develop intellectual abilities.  The SOI® is based on the work of J. P. Guilford whose search for intellectual abilities began in 1940 and lasted until 1959.

Structure of Intellects System® (SOI) is the basis of                          academic/educational assessment.  Based on J. P. Guilford’s theory of multiple intelligences and developed by Dr. Mary Meeker for use in schools, SOI tests a range of intelligence abilities which are needed for success with academic studies or career placement. Mary Meeker found that intelligence is not fixed. Intelligence can be developed.

Upon diagnosing strengths and weaknesses, EmpowerKidz uses the SOI system follow-up program of activities to build potential abilities to enable success in school or in life.  This program has wide-ranging applications in reading readiness, academic assessment and remediation, and career counseling.

Our Assessment using SOI systems identifies 27 abilities required for learning reading, arithmetic, math or  any occupational prerequisite.

We teach those abilities which are low, maintain those that are gifted, and  develop further any that are average.

The Structure of Intellect System of learning is called Learning Therapy. Your child will be worked with one on one during each session that they attend. Each session of 1.5 hours includes one on one training with a trained learning therapist, doing tasks including paper and pencil activities, physical exercises that develop new neuro pathways of the brain and develop the many intellectual abilities as cognition, memory, executive functions as well as focusing and sensori-integration abilities that will in turn develop the specific learning abilities, and gives your child the “mental tools” that they need to be prepared to learn in school!

Whether it is an academic problem or difficulty focusing attention , concentrating or other behavior problems, many of these, if not most, are based on a lack of the mental skills necessary for successful functioning in school — and in life! Once their intellectual abilities are well developed your child will learn and achieve more easily and remediation of weak academic skills (caused by years of poor processing skills) will be resolved more quickly than before!