The Arrowsmith Program Methodology >

The Arrowsmith Program is based on the philosophy that it is possible to treat specific learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities.

The Arrowsmith Program is a program of intensive and graduated cognitive exercises that are designed to strengthen the underlying weak cognitive capacities that are hypothesized to underlie a range of specific learning difficulties. Each student's program is based on a careful assessment to identify the specific learning difficulties

Our Framework for Results

Can the Arrowsmith Program Benefit Your Child or Student?

Students in the Arrowsmith Program are typically of average or above intelligence but are experiencing problems in school which may include difficulties with reading, writing, mathematics, remembering, understanding, or attentional issues. Each student is unique in his or her combination of problem areas and our exercise program is individually designed for each student.

We recommend that parents and educators who find that their child or student is being held back by specific learning difficulties review the Description of Learning Dysfunctions Addressed. An abbreviated version of this list also appears in our Brochure that can be downloaded. This list covers the only problem areas that are currently addressed by the Arrowsmith Program.

Theory Underlying the Arrowsmith Program

The Arrowsmith Program's identification of learning dysfunctions is based on the work of the neuropsychologist, A. R. Luria, who investigated the functions of specific regions of the brain.

Luria concluded that complex cognitive activities, such as reading, writing and mathematics, require the interaction of several areas of the brain and that each individual brain area has a very specific role to play. If one brain area that is part of a specific learning activity is impaired, the performance of that learning activity will be impaired in a way particular to the contribution of the weaker brain area. At Arrowsmith Program, we view this as the source of a specific learning dysfunction.

The philosophy of the Arrowsmith Program is that these cognitive areas may be improved through strenuous cognitive exercises, resulting in strengthened learning abilities.

Each student in the Arrowsmith Program has his or her specific schedule of tasks and exercises to be completed during the course of a day in the Arrowsmith Program. The exercises for each student differ depending upon that student’s identified learning profile. These include written, visual, auditory and computer exercises.

In one instance, a student with an inability to distinguish between similar sounds, such as "hear" and "fear" will be taught to listen to speech sounds drawn from other languages until he/she is able to accurately hear and reproduce the sounds. Repeated practice strengthens the individual’s ability to hear and differentiate English speech sounds

Each student enroled in the Arrowsmith Program is assessed at the end of each year to evaluate progress and the student's program is modified as needed for the subsequent year.

The goal of the Arrowsmith Program is to help students capitalize on their improvements and eventually reintegrate them into a full academic program at a public or private school at their appropriate grade level following completion of a three to four-year program of Arrowsmith cognitive exercises.