FAQs >

Students who come to the Arrowsmith Program are of average to above average intelligence but are having difficulty learning academic and social skills efficiently and independently.  The Arrowsmith Program addresses a wide range of specific learning difficulties (referred to as learning disabilities in North America) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory and/or visual processing disorders, attention difficulties and non-verbal learning difficulties. The Arrowsmith Program is also designed for individuals who do not have identified specific learning difficulties but are challenged with issues such as organization, processing, problem solving, communication, memory, and independence.

To consider whether the Arrowsmith Program would be suitable for you/your child, please complete our checklist. While it does not guarantee your enrolment at a participating school, it will allow you to determine whether the learning issues you/your child experience could be addressed through the Arrowsmith Program. Should you/your child be within the average range of intellectual functioning and are experiencing the types of issues described in this checklist, you/your child are suitable candidates for the Program. 

Please note the Arrowsmith Program is not designed for individuals with developmental or intellectual delays, autism, brain injury or illness, or psychiatric or psychological disorders.

For a more detailed description of typical students follow the link below: http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram-background/suitable-students.html

Please note that each educational organization establishes their own admissions and enrolment criteria for the Arrowsmith Program they are offering. Upon enrolment into the program, students are given an Arrowsmith assessment by the trained Arrowsmith teacher to determine their unique cognitive profile and series of cognitive programs. The Arrowsmith assessment is not used as the basis for determining suitability for the Arrowsmith Program. Suitability is determined through the pre-screening discussion between the family and the host organization.  Please consult participating schools directly for further information about their admissions process.

The Arrowsmith Program is developed for individuals struggling with specific learning difficulties (SLD) referred to as learning disabilities in North America. The standard definition of SLD is that the individual has an average or above average full scale intelligence score, and has a specific difficulty in an area related to learning or academic skill acquisition. The program is designed and therefore most suited for, individuals within the average to above average range of intelligence.

Conditions such as Developmental or Intellectual Delay typically indicate an impairment of general intellect and function, and students with developmental or intellectual delay have needs that are more significant than a student with a specific learning difficulty.
                       
In some cases, individuals with learning difficulties who also have high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Asperger’s have benefitted from the Arrowsmith Program. While, the Arrowsmith Program will enable these individuals to address their cognitive learning needs, it will not address features related to the specific Autism Spectrum Disorder. In such cases, there is careful deliberation when determining appropriateness during the admissions process to ensure suitability.

All educational organizations determine their own eligibility and admissions process including whether they have the resources to support students with needs beyond the scope of the Arrowsmith Program. Please contact these organizations directly should you wish to enquire about enrolment opportunities. Please visit Participating Schools for a list of schools currently implementing the Arrowsmith Program.

The Arrowsmith Program has been successful in addressing attentional difficulties. Most individuals with specific learning difficulties (referred to as learning disabilities in North America) experience attentional issues which can arise from different underlying causes. In many cases these issues are a result of a buildup of weak cognitive capacities making it hard for the student to sustain attention in specific learning situations; others are related to specific cognitive functions related to regulating attention. Both of these types of attentional difficulties will be addressed by the Arrowsmith Program as students engage in the cognitive exercises designed to stimulate and strengthen these cognitive functions.

There are more than 65 educational organizations throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand offering the program to school-age children and adults. There are also organizations considering implementation within the near future; these are considered “prospective schools”.

Please visit Participating Schools for a list of educational organizations currently implementing the Arrowsmith Program.

Please visit Prospective Schools for list of prospective education organizations who have expressed interest in offering the Arrowsmith Program.

Each educational organization establishes their own admissions and enrolment criteria for the Arrowsmith Program they are offering. Upon enrolment into the program, students are given an Arrowsmith assessment by the trained Arrowsmith teacher. Teachers are trained by Arrowsmith in the assessment process and the tests are scored and analyzed at Arrowsmith Program Toronto. The assessment enables Arrowsmith Program to identify each student’s learning profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and provides the basis for designing individual programs for each student. Please note the assessment is NOT used as the basis for determining suitability for the Arrowsmith Program. Suitability is determined through the pre-screening discussion between the family and the host organization.  Please consult participating schools directly for further information about their admissions process.

Arrowsmith is committed to maintaining the integrity of the program and to monitoring each student’s experience closely. Students participate in the Arrowsmith exercises within a classroom setting and under the supervision of an Arrowsmith trained instructor who is in ongoing correspondence with the Arrowsmith Program.  Home-based, online, distance, or tutoring scenarios are therefore not available.

Parents, educators and community members have been excellent advocates in bringing the Arrowsmith Program to their child’s school or community.  Arrowsmith has an Advocacy Guide which provides suggestions and information for this dialogue.  Click here to download the PDF version of our Advocacy Guide.  Arrowsmith is very interested in speaking with administrators of educational organizations to discuss the implementation guidelines.

Another helpful introduction to the Arrowsmith Program is the video that is on the Arrowsmith website at http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram-background/intro-video.html  

Please find here a link to a booklet for educators and educational administrators which provides further information about implementation. Click here to download the PDF version of our Professional Information Brochure. 

For further reading about the Arrowsmith Program, please read The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, authored by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.  In addition, Brain School by Howard Eaton and Chapter 2 of the book The Brain that Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge highlight the Arrowsmith Program and recount the changes experienced by individuals involved in the program.  

More details on these books can be found on the Arrowsmith website at:  http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram-background/books.html

Arrowsmith School Toronto hosts regularly scheduled Professional Information Sessions. Guests learn about the background, design and outcomes of the cognitive programs and visit the cognitive classroom.  Advance registration is required as space is limited.

Webinars are also available to professionals not in the Toronto area. These sessions provide further insight in the Arrowsmith Program and include an interactive Q&A opportunity. 

Information about professional development opportunities are listed on the website: http://arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithschool-toronto/infosessions-professionals.html

To register for a Professional Information Session please click here.
To register for an upcoming Professional Information webinar please click here.

Educators are excellent advocates for the Arrowsmith Program as they have an understanding of the struggles students face with learning.
Arrowsmith is very interested in speaking with educational administrators regarding implementation and has designated representatives available to communicate with educational organizations once they become interested in learning more about the program. If you would like to contact the representative for your area their contact details can be found on our website at http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram/advocacy-guidelines.html

Arrowsmith has a Professional Information Brochure that contains an introductory note on neuroplasticity, an overview of the implementation and administration of the program, the relationship between Arrowsmith and the educational organizations that offer the program and an overview of the research and comments from educators implementing the program. Click here to download the PDF version of our Professional Information Brochure. Of particular importance for educational administrators is the requirement that students enrolled in the Arrowsmith Program must spend a minimum of four (4) forty (40) minute periods per day, five (5) days a week engaged in the Arrowsmith cognitive exercises. These periods do not have to be consecutive, but they must be scheduled during the regular school day.

Our policy is to enter into agreements directly with well-established educational organizations that have been in operation for at least five years and which have a minimum enrolment of 100 students.

Arrowsmith has an Advocacy Guide which provides suggestions for sharing information with colleagues and educational administrators. Included in the Advocacy Guide under the heading “Can the Arrowsmith Program be implemented in all Schools?” are the criteria for prospective educational organizations.
Click here to download the PDF version of our Advocacy Guide.

A helpful introduction to the Arrowsmith Program is the video that is on the Arrowsmith website at http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram-background/intro-video.html

There are also many other videos on the website which give background to the program including the TEDx Toronto talk by Barbara Arrowsmith Young which can be seen here:

Other videos can be viewed at: http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram-background/video.html

For further reading about the Arrowsmith Program, please read The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, authored by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.  In addition, Brain School by Howard Eaton and Chapter 2 of the book The Brain that Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge highlight the Arrowsmith Program and recount the changes experienced by individuals involved in the program.

More details on these books can be found on the Arrowsmith website at: http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram-background/books.html

The Arrowsmith Program Research Team headed by Arrowsmith Program Director, Barbara Arrowsmith Young, and Research Director, Howard Eaton, Director of the Eaton Educational Group and author of Brain School, is currently working with researchers to design and conduct studies in various disciplines, including education, psychology, and neuroscience. These studies will investigate the changes in the brain as well as academic, cognitive, emotional and social outcomes that occur for students engaged in the Arrowsmith Program. It is expected that the results of these current studies will be published in peer-reviewed journals upon completion.

Read more about all research studies on the Arrowsmith Program on the website.

Certification as a teacher of the Arrowsmith Program is limited to teachers at educational organizations which offer the Arrowsmith Program. Only those certified in the Arrowsmith Program’s methodology are permitted to administer the Arrowsmith Program. Ongoing professional development is required for all teachers to maintain their certification.
Interested educators or members of a related professional field are welcomed to learn about the Arrowsmith Program’s principles through Arrowsmith Information sessions. There are both on-site sessions at Arrowsmith School in Toronto and webinars available.

Information about professional development opportunities are listed on the website: http://arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithschool-toronto/infosessions-professionals.html

To register for a Professional Information Session please click here.
To register for an upcoming Professional Information webinar please click here.

Each educational organization establishes their own admissions and enrolment criteria for the Arrowsmith Program they are offering. Upon enrolment into the program, students are given an Arrowsmith assessment by the trained Arrowsmith teacher. Teachers are trained by Arrowsmith in the assessment process and the tests are scored and analyzed at Arrowsmith Program Toronto. The assessment is made up of tests designed by Barbara Arrowsmith Young which measure the functioning of specific cognitive functions that impact learning. This enables Arrowsmith Program to identify each student’s learning profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and provides the basis for designing individual programs for each student.

Please note the assessment is not used as the basis for determining suitability for the Arrowsmith Program. Suitability is determined through the pre-screening discussion between the family and the host organization.  Please contact participating schools directly for further information about their admissions process.

Arrowsmith School Toronto offers a cognitive assessment which identifies individuals’ strengths and weaknesses to adults or children who live in an area that does not offer an Arrowsmith Program. This assessment is a useful tool that provides an in depth understanding of how that individual learns. It is important to note that the Arrowsmith Program has not been designed as a home program for distance education. This program is most effectively delivered within an educational organization environment and as such, if individuals live in an area that does not offer an Arrowsmith Program they will not be able to access the cognitive programs upon completion of the assessment. Please contact Incia Zaffar at izaffar@arrowsmithprogram.ca for further information.

The best place to keep up to date with the places the Arrowsmith Program is being offered or will be in the future is at these links below:

Please visit Participating Schools for a list of schools currently implementing the Arrowsmith Program.

Please visit Prospective Schools for list of prospective education organizations who have expressed interest in offering the Arrowsmith Program.

One of the basic operating principles and business practices of Arrowsmith Program is to maintain in complete confidence all of our conversations with prospective educational organizations. Arrowsmith Program’s practice and policy of not disclosing on-going conversations with these prospective organizations is critical to our credibility and gives organizations a comfort level to engage in a dialogue with Arrowsmith knowing that those conversations will not be made public until the organization is ready to have them disclosed. Some organizations have requested that Arrowsmith not make public that the organization would be offering the Arrowsmith Program. Arrowsmith Program must in every instance honour these requests and in all cases must respect the organizations’ reasons for making the request. As soon as an organization wishes to make public their interest in the Arrowsmith Program, we add them to the Prospective School page.

The Arrowsmith Program is offered in academic settings during the school year. Arrowsmith recognizes that a holiday period is not sufficient time to adequately address any one cognitive area. Instead, Arrowsmith encourages students to use the summer period to apply their cognitive improvements to new learning opportunities.

The majority of students will require a three to four year program of full time attendance before returning to a full academic program in a public or private school or educational organization at his or her appropriate grade level. If a student is unable to complete the three to four year program, they achieve benefit for every year they are in the program.
Upon completion of the program some students may require one to two years to gain experience using their newly strengthened cognitive capacities and some students may need tutoring initially to bring academic skills to grade level.

The Arrowsmith Program is currently only available in English and requires English fluency on the part of both the students and the trained teacher.

Arrowsmith School Toronto
Arrowsmith School Toronto offers a full day school setting, two part time cognitive programs, and a separate assessment process.   For information about enrolment at Arrowsmith School Toronto, please contact Incia Zaffar at izaffar@arrowsmithprogram.ca

You can also review the school’s website at http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithschool-toronto/index.html

Arrowsmith School Peterborough
Arrowsmith School Peterborough also offers a full day school setting and part time cognitive programs. For information about participation at Arrowsmith School Peterborough, please contact peterborough@arrowsmithprogram.ca or 705-741-4800

You can also review the school’s website at http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithschool-peterborough/index.html

There are part-time programs at Arrowsmith School Toronto and Arrowsmith School Peterborough.

More information about the part time program can be found by following the links below:
http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithschool-toronto/parttime-programs.html
http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithschool-peterborough/parttime-programs.html

Some participating schools also offer a part time program. They are indicated with ** here: http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram/participating-schools.html

The Arrowsmith Program is appropriate for students from six years of age to adults.
Please note adult programs are denoted on our participating schools list with * here: http://www.arrowsmithschool.org/arrowsmithprogram/participating-schools.html

The student to teacher ratio in an Arrowsmith classroom is 10:1.

Students that we have followed up to 30 years after completion of the program have maintained their cognitive improvements. Once the improvement is in place, the individual maintains this gain by using the cognitive area in everyday functioning.