Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Arrowsmith Program for Learning Disabilities

Fixing My Brain (2008). Filmoption International Inc.

Lancee, W.J. (2005). Report on an outcome evaluation of the Arrowsmith Program for treating Learning Disabled students. Unpublished manuscript.

This video tells the story of Barbara Arrowsmith, founder of the Arrowsmith School, and four learning disabled boys who complete one year in the program. The program involves an in-depth assessment and training on specific cognitive exercises aimed at training 19 cognitive capacities. The founder developed the program based on her interpretation of neuroscience research.

Available research is preliminary in nature. We were unable to find any peer-reviewed publications evaluating the program. Single-group studies (without controls) are available in unpublished format reporting positive results for participants. The program has been criticized by Dr. Linda Siegel, UBC. In a response to an article in the Vancouver Sun (29 Dec 2008), Siegel reported that she compared the effectiveness of the Arrowsmith method to a control group receiving support in a special classroom for children with learning disabilities and found no clear advantages of one method. We were unable to locate a report of this research.

Blogger: Lisa Archibald is the Director of the Language and Working Memory Lab. She is an assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario studying the developmental relationship between language and working memory.

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