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Minds-in-Motion (IN)

/Academy Interventions

Download PDF version of this articleFor parents and educators who work with special needs children, they know that patience is the key. These students often have difficulty communicating and responding to the “normal” classroom cues. But Candace Meyer, the CEO of Minds-in-Motion and former Title 1 educator from Scott County School District 2, believes she has discovered a new way to unlock the mystery of getting through to these students.

Minds-In-Motion Centers specialize in sensory integration therapy. The therapists and staff provide high quality therapy programs to individuals with special needs to achieve greater independence and enhance the quality of their lives. The clinics also service high-functioning children to further develop their talents and abilities to an even higher potential.

“I think it is an exciting intervention to apply with special needs students. With consistency and repetition of the phonemic skills, special needs students can begin to truly process sounds and proceed to higher integration.”
Candace Meyer, CEO & Founder

The Academy of READING intervention program has been and will remain an integral part of the success of Minds-in-Motion centers. Meyer has been integrating the Academy Suite with Minds-in-Motion since the very beginning.

“I think it is an exciting intervention to apply with special needs students,” Meyer said. “With consistency and repetition of the phonemic skills — actually taking the students out of the program and resubmitting as a new student over and over until those skills are fluid — special needs students can begin to truly process sounds and proceed to higher integration. The program combines the students’ ability to focus with the auditory process and makes students feel successful when they haven’t felt that way in the past.”

With Minds-in-Motion locations in Indiana and Kentucky, Meyer is seeing more and more need for specialized integration among students of various skill levels. Most recently, she has seen great success incorporating the Academy of READING with a highly autistic six-year-old boy in Indiana.

“In the beginning I wondered, ‘do we even try?’ The student could talk, but not really hold a conversation,” said Meyer. “For autistic students, I was apprehensive at first, but the Academy of READING may be the perfect tool to start communicating with them. I knew it could do wonders — if he could just process the sounds.”

So the staff at Minds-in-Motion kept him on rhyming sounds, over and over. He was placed in a four-week intensive program where he worked for two hours per day, five days a week on Minds-in-Motion protocols, which included up to 30 minutes a day in the computer lab.

“And soon enough, he began recognizing rhyming sounds, Meyer said. “Farm, arm…book, look. This program helps to reach inside the brain of autistic kids, who otherwise seem unaware. It was such a good feeling knowing he was able to make progress!”

Meyer knew this growth wasn’t just a fluke. So she introduced the Academy of READING to a 12 year-old girl at the center who struggled with Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS) — a dysfunction of speech skills.

“I was very worried when I saw her,” said Meyer. “She was sitting in the lab, hitting the screen; she was uncontrollable. She would see the blue (error) screens pop up and she knew she was making mistakes. She was very upset with herself because she was missing answers.”

Meyer didn’t know where to start; so she began working with this student on phonemic awareness and encouraging her to slow down. They kept repeating the same programs so the student would gain confidence.

“The crux of her problem was the auditory processing. If you can’t hear, you can’t replicate,” said Meyer. “We worked with her for one month on beginning sounds and rhyming and kept doing it over and over and over.”

After one month working with the Academy of READING, this student was calm, collective.

“She looked forward to it. She wanted to get her computer time,” said Meyer. “You could tell because she was pulling your hand, pointing to the computers as soon as she got in the lab. She put her headphones on right away and got to work immediately. She used to be so frustrated, but now it was clear she felt successful!”

Developed from original, neuroscience research and patented algorithms for subskills diagnosis, Academy of READING is proven to work. The pedagogical model incorporates task-analysis to break skills down into simpler components, automaticity to build fluency, and positive feedback and motivational elements to boost confidence and self-esteem.

“She’s usually locked in her own world because she can’t communicate like everyone else, but with Academy of READING she has an opportunity to make contact,” said Meyer.

The success that these students are achieving through the Academy of READING is not only benefiting them, but it keeps their parents motivated too. This girl’s mother was so thrilled and excited at the progress being made; she began working to convince her school district to fund the Academy of READING.

“I’ve had success with Academy of READING in the past, so I am a true believer in the software,” said Meyer. “But for some of these parents, this is the first time their child is showing any kind of success in a classroom, and that is a very powerful experience for them.”

The Academy of READING features an adaptive intervention engine that adjusts to students’ responses, accelerating training when mastery is demonstrated or reviewing concepts when needed. It also includes short, intensive training sessions which fit into class schedules and enable rapid skill development.

“The Academy Suite helps parents understand the skills their children are learning. It substantiates what we’re finding through progress with the Minds-in-Motion program. The students love it because the Academy software does such a wonderful job keeping them motivated,” said Meyer. “Parents want their kids to have the opportunity to read. Academy of READING catches their attention and holds it.”

Academy of READING and Academy of MATH intervention solutions help at-risk students of all ages and abilities develop fluency in these foundation skills. Thousands of schools and districts across North America continue to achieve outstanding results using AutoSkill solutions as part of their intervention strategy. Students who take advantage of the Academy of READING and Academy of MATH demonstrate fast progress, motivational benefits, and permanent gains in reading and math achievement.