Tag Archives: processing

Mila and Avery

Here are two videos of some extremely smart, happy, and very cute little girls. Two-year-old Mila is demonstrating her super auditory digit span of 5; and Avery (aka Shirley Temple), who just turned six, is showing us how much fun math can be.

Mila’s maturity and language, which are a reflection of her super processing skills, would blow your socks off! She’s really smart, really happy, and great fun. With her high processing, her world is much larger and richer than that of her peers, and the quality and quantity of information her brain processes every day is going to continue to keep moving her higher and higher. Just to put things in perspective, a lot of 5-year-olds can’t process a 5!


Miss Personality, Avery just gushes exuberance. To put her video in perspective, a note from Avery’s mom accompanied her video: “I just showed Avery the concept of borrowing (using Modular Math) and this is her second problem.“ The significance of this isn’t really that she has grasped borrowing, it’s that she loves it! How many parents can say their kids LOVE math? Step one in teaching any child anything—teach them to love it!

Every day I deal with children and parents struggling with school—kids who are learning to hate learning and often themselves in the process. Learning can and needs to be fun.

The foundation of development is neuroplasticity. Specific input delivered with the appropriate frequency, intensity, and duration is the key to success.

Guess what? If we can target our input, teach specifically to the child, create great processing skills, and make it fun, we produce great outcomes.

A big part of what excites me about these exceptional little ones is the fact that they are demonstrating the power of neuroplasticity and potential—the power and potential that lies in every child’s brain. They are a reflection of the opportunities they are receiving. Our children with developmental issues are often viewed as their labels with all the accompanying baggage. The baggage is being judged by the historical limitations of others with the same label that have preceded them over the past decades. The perception of limitations results in limited opportunities, and limited opportunities result in self-fulfilling prophecies. Every child, regardless of their issues and labels, needs to be perceived as a totally unique individual with unlimited potential and needs to be provided with real opportunities and the reality is the more issues they have, the more they need. We love seeing children exceed others’ expectations.

The power and potential of the human brain is literally unfathomable.


“I used to look at a page and see words. Now I see worlds.”

5981I received a note from one of our dads today. Simon has his three children on program. Today he shared a couple of things his son, eight-year-old Noah, had just said. Noah is smart, fun, a fledging stand-up comic, has very good processing, and academically now is on a 5th grade level.

We have Noah working on math using Khan Academy; and when his dad asked him how it was going, Noah told him he had figured out how many paperclips it would take to reach the amount of kilograms in an elephant. According to Noah, a paperclip evidently weighs 0.0005 kg. So there–you can now go figure it out yourself. Very cool!

Noah just finished reading a chapter book and told his dad that he had read every word in the book, even about the author, (but not the copyright page). Then he said, “I used to look at a page and see words. Now I see worlds.” You have to love it.

Making Kids Smart Isn’t Tough

On my last trip I had the great joy of seeing two brilliant little children, one a 2 years old and the other 3, both of whom demonstrated once more what the future could be.  Both of these children, a boy and a girl, have digit spans of 5 (the processing abilities of a typical 6-7-year old and the processing level of many children in junior and senior high school and, sadly, many adults as well. Both of these children have been using our NACD Cognition Coach apps, and the results are right there in your face.  These little wonders are absolutely delightful, and true to their superior processing skills, they are very conversational, have good vocabularies, mature in every way, inquisitive, happy and really smart. Talk about fun!

Being with these kids and seeing what “smart” is and realizing that this is something that virtually all children could achieve is very reassuring and motivating.  We really can all be smarter, and successful outcomes in education should be focused much less on curriculum and much, much more on simply making kids smarter.  I would love to have the time to do a little study, and to test successful people, such as entrepreneurs, the top doctors, attorneys, scientists, etc. on elementary and middle school curriculum.  I know what the results would be, I would just like to have the data to make the point.  The point being that memorizing a bunch of stuff to take a test and then forgetting it doesn’t produce success. If we built a list of the actual core knowledge of successful people it wouldn’t look much like the stuff that most school curriculums are made of. I do however suspect that one of the common ingredients found in successful people, be they plumbers who have build a successful company or the successful developer, the neurosurgeon or engineer is that they are smart.

Making kids really smart isn’t all that tough; we have been developing techniques to develop short term and working memory the foundation for cognition for forty years and through our work with children and adults with developmental issues and helping them maximize their potential we have have really learned how to help typical children be truly exceptional. In about time then a child spends in brushing their teeth everyday targeted input can dramatically accelerate the process that can make them smarter. Smarter means, they enjoy a richer life, learn faster and better, derive more from their educations, increase their life and career options and raise the odds for living a happy and successful life. Smart is good and smarter is better and you simply can’t be too smart.

No More One Liners

Yes, I hear you but…senate_photo

I just read a New York Times article about the trauma over passing the spending bill and the “Demise of Compromise.” One of the more telling pieces of the article was the following paragraph:

“With both parties increasingly playing to their base constituencies and their sometimes absolutist positions, many lawmakers are apt to oppose legislation that does not meet their demands in an all-or-nothing approach, making bipartisan measures like the $1.1 trillion spending bill extraordinarily difficult to achieve.”

I see so much of what is happening, be it in politics or the streets, to be a reflection of so many peoples’ inability to really understand and process information. We have reached a point where we have enough people only processing the “one liners” that they are driving what is happening to us socially and politically as a nation. If you cannot or are unwilling to process that incredibly important word “but” we are in big trouble. Very few issues are simple or just black and white; and chances are if you can put it on a bumper sticker or on a placard that it is a gross oversimplification of what is. We cannot build and direct our society or our nation based on gross oversimplification of important and complex issues.

Do our people in office represent us? Sadly, they possibly do; but they don’t represent me very often. They are trying to keep their jobs and represent all the folks that believe the “one liners” that have been created by the advertising folks who come up with them for the political parties in the first place. Unless those running our country are free to process and communicate a “but” and really represent the complexity of issues, there will be very little compromise, progress, or representation of what is.

Perhaps we should pass a new law outlawing “one liners” and create bumper stickers and placards with: “No More One Liners.”

Oh, but what about, “Don’t cross the street without looking both ways”? “Brush your teeth after every meal.” “No taxation without representation.” There are some good ones. Ain’t nothing simple.

We simply need to be smarter.

“Read Slowly and Change Your Brain”

wall-street-journalThe banner across the top of today’s Wall Street Journal read: ”Read Slowly and Change Your Brain.” The accompanying article didn’t actually extol the benefits of reading reaaallly slowly, but rather the benefits of actually reading books, literature, and fiction, which is sadly becoming a more and more rare phenomenon.  Apparently the number of those over 18 who read is getting smaller and smaller. A study in 2011 indicated that only 76% of this population had actually read a book in a year. The article is worth a read, a slow read, not a scan or an “F” pattern read. (An “F” pattern read is reading the first line, then scanning down the left side and reading just the first few words on the left side of a few lines.)

The article lists the benefits of properly reading books. This included:

  • Deepens empathy and provides pleasure
  • Heightens concentration
  • Enhances comprehension, particularly of complex material
  • Improves listening skills
  • Enriches vocabulary
  • Reduces stress

Not a bad list, and let’s add relaxing, entertaining, thought provoking, educational, and, yes, it does change your brain. What a deal!

One of my ongoing concerns about our society is what I perceive to be a drop in processing skills. The lower the processing ability (short-term and working memory), the more simplistic is thought. The ability to think is rather important, and people who can think seem to becoming fewer and further between. I’m girding myself as we get started in a new election cycle. I hate to see and hear one more election that is orchestrated by those who should be selling breakfast cereal rather than explaining the views of a politician in one-liners. Perhaps if the majority of the population could process better and understand more, we could actually look at issues in depth and we wouldn’t need to sum everything up with a one-liner.

Take some time and read a book; actually, lots of books.