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LDAM has proudly offered the Arrowsmith Program since September 2013.

It’s our goal to empower students to become

effective, confident, and self-directed learners.

Arrowsmith is based on more than three decades of cutting-edge neuroplasticity research. The program helps strengthen our student's brains by isolating weak cognitive areas that underlie learning difficulties.

Neuroplasticity refers to structural and functional changes in the brain that are brought about by training and experience.

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Arrowsmith is founded on two important areas of scientific research:

  1. Different areas of the brain work together to carry out complex mental activities such as reading, writing and mathematics. A weakness in one area can affect multiple learning processes.

  1. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change physically in response to stimuli and activity.
    It can develop new neuronal/synaptic interconnections, which allows it to develop new functions believed to be the physical mechanism of learning.

The program has proven effective for students having difficulty with reading, writing and mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, problem solving, visual and auditory memory, non-verbal learning, attention, processing speed and dyslexia.

For more information on the Arrowsmith Program please visit their website.

Program Details

The Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba hosts three versions of the Arrowsmith Program.

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8 classes a day

Duration: September till June

Overview: Full time students participate in 7 classes of Arrowsmith Cognitive exercises and one class of academic tutoring.

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4 classes a day

Duration: September till June

Overview: part-time students participate in 4 classes of Arrowsmith Cognitive exercises per day.

4 hours per week

Duration: September till June

Overview: this program focuses on enhancing the students Symbol Relations cognitive function. This program is flexible, and students are in class for 4 hours per week.


Learning Outcomes

Motor Symbol Sequencing

Ability to learn and produce a written sequence of symbols.

Common Indicators

  • Messy handwriting

  • Miscopying

  • Irregular spelling

  • Speech rambling

  • Careless written errors in mathematics, poor written performance

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Improve handwriting

  • Reduce careless errors in written work

  • Develop fine motor skills

  • Sequential motor memory and motor planning in writing

  • Increased capacity for hand‐eye coordination

Symbol Relations

Ability to understand the relationships among two or more ideas or concepts.

Common Indicators

  • Difficulty with reading comprehension

  • Trouble with mathematical reasoning

  • Trouble with logical reasoning

  • Difficulty reading an analog clock

  • Problem understanding cause and effect

  • Reversals of ‘b’‐‘d’; ‘p’‐‘q’ (younger students and in more severe cases)

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop ability to read a clock

  • Improve capacity necessary for understanding relationships between concepts necessary for logical and mathematical reasoning

  • Reading comprehension that affect all aspects of curriculum and life

Memory for Information/ Instructions

Ability to remember chunks of auditory information.

Common Indicators

  • Trouble remembering oral instructions

  • Difficulty following lectures or extended conversations

  • Problem acquiring information through listening

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop auditory memory and the capacity to remember and follow oral instructions and retain information for learning

  • Improve the capacity to remember chunks of information

Predicative Speech

Ability to see how words and numbers interconnect sequentially into fluent sentences and procedures.

Common Indicators

  • Problem putting information into one’s own words

  • Speaking in incomplete sentences

  • Difficulty using internal speech to work out consequences

  • Trouble following long sentences

  • Breakdown of steps in mathematical procedures

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Improve the capacity to understand a sentence of increasing difficulty and length

  • Improve the ability to put information into own words

  • Develop the capacity for the sense of how symbols (words and numbers) interconnect sequentially

  • Improve the ability to follow procedures in mathematics

  • Develop the ability to write and speak in complete sentences.

Broca’s Speech Pronunciation

Ability to learn to pronounce syllables and then integrate them into the stable and consistent pronunciation of a word.

Common Indicators

  • Mispronouncing words

  • Avoiding using words because of uncertainty of pronunciation

  • Limited ability to learn and use phonics

  • Difficulty learning foreign languages

  • Difficulty thinking and talking at the same time

  • Flat and monotone speech with lack of rhythm and intonation

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop/improve the capacity for sound‐symbol correspondence

  • Develop the phonemic memory necessary for the phonetic aspect of reading

  • Develop the ability to pronounce multi-syllabic words correctly

  • Develop the ability to read with greater oral expression

Symbolic Thinking

Ability to develop and maintain plans and strategies through the use of language.

Common Indicators

  • Problem being self‐directed and self‐organized in learning

  • Limited mental initiative

  • Difficulty keeping attention relevantly oriented to the demands of a task necessary for completion

  • Difficulty thinking, planning, and problem solving

  • Trouble seeing the main point

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop/improve the ability to grasp the main point of written or orally presented material

  • Develop the ability to state the main idea of a selection using one’s own words

  • Develop the ability to maintain plans and strategies for problem solving

  • Develop the capacity to express ideas more clearly in writing

  • Develop the capacity to self‐direct

  • To develop initiative and to remain focused on tasks to completion

Symbol Recognition

Ability to visually recognize and remember a word or symbol.

Common Indicators

  • Poor word recognition

  • Slow reading

  • Difficulty with spelling

  • Trouble remembering symbol patterns such as mathematical or chemical equations

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop/improve the capacity to visually recognize and remember words or symbols necessary for reading, spelling and mathematics

Lexical Memory

Ability to remember several unrelated words.

Common Indicators

  • Problems with associative memory

  • Trouble following auditory information

  • Trouble learning names of things such as animals, places, people, colors, days of the week

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Improve vocabulary development and auditory memory for words

Artifactual Thinking

Ability to register and interpret non‐verbal information and plan and problem solve non‐verbally.

Common Indicators

  • Problems interpreting non‐verbal information such as body language

  • Facial expression and voice tone

  • Weak social skills

  • Difficulty perceiving and interpreting one’s own emotions

  • Difficulty thinking, planning, or problem solving non‐verbally

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop the capacity for non‐verbal thinking and problem‐solving

  • Develop the ability to interpret body language, facial expression and voice tone and to respond appropriately in interpersonal interactions

  • Develop ability to interpret and modulate his/her own emotions

Supplementary Motor

Ability to carry out internal sequential mental operations, such as mental mathematics.

Common Indicators

  • Finger counting, trouble retaining numbers in one’s head

  • Difficulty making change

  • Problem learning math facts

  • Poor sense of time management

  • Difficulty with time signature in music

Common Changes After Arrowsmith

  • Develop the capacity for number sense

  • Develop the capacity for carrying out internal sequential

  • Mental computation of addition and subtraction

  • Develop the ability to use time wisely through scheduling and organization

  • Develop an understanding of quantification related to money, time, and space

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Our programming is available on a part-time or full-time basis to people of all ages.