Illawarra school giving hope to families of children with learning difficulties

 Suzanne Mammone - Guest Author from The Illawarra Grammar School Wed 14 March 18


Illawarra school giving hope to families of children with learning difficulties.

Most parents would agree that supporting and guiding a child through their years at school is not always smooth sailing!

Navigating the social and emotional highs and lows can be downright challenging. As if our children don’t have enough to cope with, an estimated 20 per cent of school-aged children also experience learning difficulties.

Children can face difficulties in learning to read (dyslexia), write (dysgraphia), do maths (dyscalculia) or in co-ordination (dyspraxia). However, many parents also describe the impact of learning difficulties on areas of life outside school ~ relationships, involvement in sports, and plummeting self-esteem and confidence as they struggle to learn, fall behind their peers and develop a poor perception of their 'ability to learn' which can demotivate them further.

Here at Parents Guide Illawarra, we love being able to report about our area leading the charge in supporting our school children. Especially those that face the challenges of schooling years but with the added complexity of a learning difficulty.

The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS) in Wollongong has led the way forward in offering a remarkable cognitive program that has been unlocking the potential for students who struggle with those learning difficulties.

TIGS wisely invested in up skilling and training key teaching staff to offer 'The Arrowsmith Program' which addresses the causes of a learning difficulty rather than managing the symptoms. We interviewed Suzanne Mammone from TIGS who explained all about The Arrowsmith Program and the profound impact it's having...

Via this powerful cognitive 'brain training', a child's cognitive pathways are strengthened through exercises designed within individualised programs.  Put simply, this 're-wires the brain' and enables a child's learning capacity to blossom. Arrowsmith is also based on the application of 35 years of Neuroscientific Research.

Whilst it has been difficult to track the impact of Arrowsmith under controlled research criteria, the beneficial impact of the Arrowsmith Program is indicated clearly by the positive case studies from the families whose children have enrolled. Further research on the Arrowsmith Program is also currently being undertaken by Southern Illinois University and the University of British Colombia.

The Arrowsmith Program has been providing thrilling results from case studies for over thirty years internationally. TIGS is one of just six forward-thinking schools currently offering the life-changing Arrowsmith Program in NSW. And, you don't have to enrol your child at TIGS to access the program privately as it can be done in a part time capacity after normal school hours.

The case studies out of TIGS make for compelling reading. A mother of a girl enrolled in the Arrowsmith Program at TIGS attributed the Arrowsmith Program with making an invaluable change in the lives of their family. Her daughter made significant advances in literacy and numeracy coupled with very positive changes in her non-academic life. Before joining the Arrowsmith Program, her parents needed to remind her to greet people, including close family members. Since being involved in the Arrowsmith Program, she now actively engages in meaningful two-way conversations.

TIGS strongly believe that everyone has gifts and abilities to use to contribute to the community. As a result TIGS offers this program through a variety of avenues. High school students at TIGS can access the program part-time program. Students from other schools from eight years old through to adults can access the program part-time.

For those families across the nation that are choosing to access the home-based Motor Symbol Sequencing (MSS) Arrowsmith Program, TIGS provide exercises that are undertaken at home with a one hour lesson fortnightly at TIGS.

One TIGS student was struggling in mainstream school and his parents became increasingly concerned about the widening gap between him and his peers. Prior to enrolling in TIGS Arrowsmith program he was unable to read, had poor handwriting and rarely completed work. Since his involvement with the Arrowsmith Program he now reads books, feels a sense of accomplishment at completing work and comments that he now understands topics he’s being taught.

Families as far away as Tasmania have sent their children to TIGS so they can access this life changing program.

So for all parents who are worried about the impact of your child's learning difficulties - there is hope! From the case studies generated by Arrowsmith, learning difficulties can be managed.

According to the case studies - with training and experience we can rewire our brain and access a world of possibilities. The life changing Arrowsmith Program offered by TIGS could help your child achieve their potential and reclaim their self-esteem.

If you are worried about your child's learning, please talk to their teacher and make an appointment with your doctor to get further guidance.

For additional details about the Arrowsmith Program and the eligibility of a student to participate, please click to access TIGS website, or call to make an appointment with Suzanne Mammone on 02 4220 0200.

With our thanks to Suzanne and TIGS for sharing this hopeful and inspiring news with Parents Guide Illawarra!



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