A Personal Journey Into the World of the Brain: Shaping The Mind/Function and Plasticity Barbara talks about her journey of discovery, the lines of research she combined and the outcomes achieved over her 35 years as an educator and researcher. She will describe a number of learning disorders, from those that impact the learner in school to those that affect us in life. She will discuss ‘cognitive glitches’ – those areas of weakness that we are all familiar with and often explain away by saying, “I am just not good at navigating, recognizing faces, (fill in the blank).” She will discuss ‘cognitive mismatches’ – situations we find ourselves in where the demand of the task is incompatible with our cognitive functioning and the challenges this presents. Principles of neuroplasticity and the factors leading to both positive and negative brain change will be discussed. The Arrowsmith Program: Addressing Learning Disabilities – A Cognitive Approach Barbara talks about her journey of discovery, the lines of research she combined and the outcomes achieved over her 35 years as an educator and researcher. She will describe a number of learning disorders, from those that impact the learner in school to those that affect us in life. The focus will be on learning disorders that impact academic performance such as reading and writing and some of the outcome studies demonstrating cognitive and academic performance change in these areas as a result of students engaging in the Arrowsmith Program’s cognitive exercises. The Intimate Connection Between Mental Health Issues and Learning Disabilities In this presentation Barbara briefly describes her own personal struggle with learning disabilities and its impact on her mental health in context with the research findings in this area. The talk focuses on the research findings linking mental health outcomes related to learning disabilities supported by the ‘voices’ of individual students, ages 11 to 63, describing their experiences. The impact of learning disabilities on the individual and society become clear. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain (Author talk) Barbara’s talk covers the personal and the universal. The personal is Barbara’s journey of discovery driven by her hunt for a solution to her own debilitating learning disorders leading to the integration of two lines of neuroscience research. The universal is that we all have a brain and by furthering our knowledge of how our brain shapes us through mediating our understanding of the world we can gain insight into our functioning and that of others. And most promising, that through our growing understanding neuroplasticity, we now have the knowledge to develop treatments to shape our brains. It is a journey of understanding and transformation. This talk is supported by readings from Barbara’s Internationally best-selling book, “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain”.
Alumna of Honour Award from the University of Guelph
2010 Brain Fitness Awards - Arrowsmith School named Most Innovative Special Education School