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The Learning-Ready Resource Center is off and running!

The August newsletter announces the opening of a Northampton site for the brain-based work we want to share with families, the surrounding communities, and other schools.  We are very excited about the services we can offer and hope you can pass the information along.

Check it out HERE

Posted on July 26th 2016 in Frontpage
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Reading a book

To accompany your reading life I want to suggest the book How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. It has had at least 19 paperback printings. The one in my hand is dated 1967.  This book outlines rules and principles for proper reading of books, and admonishes schools to focus more time on reading and the arts, and good literature as well. It’s message has stood the test of time. One interesting suggestion is to teach students how to read a whole book through before attending a lecture. There are many more suggestions like this one. Even with its serious tone, it is a delight to read.

Posted on June 27th 2016 in Frontpage
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Learning Ready Resource Center

NEARI has expanded its services to include the Learning-Ready Resource Center. The LRRC offers tutoring, assessment, coaching, training and consulting to children, adolescents and adults using a brain-based perspective.  Clients come with learning, behavioral, self-regulation or developmental issues that other interventions have been unable to resolve. The service is wide-ranging and works with clients with neurodevelopmental delays, basic academic challenges, sensory motor and executive functioning issues, stress-coping problems, and learning style differences. The Center staff also work with parents and professionals who want to incorporate evidence-based, neuroscience practices into their teaching, parenting, and advocacy work. To learn more about this added service, visit our new website: or call 413 887-5328.

Posted on May 11th 2016 in Frontpage
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A personal example of executive functioning woes

I did well in grade school, middle school and high school. As the years past it became more difficult to succeed but I still pulled it off. By college I had developed ways to manage the voluminous amounts of information I had to process, but I was constantly anxious and feeling bad about myself. I took massive notes, writing down almost every word of the professors’ lectures. I spent hours highlighting and rewriting the material, unable to make outlines easily like my fellow students. I could categorize, prioritize, and summarize in my head but putting that on paper was difficult. And often my conclusions, bins and most important points were different from other students’. Thank goodness for my husband, who planned out each paper I had to write and edited my essays. I wish executive functioning skills had been an area of teacher training back then. I wish teachers had known how to recognize these problems, been able to assess my confused brain and provide some strategies to make learning easier. Mostly I hope they do now!

Posted on April 10th 2016 in Frontpage
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The March newsletter has been posted. It is about auditory processing.

Hello, I am happy to say the March newsletter is now out. Auditory processing is a new area but one that is critical for teachers to be aware of.  Developmental vision problems are easier to see–that a student cannot track across a page, cannot easily copy, or squints. But with auditory processing, one can assume that the student is just hyperactive, distracted or angry for a reason related to his or her brain psychology, habit  or family history, not auditory input and interpretation. Particularly for students with histories of trauma, portions of the brain related to auditory processing become damaged.  But these are hidden issues. Please write with any questions you might have. I am happy to share more information about this important skill for learning.

Posted on March 4th 2016 in Frontpage
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I am ready to share stories about newsletter topics and blog with you!


I now have a web page and place to blog!  There are five years of newsletters you can pick from or you can begin with this March 2016 ‘Smoothies’ for the brain that will be sent out next week. It talks about the important learning  skills related to auditory processing, a relatively new area to schools interested in brain-compatible instruction. At the NEARI School we work with students with different kinds of auditory processing issues.  When my colleagues and I first studied this area, we assessed our own auditory processing skills. As a result I learned that I had a processing deficit (and normal hearing). I added some strategies to my life and work day, and felt the changes immediately. I made sure to sit near the front in meetings and trainings, I always took notes and asked for visual representations of what I was learning, and got up and moved around regularly to activate my senses. Just knowing I had trouble interpreting what was said because of a brain issue, I felt less guilty that I was just being difficult and agitated because I was choosing not to pay attention. Do you have such a story? Or does one of your friends or students have a processing problem that you have dealt with?  I am eager to hear from you. Questions, stories of success, resources you find useful, suggestions for discussion…


Posted on February 26th 2016 in Frontpage