Fit Brains Learn Better (Part 1)

Fit Brains Learn better

Early this year I attended the fist Brain Fitness Conference organized by BrainFit Philippines. Because I registered, I received an update from BrainFit that they will be launching a book entitled “Fit Brains Learn Better! A Chronicle of 12 Years of Brain Fitness Training.” Interesting sounding book isn’t it? Why? First, I it was only less than a year that I became aware of the fact that there is a certain thing such as brain fitness. Second, finding out that brain fitness has been existent for more than a decade is quite overwhelming for me. Naturally, I am interested to read more about this topic.

 

Fit Brains Learn better

 

My child who has ADHD took a COGMAP from BrainFit this month. Due to persistent rains this past two weeks, we haven’t had a meeting to discuss the results of the COGMAP yet. I am really anticipating hearing what the results of the standardized tests are. I promised the readers that I will post an objective account of our experience of taking the COGMAP here soon so watch out for that.

 

For now let’s talk about the science behind brain fitness. Are you ready?

To do this, I’d like to share information that was also passed to me by BrainFit explaining what they do in their assessment and programs. I have added my questions based from the information they gave me and answers which I think satisfied my query.

 

Why is a COGMAP needed or as you say in BrainFit “Why do you need to asses the child’s unique brain fitness profile?

 

Just like measuring how heavy a weight your arm muscles can lift before embarking on a physical training programme, measuring a student’s brain fitness level or cognitive skills helps us to understand the ‘mental weights’ the student should be lifting. It allows the trainer to determine the most optimal programme for the student to embark on based on his or her unique profile.

 

What is a CogMap?

 

CognitiveMAP™ is a proprietary process that BrainFit Studio uses to measure the brain fitness level of a student prior to brain fitness enhancement. Besides allowing us to identify areas for improvement, this analysis of one’s cognitive skills also enable us to exploit the key mental strengths for success and peak performance.

 

What does a CognitiveMAP™ evaluate?

 

CognitiveMAP™ evaluates a student’s cognitive skills in the 5 brain fitness systems of:

1) Visual processing

2) Auditory processing

3) Sensory-Motor processing

4) Attention and Memory

5) Social-Emotional functioning

 

These 5 systems are important because whether you are learning to play golf, play the piano or solve a Math problem, they form the foundation of our “engine for learning”.

 

For example, to be successful in the activities above, accurate listening (auditory brain fitness) to the coach’s instructions, the tune of music from the piano or the explanation from the teacher about the new Math concept is vital.

 

Our visual system (visual brain fitness) further supports our listening system as we watch the coach’s golf swing closely, look at the music scores line by line or study the Math diagrams the teacher has drawn on the blackboard.

 

Our emotional system (social-emotional brain fitness) keeps our anxiety at bay and our motivation high as we learn these tasks for the first time, so that our attention system (attention brain fitness) can work efficiently to keep us focused on the task at hand and our memory system can retain the information for future use.

 

Finally, we need our motor skills (sensory-motor brain fitness) to execute the new golf swing, manipulate our fingers swiftly on the keyboard to play the tune or control the pencil to copy the Math diagram accurately onto our workbook.

 

To understand the strengths and weaknesses of these 5 brain fitness systems means understanding the health of our “learning engine”

 

Is the COGMAP a standardised test?

 

At Brainfit Studio, we use internationally recognized standardized tests to evaluate our students’ brain fitness levels. We are all familiar with the idea of tests in school. A standardised test is another kind of test. It is used to measure a child’s ability in a particular area (in this instance brain fitness) compared to other children of the same age.

 

Standardised tests are universally conducted and scored in a consistent manner, allowing a wealth of statistical data to be collected. CognitiveMAP™ thus enables us to determine the “fitness level” of a student’s cognitive abilities by comparing his standardised tests scores against the data for his peers. We can then identify which of the 5 brain fitness systems require enhancement and craft a brain fitness programme that addresses this need.

 

Top 5 Parental Concerns BrainFit

 

What kind of program can I expect from BrainFit?

 

BrainFit offers brain training designed not only for individuals to succeed academically, but holistically. Coming from that context, BrainFit explains how they tackle an issue commonly faced by parents such as temper tantrums and inappropriate behaviour.

 

“Few people understand the reason behind temper tantrums and inappropriate responses of children.  For some children, these fits are caused by their incompetence to identify what they feel and how to respond. Thus, a good way to start the program is to know oneself; participants learned how to identify positive and negative feelings and how situations contribute to these feelings. The students developed a sense of understanding and self-awareness. It is often said that knowing the problem is 50% of the solution; and so the next is to learn how to use these awareness and turn it into actions through expressing oneself appropriately. Through the program, the participants learned several relaxation techniques and thinking skills on dealing with stress. Finally, communication skills another thing that adds to children’s frustrations is their inability to communicate their needs and feelings to others. Through the program, the participants learned how to deal with family and friends better. At their last day, students were given a chance to apply the decision-making, communication, and coping skills they have learned to friend and family situations.

 

Parents’ participation, as mentioned in the beginning, plays an important role in the program. They were made aware of what their children have been going through and learning, to provide more opportunities for them to know their children more. They also learned the techniques used from the program, to take over the role of the emotions coach. After all, the two programs only lasted for a couple of sessions; the real challenge here is to provide continuous support and opportunities to apply the skills in their own lives.

 

That folks is Special Education Philippines’ preview about BrainFit’s COGMAP and its respective brain fitness programs. This September 2013, BrainFit Studio’s founder, Cheryl Chia will be launching a book entitled “Fit Brains Learn Better! A Chronicle of 12 Years of Brain Fitness Training” According to BrainFit Philippines, the book aims to inform the readers about what brain fitness is, its importance and how it can accelerate the capability of a child to learn. The book also aims to share different success stories from 6 different Asian countries where Brain Fitness Training Programs were introduced.

 

To contact BrainFit Studio here in the Philippines, you can get in touch with them at:

BrainFit telephone numbers: 725-8500, 0917-5991992  Email: brainfitph@yahoo.com

 

I haven’t received my copy but I am particularly interested with the quantitative data they can share about their programs. I hope they do and how does the Philippine number differ with the results from different countries.

 

Special Education Philippines is privileged to share BrainFit to its readers. Find out below how you can take this opportunity.
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37 Comments  to  Fit Brains Learn Better (Part 1)

  1. Green Dei says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child to address her weakness and problem areas that needs proper attention, the way you defined it “knowing the problem is 50% of the solution.” And the rest is up to us (parents) how to extensively improve on it and extend guidance. Knowing the root cause at an early age will definitely help my child in her growing up years.

  2. Reich says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child so his teachers, guidance counselor, and I can better address his weaknesses and develop his strengths.

  3. Regina says:

    “I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because i’d like to enhance her skills whether cognitive or in other aspects.”

  4. I would like to know the Cognitive profile of my child because____.

    Reading the information above is just the same with doing a thorough assessment of children both in regular and special education classes. Though, BrainFitness was able to to develop CognitiveMap in a sense that it has broken down its domains in a higher level that would address IMMEDIATE concerns of children that will help them cope with the normal environment.

    It is indeed important to know the child’s profile so learning would be smooth sailing for pupils and also stress free for teachers like me. Students learn faster and better if they are happy and comfortable. It is very important to know where the child is in terms of academics needs; identify their present level of performance then start from there and surely a positive or certain type of development/improvement will occur. All things are possible if done with faith in God.

  5. Fred says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because he is so good in memorizing details of various anime and card games, yet seems to have so much difficulty with memorizing in school subjects. I hope to gain more insight into his multiple intelligences.

  6. Cristina says:

    I really thought BrainFit would also affect an adult. Can our I.Q. be improved with it?

  7. raindeocampo says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because every parent wants only what’s best for their child and I believe that knowing your child’s cognitive profile is a great step to understanding what our child really need. :)

  8. leo rances garcia says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because i want to enhance my son learning skills

  9. I want to know if my niece fits on this program. There are times that she’s shy and we didn’t know what to do because she’s too quiet in her class.

  10. vance says:

    I am very interested sith the book. I’d like to get a copy too. I am pretty sure more people will benefit from it. Sometimes we tend to forget the most important one-our brain. This book will certainly give better awareness on how to understand and make our brains in proper fitness.

  11. Andreea Leau says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive profile of my child because I would like to develop him/her the organisational skills. I think this should the first priority thing because the parents are their for him/her, but they can be there for all the time, and sometimes they have to learn to be independent and take care by them self.

  12. Franc Ramon says:

    I also think that we should have a lot of brain exercise to keep it sharp. I remember loading myself with puzzles before and timing how long I solve them just to keep me sharp and somehow, I feel it works.

  13. Bam Amor says:

    Brain exercise is really a must for everyone to do. doing some analytic exercises makes one brain active.

  14. Kai Sensei says:

    Being a teacher, I can easily see the benefits of this program. Will keep this in mind to parents who would like to have their child’s abilities enhanced.

  15. Art says:

    So how much is this book?

  16. Fred Hawson says:

    Does the book require attending a special Cog Map class to be able to use it? Sometimes books like these can be quite technical and not too useful for the regular parent.

    • Teacher ia says:

      Hello Fred,

      The book is not required to take the CogMap. The CogMap is made up of standardized tests used to measure the five pillars of the brain of your child. The book contains facts and data collected by BrainFit for 12 years since using its program. For researchers and educators like us this information is important to see trends, needs and behavior of the human brain to be able to improve the educational programs we teach to our students.

  17. emiliana says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because in so doing I would be able employ effective strategies in developing her potentials.

  18. Mark Morfe says:

    “I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because as a dad, I want to know what would be her needs in all aspects as she grows older

  19. Gian Pacaña says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my FUTURE child because I want him/her to be physically and mentally healthy.

  20. caryn morales says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because i would love to improve more of her skills and would love to learn what’s her weakness.

  21. Imelda Elardo says:

    I would like to know the cognitive Profile of my child so I can focus on things I need to pay more attention and the things that my child can improve more and develop. This maybe helpful for me and the people around him.

  22. Leonardo Llagas says:

    “I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my future child because knowing means to understand, I would like to understand my child more thus making me a better dad who will be able to better provide the cognitive needs of my child.”

  23. Rhozallino Ramones says:

    “I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because i want to know the learning abilities of my child and correct it and enchanced.”

  24. jamelyn buencuchillo says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive profile of my child because i want to know my child even more. I think this is a good way to determine the needs for our children

  25. tanya ortha says:

    I would like to know the cognitive profile of my child in order that I may make better choices and plans for his curricular and exta-curricular programs. It would likewise help us prepare activities we do as a family. We love variety and we enjoy being busy especially when we are together. It would be better if the things we do enrich them where they need it most.

  26. arra odeza says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because I want to enhance her ability if there was a need to

  27. Mario Loumele Estrañero says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because as a parent knowing my child’s abilities and weaknesses would help us decide on what aspect he/she best excel and on what are those that needed improvement. I want my child to become the best that she can be and I’ll guide her all throughout the way but first, I need to know more about her cognitive abilities aside from what we commonly see in her. :)

  28. Allan Reyes says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because I want her to be the best she can be.

  29. mary joy supetran says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because ____.”

    I find my son as a hyper active kid. he always bullying her sisters and always want a noisy sorrounding. if he noticed that the house is so quiet he is going to let her sisters cry just to make noise.

  30. Genzel says:

    This book will be very helpful to all parents out there. How I wish this was present years ago to be used by my parents too.

  31. levy says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because this will help me, his pre-school teachers and therapist to create the best program for him.

  32. Ana Marie says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because in this way I can help him achieve his full potential.

  33. Nelson Guevara says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because I would like to know what areas need to be developed based on his strengths and weaknesses.

  34. christian nalica says:

    I would like to know the Cognitive Profile of my child because each child is different and needs a different kind of attention

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