Arrowsmith program for children with learning difficulties comes to Brisbane

Arrowsmith School Brisbane

A learning program which promises to improve a range of specific learning difficulties, is now available in a number of locations in South East Queensland.

Based on the application of neuroscience research, the Arrowsmith program’s premise is that it’s possible to address learning difficulties by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities.

Arrowsmith program Brisbane

What is the Arrowsmith program?

The goal of the Arrowsmith program is to strengthen learning capacities, rather than teach ways to compensate for learning difficulties. The program has been operating internationally since 1978, and more recently in Australia.

Developed by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young in Canada, the program aims to help students of all ages become effective, confident and self-directed learners.

Essentially, the Arrowsmith program does not teach content or follow the Australian curriculum, but instead, it exercises the brain of the learner so that it can learn to register, absorb, retain and process content and improve academic, social and vocational skills.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young has also authored a best-selling book, The woman who changed her brain, which tells of her own learning struggles and her journey of discovery.

Over time, Barbara went from a girl who read and wrote everything backwards and was always getting lost, to a woman who successfully graduated from university with a master’s degree in school psychology.

Barbara says that up to 20 per cent of the general population may have learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, which she believes could be overcome with cognitive training.

To find out more about the Arrowsmith Program, you can watch this 60 Minutes segment –

Where can I access the Arrowsmith program?

  • The program is offered worldwide in more than 90 organisations, and in the following locations in South East Queensland:
  • Silkwood School, Mount Nathan
  • Hopes and Dreams Foundation, Brisbane
  • Darling Downs Christian School, Toowoomba
  • Brisbane Boys College, Brisbane
  • The Southport School, Southport
  • Empowering Lives Gaythorne

The program is taught by trained Arrowsmith teachers, and the program includes tracing, aural, reading and computer exercises targeting the weakest cognitive areas of the brain. Every student is taught a curriculum that has been tailored to their individual cognitive capacity.

Is there any scientific research to back the program?

You can read their research here

To investigate if the Arrowsmith program may be of benefit to your child, parents can complete the Arrowsmith Program Cognitive Profile Questionnaire on their website.

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