We completed the first lot of 30 day exercises in the middle of my daughter doing some neurofeedback for her concentration/attention issues and she was able to complete the training in half the time than they had anticipated. In the assessment you are to click on “x” and ignore the “o” when they appear randomly on the screen for 15 minutes. Grace got 100% in the assessment by correctly clicking on all the “x”s that flashed up on the screen which is something the trainer had not seen anyone else do before. So as you have stated, anecdotally this seems to happen all the time.
We still continued the relevant primitive reflex exercises for about another 60 days until they were all integrated.
I wanted to first thank you so much for your dyslexia program! It is laid out so well and easy to use.
I just screened a student who has struggled with reading and staying focused with visual tasks.
I screened her for dyslexia before I was aware of your screening and she passed fine. However, when I screened her vision and working memory using your program and you-tube videos, she shows visual issues and also working memory weakness.
The mother has been doing the reflex exercises with her for a little over 30 days now and wants me to do the Equipping Minds cognitive part for her. She will do the vision and auditory parts.
Thank you for your help! You have been a blessing!
I have an autistic student who has never allowed the hair dresser to wash her hair before cutting it. Yesterday after doing starfish every school day since September, she had her hair washed with no difficulty before getting it cut. Everyone was thrilled!!
Special Education Teacher in New York State
The following is from a 60-something Speech Pathologist who had a traumatic brain injury 8 years ago, and has been going through the Brain Advancement Coaching program. (www.brainadvancementteam.com):
As you know I am interested in repeating this wonderful, helpful and insightful class again. Ha ha ha I thought to say
"enabling". Usually we or I think of enabling as something we do not want to do for others. But the reality boils down to ones perspective. So I will elaborate = yes, this class is
enabling me to grown and gain skills for me. My life is so much better being enrolled and following through on your suggestions. My entire person is benefiting from & with the class.
SO ~ thank you so much!
PS: Plus = the class is truly FUN! and rewarding...... the hard & frustrating parts are just a part of the growing process.
I was at your Poughkeepsie course and it was wonderful! needed to get my own kids from their after school activities so I ran out of there and didn't get the opportunity to thank you. I will be speaking at our monthly faculty meeting on reflexes and I'm going to teach everyone starfish. Thank you so much again!
This exercise is making a huge difference in our lives! Our seven year old son has been receiving OT for the past year for sensory integration issues, including the lack of integration of primitive reflexes. His moro reflex is still rated as severe despite our dilligent and consistent use of OT daily in our home. I found this video during a search for moro reflex integration and was initially impressed by Kathy's thorough explanation of what occurs at the neurological level. My husband and I then both tried the exercise, he could do it, I could not! That was a huge surprise. The next day we started doing the exercise with our son and it had an immediate positive effect. He could not do it on his own for the first two days so we had to help cross over the correct leg as he crossed his arms, but after two days he could do it on his own, and what was more exciting was witnessing his ability and willingness to do the exercise when he started to feel completely overwhelmed. Thank you so much for the video and the great work you are doing, Kathy! You are a blessing in our lives.
Now that we are back to our routine, I have to say I'm impressed. After just a few days of school work, I can see a difference. He was able to recall some muliplication and his handwriting is beautiful. These two areas have been a struggle. I may still have him do some of the exercises that were difficult, but I told him we would give it a week. He is usually pretty good at telling me if he feels a difference. We are still working on emotions which I think will get better as the routine gets more regular. I hoping that his working memory has improved because of the exercises, and he will more easily recall how to spell the works he wants to write.
Again, thank you so much for you support. What a blessing that we found your program!
I wanted to reintroduce myself. My name is Laura Kenney and I was the girl from Oklahoma that had introduced myself because I was very excited about taking your class and was interested in becoming a Brain Trainer. I wanted to let you know a little bit about my experience with your lessons. My daughter is 7 and struggling a lot in school. She cannot do any math, has difficulty knowing where she is at when she is reading. She has troubles with writing and composing anything to write. I did these exercises with her and after a week, she was up to reafing 65 words a minute (she was at 30 a minute prior) and she is recalling more math. I am very excited about this.
Laura Kenney, MOTR/L, CSRS
Just wanted to share what I experienced after completing the Brain Advancement Training with Kathy Johnson. I not only improved in all areas in the 4 months of training evidenced by the pre- and post- test scores; I found my visualization/picture skills vastly improved. I noticed as I drove around the city that I was seeing and re-experiencing the family events at the various areas of sports, scouts and extra curricula’s. Previously, I had driven past and had no recollection, or memory of the events other than I drove to them! Now I experience each practice or event via pictures in my mind which makes for wonderful memories!!!
Laurie McFarlane OTR/L
November 19. 2015
At the beginning of class last year, I hesitantly sacrificed 10 – 12 minutes to do the Maintaining Brains Everyday exercises. I soon found out that I was not sacrificing one moment of time! Not only were we exercising, but we were getting through the entire lesson cycle! My students were more focused and able to remember what I was teaching them! I noticed improved reading, spelling, and handwriting as well as an overall improvement in their classes. Teacher’s started commenting on how much better they were doing in class and wanted to know what we were doing differently. But most of all, the student’s themselves were excited to share with me the changes in themselves. They noticed a huge difference from the inside out!
But what I am amazed about this year is that it all “stuck”! My students are much easier to teach this year. I remember saying, “I can teach them to read, but I don’t know if they will ever be a good speller!” That too seems to be changing. At least now, they can remember the rules and why they have to apply them. Last year, I also incorporated Kathy’s Phonemic Awareness using a metronome with my class. They loved it because they could see how they were improving and were able to do things at much higher speeds. Now, whenever we move from one kit to another, we spend very little time on phonetic spelling and can go right to situational spelling and word formulas.
I would like to say that they are no longer dyslexic, but that has not been my experience. What the program does is allow them to be able to move forward at a much faster pace. Now, I must add, that the district that I am teaching in is growing so fast that we have a large teacher/ student ratio. One on one instruction, or a truly small group could make a huge difference in acquiring skills at a rate that would make you think they were not functioning as a dyslexic. That, I don’t know because I have not had that opportunity.
Reflex integration has really made a huge difference in my son's life. Since beginning to integrate his reflexes, he has become less anxious, (much) less prone to catch colds, and seemed to rapidly mature before our eyes (Moro reflex). He doesn't fall off his chair at dinnertime any more and can run faster than before (TLR). He used to absolutely hate to have to write, crying and begging me to be his scribe for even the smallest homework assignment; yet after correcting his ATNR, he hasn't complained once, and his writing is smaller and neater. (He even said, "Mom, I can see differently!" It felt like a miracle in our household.) He can also catch a ball very competently, instead of fumbling around in frustration as before. His running gait became less floppy after we did the Spinal Galant. Right now we're working on the STNR--I can't wait to see those changes soon!
I attended your course a year and a half ago or so. LOVED IT!! I share the reflexes with my patients all the time. I am an OT. I also do visual efficiency training primarily with adolescent and adult head injury patients. I have a daughter who struggled with learning to read. We have done reflexes and vision therapy and she is now in 6th grade and an A/B student!!!! I am so proud of her.
Anyway, I really admire what you do and I feel that your’s was one of the most helpful courses I have ever been to! Keep up the excellent work and spreading the word!!!
April Doten, OTR/L
Adult Outpatient Rehabilitation
My name is Jenny and I run a business called Educational Moves in Melbourne Australia. I work with children using developmental movement exercises from various programs I am trained in. I am trained in Rhythmic Movement Levels 1,2 & 3, Extra Lesson, the INPP method from Sally Goddard, bilateral Integration, Interactive Metronome, and the Johansen Sound Therapy. As part of my business I am also a Move to Learn Practitioner training teachers and other Therapists in the Move to Learn program and other additional fun exercises they can use in he classroom.
Through my training and experience I have learnt a few different ways to integrate the Moro Reflex. I came across your Star Fish exercise on the web and started using this instead of the other movements I am trained in with two of my clients. I'm have to say I have had great success with this exercise due to the results and also those students that don't have any core strength can easily perform this sitting on a chair with some initial guidance in the correct positioning of the arms and legs.
Developmental Movement Therapist
Certified Move to Learn Practitioner - Victoria
Ph: 0404 894 309
I brought Kathy Johnson to present her course on Primitive Reflexes in order to provide my staff of 11 occupational therapists who were eager to learn more. We decided to make this a conference open to other therapists and clinician and quickly saw that this was a topic many people wanted to learn about. Kathy presented to a room of 65 OT's, PT's, special ed teachers, and behavioral health professionals and the participants remained captivated throughout the presentation. By providing a hands-on learning opportunity, participants could gain a very comprehensive understanding of each reflex. The exercises are easy to understand and demonstrate, and will provide a concrete way to promote carry over for families. Following the conference my staff was excited to begin implementing what they had learned into their therapy and they reported the conference exceeded their expectations.
My name is Abby Wooldridge, and I am a speech-language pathologist in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I attended your course through PESI two weeks ago today on January 29th. I was fascinated by the information I learned and realized that I had retained the reflexes you were talking about. I had so much trouble even trying to complete one starfish exercise while sitting in the class. I went home and tried again and continued to have trouble. It took me four days of doing them (15 times in a row each day!) to finally be able to coordinate all the steps on the first try! For the past two weeks, I have been doing the starfish exercise (only 3x each day now), one minute of palmar reflex exercises, and three slow snow angels. I had already been doing core exercises as recommended by a physical therapist each morning, so I added these exercises into my routine. After doing the snow angels, I felt like I received a better ab workout than I ever have. Then yesterday I noticed the “flipping on of the switch” that you said would happen. I was standing straighter with my shoulders back and head upright. I no longer felt all the pressure on my lower back. For the first time in my life, I had appropriate posture without even trying!! And I maintained it all day whether sitting or standing! I was no longer hunched over with my shoulders up while typing on the computer. For the first time in years, I woke up this morning without excruciating pain in my lower back! I was able to lift my daughter from her crib with ease and without wincing! I am beyond thrilled!! I can’t wait to add in the other exercises to see what other kinds of changes I will notice, but I just had to email you and thank you for sharing your knowledge with others! My life has been changed, and I can’t wait to help other people change their lives, too!
Thank you so much, and God bless!!
Another email from Abby:
I have more exciting news to share! After two weeks of doing the palmar reflex, one of the kids I see is barely lisping at all! His mom emailed me and told me that it literally happened overnight! One night he went to bed still having to think very hard about making his /s/ sound correctly, and the next morning, without even thinking about it, his /s/ sound was clear! She said that he has still lisped on occasion but that this is no longer the norm and that he has begun to correct himself when it happens. I am amazed, and I look forward to sharing even more success stories with you in the future!
Abby Wooldridge, MA, CCC-SLP
Mary Jo Fleishman, age 46, Canton, Ohio In 1 ½ weeks time I have seen some major improvement in my brain function after doing primitive reflex training, auditory training, and visual training. I have always been a thrill seeker when it came to roller coaster parks. However, over the last several years I have started to experience motion sickness which made me feel that my roller coaster days were over. Also, I started having difficulty with attention, focus, and floundering. I couldn’t pay attention to a full conversation. It seemed as though I was always asking to have things repeated or just missed the information. I seemed to drift a lot in my thinking as well and come back wondering what happened to my thoughts. I felt like my memory was getting worse quickly. Also, my ability to scan and read words had slowed as well as my ability to come up with my words quickly. Initially, I had difficulty with the exercises. I suffered from motion sickenss and tightness in my head and overall uneasiness after I completed the exercises the first couple of days. Each day I felt it was getting less. After 1 ½ weeks I no longer experienced those feelings anymore. For the first time I was able to sit through Mass and remember the entire service without drifting in and out of the conversation with other issues on my mind. I feel less foggy and feel like I can plan and stick to my plan more than in the past. My ability to scan and read words is faster. I also have been able to find the words I am looking for vs. struggling during my conversations.
For the last three weeks we have been following the Hypersensitivity and Anxiety App. My son likes to watch the Ipad and this seemed like good solution. He has a very hard time following independently, but each day is getting better and better. Both my children do them every morning and night.
His teacher has remarked that his tension level at school is declining and it takes longer to 'set' him off. His 'screaming' is down and his participation is up. We have noticed his articulation and general 'talking' to us and others is improving. He even told us he hurt his knee at horse riding. Although not actually spoken (in a complete sentence), but this is the first time he has told us something unprompted or without us asking yes or no questions. I am very much looking forward to seeing what is next.
Good Morning Kathy!
As promised, I wanted to give you an update on how our program has progressed at Lakewood Elementary School (Twin Lakes Wisconsin). Our team of three trainers began by working for six weeks with a pilot group of two 3rd graders. We concentrated on the moro and palmar primitive reflexes and the working memory and processing speed cognitive skills. We followed the following basic outline (as suggested by Kathy Johnson during professional development):
As you can see, we incorporated a computer based program at the end of the session. We did this for several reasons: we were awarded a grant through Cog1 and wanted to see their program, we used it as an incentive, and it extended the cognitive exercises in a way that kids really enjoyed... a video game.
As part of the Cog1 grant, we were also the beneficiary of ten Gibson Cognitive Screeners. These were invaluable have really allowed us to track the progress of students. Here are the results of our most neediest student after just six short weeks:
Skill: Pretest > Post (Age equivalent scores)
We had a lot of success, but there is still a lot of work to do. Going forward, we have received parent permission to continue working with our two students from the first pilot group (adding visual processing, fly to the moon, and slow angels). Also, we are adding a second pilot group of second graders; plus, we are adding another session that will be one-to-one with another third grader. We also have a sixth grader who cannot come before or after school, but is using the Cog1 program independently in conjunction with the primitive reflex exercises.
It is our sincere hope that the expanded sample size will provide us with the needed data to make a compelling case for our school board to invest in brain-based intervention strategies. We will be presenting our case to the board in May, days after our second pilot group concludes. Also, we were selected as Brain Awareness Day Grant awardees by BrainWare, which will provide us with 30 BrainWare Safari licenses to use next school year.
Clearly, we have a lot going on here in terms of brain based interventions, and I want to sincerely thank you for your help throughout the process. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Have a nice day!
I want to thank you for making the suggestion to have our daughter Grace tested for food allergies. No one was more surprised than me to find out that she is severely allergic to both gluten and cow's milk. Our dietician put Grace on what is called a reparative diet for 6 weeks. The diet was very hard for the first the week, but then got much easier as she began to feel better. Saying she is feeling better is such an understatement! I can see that she has more energy, her coordination seems to be improving & her thinking has become more clear. We still have a ways to go, but there is no doubt in my mind that without addressing these allergies, all of the other things we are doing with your program would be so much more difficult to achieve. I am hopeful that now that her brain and body do not have to be in a constant battle dealing with the allergies, she can get on to the next steps in the Pyramid and her potential will be able to blossom fully!
Because the reparative diet is so restrictive it became quite clear that in order to support our daughter our whole family needed to embrace the diet as well! I have to tell you, we all feel great! We have more energy & less aches and pains!
I just had to share this with you Kathy because it has really changed everything! Thanks again!
I'm hoping for more specific results by the end of February for the whole class implementation. I'm taking it slow with the teachers so that they respond positively to the reflexes. Right now 3 classrooms are doing the reflexes during November /December as "training" not just for the kids but also so the teachers can get used to the exercises and figure out the best way to implement them. Starting in January the 30 days will officially begin for Starfish and Fingertips. My daughter's teacher has already seen improvements in handwriting. At home I have seen behavior changes in Anna due to the Starfish. She speaks out more when she disagrees with my husband and I...we just have to make sure she can remember to show respect during these moments.
I have 2 parents working on this at home with their children and am hoping a Middle school teacher will do it following her maternity leave. I also have a friend from my bible study who is in her 60's that is willing to start in January. This is a good start and I'm excited to see the results.
I'm a speech therapist for a public school system and this is my first year in the Middle and High school.
Woo! Hoo! I wish you could see Tim now that we have completed thirty days of the reflex exercises. We completed them mid-December but I am just now making the time to write to you.
He is now asking how and why questions (has never done that before), he is making decisions (never done before), he is making jokes (never done before), he is smiling and appears to be happy, he is becoming socially aware, his anxiety seems to be gone! It is UNBELIEVABLE. If I had not witnessed it my self, I would not believe it.
Family, friends, neighbors and the psychiatrist have all asked "what's going on with Tim, he's different?" They have all noticed. We did not tell anyone (except you) that we were going to do the reflex exercises. He says he doesn't notice any difference but it is hard to judge yourself.
I see him going through all the stages of childhood that he did not go through cognitively. This is good and bad. Right now his brain is like a pinball being bounced around. He is taking information in but has nothing to compare it with to help him understand or problem solve. It is somewhat like a deaf person who can all of a sudden hear. They can not make sense of the sounds they hear.
As best we can tell and he can communicate, he is now aware that he is lonely and doesn't know what to do about it.
I tried to encourage him that the problem was a good thing, it shows growth/progress. A month ago he would have had no idea he didn't have any friends. So he is in a precarious position as I see it. He has access to his brain now, but there isn't much for him to access and we need to fill it and develop it.
His psychiatrist is greatly intrigued by all of this. He also wants to do more research on this. I gave him your web address and he fully admits this is working better than 'talk' therapy. He kept pushing talk therapy and I finally told him that wasn't going to work especially when one has a pervasive language disorder, and missing logic and reasoning skills.
All in all we are encouraged by everything. I hope you are encouraged too by the progress (something actually worked!)
-Mom of a foreign adopted child, now 18, after 30 days of doing Maintaining Brains DVD
I haven't written in so long and wanted to let you know that you were absolutely right - we saw big improvements in both
spelling (although it is still amazingly bad!) and expressive writing following the lizard module. Such a change for Steve. It was actually a change that stuck only briefly after some
reflex based body work he had done the previous year, but it did not stay. And with the Lizard, I have noted only continued improvement.
I sort of wore myself out getting us through these, and so have put off the last one until now. We are doing all of the five together, including our last one, Tiger. We are doing them all with the metronome, which I found makes such a difference, and I didn't really include that until we hit snow angels - but the changes are so much better with the ticking of the irritating metronome!
I am still using your webinar info. It is taking a long time but we have almost the first three primitive reflexes integrated in my third daughter. I have tested some of my other children (I have six) and see that they need to do a few as well. Your webinar and other resources I have found demonstrate the inadequacies of our special education system in the schools.
I think what you are doing is such a gift. I don't know anyone else who is addressing the breadth of the learning challenged issues like you. Only Svetlana (Masgutova) has the breadth but she is not focused on learning disabilities. That topic is just one of many that she works with. But the two of you are really amazing in what you are giving back.
Author: The Other Side of Dyslexia
415 552 6330
Thank you. Your training was excellent, and it will change how I assess children and advise parents about learning disabilities.
Ann Weller, Psy.D.
Owner: Plum Tree Psychology, Ltd.
240 S. 5th Avenue, Suite B
St. Charles, IL 60174
Phone: 630 549 6245
Fax: 630 701 9500
I wanted to update you on O. :)
On Thursday, O’s teacher called me. Of course, as I saw the caller ID I braced myself and answered the phone. She called to tell me that O had the best week ever with her. (O’s been in this classroom for most of 4th grade and all of this year). She went to 3 assemblies and walked right in and sat with her class. She has NEVER sat with her class. Recently she stood just inside the door but usually she is in the hallway crying with her hands over her ears, sweaty palms and terrified. They are doing long division with remainders this week. She is picking it right up. (She is pretty good at math but it usually takes a bit for her to get the concepts and then she retains them. More impressive to me is that she only likes nice even numbers. In the past remainders would not be tolerated, there would be a tantrum over this gray area!)
To me the best part was she has seen O interacting with her peers and joining in conversations. (Never before).
That night she came home and wanted to decorate for Easter. (Never really cared about decorating). Today she told me a little bit about kids at school with no prompting. She is sleeping less and kind of giddy at night. Physically she seems to be using her hands more without giving up, removing tape from a package and opening things.
Thank you,-DM, parent, NY
Follow-up from same mom, 10 months later:
Hi Kathy, Hope this finds you well! Thought I'd update you on O. She made high honor roll first quarter and just made honor roll this quarter in the 6th grade. We finished the reflex integration and we are now in the middle of our second iLs program. Socially she is about the same but, she is asking more relevant questions and articulating her thoughts better. D
My name is Nicole and I attended your Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia course in Downers Grove on January 29th. I'm an OT and I was attending your course primarily for my daughter. I spoke with you briefly outside of the lecture. I must say I am very excited about the results I have already seen in her in a very short amount of time! Let me give you a little background...
In kindergarten we began to notice she was having difficulties with beginning reading. Her teacher suspected "something" but couldn't put her finger on it. Our district uses the MAP test and she scored very low. We also began speech therapy for articulation at that time. My husband, a high school special ed teacher, and I, started to notice lots of flipping of letters, numbers and other behaviors that raised reg flags for us. The school said it was normal. Fast forward to first grade....learning to read has been incredibly difficult, very poor number sense and so forth. Again, the school not sure how to help and wanted to "give her time". We had her assessed by Behavioral Optometrist and she was given prism glasses and advised to look into CAPD. She was assessed by audiology and SLP ($750 out of pocket) and was given recommendations for classroom accommodations and further assessments to be completed by the school. In the meantime she continued to struggle but was "making gains" per reading specialist and teacher but I new there was more we could do. The school has not been overly helpful at this point.
I, like you, began researching like crazy and ended up in your seminar. (On a side note, the reading specialist from my daughters school was in the seminar that day as well). So, I went home and assessed her reflexes and was shocked! We have been working every day for two weeks now and I CANNOT believe the difference! For the first time, two days ago, she was able to sit down and complete a math homework sheet without errors, numbers written correctly, within a reasonable amount of time without me sitting next to her. Tonight she counted backward from 100-0 for my husband with just a couple errors. I swear last week it was a struggle for her to count backward from 15 without tears. She also was able to write two sentences (with a prompt) in about 45 seconds which would have taken her 5 min before. She also used to show neurologic behaviors when challenged like yawning, putting her head on the table etc. I have not seen these behaviors the past few days.
I am amazed at how quickly we were able to get the reflexes under control. Her TLR, spinal galant and ATNR were very apparent but not anymore. She doesn't even flinch when I test for spinal galant whereas before she would sense my finger before touching her. I am so incredibly disappointed I do not have video tape of before and after (I think I was a skeptic). She actually enjoys doing the "exercises" and she has even done some interesting things like suggesting we count by 2's, 10's and backwards. My husband and I are very excited at what we are witnessing.
My husband and I are very excited for her. He even mentioned he might try your pyramid with his high school kids.
-NH, parent, OT, Chicago area.
Kathy, I thought you might like to know that I applied for PT CEU credit for your course, and it was approved! I use this information everyday in my work with pediatric patients in school and outpatient settings, and I am so anxious to share the knowledge with parents, teachers, and colleagues. I truly believe in the pyramid of development, so thank you for all of your hard work and travelling to share this information! Merry Christmas!
My wife, JoAnne, recently took your seminar in Dyslexia,
etc. I am an A type personality (and a lawyer to boot)
and suffer from persistent stress. She tested me for primitive
reflexes and found that I have retained reflexes and started me on
"integrating the MORO reflex" by using your prescribed exercise
techniques (pp 24 and 25 of your booklet handout). While she expected
that this exercise would take time to take effect, I had an almost
immediate (2 hours later) response and I clearly don't seem to be in a
constant stress mode and feel much more relaxed. I am doing the
exercise every day and my pulse seems to be staying at my normal relaxed pulse of about 60 and I feel great!
It's a miracle!!!!!!!!
-RV, lawyer, NY
You will not believe how much I use the reflexes. Not just in my pediatric practice but I find that the yoga classes i teach unfold with that awareness...since there is so much of the anxiety, stress and reemergence of reflexes that might interfere with the holistic absorption of a yoga practice ? ... that I am sure it benefits a lot !!!
So cannot thank you enough for sharing your knowledge. I have already recounted your story of auditory processing in the car with your kids to many parents and therapists to emphasize the importance of the integration.
First of all, I just really wanted to say thank you for the amazing presentation you did here in the Chicago area. My friend and I really
appreciated all that you had to say. I came away with just a wealth of information and ideas. And what you’re saying, really needs to be said. Work for these kids needs to be
intensive and ongoing and far-reaching and ground up. So much of traditional OT is just applied on top of all the existing problems, very little is accomplished, nothing is treated.
You inspired me, and really supported the way we have chosen to work with our own child. If there is any way that I can help spread the word, please let me know. I would love to be a part
of what you are doing.
Thank you so much for spending so much time on the reflex integration work! My son, daughter, and I are all working on our Moro now, and I'm so hopeful that this will be a piece of the anxiety puzzle for my son. My friend, who also attended your workshop, is a pediatric PT who works with Cara Lindell and Kinetic Bridging - it ties into the reflex work and is very supportive of it. I think you might be interested, if you have a minute to take a peek. I have explored reflex work with a chiropractor whom I think highly of, but the integration exercises with his Rhythmic Movement work were so many and so ever changing that it was very overwhelming. Thank you for the simplicity of your presentation. I feel like I can really take on these basic 6, and then follow up with our chiropractor.
-RR, parent, Illinois
I will try to keep it short, but I want to explain our situation as well as let you know the improvements we have seen over
time. First, we have four young children Ages 10, 9 (daughter we are discussing), 6 and 4. They are home schooled by my wife which began this school year. Prior to having kids, my
wife worked in Boston as a Speech Language Pathologist. My point is that she has the foundation/knowledge (and patience) to manage the schooling while spending a good amount of the time with
our daughter, Caroline.
Instead of going all the way back on her history, I will provide a short summary of where she was and where she is right now. She presented early on with developmental delays in talking, reading, writing and math. Basically, her fine and gross motor skills were weak. Since my wife has had her home, she has improved dramatically in many areas but still not up to par.
Now, I was responsible for the Pyramid of Potential. It took quite a few attempts to stick with it everyday. However, I did eventually get through it and just finished up Stage 5. In OUR opinion, this program really helped out. We think it made her more aware of tasks at hand and definitely woke up her body/mind, for lack of a better word. I guess it is hard to get very specific because there are great days and not so great days. My wife always explains that when she does the exercises, it provides for a better learning day...i.e. reading, memory, speech and overall alertness. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone that would need it. I have spoken to several folks who have children with delays and have put your name out there to inquire.
Kathy - I was so delighted to see you in your element. YOU WERE EXCELLENT! So confident and knowledgeable. I just wish we didn't have to leave early as I learned so much in that short time - techniques that will surely benefit me.
Congratulations on bringing all this research together in a way that people can use and thank you for your willingness to share it. You are a generous resource!!
I must compliment you on your model. It is so complete and family friendly. For most families faced with a struggling learner the Pyramid of Potential is attainable and understandable. With my background in education, I started in a different place than most parents. Your website, blogs, facebook posts along with other neuro development specialists have helped me to better understand how learning happens. Thank you for your dedication to this cause.
From a mom at a library presentation:
“I have never been exposed to such interesting and informative subject matter. Absolutely fascinating!”
He’s been showing a more mature side of him since starting this and I feel like it has to do with doing these exercises as that’s all that has been different! He doesn’t seem like he has ASD in most ways now, just the processing stuff (auditory/language) …not sure which this one is, but when someone is talking too quickly and/or too complex, he will ask “what?”, if there is too much background noise, he will ask “what” a lot as well, processing speed….though it seems like it’s getting a little quicker, and language arts (reading, spelling, and writing....dyslexia), and memory possibly somewhat too. Socially, he is doing great and so much more comfortable, etc.! I’m really proud of him. We are only on reflex two right now though and haven’t gotten to the areas that deal with the above more as far as I understand. He will be finished in about a week or so hopefully with reflex two and then on with the next. Let me know your thoughts and recommendations.
Thanks you very much for all your help!
Hi Kathy. I am sending my observations of changes in CC, age 22, diagnosed as PDD NOS.
About 3 weeks after starting the Starfish module, I noticed her making more eye contact while having conversations with me. While not totally avoiding eye contact before, she often just looked down while conversing. Also, it seems like her balance has improved some....has more fluidity in walking and is less likely to falter when going up/down steps. One day she stepped up on a wide stone curb and walked along it as if she was seeking out a challenge! In the past, she has always hated thunder and would often cover her ears. A few weeks ago we had an exceptionally loud storm, and she never even flinched. Now we are starting on the Astronaut module. It has only been 3 days, but this morning when I had her write in her journal about yesterday’s events she did a very organized explanation of the day’s highlights. Usually she is very scattered and disorderly in her descriptions of time related events. Hopefully this is the beginning of a very good trend! Thanks for your coaching. I'll try to keep you posted on more changes.
-AC, parent, NY
I had the experience of having Kathy Johnson, MS Ed, come out and speak to parents and teachers throughout our district at our district’s high school. After hearing and seeing Kathy Johnson present (with slides) for about 90 minutes, I walked away feeling like I understood more about why my son struggles, and what I as a parent could do about it, as well as what the school could help with. I found her to be an informed and very engaging presenter! I learned that there are some things that I could do for my child, beyond what the school can provide, to help him progress. She explained ideas about how important diet is, how simple movements that take only 10 minutes a day can help mature his brain, how to help him with auditory and visual learning, and what it would take to increase his cognitive skills, like processing speed. She told some profound life-changing stories I know our audience found inspiring.
Many teachers came to the presentation; they gained insights into why some students don’t progress despite using best methods and practices. They learned what areas can be further developed for the better functioning of a student’s mind in order to have greater academic success, and I left with some suggestions.
We were assisted by our district’s administrators, as they encouraged the staff to attend. The administration is always open to new ways to increase test scores, and what can be included in a school day. Kathy mentioned a number of techniques for realizing a child’s potential!
I have heard from several parents and school professionals that this presentation, “The Roadmap From Learning Disabilities to Success”, was well worth the evening out. In the aftermath some parents have followed up with Kathy and are quite excited about her programs. I encourage you to consider having Kathy Johnson speak to your staff and families to learn more about these growth opportunities for children’s education!
Special Education PTA
Thanks again!!! You have so much information and your course is a very reasonable cost compared to other seminars. I told the 3 principals that I work with and supported me in the cost that your workshop was the best one I have been to in 10 years! Previously it was a cranial sacral therapy workshop (over ten years ago). Got to get to work!
-JoAnne Vindigni , occupational therapist (M.S. OTR/L) NY
Thank you for presenting your program as a webcast on 3/13! Below are the comments from the online audience. Please let me know if you have any questions.
I took this course as a webinar, and at times we would lose the feed and have to reboot the computer causing us to miss so valuable information. Other than that it was an excellent course with great information!
We joined the webinar and it was a tremendous help not having to travel. We had a good turnout and hope to host another live webinar. The speaker was very cognizant and inclusive of the webinar listeners!
Fabulous job by an educator instead of a therapist with a neuro background!!
The information regarding the primitive reflexes was very interesting. I was expecting more information about recent brain functioning developments.
I enjoyed today's presentation. The video feed did stop for approximately five minutes and I found this frustrating. The speaker is very engaging -- this is no easy feat when on a video feed!
Excellent presentation. However during the final section of the Cognitive information, the presentation stopped. I am not sure what was missed. I was able to resume the presentation, but disappointed that I missed some information. Congratulations on an excellent presentation. I am an SLP by profession and have a son with LD: auditory processing, visual and memory issues. I plan to try these exercise and suggestions. Thank You
I am so sorry I missed the last piece of today's seminar. What a gift you have. The gift to connect to your passion, deliver such a service and do it all in a way that is so great!!! Sometimes I see my life in snapshots and when you stand in front of a room of incredibly talented people saying we are the best of the best- well isn't that a dream come true?!?!
I hope you know how much I admire you and thank you for allowing me to do what it is God intends I do. The afternoon after I met with Kendra I simply cried. I partly felt like I was here for her, but more so she was here for me. You make me feel like I am here for you, but I hope you know you are here for me.
Thank you lady.
~Lisa, tutor, NY
Lia is still doing really well. I'm keeping a journal with the interesting things she has said and done since we started doing Starfish. Some things have to do with numbers that used to be confusing that are clarifying, such as saying, "At my birthday party 2 months ago....." (which was exactly right, not 2 weeks ago or something else she used to say......or just avoid the numbers altogether). Expressive language and articulation are a notch better as well as her desire to be organized. But most of all we see a jump in self-confidence: 2 things she used to be afraid of, swimming and birds, she recently told us she "loved" and has begun swimming the length of the YMCA pool over and over again without stopping or using any flotation prop at all. her tutor told me today that Lia automatically got the division facts because she understood them to be the reverse of the multiplication facts she had memorized. (Reverse reasoning has been hard for her in the past.) I'm (happily) having trouble keeping track of all these little triumphs in the journal I'm keeping.
Tomorrow we'll begin "Fly to the Moon".
-AP, parent, Oregon
It seems like every day something new is happening. Last night Carter told me that when he used to read books like Diary of a wimpy kid, he didn’t really read the words and he mostly looked at the pictures. (which I already knew) Now he said, he is actually reading. You can tell that he too is noticing that he is reading better and enjoying it.
Then tonight, I asked him if he wanted to read to me a little bit. He agreed, so we sat down to start reading. In the past when we sat down to read he would first ask how many pages? Then he would count the pages out so he knew where he got to stop. Tonight, he didn’t do this. He just put his head down and started reading. When we got to the end of the chapter I told him he could stop. He then looked back and counted how many pages he had read. Then he said..." can I read some more"? OMG Kathy I just about jumped for joy!! I actually had to tell him no because it was very late and we still had your DVD to do. I told him he could read in bed for 10 min before lights out. So- he finished everything up for the night and headed to bed with his book. Well, my husband then went to bed and I got side tracked on the computer. Probably about 30-45 min later I realized I never went to kiss the boys good night. I went to their room and found them both reading in bed with flashlights! Carter was on the last page of his book. He read 25 pages (some pages had words and pictures) during this time and was determined to finish the book!! I couldn't believe it. It looks like he has just discovered the joy of reading. I’m so excited for him, it just makes me giggle :) Thank you so much for helping us with this.
-MM, parent, NY
I wanted to write to you and tell of the success we are having by utilizing the information my co-worker and I received from your conference we attended back in November. We have had 3 students that we referred for vision therapy due to dyslexia symptoms and who failed the eye assessments we did on them. They have been helped by being fitted with prism glasses. We also have implemented all the reflex exercises on most of our learning support/autistic/speech students. I would love for you to see how we are working as a group, incorporating the exercises and seeing positive results in just the first 3 weeks we have been doing them. I am excited and highly motivated to see this experiment through to the end. Thank you so much because of your conference we have been able to touch many lives in a positive way. If you are ever in our area we would enjoy sharing our success with you and be able to thank you again. Sincerely,
-Dawn Jarvie, M.S. CCC-SLP Deb McAfoose
Hi Kathy I was the registration person for you in Pittsburgh. I wanted to let you know that you have helped my son quite a bit. We have tried the reflex ex inconsistently. He actually seems to do them relatively well. I asked him about the words moving on the page and he told me they move all of the time! I purchased the light blue overlays (of the samples you gave me they seem to work best). They have helped him significantly! His tutoring teacher and i have noticed the difference. He carries it with him all the time for reading because he notices the difference. The school is having him assessed by the vision therapist. We have been using the metronome at home with homework and he loves it. He says it helps him focus. Thanks for all of your ideas! Take care!
I attended your workshop in Portland, ME about a year ago (and loved it!!!). I have finally convinced a good group of my clients to take reflexes seriously, and I am seeing good results-they are also all on Therapeutic Listening programs.
One client, after doing a full Therapeutic Listening program still had not learned to descend stairs with alternating feet. After a half-hearted (not even daily) attempt to inhibit his Moro,
he began walking down stairs easily. I suspect the Starfish exercise triggered this, as it was the only new thing we introduced, and I also had another client with the same result (only this client
was new to me, and his ability to descend stairs was significantly impaired before he inhibited his Moro-sideways descent with both hands on the railing).
Erin Rowan, OT
Just wanted to let you know that my daughter's reading/writing teacher just shared that Taylor was the only student to get a "4" on an open response which means she gave a complete and accurate answer. I do believe integrating those reflexes are working. Thanks for letting me email you question. I see a light at the end of the tunnel.
-CS, parent and OT, KY
Hi, I met you at your conference in Nashville on October 4th. You may remember me because I was the one who asked you questions about my daughter. You opened my eyes to so many things. You may also remember me as the one who stuck around after class. I never do that, I remember thinking you have the missing link I've been looking for and I wanted to think of every question possible while I had your attention.
Since that time Caly went to the behavioral ophthalmologist . It was obvious during the exam that the activities were very difficult for her. I watched as she struggled to perform the task given. As a result, she will be getting glasses next week and was recommended to have vision therapy.
We have just started the exercises for the Moro reflex and I am already getting feedback from her teacher and tutor that they have noticed that she is more focused and organized within the last few weeks. That is proof to me that it is working because they were unaware that we were doing anything different and both made a point to tell me.
I can't tell you how excited I am to have met you. Your program is an answer to my prayers. As an OT, my frustration has been that I can evaluate what the problem is and perform activities to address the problem, but never understood the underlying issues to be able to address them. The Neurodevelopmental aspect you have given answers so many of my questions.
I am looking forward to seeing the progress Caly makes as we complete the pyramid of potential. I am also looking forward to learning more so I can help other parents and children.
Beth Baker, parent and OT, TN
Just wanted to give you a little update about Alex. We went yesterday to Ottawa and met with Adele Francis. She's the Irlen diagnostician you found for us. Oh my gosh....I couldn't believe it. When she finally found the right combination of tints, it was like someone had flipped a switch. He at one point turned to me and said "mom, did you hear how fast I was reading?". I will admit, tears welled up in my eyes. She said she hadn't seen a child show such a significant difference before and after trying tints like Alex. My husband and I are finding the weight on our hearts getting lighter and it is so inspiring to have hope for him. I can't thank you enough for what you are doing for us and for Alex. His teachers at school have been wonderful and are working hard to meet the new accommodations he needs. I will update you more after Monday's appointments. Thanks again!!
Christine, parent, NY
My 11 year old son chronically wet the bed. He potty trained with difficulty at 3 1/2, but since he was dry during the day, the pediatrician wasn't concerned. Early on, he accepted that his body just hadn't caught up. But as he got older, he became increasingly embarrassed by this delay in development and what had once been acceptance turned to shame. We watched as his self esteem slowly eroded. I talked to Kathy Johnson, who, without having met him, described several personality traits based on her research for "Pyramid of Potential." Imagine my surprise by how accurate she was! Bright and articulate, he manifested several of the traits described in the "Slow Angel" tier of the pyramid. We bought the workbook and got to work.
We actually relished the 10 minutes we spent on this every day. It was one-on-one time set aside and prioritized in an otherwise busy household. Even though he continued to wet the bed, we did see occasional dry nights and that was a big improvement. After 30 days, we started back at the beginning of the program. More successive dry nights, but still not perfect. We celebrated nonetheless. And we watched as some of his impulsivity and mood swings ebbed. But he was ready to take a break. I encouraged him to at least continue the exercises----especially the slow angels---on his own, before bed time.
And here we are----dry every night. Pull-ups completely abandoned. And as a bonus, some of his negative personality traits --- things we thought were just part of who he is --- have disappeared. He seems better able to focus at school, he has gained control of most of his impulsive behavior and he makes better decisions based on what he sees as the likely outcome. His demeanor toward people is less defensive and he is comfortable and confident within his own skin. I dare to say the boy has managed to find some peace within himself.
What I observed as he went through the program was that his mind seemed to have little control over moderating his body's actions. His movements were very jerky and quick. Always too much or too little. The slow angels (which should take 30 seconds) were either 10 seconds or 50. He literally exercised and trained his brain to make his body move in a more controlled fashion. He seems to have nurtured a mind/body connection that should've, but didn't, develop on its own. While I am happy for his success at night, I am certain the program has paid off in other aspects of his life, development and maturity.
Julie Campbell, parent, NY
Just did your course in Portland, Me on 12-14 and loved it! I've been
working on learning these reflexes since 2006, and have taken the
Masgutova classes as well. It's a lot to digest, and your course
certainly helped to bring some practicality to it, which is what I
Well, I started treating my 13 year old son's residual Moro (to begin with).
He has a long history of anxiety, excessive blinking and lack of eye contact, and failing math. Since starting these exercises on Dec 20, he has gotten 3 90% on math quizzes, his blinking is reduced by about 60%, and he has this new urge to be organized! His self-confidence is on a high (since understanding math), and his stress level is significantly lowered.
That's just my personal story...I'll share more of caseload kids in the future!
Thanks, Stacy, OT and parent, ME
Asa has been sleeping very well, and generally listening to directions much better. After Christmas, we had him write a thank you note every day last week for total of 6. He wrote,
with greater independence than we have ever seen, and much less torture for both him and us, 2 or three sentence notes, and often drew a picture with them. THis would have been unheard
of a few months ago.
Dear Mrs. Johnson,
I personally would like to thank you for your hard work. I have been to many different seminars, workshops, as well as ASHA convention; however, I strongly feel that your seminar was the best one yet!!!
I would like to take this opportunity and wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!
Svetlana Belopolsky, M.S., CCC-SLP
Your workshop is the best I have gone to in my educational career. The pyramid makes so much sense of things we have done with our own children. Thank you. I would love to stay in touch, especially as I look at developing something for elders. I am testing and beginning the exercises for the reflexes with myself and my girls this weekend. I am truly grateful for your thinking outside the box and then giving that creative thinking a form.
Dr. Renee Rinderknecht
Educational Specialist Mead School District
and Administrative Director of All Families Adult Day Center
I must say, however, that though we have seen great changes in Nicky, we have not finished the program.
We have not had any backslides, and she continues to progress. She still reminds us jokingly that "I ain't gonna be no English major", and quite honestly, we have no expectation of anything even close to that. She is, however, not the same child. She tried to explain some of this to her new physician at a physical appt in June. She made references to the "old me" and the "new me". I was floored. I hadn't thought that she really saw the value of the program.
I have read some of the research on retained primitive reflexes, and I am convinced, based on that and what we have experienced with Nicky, that there is definitely "something to this".
Sheila, parent, NY
We wanted to take the time to highlight the benefits of utilizing you and your program for our 11 year daughter, who is in 6th grade.
As you know from assessing her strengths and weaknesses, your program over the past 6 months has methodically built her weaknesses into strengths such as:
The above developments are just part of the story. We have noticed our daughter is:
We are very pleased with the results of this program, and have every confidence that she will perform better on her standardized tests, and be de-classified from all extra services her school requires.
Jim and Lori Anne, parents, NY
Just have to say thank you! I had the opportunity to hear you speak in Sioux Falls, SD and have literally changed the way I approach speech therapy. You are a marvelous speaker and I have recommended your class to anyone who will listen. My own daughter has some learning disabilities and is currently working her way up your pyramid with vision therapy, primitive reflex training and the Listening Program. We have already changed her diet and added omega 3's and goji juice. I am excited to use what I have learned and see her continue to progress. Thanks again, Angela Mutziger, Speech-Language Pathologist, Chamberlain, SD
Hi Mrs. Johnson,
We have put together a program which uses most of the physical components reviewed in your book. I am only using 3 of the worksheets to begin with. I think it is already helping.
We really would like to offer our Sincere appreciation for providing us with this knowledge.
I filled out the Pace survey after Megan finished the 12 week course in the summer, but I wanted to provide you with some feedback that we are
seeing now that Megan is back in school. As you know, Megan struggled
in all skill areas. During the program we saw some immediate improvements in the following areas:
* Reading more, enjoying reading and understanding what she read
* Recalling information and details
* Repeating events in sequence
* Becoming more aware of time
* Using logic to solve problems
Now that she is back in school, I want to comment on the obvious improvements we are seeing there:
* She loves school and really wants to work independently and get
the right answers
* She is able to adjust her speed to complete tasks depending on
how much time she has left
* She is able to repeat steps in math in a sequential order that
she was never able to do before (each time was new)
* Math facts are accurate and timely
* When studying for tests, there seems to be less memorizing and
more understanding of the information
* She is able to multi task
* She is able to concentrate on tasks for a longer period of time
and is recognizing more when she gets off track
One of the things that Megan has always had going for her was her willingness to work hard. In the past at school, we always received positive feedback about Megan’s character. There are no words to describe how wonderful it is to see Megan get some positive results now
in school work because of her hard work. We believe that this has to
do with the work that you have been doing with her and your inclination to try different strategies.
We know Megan has a way to go to catch up, but with the positive improvement we have seen so far we actually see some light at the end of the tunnel
Thank you for all you have done and we look forward to continuing this program with Megan. We would be glad to be a reference if any of your clients.
Joanne and John, parents, NY
Only 1 1/2 weeks of doing fly to the moon & Nate passed the tachistoscope procedure on the computer vis. therapy program! He's been stuck in the same level for over a month, very discouraged too. This procedure is big for memory. Four letters flash on the screen all at once. You type in all 4 letters in sequence. Nate got 81% correct! Previously, he'd get anywhere from 10-60% correct. He also did well in the visual-visual integration procedure which is big for memory. It uses dot & dash sequence that flashes on the screen. Then he has to choose the matching picture. All 3 procedures left have to do with memory & sequencing. These have been the hardest for him. He couldn't believe he'd passed the level & felt so good about himself.
We're going to continue the fly to the moon for a few more weeks and we're still doing lizard & slow angels. Still struggling with some fidgeting & attention issues while doing school work, but I'm seeing improvement in his spelling & reading.
Thanks soooooo much for all your help!