Arrowsmith Introduction

Arrowsmith Introduction

The Arrowsmith Program identifies, intervenes and strengthens the weak cognitive capacities that affect learning.  Students are able to capitalize on their increased learning capacities and after a three or four year program can function without special education assistance or program accommodations. Upon completion of the program some students may require one to two years to gain experience using their newly strengthened cognitive capacities and some students may need tutoring initially to bring academic skills to grade level given the limited amount of time within the program to address academic skill deficits.

If a student is unable to complete the three to four year program, they achieve benefit for every year they are in the program. The Arrowsmith Program is suitable for students across the broad spectrum of mild to severe learning problems.

The program has proven effective for students having difficulty with reading, writing and mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, problem solving, visual and auditory memory, non-verbal learning, attention, processing speed and dyslexia. For an overview of the more common problems addressed please read our Chart of Learning Outcomes.

The article Definition of a Learning Dysfunction, written by Arrowsmith School founder Barbara Arrowsmith Young, outlines a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of learning dysfunctions and is the framework used by the Arrowsmith Program.  The learning dysfunctions described on this website are the problems addressed by the Arrowsmith Program. They are not all of the possible problems that may interfere with the learning process; however, they are the more common areas of difficulty.

For students and their families, the Arrowsmith Program begins with an in-depth interview designed to assess the candidate’s suitability for the program.  If it is determined that the student will benefit from the program, enrollment documents are submitted and applicable tuition fees are paid.  The next step is comprehensive assessment (outlined on the Individualized Program page), which identifies areas of cognitive weakness that the student would benefit from improving.  Based on the results of this assessment, a Toronto-based Arrowsmith Program Coordinator then develops an individualized program and outlines the length of the program (the average program is three to four years, with the range being one to four years). Once the Individualized Learning Program is established, the student begins to work on this program, moving forward in small measured steps until the goals identified in the individualized program are reached. Students are enrolled in the Arrowsmith Program only until their individual program is complete, at which time (depending upon their age) the student will transition into a full academic curriculum in a public or private school. At this time, students are able to capitalize on their increased learning capacities and, after a three or four year program, can function without special education assistance or program accommodations.

If you are interested in bringing the Arrowsmith Program to your school, please contact the staff at Arrowsmith School in Toronto, Canada at or for more information click here.

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