BARBARA ARROWSMITH-YOUNG – The Woman Who Changed Her Brain
Hear Barbara Arrowsmith-Young on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Show on Healthy Life Radio share her story of how she changed her own brain & is now helping countless others around the world who live with learning disabilities do the same using neuroplasticity.
Now the Founder and Director of the world-renowned Arrowsmith Program which uses neuroplasticity to correct the underlying brain mechanisms in order to reduce a wide range of learning disabilities, Barbara Arrowsmith-Young holds both a B.A.Sc. in Child Studies from the University of Guelph, and a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).
Where It All Began…
Diagnosed in grade one as having a mental block, which today would have been identified as multiple learning disabilities, Barbara read and wrote everything backward, had trouble processing concepts in language, continuously got lost and was physically uncoordinated. Barbara eventually learned to read and write from left to right and mask a number of the symptoms of her learning disabilities through heroic effort, however, she continued throughout her educational career to have difficulty with specific aspects of learning.
Once she became an educator herself and later a research investigator, Barbara noticed that children who were academically achieving below their age expected grade level continued to perform poorly in the same subject areas in relation to their peers and found that the amount of intervening educational remedial intervention was not related to change in the children’s academic problems or performance and those students who received more than the median intensity of intervention were even less successful.
From Brain Research to Becoming Her Own Neuroplasticity Guinea Pig
In addition to Arrowsmith-Young’s own experience with the limitations of academic remedial work in addressing a range of specific learning disabilities, during graduate school she learned about two lines of research that intrigued her. Luria’s description of specific brain function lead her to a clearer understanding of her own learning problem and the work of Rosenzweig suggested the possibility of improving brain function through specific stimulation, at least in animals. The combination of these influences spurred Barbara to become her own guinea pig, creating cognitive exercises to see if she could activate her own neuroplasticity through specific stimulation of different regions of her brain. True to her theory given what she had learned, the results were positive and became the seed for her namesake Arrowsmith School that has become a source of hope for adults and children alike who struggle with cognitive deficits and other learning disorders.
“Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is a pioneer, a bold and ingenious woman, deeply empathic and utterly determined. Rarely is the person who makes a discovery the one with the defect. Barbara is the exception.”
– Norman Doidge, M.D., author of The Brain That Changes Itself
ARROWSMITH SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD
Barbara has committed her entire career to the exploration of the nature of specific learning capacities and creating exercises to strengthen them. This is the ongoing work of Arrowsmith School which can currently identify 19 cognitive areas and has programs designed to strengthen the functioning of each of these. The program originated in Toronto in 1978 and today is implemented in over 100 educational organizations in Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Asia.
As the Director of Arrowsmith School and Arrowsmith Program, Arrowsmith-Young continues to develop programs for students with specific learning difficulties. It is her vision that this program be available to all students struggling with specific learning difficulties so they may know the ease and joy of learning and to realize their dreams.
“We all have the capacity to transform our lives.”
~Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, Founder & Director of the Arrowsmith School & Program, Neuroplasticity Revolutionary, & Author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain
In her international bestselling book, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And Other Inspiring Stories of Pioneering Brain Transformation, Ms. Arrowsmith-Young recalls her own painful struggle with a disabling learning disorder that caused teachers to label her stupid, difficult and stubborn. Interweaving her own powerful personal story with portrayals of the transformations others have made using her groundbreaking exercises, she introduces readers to the heartbreaks, triumphs, and clinical mysteries she has encountered during her career – and sends a message of hope to children and adults struggling to overcome mild to severe learning disabilities.
“People with learning disabilities have long been told they must learn to compensate for their deficits because they will never improve. In The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, Barbara Arrowsmith-Young offers her own story, and those of her students, to refute that conventional wisdom.”
Books Featuring Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s Neuroplasticity Work
by Howard Eaton
This award-winning children’s book by Howard Eaton reveals Barbara’s story of how she used brain science to help children (and adults) with learning disabilities discover hope and a new way to live.
In addition to being a kid-friendly biography of this courageous woman, the book also features a history of studies in brain plasticity (neuroplasticity), amazing brain facts, vital brain health recommendations, and a comprehensive glossary.
In Chapter 2 of this international bestseller by Norman Doidge, entitled ‘Building Herself a Better Brain‘ readers learn about how Barbara Arrowsmith-Young turned her own plight of learning disabilities into an empowering vision of transformation through neuroplasticity, challenging the former conventional strategies of compensatory learning in ways never before thought possible.
“Arrowsmith-Young has been able to describe, in a poignant and often unforgettable way, what it feels like to have a devastating learning disorder––but also what it’s like to leave it behind.”
by Howard Eaton
The Arrowsmith Program is changing children’s lives in ways never before imagined. Designed to improve the cognitive functioning of children with learning disabilities, the Arrowsmith Program is reshaping how we conceptualize intervention/remediation approaches in schools today.
Drawing from his own experiences directing Eaton Arrowsmith Schools in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Howard Eaton, Ed.M., author, speaker, principal, teacher, and educational assessor shows how children with significant learning disabilities improve their cognitive capacities and find academic success using the neuroplasticity methods developed by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.
Can Changing Your Brain Change Your Life? Discover How You Can Rewire and Retrain Your Brain To Become a Sharper, Smarter and Happier You
Dr. Greg Rose (Southern Illinois University)
Dr. Lara Boyd (University of British Columbia)
Dr. Rachel Weber (University of British Columbia)
If you would like to learn more about Barbara Arrowsmith-Young & The Arrowsmith Program:
ARROWSMITH PROGRAM VIDEOS
The Arrowsmith Program is based on the application of neuroscientific research and for 40 years we have worked to help students strengthen the weak cognitive capacities underlying a range of learning disabilities and learning difficulties.
Recent & Upcoming Shows:
October 11, 2018: Andrew Lopez – TOXIN-FREE GARDENING & PEST CONTROL (LISTEN NOW)
December 13, 2018: Kathryn Kellogg – ZERO WASTE HOLIDAYS – Part 2 (ENTERTAINING & DECORATING) (LISTEN NOW)
March 14, 2019: Kate Nicholson – OPIOIDS & PAIN: THE REST OF THE STORY (LISTEN NOW)
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July 11, 2019: Melody Owen – THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER (LISTEN LIVE)
August 8, 2019: E.K.R. Venugopal IAS (RETD) Human Rights Commissioner (India) – ERADICATING POVERTY (LISTEN LIVE)
September 12, 2019: Dr. Deborah Ross-Swain & Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider – EMPOWERING KIDS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES (LISTEN LIVE)
October 10, 2019: Dr. Carla Fry & Dr. Lisa Ferrari – KINDNESS PATROL: TEACHING KIDS KINDNESS (LISTEN LIVE)
November 14, 2019: Rachel Parent – KIDS RIGHT TO KNOW (LISTEN LIVE)
December 12, 2019: TBA
January 9, 2020: Dr. Udo Erasmus – TOTAL SEXY HEALTH (LISTEN LIVE)
February 13, 2020: TBA
March 12, 2020: Gail Wetzler, PT, DPT, EDO, BI-D – ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES: BARRAL’S VISCERAL MANIPULATION (LISTEN LIVE)
More Exciting Guests To Look Forward To…
Robyn McCord O’Brien – “REAL FOOD”
Drs. Karin & Rick Dina – RAW FOOD NUTRITION
Melvin Bray – STORYING INCLUSIVITY FOR KIDS
Allison Carmen – THE GIFT OF MAYBE
PODCASTS of Past Shows
1 / 2RETHINKING GLUTEN & THE GUT with Dr. Alessio Fasano, World-Renowned Celiac & Non-Celiac ResearchWHAT IS MAST CELL ACTIVATION SYNDROME? - Dr. Jill Carnahan MD on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowWHAT'S WITH WHEAT? with Cyndi O'Meara on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowIRVIN YALOM & His Memoir 'BECOMING MYSELF' on the Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowFUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DR JILL CARNAHAN'S LIFE-CHANGING CANCER STORY on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowTOXIC BLACK MOLD EXPOSURE & REMEDIES with Dr Jill Carnahan on the Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowTHE DIDGERIDOO: CURING SLEEP APNEA, SOUND HEALING & THE DIDGECBT, REBT & Positive Psychology -How Dr Albert Ellis Changed Psychotherapy (Dr Theresa Nicassio)SUSTAINABLE LIVING - A SIMPLER WAY TO LIVE: Dr. David Boyd 'The Optimistic Environmentalist'MINDFUL EATING WITH MAYO & HAELY LINDAU on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowWHY IS SALT SO BAD FOR YOU? Dr. Saul Pilar MD Shares The Truth about Salt & HealthNEVER, EVER GIVE UP! - MONICA GARTNER SHARES HER INSPIRING STORY Living with Osteogenesis ImperfectaShocking New Discoveries About GLUTEN with Nadine Grzeskowiak on The Dr Theresa NIcassio ShowRETHINKING MOOD DISORDERS with Functional Medicine Doctor Jill Carnahan MD -Dr Theresa Nicassio ShowSURPRISING FACTS ABOUT GLUTEN YOU PROBABLY DON'T KNOW with Nadine GrzeskowiakCHANGING EDUCATION: Teaching Kids with Mindfulness in Mind & Teen HumanitarianWHAT IS NATURAL DETOXIFICATION? - Dr Jessica Renfer ND on The Dr Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING 'HONEST MEDICINE' with Julia Schopick on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING LIFE with Deanna Won on The Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowRETHINKING TRAGEDY: "Crushed Alive: From Tragedy to Triumph"RETHINKING SPINAL CORD INJURY: Victim to Survivor to Thriver with Logan Seelye & Melody OwenRETHINKING JOY & KINDNESS Thru Art & Urban Gardening on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowRETHINKING LIFELONG IINTIMACY with OB/Gyn Barb Depree MD on The Dr. Theresa NIcassio ShowRETHINKING THE POWER OF ART: Caprice Hogg (& Melody Owen: On Embracing Life)Dr Philip Zimbardo – FROM CREATING EVIL TO INSPIRING HEROISM (The Heroic Imagination Project)LIFE-CHANGING CELIAC DISEASE with Jules Shepard on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowRETHINKING MOMENTS & MINDFUL LIVING with Marianne Pestana on The Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowRETHINKING PARENTING with Leeza Steindorf on The Dr. Theresa NIcassio ShowRETHINKING EXERCISE, AGING, MOOD & BRAIN HEALTH with Kate Maliha on the Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowFOODS THAT KILL CANCER & FOODS THAT FEED IT - Nutritionist Haely Lindau on Dr Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING HAZING, SEXUAL ASSAULTS & SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Michael Ayalon on Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING SLOW FOOD & PLEASURE with Raw Food Chef James SantRETHINKING FOOD LABELING with Caroline Moassessi on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING PAIN AS TEACHER with Dr Paul Epstein on the Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowFART FACTS: What Are Your Farts Telling You? with Dr David Miller ND on The Dr Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING FOOD & FERTILITY with Dr. Lorne Brown of Acubalance on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Show#RETHINKING #VACATIONING with Marco Aguilar (& Special Guest Appearance by Kim Vopni)RETHINKING OBSTACLES - Stories of Courage on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING AUTISM: A Mother-Daughter Love StoryRETHINKING ANOREXIA & RUNNING With Christine BlanchetteRETHINKING YOUR OWN BRAND OF SEXY with Dr. Susan Edelman on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING FOOD SECURITY & FOOD SAFETY with Jane GrueberRETHINKING HUMAN RIGHTS with LGBTQI Advocate Michelle Emson on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING SELF-ESTEEM, DISORDERED EATING & THE REPLACEMENT CHILD with Dr. Barbara JaffeRETHINKING CHEMICAL TOXICITY with Alan Bell on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING The SOCIETY FOR RECOVERING DOORMATS with Ivy Tobin on The Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowEMPOWERED AGING with SHARKIE ZARTMAN on The Dr Theresa Nicassio Show on Healthy Life RadioRETHINKING COMPASSION & ANTI BULLYING on The Dr Theresa Nicassio Radio ShowARE YOU SITTING TOO MUCH? SITTING DISEASE on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio ShowRETHINKING THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET - with Dietitian Layne Lieberman on The Dr. Theresa Nicassio Show1 / 2
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April 3, 2017: Michael Ayalon – POSITIVE CHANGE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES (LISTEN NOW)
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About Dr. Theresa
A Registered Psychologist in Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Theresa Nicassio is an integrative health and wellness educator who is fiercely committed to advocating for empowerment, inclusivity, and kindness in all its forms.
Passionate about making the world a better place, Theresa contributes to social, emotional, and environmental transformation using her professional knowledge and personal experiences for the betterment of society and the planet.
“If self-reliance and radical kindness are subversive… count me in!”
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