Intellectual Abilities Training

In developing SOI training modules for intellectual abilities training, we follow two guiding principles. First, we focus as much as possible on only one intellectual ability at a time – there are over 90 abilities in the Structure of Intellect, so we recommend finding which are most in need of development, and then in turn we concentrate on training each of the single abilities. We use the SOI Learning Abilities test to determine which abilities are most in need of development. We have over two hundred printed and computer-based modules that train one (or at the most two) abilities at a time. The results of the SOI assessment are the guidelines as to which of these modules to use.

Second, each of the modules is articulated from simple and relatively easy tasks to more complex and challenging ones. This allows the student, who is known to be weak in the ability being trained, to have initial success that can be built upon. Moreover, there are many levels to some abilities and for those we offer modules ranging from pre-school to adult in their demands. We do not, of course, label them as “pre-school” or any other level because some very primary modules may be appropriate for older students with greater learning needs. The format and content-style of the modules are as uniformly appropriate to all age levels as we can make them – this affords the practitioner as great a range as possible in prescribing for a given set of learning problems.

In using SOI training modules, we recommend two guiding principles, as well. First, for classrooms or other group use, we recommend concentrating on those SOI abilities that will be needed in the next phase of academic achievement – in other words, when using SOI training materials with a group, the emphasis is on preparation – readying the students for the demands in the curriculum ahead. This is the most effective way of forestalling learning problems. We do not individualize this instruction because we can anticipate that all students will need the training. For some students these exercises will be little more than reinforcement for abilities that they have already developed; for some students these exercises will require effort, but they will provide or improve the abilities that might have otherwise been a cause of failure; and for some students these exercises will reveal significant cognitive needs that will probably require individual attention. This practice we use in our SOI Model Schools program, which requires a period each day of classroom time and an SOI-IPP laboratory as a safety net for those students who require individual attention.

Second, for individual use, we recommend individualization – defining each client/student’s program in terms of a set of assessed intellectual needs. Toward this goal we have developed personalized workbooks and personalized CDs that train the specific abilities that assessments have shown the client-student needs. These workbooks in conjunction with the necessary perceptual and sensory-motor training, define the program that has so far been so successful in the rehabilitation of students.

This article, written by Dr. Robert Meeker, was originally published in our January 2010 newsletter.

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