Louise Kavanagh, Special Education Teacher at the Dubai British School Jumeirah Park
Like many teachers, Louise Kavanagh wants the best for her students. Louise was drawn to special education because she wanted to help her students with disabilities access learning and education with ease. Students with learning and developmental disabilities need for teachers to listen and learn about them to be able to identify ways to make learning easier for them by using an individualized approach.
“I loved trying to find out how I could support them, how I could learn what they knew and how I could learn to tap into their knowledge and make communicating easier for them.”
The Dubai British School is a school for students starting at year one through year thirteen. There, Louise works with students that have learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Often, the students will have an educational psychologist assess them to identify cognitive areas that could be impacting their ability to learn and perform in school. Once the assessments are reviewed, Louise is able to work with students on their areas of weakness using HappyNeuron Pro to help them learn effective cognitive strategies that they can apply to their schooling.
“We use [HappyNeuron Pro] for students with identified needs in an educational psychology report … if they have completed educational psychology assessments which reveal a deficit in working memory or auditory processing … and of course HappyNeuron Pro correlates well with that so it makes it easy for us to put that support in place. You can do it from home, and parents are very positive about it. ” – Louise Kavanagh .
HappyNeuron Pro has 45 exercises which are separated according to the cognitive domain that they are targeting. HappyNeuron Pro has exercises that target executive functions, verbal memory, visual memory, verbal and visual memory, visual attention, spatial memory, visual-spatial skills, processing speed, and auditory processing. Education professionals as well as healthcare providers are able to select different exercises for live sessions as well as to provide their clients with homework that allow them to build the foundations of essential cognitive skills and learn strategies to compensate for areas of difficulty.
Many teachers come across children that have executive functioning or working memory deficits which can impact their ability to learn and retain information. Children that experience cognitive difficulties may disengage from the classroom as these deficits can make participating in classroom learning to be exceedingly difficult and tiresome. Teachers are short on time, as they have to balance lesson planning and grading on top of searching for material that will help their students learn the foundations of and practice cognitive skills. That’s where HappyNeuron Pro comes in. HappyNeuron Pro provides digital and printable content all in one place that a teacher or education professional can access at the click of a button.
“A lot of our children have executive functioning deficits and I was struggling to find interactive hands-on tools that were easy to use and beneficial as well as tailored to individual needs. We found it incredibly time consuming when we were looking at planning…” – Louise Kavanagh.
When working with students, it is important to monitor individual progress and help the students generalize the cognitive strategies they are learning to the academic environment. Louise examines each student’s progress on their exercises in their HappyNeuron Pro account and asks her students about their approach to reaching more complex levels in the program. This helps students reflect on their attempts to identify which methods were successful and which ones were not to then be able to apply those strategies to their schooling.
“[HappyNeuron Pro’s] Basketball in New York game and Tower of Hanoi we look at how [students] are improving: they can do it more quickly, go onto a more challenging level, and then we ask them how they have managed to progress to apply these more complex organizational skills when at the start they were finding it more difficult. Then we go on and ask them how they can apply them to do their homework.”
Education professionals can use HappyNeuron Pro with their smart but struggling students to help them succeed academically. HappyNeuron Pro exercises are adaptable for a student’s level of ability to offer an adequate challenge while allowing them to learn new strategies and have fun. Using HappyNeuron Pro in combination with bridging exercises that connect student’s performance on their cognitive exercises, education professionals can transform how their students learn and help them excel academically.
Page last updated on Oct 21,2021