Training the body – pretty common among exercise enthusiasts but what about training the brain?
Learning Rx, the first brain training facility in the Illinois, is making it possible.
Nine year-old Alex Gansburg has struggled with reading and math in elementary school but thanks to his trainer he’s seeing improvement.
“At school I used to be scared to do some things in front of my whole class but now Learning RX is making me more confident,” said Gansburg.
The fourth-grader spends more than an hour performing intense mental exercises to a metronome, like memorizing a pattern of blank spaces and numbers on a card.
“The metronome that we use makes an individual process their speed and stay attentive to the tasks that’s being asked of them,” said Mia Tischer, Executive Director of Learning RX. “It makes the brain respond on beat, making you much faster, much more efficient.”
Upon signing up, clients take a one-hour pre-test, which costs $249. This determines their weaknesses in seven cognitive skills, including attention, logic, memory, and visual processing. A program is then created to address those needs.
Different than tutoring, Learning Rx focuses not on what to learn but how to learn, by strengthening the brain’s neural networks.
“As far as the neural networks in your brain, when you exercise it in intense mental exercise programs, it responds the same way as it does in physical fitness,” said Tischer. “Learning RX calls it mental sweat and science calls it mental plasticity.”
The program can help slow learners, kids with ADHD or Dyslexia, or even adults looking to improve their memory or gain a competitive edge.
An activity I tried had me citing different manipulations of a sequence of arrows, all while staying on pace to the metronome, not as easy as it looks.
“First we did color. Then we did direction and then we were turning the arrows,” said Lori Bloomfield. “So we’re working a lot on attention because they really have to focus on what they’re doing in this skill.”
As for Alex Gansburg who began his brain training just this summer, that mental sweat is already paying off.
“As of this month and its only been a month since they’ve been in school, he will not be pulled out for reading so that’s been the biggest thing for us,” said Michelle Gansburg, Alex’s mother.
For more information visit www.learningrx.com.
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