Making Reading Easier

making reading easierMaking Reading Easier by Dr. Jan Bedell


A prerequisite to reading using the phonics approach is a good auditory processing ability (auditory short term memory).  If processing is not well developed, reading with phonics past three letter words can be next to impossible.  Don’t go buy another phonics program!  It isn’t the phonics program that is the issue, it is the processing that causes the difficulty.  You will learn what to do when phonics is not working and how to prepare the brain to be able to use phonics in the future.

When you work on this auditory processing skill and the others mentioned above, it can be instrumental in reducing the symptoms of dyslexia and other reading challenges.  Specific techniques to make reading easier are taught in this session. You will also understand how to improve reading comprehension.


Be sure to get the handout attached for information and discounts.

 – 17-MakingReadingEasier

Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here


Absent Minded Professor

absent minded professorThat Absent-Minded Professor with Dr. Jan Bedell Podcast #16

Do you have an Absent-Minded Professor at your house?  The child that is really smart but has a low attention span, trouble sitting still, difficulty following directions, knows something one day and not the next, overreacts to sounds, touch, etc.  Many of these are symptoms of ADD/ADHD and from our point of view are caused by something in the brain that is not quite working the way it should.

Be sure to get the handout below.

Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here


The medical model is to give medications and suggest ways to cope and compensate for these sometimes debilitating symptoms.  Behaviorists suggest treating the symptoms with behavioral strategies.  Let me ask you this: If a child is challenged by a tactile system that is giving the wrong messages and causing an overload to his sensory system to the point the child can’t pay attention to anything else, would it help for someone to tell the child to sit still?  The answer is; no!  You would be asking the impossible.  Let’s have a paradigm shift to looking at the root cause of the symptom instead of trying to control or medicate it.

Here on this podcast you will hear of possible causes such as the reaction to stress and metabolic issues with an emphasis on the disorganized brain. The NeuroDevelopmental Approach offers a way to look at the root cause of symptoms.  Stimulating the brain at the root changes the function of the brain.  Yes, you can change the function of the brain, which in turn changes the function of the individual. To help you find those root causes, Little Giant Steps offers several options.  One option is a NeuroDevelopmental Screening available in Texas in the DFW area, Houston and Austin as well as at 2017 Home School Conventions in Sandusky, OH; Atlanta, GA; Nashville, TN; Benton, AR; Iowa, Oklahoma City, OK; and in Orlando, FL. , see “Our Services” in the dropdown menu in the top navigation bar for details.

If you are concerned about the academic progress of your Absent-minded Professor just look at the test results in math, reading recognition and reading comprehension in the handout on this page.  Academics can actually be accelerated instead of the child struggling and becoming behind as is typical with other approaches to treating ADD/ADHD.

Check in next week as we explore how to make reading easier.

Be sure to get the handout attached here!  #Absent Minded Professor – Handout Podcast 16

Photo Credit: All Rights Reserved 2017, @tomwang

ADD/ADHD A Drug Free Solution

ADD - ADHDADD/ADHD A Drug Free Solution with Dr. Jan Bedell

Podcast #15

Show Notes: ADD/ADHD A Drug-Free Solution

The labels ADD/ADHD are symptomatic labels.  In other words, there is not a blood test or brain scan used to diagnosis an individual with this label.  Typically, there is a list of symptoms or a checklist filled out by the family and the diagnosing professional.  As a NeuroDevelopmentalist, it is deemed important to explore all the possible causes of the symptoms instead of just giving a label.  Here we discuss three main areas that cause symptoms of ADD/ADHD: metabolic (chemistry of the body), neurodevelopmental, and how the individual reacts to stress.  Our experience has proven that by addressing the root causes, the symptoms diminish and often disappear altogether.  This produces a drug-free solution to an ever growing problem of children and adults being labeled with ADD and ADHD.

Next week, we will cover more root causes in each of these strategic categories.  Be sure to tune in to the next episode to get a better understanding of why the symptoms of ADD/ADHD are so prevalent in our society today.  With a little knowledge and some consistent effort, this epidemic can be turned around.

Be sure to get the handout attached here!  ADD symptom handout

Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here



Photo Credits – All Rights Reserved Copyright RawPixel 2017

She’s Such A Drama Queen

drama queenShe’s Such a Drama Queen!

This podcast explores the root causes of why children act out  and some solutions children that seem to get out of control.

Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here


He Is Just Not Trying

He is Just Not Trying with Jan Bedell

Podcast #13

Have you ever thought that your child is not trying? There could be a number of reasons for your child’s behavior. In this podcast, Jan explores those reasons and ways you can help.

Visit our sponsor Little Giant Steps for information about

  • Free auditory processing kit – here
  • Help for math facts – here
  • Brain boosting products – here


Show Notes: “He’s Just Not Trying


It is estimated that 1 in 5 US children suffer as a struggling learner.  Many of them deal with this in silence because they don’t know that anything is off. They have gone through life to this point in their current condition.  These children are typically highly intelligent and that intelligence helps learning struggles and even disabilities to hide because of their ability to cope and compensate.

Parents, knowing that their child is smart, can misjudge the situation and think the child is just not trying when in fact there may be inefficiencies in the brain that cause the troubling behaviors.  Learn in this episode several examples of smart children that were thought to be goofing off, not paying attention or just not trying.  There are ways to help these challenges and heal the relationship between the parents and the children.

Ruth Young, a 10 year veteran NeuroDevelopmentalist, certified teacher and home school mom of five, joins Jan to share some experiences with students that have labels like ADD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, high functioning autism and others.  You will also find examples of those without labels whose parents were extremely frustrated with the current academic performance and poor behaviors.  Discover the interventions responsible for turning a negative situation into understanding for the parent and help for the child.

A thorough description of the starter neurodevelopmental program called Developmental Foundations is given in this episode. Also, hear about the exciting results for a young man that wanted to go to college but ACT scores were too low before using the Developmental Foundations for 3 ½ months. Exciting transformations of lives and release of true God-given potential are possible when parents are educated as to the cause of struggles and learning/behavioral labels. 

Photo Credits Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved.@sabphoto

School Reboot After A Break

School Reboot After a Break with Dr. Jan Bedell

Show Notes:

Everyone needs a break from the school routine but how do you gracefully get back in the swing of things after a holiday or summer break?  That is the focus of today’s podcast.   Breaks from school typically come with other challenges that make it fun, stressful, wonderful and exhausting.  Now it is time to get back in the groove for a successful new semester.  This can come with its own challenges but is often intensified when a child has learning struggles or label.

First, don’t try to start up full force expecting everything to fall into place as it was before the break. Another encouragement to you is to take a hard look at what learning takes place naturally during the course of the day and give yourself credit for that.  What vocabulary is being expanded as you talk to your children or interject as they play?  Look at how they are developing manners as they move through their day and you encourage them to be polite, ask a question a different way, respond to a situation differently.  Those skill will serve them all their lives even more that a lot of history lessons will do.   Even the little ones are gaining skills like number sense when counting match box cars they got for Christmas or interacting with gravity as the cars careen from the table to the floor.  There is so much more to life than learning from textbooks or curriculum.

Getting back into math for many children and especially for those with dyscalculia or math dread can be challenging to put it mildly.  Jan Bedell, the Brain Coach will give you tips on how to make that transition much easier.  The recall of previously learned math concepts can be an easy one with the right technique.

Hints for the first few days back at school after the break:

  • Start with only one or two subjects the first few days and add a little at a time.
  • Spend time reading to the children for extended amount of time to get them back in the habit of sustained focus.

Recommended reading:

  • Upper elementary/middle school age – The Bronze Bow (tie this to your study of Roman times) and Carry on Mr. Bowditch (American History/Navigation)
  • Elementary age- Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin (America’s first Artist)


Avoiding Labels

avoiding labelsAvoiding Labels – Podcast #11

To Label or Not To Label? That is the question. 

This podcast discusses whether or not labels are effective and the amazing work from Jan Bedell at Little Giant Steps


Show Notes: Avoiding Labels

It is a very challenging world out there for parents of struggling learners.  All types of questions arise like:

  • Why can’t my child stay focused on his work?
  • Why can’t she remember from one day to the next? Is she just not paying attention or is there something else at the bottom of this?
  • Is this a character/behavior issue or is there another reason for this inability to follow directions?
  • Why is reading, math, spelling and/or writing so hard for her/him?
  • Why are textures of food such an issue?
  • Shouldn’t getting dressed in the morning be a little easier? After all it is just a sock!
  • Do I need to get him/her tested for a learning disability?

There are often many ramifications when a label is given to a child.  It will probably become part of the permanent record that follows the individual throughout life. Expectations are often lowered resulting in reduced performance because we often live up to others’ expectations. Labels typically imply there is something wrong and that the person has to live by coping and compensating for a lifetime.   A label, more times than not, can result in reduced academic workload that causes the child to get further behind each year.  According to the Brain Coach, this is no way to reach one’s full potential in life!

The NeuroDevelopmental Approach takes a different look at the symptoms in the questions listed above.  Looking for what causes these challenges is the first step toward finding the way to stimulate the brain so it changes.  A changed brain produces changed abilities.  Changed abilities causes changed behaviors. Many times labels like dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia frequently come with a vague list of things that could be tried and often leave parents confused as to what to do next. Sometimes labels come with recommendations for expensive therapies.  The “Brain Coach Tip” here is that these type labels can and often should be avoided.

Learn in this podcast about families that had labels like PDD-NOS, Angelman’s Syndrome and Autism but through a different approach, beat the odds. In all these cases, the outcome was totally different from the expectation given with the label. You will also hear about those that didn’t have labels like dyslexia but would have if the parent had taken a different path.

This episode also explores the situations where having a label is advisable or absolutely necessary.


God Made Us Different

God made us differentGod Made Us Different with Dr. Jan Bedell

Podcast #10

Intelligence comes in many forms. In this episode, Dr. Jan explores Dr. Howard Gardner’s identification of many different ways in which a person can be intelligent.  Besides your specific “IQ smarts,” you may also have kinesthetic, spatial, musical, logical/mathematical, linguistic, naturalist, interpersonal or intra-personal intelligence.  Most people have a combination of several of the intelligences, but God made us different for a reason.  Our differences make the world go round.  It would be very boring if we were all the same and many needed jobs would go unfilled. The different intelligences also may influence a person’s learning style. However, just as we discussed in the learning styles episodes recently, you have to have an organized brain that is functioning optimally or symptoms of learning struggles and learning challenges start to appear.  Many symptoms on the ADD/ADHD, CAPD, dyslexia and even the autism spectrum checklists (or tests) come from not being able to fulfill your giftedness in a particular intelligence because of a disorganized brain.

Handout – ways-we-are-intelligent-handout

Visit our sponsor at Little Giant Steps 


Learning Style – here

Shoring UP Learning Style – here

Key Points: God Made Us Different

The brain has to have good working pathways to be able to receive, process, store and then use information.  Different parts of the brain are responsible for different social and personal skills.  See the Brain Training handout associated with this podcast for a more comprehensive list.

A short list of brain levels and their responsibilities:

  • Pons – empathy, bonding, attachment, social cues, moral choices (note: extra work at this level is extremely helpful for adopted children).
  • Midbrain – immune system, controlling anger, motivation, impulse control, memory for learning.
  • Cortex – formal reasoning, thinking before acting, test taking, eye/hand coordination for sport.

In her book How Am I Smart, Dr. Kathy Koch breaks these intelligences down into very understandable stories that demonstrate: word smart, logic smart, picture smart, music smart, body smart, nature smart, people smart and self-smart. This book can be very encouraging to you and your children.

Also included here is a Ways We Are Intelligent handout with details of each of the intelligences.


Graphic Credits: 2016 All Rights Reserved @Syda_Productions

The Foundation: Learning Styles

The Foundation Learning StylesShoring Up The Foundation of Learning Styles with Dr. Jan Bedell

Podcast #9

The brain has an incredible ability to grow and change in order to shore up the foundations for learning.  There are certain natural intelligences that are God given which are outlined here. The question is, what is the best way to take advantage of these intelligences?  To overcome the learning challenges that are plaguing a staggering 1 in 5 US children and to build a foundation of proper functioning, one must understand the brain’s amazing abilities and how it can change from proper stimulation. Learn how to enhance the function of the auditory, visual and tactile systems so learning can flow naturally through the best learning channel for each particular task.

The labeling of our children with learning disabilities is at epidemic proportion.  Many labels have their origin in specific inefficiencies, i.e. dyslexics often have visual issues, low auditory and visual short term memory and mixed dominance; a major contributor to ADD symptoms stems from low auditory sequential processing and ADHD adds sensory issues to that low auditory processing deficit; CAPD can be a combination of low auditory processing and tonal or hypersensitive hearing issues; the autistic spectrum population has many sensory issues including the hypersensitivity of the tactile system.   The good news is that these inefficiencies in the brain can change.  Listen in for tips and strategies to change the brain’s structure for superior function.

Visit our sponsor at Little Giant Steps 


Understanding The Foundation Of All Learning

Understanding The Foundation Of All LearningUnderstanding the Foundation of all Learning with Dr. Jan Bedell

The Learning Styles Philosophy has become a paradigm of many in academia and adopted by homeschool families as well.  It promotes the notion that you should find the primary learning style of each student and then teach whatever you are teaching through that style.  The NeuroDevelopmenatal Approach to life and learning promotes the idea that it is best to have brain efficiency in all areas to be most successful in academic pursuits.  Brain inefficiencies in a tactile, auditory or visual channel can cause a student to choose a particular learning style or have a particular learning preference because of the shortcomings in another area.  If there are several inefficiencies in the way the brain is taking in information, the student will most likely be labeled with such things as  ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum and dyslexia or struggle with reading, writing, math or all of the above.  The good news is that with the right kind of brain stimulation, learning struggles don’t have to last a lifetime.

Visit our sponsor at Little Giant Steps 


Key Points: 

The foundation of all learning styles lies in how well the brain is working in each area.

Brain inefficiencies that effect a person’s learning style:

  • Brain organization
  • Processing (visual and auditory short term memory)
  • Hand, eye, ear, and foot dominance that affect long-term memory

NeuroDevelopmental brain training can often eliminate these inefficiencies and help the individual learn through all learning styles.

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