Archive for the ‘learning differences’ Category

Fidgeting and Reslessness: Whole Classroom Solution. – Doc Meek

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I was asked this question somewhat in desperation by a teacher of junior high school age students. About 20 students had signed up for an after-school study skills course.

The teacher had thought that these teenagers would be attentive since they had joined this group to improve their marks in school.

Not so!

The students chattered with each other, and wandered about the room, more intent on looking at their electronic devices than attending to what the teacher had to say.

The teacher had grown exceedingly weary of appealing to the group and encouraging individual students to “settle down.”

“Global” problem

I advised the teacher that, generally speaking, almost all students in Canada and the US are deficient in the essential calming mineral magnesium because our society (unknowingly it appears) has removed the three major sources of calming magnesium that were historically available to all:


When major municipal drinking water suppliers added fluoride for dental health purposes, apparently they were unaware that the additive binds up the naturally-occurring essential calming mineral magnesium so that it is no longer bio-available to those drinking that water.


When major milk suppliers fortified milk with Vitamin D for health purposes, apparently they were unaware that the additive binds up the naturally-occurring essential calming magnesium so that it is no longer bio-available to those who are drinking the milk.


When major corporate food suppliers produced food on a mass scale, apparently they were unaware that this practice depleted soils of many essential trace minerals, including the essential calming mineral magnesium.

“Global” Solution

Global efforts by scientists to remove unhealthy man-made fluoride (an industrial waste product) from municipal drinking water supplies are underway. See, for example, FAN (Fluoride Action Network): <>

However, in the meantime, this doesn’t help the teacher, so I suggested the teacher try a “global” solution within her own classroom:

Encourage (require?) all students to carry a water bottle with them, containing pure non-fluoridated water with naturally-occurring calming magnesium, and have them sip the good water all day long.

This gives the students a triple benefit:

(1) The students are getting (again) the essential calming mineral magnesium in the water they are now sipping all day long.

(2) The students are hydrating their brains, and this is big, because most students (owing to consumption of sugar-water drinks, soda pop, etc.) are dehydrated and brains need hydration to work properly.

(3) This helps all of the students, not just those who have been “officially” diagnosed with attention disorders such as ADD or ADHD. Thus there is no stigma for any one individual student, a great advantage in any problem-solution effort.

Students may need a calcium-magnesium dietary supplement 

There are many magnesium-rich foods and if these can be located and consumed (minus the usual pesticides and mineral soil-depletion), this can be very helpful in reducing general anxiety, restlessness and fidgeting among students and adults alike.

And finding good mineral-rich foods is the best route to take.

However, because of the general deficiency of magnesium in water, milk and food supplies in Canadian and US society, students may be well-advised to take a good pure calcium-magnesium dietary supplement from a quality supplier. For example, see

Many doctors prescribe calcium for bone health (and other reasons) without being aware that calcium requires its companion magnesium to ensure proper bio-availability of both the calcium and the calming magnesium.

The ideal combination of calcium and calming magnesium (whether taken together in the same supplement, or taken separately) is 2 to 1. For example, if you are taking about 1200 to 1600 milligrams of pure calcium daily, then for proper use and bio-availability you need about half that amount in magnesium, about 600 to 800 milligrams of pure calming magnesium.

If the amount of magnesium you take daily produces loose stools, either eat more insoluble fibre or reduce the amount of  magnesium a bit.

Pure water and essential magnesim hydrate and calm the brain and the body

The students were initially reluctant to undertake the pure water sipping routine in the classroom (no sugar drinks, soda pop or coffee allowed), but when the teacher gladly led by example and some of the students followed her example and found their brains worked much better, soon all of the students were sipping and studying easier and remembering longer.

Great “global” solution for a “global” deficiency of essential calming magnesium and pure water hydration of the brain!

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, Thurs, Apr 3, 2014

P.S. Happy Sipping! (Pure water only!) :o

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“Imaginary friends in your head.” – Doc Meek

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I had the privilege of helping a “little guy” in Grade One. He was struggling and struggling. He felt he would never be able to learn. He was way behind in arithmetic and reading.

I asked Sam (not his real name) if there was anything he liked about school.



Suddenly Sam brightened.

“I really like playing on the monkey bars at recess!” he said brightly.

“Are you good at it?” I encouraged.

“Oh yeah, I can climb better than the other kids.”

An imaginary climber in his head 

“Sam, why don’t we pretend you have a little climber in your head that helps you climb monkey bars?”

Sam loved it. A friend in his head.

“Is your little climber that lives in your head a good climber?” I inquired.

“Oh yeah,” said Sam.

Climber and Adder and Reader Makes Three

“Which is easier for you, Sam… arithmetic or reading?”

“Neither one.”

“I know… and if you had to pick one, which would be easier?”

Sam frowned… then brightened and blurted out: “I can do adding!”

“Good! Let’s pretend you have a little guy in your head that helps you with adding.”

Sam liked that. Two friends in his head. Both good helpers.

“Hey!” I blurted out, “let’s pretend you have a little guy in your head that helps you with reading!”

“He’s not very good,” said Sam sadly.

 A friend in need is a friend indeed 

“Yeah… but he’s good two good friends to help him out… Climber and Adder, right?”

“I never thought of that,” said Sam thoughtfully.

“Why don’t we have Climber and Adder make friends with Reader!” I exclaimed. “Climber and Adder are really good helpers and maybe they can help Reader become a really good helper too! What do you think?”

Sam caught the vision at once and brightened considerably: “Hey, let’s have them all be good friends and help each other!”

Guess what!?

Sam and his three friends (Climber, Adder and Reader) lived happily ever after.

Would it surprise you to learn that Reader became better and better and better and better?

 - Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“Outdoors time = Better marks in school.”- Doc Meek

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Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

“Low-cost learning coach is golden.” – Doc Meek

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Harold (not his real name) was brought into the learning clinic by his frustrated father, a single parent. “All I want to know,” said he, “is how it is possible for my boy to be in Grade 5 and still not reading properly?”

So began a somewhat tense discussion between the father and myself, a Neurological Learning Specialist at THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE.

Different Brains Learn Different Ways

“Different brains learn in different ways,” I said to the father. “Some brains learn in very unusual ways, and the school system cannot keep up with all the variations, so they tend to teach in a few standard ways and many of the pupils learn to read using those few regular ways, and the rest tend to suffer.”

“So can you help my boy learn to read properly?” asked the father anxiously. “Most likely,” I said.

Harold attended the learning clinic for several Saturdays in a row, about an hour each Saturday. I asked the father to bring in tests of hearing and eyesight for Harold and they were normal.

Specialized Reading Strategies

I taught Harold various visualization strategies (drawing a quick rough outline of an object, such as a dog for example, and writing DOG right on the dog, not under it as a caption).

Then I said to the father, “We need Harold to be working with someone every single day for 10-15 minutes with various active learning strategies. An hour on Saturday with me won’t do the job. For one thing it’s too expensive and Harold will not make the needed progress unless he practices learning strategies daily.”

A Low-cost Learning Coach

I asked the father to find an inexpensive daily learning coach. “The lady next door? A Grade 11 student who could work with Harold every noon hour at school?”

“The learning coach does not need to have any professional credentials,” I emphasized.

“The only requirement for the learning coach is that they like Harold. ”

“And that Harold likes them. That’s it. ”

“I’ll teach the learning coach what to do, what simple learning strategies to practice each day with Harold, and you can bring Harold and his learning coach in to see me occasionally on Saturdays so we can see how things are going, OK?”

The father kept bringing Harold in every Saturday and said, “I can’t find anybody handy to work with Harold.”

“You’re wasting your money if you don’t get a daily learning coach to help,” I said, “and more to the point, Harold will not be making the progress he needs to make to be successful in school without a few minutes practice every day with the learning coach.”

An Older Student for a Learning Coach (“Reading Buddy”)

Finally, the father found a Grade 7 student to help. I was concerned the boys were only two grades apart. I was afraid they would just play around and not do any useful practice with reading.

I kept my concerns to myself.

Because the Grade 7 student was so close to Harold’s age, we decided to call him a “reading buddy” instead of a learning coach.

It was wonderful to watch this reading buddy work gently with Harold in practicing his daily learning strategies.

Now, with his daily practice in place for 15 minutes every noon hour at school, Harold’s reading skills began to soar!

The father was delighted and so was Harold!

Harold’s marks soared at school as well, and his teacher was so pleased.

The Reading Buddy Himself Struggled with Reading

I found out later that the Grade 7 student had reading problems and if I had known that I probably would not have been willing to let him act as Harold’s reading buddy.

It speaks volumes about being non-judgmental doesn’t it? The reading buddy was just far enough ahead of Harold to be of real value to him.

Because Harold’s reading buddy struggled so much with reading himself, he never ridiculed Harold about his struggles with reading.

Who would have guessed that such an unlikely pair would have made such a good reading pair?

The “take-home” lesson?

Low-cost reading buddies are worth their weight in gold!

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

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“Why is he fighting all the time?” the mother anguished.

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“Why is He Fighting All the Time?”

Blaine (not his real name) was always fighting in the schoolyard at his elementary school. 

The school principal phoned his mother to say Blaine would be suspended if the fighting did not stop.

Finally Blaine’s mother brought him in to see a Neurological Learning Specialist at THE LEARNING CLINIC.

“Why is he fighting all the time?” the mother anguished.

“Can you help him to stop fighting?”

“What else is going on?” the specialist asked. 

“He has struggled since grade one and gets poor marks,” said the mother.

She went on to say that his biggest problem was that he was now in grade four and still did not know how to read.

The learning specialist asked Blaine what he liked about school.


“What are you good at?” “Nothing.”

“What do you like outside of school?” 

Blaine brightened and said he loved to ski.

“Are you good at it?”

“Pretty good.”

The mother confirmed that Blaine was, in fact, a top notch skier.

“I can beat my Dad down the hill!” Blaine piped up.

Skier : Little boy on skis in deep snow on a steep slope

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“Hey, way to go!” exclaimed the learning specialist, gently touching the right side of Blaine’s head.

Different Parts of the Brain in Charge of Different Skills 

“Hey Blaine, wouldn’t it be great if you could read just like you ski down the mountain, smoothly and easily now?”

The learning specialist then played a game with Blaine, touching the left side of Blaine’s head.

He had Blaine imagine the great skier (in the right side of his head) befriending the not-so-great reader (in the left side of his head).

Then they imagined the skier teaching the reader to read “smooth as a skier going downhill in good snow on a sunny day.” :o

And so…

As the imaginary great skier (in the right side of Blaine’s brain) taught the imaginary reader (in the left side of his brain), Blaine the boy in Grade 4 at school gradually learned to read “smooth as silk.”

Would it surprise you to learn that as Blaine learned to read well, his fighting stopped?

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Friday, January 24, 2014

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Lady Aquamarine Hides Secret Shame – Doc Meek

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By Dr. J. Collins (“Doc”) Meek

Once upon a time an undersea lady of noble blood pined to become a mortal. Finally, miraculously, her wish was granted. She became mortal and soon joined a women’s precision swim team.

No longer burdened with royal demands and expectations, Lady Aquamarine (now simply known as Andrea) entered upon her human adventure with great gusto. Her undersea swimming talents made for high success on the women’s precision swim team.

Still, mortality was a real challenge in many ways. This created moments in her life that were difficult and joyful, both.

She and her team rose to the top of their rank and were known and lauded far and wide.

Painful Secret

But alas, the Aquamarine Lady had a painful secret. Very painful. Although she was lauded and loved by everyone, she covered her heart in shame within herself. She spoke to no one of her carefully guarded secret…

Life went on.

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One day, she was talking with her mother (Lady Amelia of the North Sea) and told her that though she was highly successful as a precision swimmer (of course!), she was failing as a mortal because she could not read. Her mother reminded her that a return to her former undersea life was not possible.

“I Am So Ashamed”

“Why don’t you seek some way to learn to read?” her mother asked innocently. “Impossible!” exclaimed Andrea, thoroughly discouraged. “I’ve tried everything and nothing works. I’ll never be able to learn to read. I am so ashamed!”

“Better seek out the Old Man of the Sea,” her mother intoned and dove back into her accustomed watery domain.

The Old Man of the Sea was elusive.

Hope at Last

So Andrea asked her mortal friend Andilusia, “What can I possibly do?” Andilusia said, “I’ve heard there is a doctor who helps hopeless cases. The mothers love him because he gives them hope for their troubled children.

Andrea sought far and wide for this hopeful doctor. When she finally found him, she pleaded with him to help her learn to read. He asked her, “What is the one thing on earth you love most?”

Andrea immediately related her adventures as a precision team member. “I love the work and I love the team and I love the challenges.”

Then, for seemingly no reason, she blurted out, “But what I love the most is swimming in the aquamarine waters of the South Pacific islands!” She didn’t tell him this was in her former undersea life of course. She was afraid he would not believe her aquatic story.

The good doctor simply said. “Was it the warm waters that you loved?”

Aquamarine Hues Can Speak! 

“Yes,” mused Andrea, “And mostly the incredible aquamarine hues!”

“You have no idea of the magnificence of the aquamarine hues,” she said, almost weeping.

“Well, it is obvious then,” said the good doctor, “we need to have those inspiring aquamarine hues teach you now to learn to read.”

“What!?” exclaimed Andrea, not willing to believe the good doctor knew that lovely-hued waters could talk with her as in her former undersea life.

Colored Overlays a Big Surprise

“Here,” said the good doctor, “Look at these gel colored overlays that are used to cover spotlights in the world of dramatic productions, presentations and plays.”

“Oh,” blurted Andrea, “Sometimes they put spotlights on us when our precision swim team is performing, especially in the evenings.”

Andrea immediately sought out one of the technicians who operated the spotlights for the team. He showed her an array of gel colored overlays, and she quickly picked several that were an exact match with the aquamarine waters of her South Seas experiences.

Andrea placed one of the aquamarine gels over the first page in a book she longed to read.

The “Small Black Marks” on the Printed Page Now Made Sense!

And she could not believe her eyes! The normal blur of quaint black marks on the page now shimmered gently in a quiet sea. She noticed that some of the quaint black marks (now softened by one of the aquamarine colored overlays) seemed to speak to her softly, seemed to make more sense to her now.

“My love of precision swimming now gives me a love of reading that I never ever thought I could achieve!” she rejoiced.

She wept for joy.

Defeats Dyslexia

With time, she learned individual words and phrases and loved to make sense of the whole sentence, then the whole paragraph and then the whole story.

And so, thanks to the colored overlays she was now using every day, she went merrily on her way! She got on with her life with great precision and great happiness.

Once thoroughly defeated, Lady Aquamarine now thoroughly defeats dyslexia.


J Collins Meek, Ph.D., shows children and adults how to defeat dyslexia, ADHD, and many different kinds of learning problems. He is in private practice in Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA. He is an expert at creating innovative protocols to help children and adults triumph over learning difficulties.

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“Solving unsolvable problems can be an adventure!” – Doc Meek

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Solve every ADHD challenge! – Doc Meek

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Today I am full of gratitude for all my clients (both children and adults) who have overcome learning problems and are blooming like fresh flowers (even though it’s the middle of winter!). :o 

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- Doc Meek, Tueday, December 3, 2013, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

“Nominate your favorite school for a $3,000 gift.” – Pat Wyman,

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Amazing GradesToday I am grateful (again) for Pat Wyman’s enduring educational leadership, both in person and in her famous website. – Doc Meek, Wed, Sept 25, 2013, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA 

Here’s another huge FREE gift announcement from Pat Wyman of

Hi Doc Meek,
I am so glad that you are one of our Amazing Grades Contributing Authors!


Enter to win $3,000 in school supplies and the Amazing Grades book for your favorite school 

The URL (LINK) for the website for this contest is:

Nordic Naturals, the #1 fish oil company in the U.S., is sponsoring the What’s Essential(TM) School Supplies Giveaway September 20 – October 31, 2013.

One lucky school will win $3,000 for school supplies, while the first 500 schools to enter will receive a copy of Pat Wyman’s best-selling book, Amazing Grades: 101 Best Ways to Improve Your Grades Faster for their school library.

To enter your favorite elementary, middle, or high school, click here.

Why is an omega-3 supplement company concerned about kids, schools, and education, you might ask?
Click this image to enter your school

Nordic Naturals, a global company based in Watsonville, CA, is committed to giving each generation what it needs to grow healthy and strong. That begins with exceptionally pure and fresh omega oils–essential for optimal health at any age.

Omega-3 fish oils are especially critical for children and students because of the many ways they support brain health.

In Amazing Grades, contributor Dr. Keri Marshall, Chief Medical Officer for Nordic Naturals, writes:

“Recent research suggests that the brain’s frontal lobe, which is associated with impulse control, planning, organization, and decision-making abilities, continues to grow well into a person’s twenties.

“We need all those skills to succeed in life, but especially to succeed in school.”

Dr. Marshall goes on to explain that extensive clinical research shows that the omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil help nourish the brain and offer key benefits in these areas.

Unfortunately, Americans of all ages consume too few omega-3s, found in cold-water fish like salmon and sardines.
This problem is made worse by the fact that most people also consume too many omega-6s–essential fatty acids that compete for space with omega-3s in our cells and contribute to poor health. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in processed foods and in vegetable oils like corn and soy found in so many of the foods we eat.

“This imbalance in the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats,” Dr. Marshall says in Amazing Grades, “can promote inflammation and may contribute to a variety of health problems, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, and other behavioral and psychological issues.

The good news, Dr. Marshall says, is that a growing number of studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids can have powerful, positive effects throughout the body, including in the brain.
Click the image to enter your school
Some of the impressive findings include:

Attention and Behavior: In a University of South Australia clinical study, 132 children with ADHD between the ages of 7 and 12 who were not on medication were given fish oil capsules. At the end of the study, they were calmer, less impulsive, and showed improvements in attention, behavior, and vocabulary.

Higher Grades and Test Scores: Studies show that just the simple addition of cold-water fish to the diet once a week improves grades and leads to higher scores on intelligence tests.

Learning and Literacy: Improvements in verbal learning and spelling, better information retention, and even taking fewer sick days from school were some of the outcomes noted in a group of children who regularly took omega-3 fish oil supplements. That research was conducted with 355 children between the ages of 7 and 12.

Memory and Problem Solving: During pregnancy, mothers preferentially transfer their own stores of omega-3 to their developing babies. “Researchers have found that children whose mothers consumed enough of these healthy fats while pregnant are more likely to score higher on tests of memory function,” Dr. Marshall writes, “while other evidence suggests that babies who receive formula supplemented with EPA and DHA do better at problem-solving tasks than their peers.”

Lasting Benefits: Research also supports the fact that taking omega-3s has lasting cognitive benefits. Eighteen-year-olds who ate more fish at 15 outperformed their non-fish eating counterparts on tests of combined intelligence, verbal performance, and visiospatial performance.

Dr. Marshall summarizes, in Amazing Grades, “Studies like these demonstrate just how important it is to get omega-3s throughout childhood and adolescence. Yet most people aren’t getting anywhere near what they should. That’s why I and many health care experts recommend supplementing with omega-3s in the form of fish oil (algae oil if you’re vegetarian).”

Dr. Marshall recommends Nordic Naturals award-winning supplements for children because of their exceptional purity and freshness, delivery systems kids enjoy (gummies, chewable soft gels and liquids), and great taste.

To read more of Dr. Marshall’s article, enter your school in the Nordic Naturals What’s Essential School Supplies Giveaway and win a copy of Pat Wyman’s best-selling book Amazing Grades for your school library!

PatPat Wyman
Founder,  (707) 837 8180
Best selling author, Amazing GradesSpelling Made Easy and more - Amazon Author Page
College Professor for teachers”Be ashamed to die before you have won some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann”There are two ways to live your life; one as if nothing is a miracle, and the other as if everything is a miracle.”  Albert Einstein
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Thank you Pat Wyman and!

Doc Meek, Wed, Sept 25, 2013, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

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“Can emotional intelligence be taught?” – Jennifer Kahn

 Call (587) 400-4707 right now to set up your FREE initial consultation with Dr. Meek, or click the banner below.

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Today I am full of gratitude for people like Jennifer Kahn, who asks, “”If everybody knows that test scores and grades aren’t the keys to success, how do we teach, and measure, the things that are?” – Doc Meek, Wed, Sept 11, 2013, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA

In an article in The New York Times, Education Issue, Sept 11, 2013, Jennifer Kahn outlines programs some schools and some teachers are successfully using to mitigate the damage caused by emotional trauma. It’s not just the emotional damage, it’s the educational damage! Thank you, Jennifer Kahn!

HERE IS THE LINK to Jennifer’s article:

THE EDUCATION ISSUE of The New York Times, September 11, 2013

Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?

  • Photos by Holly Andres for The New York Times


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