Archive for the ‘overcoming learning problems’ Category

“Dance to your heart’s content.” – Doc Meek

Exercise with Allison Cameron









Image: Allison Cameron’s Classroom in Saskatchewan

You gotta have fun doing it!

I’ve always said that the brain requires body movement. I use the word “movement” because people groan when I mention the word “exercise” (including me!). 😮

And you have to use the form of movement that you love, or at least is fun.

Why do I have to exercise in a “fun” way?

So that you will keep it up every day (or almost every day) and keep your brain!

“…studies have shown that dancing actually reduces anxiety. In one study reported in Psychology Today, patients who suffered with anxiety were assigned to one of four classes: math, music, exercise or a modern dance class. Only those who took the modern dance class saw a signifcant reduction in their anxiety.”

– Becky Griffin in Deseret News at this link:

Thank you, Becky Griffin!

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Saturday, April 18, 2015

“Walking daily helps everything!” – Doc Meek

Dr. Kenny Handelman (Image from:

ADHD Expert Spells it Out

I just received a newsletter from Dr Kenny Handelman, a Child and Adult Psychiatrist who has a private practice in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

He said he is sometimes challenged with, “What is the best natural treatment for those struggling with ADHD?”

He says he knows of one natural treatment that:

– calms the nerves

-increases focus and concentration

– reduces stress and frustration

– helps you sleep better

Exercise is King

In my practice, I have always advocated body movement as an effective antidote for ADHD stress and frustration and lack of focus.

I call it “Body Movement” because many people have negative feelings about the word “Exercise.”

As Dr Handelman says, “It is not easy for a person with ADHD to exercise.”

So I always promote something that is fun and enjoyable that gets the body moving outside in the sun (or the rain!) and fresh air. If rain dampens your spirits, walk in the shopping mall! Leave your wallet at home. 😮

Walking helps Everything

A friend of mine was extremely sick, so sick he could not get out of bed. The doctors could not help him.

He said to his wife, “If I continue to lie here in bed, I will surely die here.”

He asked her to help him stagger forth with a cane.

He said he had learned over a lifetime that “walking helps everything.”

The first day he got only as far as half way down the driveway before he collapsed and his wife had to drag him back to bed.

Day two he got to the end of the driveway before he collapsed.

Would it surprise you to learn that he started to heal from his severe illness?

Walkin’ down the road

He now walks for several miles every day and is “healthy as a horse,” as they say.

He repeats to me, “Walking helps everything.”

And it certainly helps ADHD.

Kids (and adults) who are overwhelmed with a mental task, can take “time out” and move briskly (doing whatever) with the whole body for 20 minutes, and “bring on” several hours of concentrated mental activity. Wow!

Bounce on a mini-trampoline if you don’t like walking.

If you don’t want to bounce, and you can’t go outdoors, just run on the spot. Does wonders!

20 minutes!

Sweat a little. It will do you a world of good.

In more ways than one.

Thank you, Dr Kenny!

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Tues, April 14, 2015 

“Underwhelm yourself.” – Doc Meek











Feeling overwhelmed?

Try underwhelming yourself. 😮

Many clients (both ADHD and regular clients) have observed that they easily get overwhelmed and frustrated when they attempt to address projects, or even just “simple” daily living challenges.

My counsel?

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try underwhelming yourself. 😮

Easier said than done, eh?

Reducing frustration = reducing overwhelm

Greg Kratz wrote recently about how to overcome the continual threat of frustration.

See it here at

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Tuesday, March 10, 2015

P.S. And remember, body movement of any kind, even simple walking outdoors briskly, helps “everything.”

Exercise with Allison Cameron




If you freeze the body (limit its movement), you freeze the brain (limit its functioning).

Another way to put this for you is: “Bind your body, bind your brain.”

A positive way to put this for you is: “Free your body, free your brain.”

Doc Meek shows you how to connect the “4-H’s” to join forces with your body and brain.

What are the “4-H’s” of true education? Connecting the Head/Heart/Hands/Hope.

Is your mind more than just your brain? What if you are smarter than you think you are?


–          J Collins Meek, PhD, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, March 10, 2015

“And Now… The Rest of the Story…” – Paul Harvey

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

                   J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
                   Your Trusted Learning-Teaching Guide

Why is Doc Meek so enthusiastic?

You may recall the radio personality, Paul Harvey, from many years ago now? He would do an intriguing “setup” or introductory preamble that would grab your attention, and then he would invite his rapt audience to hear “the rest of the story” after the station break.

Then he would come back on the air with enthusiasm and say, “And now… the rest of the story!” :-)

And so… readers have asked me to tell the more about why I am so enthusiastic about rescuing children from the emotional turmoil of their learning disabilities, or as I prefer to say:

Helping children triumph over their emotional pain, and have fun overcoming their learning difficulties or learning differences.

After all, it is much easier to workaround a learning difficulty or a learning difference, then it is to struggle endlessly with a seemingly fixed learning disability.


There is much more hope in playing with a learning difficulty or a learning difference.

Up the Ladder of “Success”

As I worked on my education degrees, I also worked at becoming an all around educator.

I was a special education teacher, a cross-cultural teacher, a regular school teacher, a school principal, a superintendent of schools, a provincial department of education consultant.

One day, when I was working on a policy statement for a senior official in the provincial department of education, I thought, “Where are the children?”

I had “signed up” to teach children and here I was in the administrative world of education–great work–and where was the direct work with children?

Besides, as I went up through the ranks I could not escape noticing that so many children were suffering in anguish because they either could not learn to read in grade one, or were struggling somewhere along in the grades.

Going “Backwards” into Private Practice

So I made a decision to go into private practice to help kids (and adults) overcome learning difficulties. I was terrified to “go it alone” like this, as I was used to “a regular monthly paycheck.”

It worked out just fine.

I respected the teachers who were trying so hard to help all the kids. And I especially honored the mothers who wanted success for their kids in school with all their hearts and souls.

The mothers “carried the freight” alright and I wanted to help lighten that burden if I could!

I never looked back!

I showed kids face-to-face that they were smarter than they thought!

I also showed teachers and parents how to help their students and children how to use not only their brains, but to remember that we need all of the “4-H’s” to make studying easier and remembering longer:

HEAD/HEART/HANDS/HOPE need connecting for true learning to occur.

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Sat, Dec 6, 2014



“Why do you work so hard to help kids overcome learning difficulties?” – Readers

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

                   J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
                   Your Trusted Learning-Teaching Guide

Why do I work so hard to help kids?

Many people have asked me, “What got you into the work of helping children and adults overcome learning difficulties of all kinds? How did you become a neurological learning specialist?”
To digress for a moment:
I prefer to use the words “learning difficulties” rather than “learning disabilities” because “difficulties” seem to encourage hope (if you work on your difficulties, you can probably overcome them). Whereas, “disabilities” seem to denote something permanent, like a crippled leg or something that is not easy to overcome.

So how did I get started?

I guess people are curious to know my career history, especially after they find out that I was very successful all the way through all of my schooling, right from grade 1 through to my postgraduate degrees.
They wonder why I would care so much about struggling students when I had no experience with that myself.
 Maybe a seed was planted when I was five years old. I got rheumatic fever and I was too sick to go into grade one with my friends. So my mom homeschooled me all the way through that grade one year. She was intelligent and a good teacher, so I did well, but perhaps I did feel a little bit of an “outsider,” being isolated from my friends at school.
I do know that kids struggling in school sometimes feel like an “outsider,” alone and isolated in their anguish. Maybe later I resonated with having had some of that anguish when I was young.

I didn’t know what career to pursue

When I finished my grade 12 year, I wondered what I should take at University.

I loved the English language, and loved being a member of the debating club, so I thought I might make a good lawyer. I didn’t want to be a corporate lawyer. Too dry and dusty I thought. :-)

I wanted to be a trial lawyer, to handle what I thought would be exciting litigation work in the courtroom. Dramatic arguments in front of the jury and all that. :-)

But then I was concerned that if I went into criminal law, I might end up accepting tainted or stolen money in order to earn a living. So I set that aside.

I was drawn to the world of healing (perhaps because I was so sick when I was younger), so I wondered if I should try to get into medical school. My Dad, a journeyman electrician, had a modest income and I felt that even if I worked hard to earn extra money (which I was doing all along), I could probably not afford the high tuition fees demanded by medical schools.

I did not want to run up a $200,000 student debt as some of my friends were proposing to do. (The equivalent medical student loan now runs to $350,000 – $400,000, I’m told.)

Yes, I could repay the debt out of my future physician income, but I have always been pretty cautious about debt.

(A friend of mine ran up a huge student loan debt, and then was struck down with an extremely rare medical condition and was unable to finish his medical degree, so he was/is “toast” in terms of income, both present and future.)

As my dear friend said: “It’s difficult to predict… especially the future.” :O

What would have the most impact long-term?

I thought about the impact of being a good lawyer, or being a good doctor, and I felt that the effects of my work with my clients or patients might, in one sense, be relatively short-lived.

Because it began to dawn on me (maybe because of something I was reading) that teaching, even though it wasn’t necessarily well-paying, could have long-term or even permanent effects if done well. All through mortality perhaps, and maybe even on into eternity if I turned out to be an outstandingly inspirational teacher. :-)

Provided the students were learning well. And loved learning.

I was always such a learning sponge, voracious reader, knowledge “addict,” and ultimately an enthusiastic lifelong learner, that I wanted that for everybody I guess!

I became a fiery advocate of lifelong learning for all, and I realized that for struggling kids in school, that wouldn’t happen if they were learning to hate learning.

All kids should have a chance to love learning!

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Nov 25, 2014

“Final day for the Big Back to School Giveaway.” – Pat Wyman

Here’s the reminder from Pat Wyman of Last day of Big Back to School Giveaway 2014! – Doc Meek

Pat Wyman, CEO's profile photo
Pat Wyman of

Dear Doc,

Today, Sept. 30th, is the final day for the Big Back to School Giveaway at Big Back to School Giveaway 2014.
We’re grateful to the Office Depot Foundation for their donations to this program, as well as the Deck and Headset from Sol Republic, and all the back to school items from our Experts.
You’ll find complimentary:
  • videos from the World’s Fastest Reader on speed learning, memory, reading and more
  • Awaken the Scholar Within Program
  • SOS Organization Binder
  • Complimentary Consultations .
  • 30 Minute ADHD Consultations
  • Digital Book on Feelings
  • Academic GamePlan complete student excellence programs
  • Invite-Only Complimentary Kindle Best-Selling Author Course
So head on over and enjoy all the Complimentary Items this year and let all your friends know about the Big Back to School Giveaway at


The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, Inc., 4535 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 200, Las Vegas, NV 89102


“Big Back to School Giveaway at, Sept 25-30, 2014.” – Doc Meek

Once again, I am so grateful for Pat Wyman and her learning  leadership at and elsewhere! – Doc Meek

Dear Doc,

Between September 24th and 30th, is proud to announce our annual Big Back to School Giveaway 2014.

We’re grateful to the Office Depot Foundation for their donations to this program, as well as the Deck and Headset from Sol Republic, and all the back to school items from our Experts.

You’ll find complimentary:

  • videos from the World’s Fastest Reader on speed learning, memory, reading and more

  • Awaken the Scholar Within Program

  • SOS Organization Binder

  • Complimentary Consultations [Among others, you’re in here, Doc!].

  • Digital Book on Feelings

  • Academic GamePlan complete student excellence programs

  • Invite-Only Complimentary Kindle Best-Selling Author Course

So head on over and enjoy all the Complimentary Items this year and let all your friends know about the Big Back to School Giveaway at

The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, Inc., 4535 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 200, Las Vegas, NV 89102

Warmly, Pat Wyman

P.S. Let all your contacts know about our Big School Giveaway at!

Thanks Pat Wyman!
Doc Meek, South Jordan, Utah, USA, Sept 25, 2014

30 Minute ADHD Consultations

“The eyes don’t see–the brain sees.” – Doc Meek

Today I am grateful for developmental optometrists–such as Dr Margaret Penny of Calgary, Alberta, Canada–who have helped many students overcome reading difficulties. – Doc Meek

Image from:

Visual training may be required

to overcome reading difficulties

Sharon (not her real name) was bright and vivacious, and still struggling with reading in Grade 5. She strained and strained when trying to read and often got headaches. Her school marks suffered despite her strong intelligence.

Her Mom was mystified.

“We had her eyes tested and she has perfect vision. The school nurse told us her vision is 20/20 and she doesn’t need glasses.”

“Good vision involves more than 20/20 eyesight,” I said.

Sharon and her Mom were even more mystified when I said:

“The eyes don’t see–the brain sees.”

“What do you mean?” they both chimed, almost with one voice.

“Reading involves more than 20/20 eyesight,” I said. “The eyes and brain are required to perform an array of complex and coordinated tasks to read well, and to comprehend what is being read.”

See a developmental optometrist

I asked Mom and Sharon to make an appointment with an eye doctor–an ophthalmologist–to check for general eye health and possible astigmatism (imperfections in the shape of the lens of the eye). Sharon returned with a glowing report.

“OK, good,” I said. “I’ve watched you read, Sharon, and I would now like you to find a good developmental optometrist–not a regular optometrist–a developmental optometrist who can give you an assessment of what exactly your eyes and  brain are doing when you try to read.”

I told Sharon and her Mom that visual training supervised by a developmental optometrist may be required.

“But,” said Mom, “the eye doctor told us that Sharon had no problems with her eyes.”

“He also told us that there is no evidence that visual training helps a student read better.”

I said that is what they taught the doctors in medical school and the doctors did not pursue it further when they got into private practice.

“As a neurological learning specialist,” I said, “I have found that visual training can make the difference between school failure and school success.”

Sure enough, Sharon’s eyes and brain

were not performing well for reading tasks

After the initial visit with the developmental optometrist, and meeting with several other students who were taking visual training to help with reading competence, Sharon spent many weeks training her eyes and brain to work together to perform the complicated and coordinated tasks required for easy reading.

Sharon’s marks at school soared as she practiced her visual training skills at the developmental optometrist’s clinic and at home and at school.

The outstanding developmental optometrist Sharon and her Mom went to was Dr Margaret Penny.

Here is a brief description of her work, from Sundre Vision Care near Calgary, Alberta, Canada:

“Dr Margaret Penny also has a Masters Degree in Educational psychology. She has a special interest and passion in working with children and adults who have visually related learning difficulties, tracking, focusing and binocular dysfunctions, and perceptual delays. Vision therapy and rehabilitation of these problems has been an integral part of her practice.”

Thank you, Dr  Penny, for saving many a student from school despair!

Doc Meek, South Jordan, Utah, Wed, Sept 24, 2014


“Super Sensitive Smell.” – Doc Meek

Today I am grateful for people who are very sensitive and for those who help them, like Sharon Heller, expert and author. – Doc Meek Image from:

Super Sensitive Smell

My first experience with super senses came when I first started my private practice at THE LEARNING CLINIC, several decades ago now.

A young boy was brought in by his mother, who was worried about his problems at school and at home. She introduced me to Jackson (not his real name) and asked me to speak with him about school.

Jackson and his Mom were seated about 6 feet away from me in my office.

“Hi Jackson,” I ventured softly. “Can you tell me something that you are good at?”


“Maybe you could share with your Mom and me something that you like? Anything. Not just at school. OK?”


Surprise for Doc Meek (and Mom!)

Mom encouraged Jackson to speak up: “Doc is kindly and gentle, son, and will listen respectfully to what you say, no matter what.”

“Your breath stinks,” ventured Jackson, holding his nose. (Remember that Jackson was 6 feet away from me.)

Mom’s face reddened and she was about to expostulate…

I said, “It’s OK, Mom.”

“It’s OK, Jackson. You are just letting me know what you don’t like and that’s good.”

HSP (Hypersensitive Person)

I recalled my earlier reading about HSP (hypersensitive person), or in plain English: Highly Sensitive People).

Jackson, encouraged, ventured again:

“Your wall clock is so noisy I can’t hear you and Mom real good.”

Neither Mom nor I could hear the wall clock tick.

Thus began my fortunate face-to-face education about HSP (Highly Sensitive People). Of which, more later.

For details on these kinds of learning problems, see the delightful book by Sharon Heller (2003), too loud, too bright, too fast, too tight, available online at and elsewhere:

Product Details

Thank you, Sharon Heller!

Dialing down the ticking clock

I did not know how to help Jackson with the super smell at the time.

I did know how to try to help with the super hearing.

Using concrete examples such as turning down the volume on a radio, we taught Jackson’s brain how to mentally dial down the volume of items that were distracting him in everyday life.

We had Jackson imagine a picture of radio volume dial out in front of him and and we had him reach out with his hand and turn the volume dial down.

This was not sufficient.

Finally the idea came of hooking up an imaginary small motor with a belt pulley attached to the volume control dial.

As the motor spins the volume dial down “endlessly,” the brain is able to dial down distracting sounds (such as a ticking clock, or tinnitus).

“Magic.” 😮

Doc Meek, South Jordan, Utah, USA, Sept 10, 2014


P.S. Highly Sensitive Granddaughter

Years later, the memory of Jackson came back to me when I was walking by a brick building with my granddaughter Katie (not her real name).

Suddenly (“for no reason”) she clapped her hands firmly over her ears.

“What’s happened?” I asked as we walked further away.

“Those pipes are so noisy,” she advised Grandpa, whose hearing is not perfect she knew.

Turns out that two “silent” exhaust pipes were softly “whooshing” air from an unheard fan highly distant from the pipe exit.

“Good luck, little girl,” I whispered inside my head. “I’m glad we know better now how to help you manage better.” ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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