Arrowsmith provides cognitive training at ACA

Justin Dille

The Charter Features

For the past three years, the cognitive training program, Arrowsmith, has occupied the vacant classroom just beyond the Alliance Charter Academy Preschool.

Arrowsmith is a program that provides brain exercises to strengthen weak cognitive areas in the brain that contribute to learning difficulties. These weak areas can be strengthened through targeted cognitive exercises. A typical student has a combination of learning dysfunctions such as auditory processing, visual memory, logical reasoning, comprehension, mathematics, reading, and writing. Arrowsmith students are of average intelligence and do not have a severe intellectual, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral disorder.  The program is offered to students grades 1st-12th grade.

The Arrowsmith program was created by Barbara Arrowsmith Young from Toronto Canada in 1978, who herself had neurological deficits. Barbara was diagnosed with multiple learning disabilities in first grade, read and wrote everything backwards, and had trouble processing language. The disabilities were so severe, that she would often get lost in her own house, not knowing how to get to her own bedroom. However, Barbara did not give in to the struggles. She listened to her greatest influence, her father (who was a successful inventor), and remembered what he had told her. “If you have a problem, find a solution.”

At this time, Alliance Charter Academy’s Arrowsmith program has 11 students and two teachers.  The maximum capacity for this class is 20 students.  At this time the students range from 11 to 20 years old. The Arrowsmith program currently identifies 19 cognitive areas and has programs designed to strengthen the functioning of each of these areas. Today Arrowsmith is implemented in 80 educational organizations residing in Canada, the U.S, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.




  • The woman who changed her brain – a book written by Barbara Arrowsmith
  • Denise Dille (Arrowsmith teacher of ACA)
  • Accessed 4/7/2017