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Processing and Cognitive Enhancement (PACE)

Your Child Can Get Ahead This Summer with Brain Training at The Solution Center

Since 2004, the doctors and therapists at The Solution Center have been providing customized PACE (Processing And Cognitive Enhancement) sessions to our patients. While there are other facilities that offer brain training in the Columbus area, we are the only program run by developmental optometrists who are specially educated in using the visual system to improve brain function.

In just a few hours per week this summer, your child can make dramatic progress in skills that are essential to success in school.

Imagine being able to process faster, think more logically, respond quicker, and increase ability to perform many tasks simultaneously!

PACE sessions help patients improve skills that are necessary to succeed in school.

Information on our PACE Program

PACE increases the overall ability to learn by strengthening mental skills. PACEim­proves skills that are necessary for success in school— time management, organization, working memory, auditory & visual processing, executive function skills, and staying on task. Under the direction of one of our doctors, a specially trained therapist will work with your child and positively engage them in fun activities, all while training them to use their brain in a more efficient manner.

There is no cost for the testing and the consultation with the doctor to see if your child is a good candidate for PACE.

Because 80% of what is learned is gathered through the visual system and therefore to ensure that each student is receiving the best visual information, we ask that all PACE participants have had a comprehensive eye exam within 12 months of starting PACE. Records can be sent to our office from your primary care optometrist or one of your doctors can perform this exam.

Additional information on PACE

Many parents come to us after their child’s teacher has told them that their child has problems with* executive function* (sometimes called executive skills or metacognitive skills).

Executive functions are a set of mental processes that help us connect past experience with present action. We use executive functions to perform activities such as planning, organizing, paying attention to details, remembering details, and managing time. Executive functions are essential to a child’s success in school.Executive functions include:

Planning and PrioritizingTime ManagementOrganizationWorking MemoryMetacognition (executive function skills are sometimes called metacognitive skills)Response InhibitionSelf Regulation of AffectTask InitiationTask FlexibilityGoal-Directed PersistenceSustaining AttentionDisengaging AttentionRegulation of Processing Speed

Philip David Zelazo of the University of Minnesota, a leading expert in executive functions, defines executive functions as “the deliberate, goal-directed control of behavior.”

For information about how Brain Training with PACE program is specifically designed to increase attention and executive function skills, please contact our office.

What is PACE?

The PACE program (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement) was developed to train cognitive learning skills. Many refer to the program as a mental boot camp or as brain training. PACE was founded and is directed by a group of professionals from a variety of disciplines who have a common interest in helping children and adults learn more easily and efficiently.

Who can benefit from PACE?

Those who can benefit from PACE include high or average performers who want to perform mental activities faster, more efficiently, and even better than before, as well as below average performers who have learning difficulties. The information on this page will focus on the below average performer. The child who is not living up to his/her potential usually has one or more of the following symptoms which do not seem to improve with just extra work and tutoring:

  • Trouble staying on task
  • Working too slowly or too hard
  • Difficulty comprehending what is read
  • Problems remembering
  • Poor math skills
  • Trouble making associations and conclusions
  • Trouble reading aloud
  • General reading and spelling problems
  • Poor ability to plan

According to the most recent scientific research, the following cognitive processing skills are essential for succeeding in school.

Attention: the ability to stay on task, even when distractions are present.

Simultaneous Processing: the ability to handle more than one thing at a time (e.g., the ability to recognize a word without sounding it out, to listen to the instructor while taking notes, or to drive a car while carrying on a conversation).

Sequential Processing: the ability to link a series of inputs over time (a skill required for reading so that the beginner can blend a series of sounds to create words and the advanced reader can link a series of words to understand the story or idea).

Planning: the ability to decide how you are going to solve a problem, make sure it gets done, check it for mistakes, and modify it if needed.

Processing Speed: the ability to perform cognitive tasks quickly; an important skill for complex tasks that have many steps (e.g., If we are dividing two numbers in our head but processing is slow, we might forget an earlier calculation before we’re done and we will have to start over).

Short-Term Memory: the ability to store and recall small amounts of information about the current situation. Children with these problems may need to look several times at something before copying, have problems following instructions, or need to have information repeated often.

Long-Term Memory: the ability to recall information that was stored in the past when needed. It’s important for spelling, recalling facts on tests, and comprehension.

Auditory Processing: the ability to conceive, analyze, and conceptualize what is heard. It’s critical in beginning reading and spelling because it includes hearing, identifying and blending sounds, and sounding out words.

Visual Processing: the ability to perceive, analyze, and think in visual images. This often includes visualization, which is the ability to create a picture in the mind. Children who have problems with visual processing may revere letters or have difficulty following instructions, reading maps, doing math word problems, and comprehending certain information.

Cognitive Skills Can Be Improved

We know that cognitive skills can be enhanced not only because we can see the changes through observations and tests, but also because there is evidence derived from brain research as well.

Recent research suggests that stimulating the mind with mental exercise may cause brain cells, called neurons, to branch widely. This branching causes millions of additional connections, or synapses between brain cells. Arnold Scheibel, the former director of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, suggests that we think of it as a computer with a bigger memory board that allows you “to do more things quickly.”

In addition, Life magazine featured the idea of “Brain Calisthenics” in the article “Building a Better Brain.” The article stated that “evidence is accumulating that the brain works a lot like a muscle-the harder you use it, the more it grows. Although scientists had long believed the brain’s circuitry was hard-wired by adolescence and inflexible in adulthood, its newly discovered ability to change and adapt is apparently with us well into old age. Best of all, this research has opened up an exciting world of possibilities.”

These studies show that by using proper training methods, one can target , modify and develop the brain to improve deficiencies And the fastest and most efficient way to do this is through cognitive training exercise that specifically and directly target a deficient skill.

PACE focuses on enhancing and improving those processing skills that will bring about the biggest impact on learning. The processing skills that will do this are the deficient cognitive skills underlying the learning problem.In our PACE program, your child will be provided with intense one on one sessions with an instructor in order to maximize his/her success. To find out more about PACE or to schedule a free consultation for your child, please contact our office.