September 2015

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Tricia Jones, Ph.D., President, Faculty Senate, Professor, Department of Strategic Communication, Temple University, and Board Member, the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR), invited the BrainWise organization to submit a grant for the 2015 ACR/JAMS Funding Cycle.  The focus of the grant was a project that supported the development, implementation and/or assessment of conflict education serving special needs youth populations.  BrainWise responded with  a 175-page document that proposed teaching BrainWise enhanced with the BrainWise online course infused with conflict problems faced by youth with special needs  (i.e., youth with intellectual disabilities, social emotional/emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, hearing and/or visually impaired, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, autism spectrum disorders, and other disabilities).

The turn-around time for the grant  was short, and heartfelt thanks go out to BrainWise board members  Matt Sena, M.S. (help writing the grant), Dan Himelspach, J.D. (finding the grant), and Don Eberle, J.D.  (editing and organizing the grant).  Master BrainWise teacher, Karyn Singley Blair, School Psychologist at Aurora Central High School, teaches BrainWise to “exceptional students,” including special needs.  Karyn was thrilled to be part of the grant and wrote a letter saying her classroom would be a teaching site.  Similarly, Susan McAlonan, Ph.D., Director of Student Services at HOPE Online Academy, volunteered special needs students attending HOPE, an innovative blended learning school, as another project site.

Dr. Jones and the ACR Board will notify grant recipients in November.   This is an exciting opportunity to showcase BrainWise as a conflict resolution intervention, publicize the program’s use with students who have special needs, and get the BrainWise online program up and running.

The ACR/JAMS grant provides an opportunity to highlight school psychologist Karyn Singley Blair and the 15 years she has spent

POSTER PRESENTED AT “THE CREATIVE BRAIN CONFERENCE” WASHINGTON, D.C.

POSTER PRESENTED AT “THE
CREATIVE BRAIN CONFERENCE” WASHINGTON, D.C.

teaching BrainWise to high school students at Aurora Central High School in Colorado, including those with who are blind, hearing impaired, having autism, emotional disabilities, executive functioning difficulties, cognitive impairment and other emotional and physical limitations.  She teaches BrainWise because it gives her tools to help her students deal with the challenges they face daily, and worked with the teacher who developed the Wizard Brain/Lizard Brain in yarn with Braille descriptors to teach BrainWise to blind students.

The educational team at Wesley Spectrum Highland Services School in Pittsburgh, PA have been teaching BrainWise to children and youth with special needs for over seven years.   Gary Swanson, M.D., medical director of the inpatient/outpatient facility, says that BrainWise is easy to teach and helps children, youth, parents and staff understand “that behavioral and emotional problems are not all due to chemical imbalances or ADHD, but rather the results of developmental connection problems that can be addressed both through therapy and medications.”

Teachers notice that today’s students are in greater need of psychological support, and say  they find that teaching the 10 Wise Ways helps students understand  how to take responsibility for their behaviors, identify support sources and how to contact them, and recognize why problems happened and how to prevent or manage them.