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By Hugo Moore, Cognitive Enhancement Centre

In 2012 Mrs. Rita Margarita, now European Representative of Arrowsmith Program and Founder of the recently opened Cognitive Enhancement Centre in Chambésy, Geneva, was desperately searching for an answer to her son’s debilitating difficulties in school. The quest for a cure took her around the globe and on finding a powerful solution from a critically acclaimed program in Canada, Rita was compelled to share the life changing benefits of Arrowsmith Program with Geneva and Europe so that other students and their families may benefit.

“When my son Kareem was four years-old he struggled to cope with the mainstream academic program. His first symptoms were difficulty following instructions and poor motor coordination such as being unable to follow gym class or stay in the queue with other children on outings. He would always be out of place or off task. At that time the school he was attending in London told us they were unable to accommodate him any longer and advised us to find a school for Special Kids. Here started our long journey in search of a solution as we investigated all of the possible options.”

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Rita cutting the ribbon to the newly opened Cognitive Enhancement Centre in Chambésy

Rita and her family changed school a total of 5 times, taking them from London to Switzerland and Abu Dhabi. Finally, they paused for Kareem to recuperate from fatigue and for Rita and her husband to catch their breath. In doing so they found that a one-on-one teaching situation in a home-school environment was less stressful and had fewer distractions. However, the underlying cause of the learning difficulties and the corresponding symptoms impacting Kareem’s ability to learn were still entirely unresolved.

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Rita shows the book that changed her family's life

“Kareem struggled to retain information, to keep his attention focused and mathematical symbols could not be processed automatically. He was under a lot of stress. When a student has to struggle with learning he becomes frustrated and tends to lose motivation and this certainly doesn’t promote self-confidence. For our son to become a self-directed student seemed to my husband and I just a dream at that point despite all our efforts and all the possible solutions we had explored in every city in which we had lived.

One day I happened to read a book that would change our lives forever, The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young. I found her story fascinating and inspiring and I had the strong feeling that the program she had invented could open a door to effective resolution for my son. At that time, I barely knew anything about neuroscience but the story was so compelling I felt that finally there was potential for a solution to his problems”.

Rita was determined to learn more about Ms. Young’s methodology based on the practical application of neuroplasticity in education, and immediately booked a flight to Toronto to meet the visionary neuroscientist and best-selling author.

In summary Arrowsmith Program use a unique assessment to formulate an initial learning profile of each student. A comprehensive report produced by the assessment details and quantifies the individual’s ability to use up to nineteen cognitive functions of the brain required for successful learning. Having identified the strengths and any possible dysfunctions, the student follows an individualized program with a certified Arrowsmith teacher designed to strengthen underperforming functions and to improve the underlying learning capacity.

This represents a specifically targeted approach to strengthening weak areas of the brain and is fundamentally opposite to that employed by some more traditional methods of Learning Support, which typically compensate for dysfunctions by playing to a student’s strengths and use strategies or technological aides to work around the weaknesses. 

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Rita and Hugo discussing a student's initial learning profile

Fast forward to the present day following two years of fulltime Arrowsmith Program and an intensive summer camp and “as a direct result of this program my son is now attending an International School where he is finally a self-directed student and is fully capable of keeping up with a main stream program.”

In fact, despite many years of falling further behind and the negative impact caused to his self esteem Arrowsmith has enabled Kareem to be assessed today as just one year behind the academic progress of his peers in a well respected private International School in Geneva. Which, considering where he and his family found themselves a few years ago, is a remarkable achievement to say the least. It is this personal experience and the passion to provide Arrowsmith to all who may benefit that drove Rita to found the newly opened Cognitive Enhancement Centre (CEC) in Geneva.

“During my two years in Canada I met with parents from different countries, all sharing their stories (similar to mine) of hunting for a solution and then finally happy to see changes in their children, to see them self-confident and positive because of their cognitive improvements. Students who had struggled with learning were now engaged in and enjoying school.

As a result of my experience and a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of children struggling with learning problems, I am now working as the European representative of the Arrowsmith Program. I am working to create awareness of this program and to introduce it to schools in Europe, to make it accessible so that students have the opportunity to learn effectively and with ease. Research has demonstrated that the brain is not fixed, it can change and this has application to addressing learning problems – so that they do not have to be a lifelong challenge.”

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Following the successful search for an ideologically aligned, internationally experienced Arrowsmith Program teacher and long-standing school administrator have begun initial consultations for interested parents and Arrowsmith assessments for prospective students. Term 1 began in line with local International Schools in September 2019.

CEC are delighted to provide all fulltime and part-time Arrowsmith programs for students aged 8 years to adult and anyone wishing to learn more about accessing these services may contact CEC to schedule an introductory meeting.

Cognitive Enhancement Centre
Chemin du Rivage 7
1292 Chambésy

022 758 90 70
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Access is behind the lakeside Eni station, with easy parking.