F.A.Q s


What are the criteria for students entering the Arrowsmith Program?

Students who come to the Arrowsmith Program are of average to above average intelligence but are having difficulty learning academic and social skills efficiently and independently. The Arrowsmith Program addresses a wide range of specific learning difficulties (referred to as learning disabilitiesby some people) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory and/or visual processing disorders, attention difficulties and non-verbal learning difficulties. The Arrowsmith Program is also designed for individuals who do not have identified specific learning difficulties but are challenged with issues such as organization, processing, problem solving, communication, memory, and independence.

Which students are suitable?

Find out if the Arrowsmith Program is suitable for you/your child, by completing the Arrowsmith Program® Cognitive Profile Questionnaire. While it does not guarantee your enrolment at the Fremantle Education Centre Arrowsmith class, it will allow you to work out whether the learning issues you/your child experience could be addressed through the Arrowsmith Program. Should you/your child be within the average range of intellectual functioning and are experiencing the types of issues described in this checklist, you/your child are likely candidates for the Program.  
Please note the Arrowsmith Program is not designed for individuals with developmental or intellectual delays, autism, brain injury or illness, or psychiatric or psychological disorders.
We will be happy to answer your questions and, if appropriate, can arrange an assessment for you/your child.
Call Joanne on 0410045134

What age are the students?

The students in an Arrowsmith School range in age from six years old to adults. Parents of children less than six years of age are encouraged to contact Westdale Manor and the Fremantle Education Centre when their child is old enough to be considered ready for school participation.

Do you have adult students?

Absolutely.  These are often our best students as they understand the pain of having a learning disorder and do not want to remain disadvantaged by something they can overcome.  

Is the program suitable for people with Autism or Intellectual Disability?

The Arrowsmith Program is developed for individuals struggling with specific learning difficulties (SLD) referred to as learning disabilities in North America. The standard definition of SLD is that the individual has an average or above average full-scale intelligence score, and has a specific difficulty in an area related to learning or academic skill acquisition. The program is designed and therefore most suited for individuals within the average to above average range of intelligence.
Conditions such as Developmental or Intellectual Delay typically indicate an impairment of general intellect and function, and students with developmental or intellectual delay have needs that are more significant than a student with a specific learning difficulty.  Westdale Manor is committed to ensuring that every student who could benefit from participation in the Arrowsmith Program is considered and evaluated carefully and fairly to ensure there is no exclusion of people from the program as a result of an incorrect diagnosis.
In some cases, individuals with learning difficulties who also have high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Asperger’s have benefitted from the Arrowsmith Program. While the Arrowsmith Program will enable these individuals to address their cognitive learning needs, it will not address features related to the specific Autism Spectrum Disorder. In such cases, there is careful deliberation when determining appropriateness during the admissions process to ensure suitability.

Does the program help with attentional disorders?

The Arrowsmith Program has been successful in addressing attentional difficulties. Many individuals with specific learning difficulties (referred to as learning disabilities by some people) experience attentional issues which can arise from different underlying causes. In many cases these issues are a result of a combination of specific learning difficulties making it hard for the student to sustain attention in specific learning situations; others are related to specific learning difficulties related to regulating attention. These types of attentional difficulties have shown improvement as students engage in the cognitive exercises.

Do you accept enrolments during the year?

Fremantle Educaiton Centre and Westdale Manor Arrowsmith Program accepts enrolment during the year subject to availability.

Are beginning students assessed?

All students enrolling in the full time and part time programs are assessed. The Motor Symbol Sequencing program does not require a full initial assessment - only an evaluation.  Please discuss the assessment process with Joanne from Westdale Manor on 04100 451 34.

What's the initial assessment for?

The assessment identifies each individual’s learning profile.  It is then used to design the individual programs to address the particular range of specific learning difficulties that the individual has.  Each person's cognitive profile is different, so each person's cognitive program is different, and exactly suitable for the person.
Please note the assessment is not used as the basis for determining suitability for the Arrowsmith Program; suitability is determined through discussion with yourself and Joanne from Westdale Manor (0410045134).

Who does the assessment and analyses the results?

The assessment of students is done by an Arrowsmith trained teacher (Joanne) at Fremantle Education Centre. The results are then sent to the Arrowsmith School in Toronto for scoring, analysing and the creation of a tailored program for the person.

Can I access the program on-line?

Arrowsmith, the Fremantle Educaiton Centre and Westdale Manor are committed to maintaining the integrity of the program and to monitoring each student’s experience closely. Students participate in the Arrowsmith exercises within a classroom setting and under the supervision of an Arrowsmith trained instructor who is in ongoing correspondence with the Arrowsmith Program. Home-based, online or tutoring scenarios are therefore not available.

When and where can I be assessed?

Each student is given a full Arrowsmith cognitive asessment by the Arowsmith teacher when they enrol into the program.  Teachers are trained by Arrowsmith in the assessment process and the tests are scored and analyzed at Arrowsmith Program Toronto. The assessment is made up of tests designed by Barbara Arrowsmith Young designed to measure the functioning of specific cognitive functions that impact learning. This enables Arrowsmith Program to identify each student’s learning profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and provides the basis for designing individual programs for each student.

Please note the assessment is not used as the basis for determining suitability for the Arrowsmith Program. Suitability is determined through the pre-screening discussion between the family and Westdale Manor.

How long does the Arrowsmith Program take to work?

Neuroplastic change is slow.  The student and their family will notice change in the person after three months of the program.  There are more subtle changes that may be noticeable before then.  The majority of students will require a three to four year program of full time attendance before returning to a full academic program in a public or private school or educational organization at his or her appropriate grade level. If a student is unable to complete the three to four year program, they achieve benefit each year they are in the program.

Depending upon the level of education reached before entering the program some students may require one to two years to gain experience using their newly strengthened cognitive capacities aftern they graduate and other students may need tutoring initially to bring academic skills to grade level.

Do students maintain their changes?

Students who have been followed up 30 years after completion of the program have maintained their improvements. Once the improvements are in place, it is thought that the person maintains their gain by using the cognitive area in everyday functioning.


How many students are there in each class?

The student to teacher ratio in an Arrowsmith classroom is 10:1.

How is attendance at the program organised?

Students can attend the progam on a full time or part time basis. Full time students attend on 4 - 5 days per week. Part time students can negotiate their attendance pattern providing several requirements are met.  They must come twice a week at least and may not do more than two hours of work on each cognitive area per day.  These are requirements of Arrowsmith.  The aim is always to maximise the best conditions for neuroplastic change to occur.

The Motor Symbol Sequencing program can be done at home.  This program assists with dysgraphia and develops the ability to write, express thought in speech, read and spell consistently.   Students doing the MSS program work at home and visit the Centre once per fortnight (at a negotiated time) for monitoring their progress and adjustment of their program.