9May/14Off

Using study pictures to stay focused and have structure hints for exams

6Apr/14Off

Divergent Movie Demystified for Real World by Doctor’s Psychological Profiling

Divergent is making waves in popular culture with the release of part one of the hollywood movie trilogy inspired by Veronica Roth’s books.  This follows the mammoth success of The Hunger Games starring academy award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.

There are two main themes in Divergent.  The first is that it is bad and possibly even fatal to fit into more than one aptitude.  The second major theme relates to growing away from your parents. 

In Divergent’s futuristic world it is seen as threatening to fit into more than one faction made up of five temperaments which are selfless, peaceful, honest, brave and knowledgeable.  It is difficult to compare this directly to personality theory as it is generally regarded that there are in fact sixteen types of people in the real world.

However, this does compare to our four defined learning styles which are the ways that people take in information from the world.  Our four categories of psychological profiling methods include auditory, visual, practical and kinesthetic.

All of the students we work with that do not fit in a box and struggle in school have what we call multiplicity.  This means, like in Divergent, they have all four aptitudes.  They are quite often overwhelmed by the amount of information they absorb from all environments.  Multiplicity is what people commonly see as “clever” and “intelligent.”  All of our ideas of cleverness and intelligence come from people who can absorb ideas quickly and have a multitude of interests.  This is where we break away from the norm.

Multiplicity is drilled out of children in school by age fifteen.  Only a very small percentage of the older students we meet have still retained their natural multiplicity.  They are quite often seen as “freaks.”  Some of them were very heavily medicated before working with us for just having too much energy or being too “distracted.”

In the film Divergent the main character takes an aptitude test at the age of sixteen.  This is true to school life.  There have been some pretty hilarious conversations within our team about what they were told at sixteen.  The Senior D.N.A. Geneticist on our team was told at sixteen that he would never be any good a science.

This brings us to the second main theme in the film and the challenges the main character experiences when she realizes that she cannot follow her family.  She does not easily fit into their faction and this is a real life experience for many of our students.  Children really struggle when in their teenage years they appear to have nothing in common with their family and parents don’t understand them.

In many cases the students we work with have just simply skipped a generation in aptitudes and personality.  It is quite often revealed that they are much more like their grandparents and great grandparents.  A mother or father can feel that their children have nothing in common with them and this can also be the case in partnerships where there are children from different relationships.

We work with adult clients in the business world in their late thirties too who had struggled to find their path in life.  Having attempted the career path of their parents they have not fitted in.  They quite often do not feel any real support or understanding from home about who they really are.

The good news is that it is perfectly alright to be divergent and movies like this can only help to shine a positive light on psychological profiling and our ongoing research in the area of personality types and achievement.  Anyone who works in personality theory does so because they have an overwhelming desire to help people find out who they really are and wish to help them to succeed.

2Apr/14Off

Business People & Students Have More in Common Than You Think

You may be under the impression that there is not a lot in common between business people and students.  So, compare a 10-year-old dyslexic student who has specific failing points in school to a company about to close.  One of the first things they have in common is that they feel blocked in and the world is telling them everything they are doing wrong.  They both have lousy reports, feel like they are running out of time and they appear to be putting in huge amounts of effort for very little results.

Now compare a 13-year-old student enjoying new life experiences and demands to a business also having a sudden growth spurt.  The teenager is suddenly part of a much bigger organization of sorts.  They have many skills to learn and new teachers to understand.  We can easily compare this to a business that has abruptly grown with new employees, new products, new research and a lot more people to manage.

Also compare a 15-year-old exam student who has done great and is heading for the final stages of school to a multi million dollar project that needs a very targeted strategy.  You are swiftly deciding what skills you need for your career, which subjects you are going to take forward and how you are going to get there.  With a multi million dollar project you are effectively making all of the same decisions.

You could start to compare a 17-year-old exam student’s overwhelming workload and study schedule to a company that dramatically finds itself in the media spotlight in a positive manner.  Both can quite easily start to hyper ventilate and panic.  We have worked with companies whose telephone lines melted down under the strain and staff were not able to get an available line out of their offices for over a week.

At this stage we wish to point out why life coaching is a waste of time.  Life coaching does not work, cram schools are a waste of money and 99% of private tuition is a very short term solution.  Continuity is vital to sustainability and you must pick up the juggling balls and be prepared to help directly long term when needed, not just at the start.

We profile the elements that matter and create methods around them.  Like how people tick, what they need now and how they need it.  But what is more vital is the strategy that goes with it.  We work with a cross section of people aged from 18 month old toddlers to 72 year olds.  They are from hundreds of different backgrounds worldwide, stages in life and business varieties.

We are strange in that we take on clients for life.  It is very rewarding to start working with people when they are 10 and now I am introducing them to their first real world business internships at 16.  Our stories are no less dramatic in the business world.  When we have gone in to restructure companies that were about to close the doors we still support their growth several years later.  They got out of the red but went through growing pains and we are still needed as a safety net.

Many people say things like “with success comes new challenges and with age comes new issues” but life coaching, cram schools and most private tuition is just short term crisis management that never sticks around long enough to help long term.

Much of our success is down to developing methods that allow us to profile people. Take the 5-year-old with language development issues, the 15-year-old with asperger’s syndrome and the 45-year-old’s business and family issues.  In all of these types of cases we get sonic speed results because we focus on what they need right there and then.  There’s a development path so it is a combination of understanding timescales and our Purple Success™ methods.

Here is a limitation that we have found with traditional education system teachers around the world.  All of our team have been on specific career paths so they can actually write a letter of introduction for a job or a course for a student but most teachers have never done this and most career guidance teachers do not actually have business careers.  Also, schools do not teach goals and goal setting and you are not going anywhere unless you have a goal to achieve.  The real golden nugget is to continually set new goals.

 

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly & Marie O'Riordan

20Mar/14Off

5 Years of The Homework Club

17Mar/14Off

St. Patrick’s Day 2014: Ireland the Land of Learners

One of the great difficulties with education is that we attempt to fit everyone into the same box.  It is generally accepted that this does not happen but how else can we effectively teach the masses?  Well, as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and all that is Irish this is in fact the first mistake when thinking about teaching.  If we instead focus on the learners, the actual students and look at the world from their perspective we may begin to not only accommodate everybody but have them reach their full potential.  Most of all, even experience these people being happy and enjoying education.

So, if we take the learning nation of Ireland, what are we really like here?  We are a country stockpiled with sociable chatterboxes and have a huge number of successful athletics when you think about the size of this land.  We make an impact wherever we go and we are also very generous philanthropically for the size of Ireland.  We as a race contribute hugely to global charities, peace keeping forces and volunteer work.  We are hugely proud of anything remotely Irish.

So, in simple terms that makes us auditory and kinesthetic learners that need huge amounts of encouragement and praise.  We really care about what everyone else thinks of us.  So like most other parts of the world we are a largely extrovert society.  We need to work with others in social settings and we are very social beings.

The hugely interesting fact about auditory learners is that they do not need to just listen, they need to talk as well.  We all know how much we Irish love to speak.  The idea of us starting school at five and learning to be quiet in a classroom situation is just outright ridiculous.  We must admit that we work our way through so much in Ireland by gossiping. The information overload taxi driver, the restroom queue gossip or the local store conversation. It makes us better able to cope with the legendary Irish rainy weather if nothing else.

One of the real difficulties with being an auditory learner (besides just being in trouble in class for talking all of the time) is the rambling way we work, there is no structure.  This is the most common difficulty that many of our students have, especially all the super talkative kinesthetic boys who are brilliant on the sports field but feel like trash at everything else in school.  They simply have no idea how to structure an answer or to focus their thoughts onto the page at hand.

Sure, for the Irish it is perfectly alright and acceptable to write exactly the way you talk too.  The best way to work with auditory kinesthetic learners is through role play.  This is sociable group work that allows us to talk out scenarios.  We get to put ourselves in the situation and we all do great in this part of oral school examinations.  We are a country filled with bucket loads of generationally provided and divided political views.  It is important for us to get to talk about these at length on a regular basis.

Students almost fall off of their chairs with shock when we ask them what they think or have a personal opinion on, but it is so much easier to write about what you feel especially when this is what matters to you when you are kinesthetic.  Normally boys just get to run this out of their systems on the sports field rather than working through it in english or history class.

It is equally vital to allow us Irish to talk about everything that matters to us in our own unique way.  The Irish have a great gift of the gab, the wit that has a name for every object, landmark and sculpture.  We talk about creativity and innovation, this is a wonderful example of innovation with words.  We can express any situation as a joke.  We have always been gifted story tellers and can spin any yarn.

We are also hugely competitive, hence our many sporting heroes, the mark we leave whatever we set our minds to.  Competition is such a great way to inject energy into any learning environment too.

There is a pride deeply engrained in the Irish and as a result we can never cope with being made a fool of in public.  We may try to joke our way out of any situation but it hurts deeply.  Everyone we have ever spoken to in this country has a school story where they lost face and they have never forgotten it.  This is why we have to focus on the learners always, the real people we are helping to grow and develop.  Everyone is different but we all fall into patterns of behavior that can be accommodated.  You can't just take an education model from one country to another and expect it to work, especially since the models are always developed for the teachers and governments not the students.  There are very simple patterns and learning styles but you have to look for them and you have to use each nations strengths and values to achieve what is important for them, even the Irish.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the island of saints and scholars.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly & Marie O'Riordan

 

18Nov/13Off

Leonardo Da Vinci appeared to suffer from ADHD – how much more could he have achieved in his lifetime?

Leonardo Da Vinci appears to display all the traits of having had ADHD. For me having this condition is an effect of so much happening below the surface and Da Vinci demonstrates this better for me than many of the modern people who are rolled out as examples to others. 

It is long thought that Da Vinci was dyslexic, especially with the examples of his mirrored writing. His notebooks have proven a challenging task in fact for any historian trying to document his work - in one sense he seems highly visual and creative - there is no other inventor that left as much of a paper trail behind but on the other hand, they prove very difficult to read because of there presentation. Something many a teacher will sympathize with correcting a dyslexics paper!

But what I feel is much more interesting is the diversity of Leonardo Da Vinci's interests. I have long seen and proven the correlation between what I call multiplicity and ADHD. Multiplicity is the ability to take in information in a multiple of ways - Visual, Practical, Auditory and Kinesthetic - no wonder people with ADHD seem to have overload - jump around and get distracted easily. Da Vinci was very obviously Visual, Practical and Auditory - the Kinesthetic is hard to see as you need to know more about someone on an emotional level. He was drawn to representing characters and dwelled on the faces of the characters in his paintings - his portraits were very emotional which gives us a clue that he was kinesthetic. Mona Lisa's smile has captured the hearts of so many millions of people over the decades and even spent time in Napoleon's bedroom!

But the above would explain why he jumped around for project to project - did have prolonged periods of concentration and focus on topics he was interested in - can be described as a painter, sculptor, engineer, strategist, philosopher, writer, inventor and on and on... Many of my ADHD students show such diverse talents and interests. In fact, I'm working with one 15 years old at present that I see as a Da Vinci type!

The Flipside of this, of course, is that Da Vinci became distracted easily - jumped from project to project. Didn't complete many commissions - created a great bigger picture but didn't focus on the details, like for example the long term lasting effects of the painting durability of the new technique he developed to paint the Sistine Chapel so he could paint slower and obsess over the faces for certain characters in the painting.

Leonardo Da Vinci only completed 25 paintings in his lifetime as a result of the random nature of his life. Many of his ideas were not built or created until hundreds of years after his death - such as his bridges or his famous bronze horse. Some of this can be put down to being far ahead of his time but in other cases, I see great similarities between the students and adult clients we work with in Confidence Club and The Forever Method. Many of our clients seem to have the same "self-destruct button" that prevented Da Vinci from developing more of his ideas into reality. I meet many students who either focus too much on small details of interests or jump randomly to the next fad or interest. Their work will often be presented in as erratic a nature as the hundreds of notebooks Da Vinci left behind - interestingly he always wanted his notebooks to be published. We so enjoy taking people with these extreme levels of information overload and creativity to their true potential. Da Vinci is someone I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have worked with!

 

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly   Expression Developist™

A good article on alternatives to traditional ADHD medication:
12 Best Adderall Alternatives: Natural Over the Counter ADHD Substitutes
https://www.cognitune.com/best-natural-adderall-alternatives/

 

19Aug/13Off

Leaving Cert results 2013, A year later – the transformation of The Homework Club to Confidence Club

So it is one year on - our first state exams results since transforming The Homework Club into Confidence Club and I have been asking myself what are the real results?

In the past I found myself dancing around the real issues with students - as parents and students alike thought they were attending some form of "grind school" we spent more time by stealth in the background getting to the real reasons behind what was going on ... it was often a case of me waiting for an opportunity in the hall to chat casually to a student or waiting for the chance when a parent collected their charge.

Now it is all a lot more straight forward and upfront - which means less time waiting for the chance to talk about what is really happening. All too often the maths result or other challenge is just a factor in what is really happening in a young persons life.

This means a year later I can say that we have worked with real people, real problems and in record time. Many of the students I have met have required no more help from me or my team after the initial hour and a half meeting. Their whole lives have improved not just the "maths problem" or the "english essay rows". The time my team have spent in peoples house has been less that we would have needed in the school for greater return.

All round as what we do is not conventional in anyway it didn't make sense to continue with a conventional school model. I felt often that we had a revolving door as we got results too quickly and now we get them even quicker with a wider spectrum of people.

Another change for me is that I have often felt that we work with students that everyone else has washed their hands of - now we work with the really outside the box stories that no one has thought of! I truly enjoy the challenge and nothing has ever shocked me. I think there is no way now we can be seen as a simple "grind school".

I'm looking forward to what this year brings and all the amazing young people I will meet along the way.

Dr. Naoisé

Expression Developist™

16Aug/13Off

Confidence in Reading while using e-readers, ibooks and Kindle – the pros & cons and advice for dyslexic readers

 

I have been thinking about the question -  is using eReaders better or worse for your reading when you are dyslexic? - it's a personal dilemma for me as I can read much faster and more accurately with the setting on a device set to white text on black but then one of the reasons I read so much is because I have proven the more I read the better I can read!

So it's a big trade off - the new setting on the devices where you can pick your own font preference, text size and especially the colour make a vast difference to dyslexic readers and I recommend to all my students to play with their settings. You are looking for short lines of text - use two columns, use the black background or the sepia in the sun and a font which is curly rather than square text - oh and don't be afraid to make it bigger too! All these simple changes will give you so much more confidence reading your books - you read faster and take in more information.

However let's go back to the other side of the debate - the more you read as a dyslexic the better you can read. People on the dyslexic spectrum or with ADD/ADHD don't naturally read well. It's all about practice! So if we make it so much easier as we do with eReaders we lose some of the practice element when we go back to white pages and black text! I wish book publishers would choose their fonts and paper better but until then we have to find ways to cope.

A few months ago I was distressed to realise my reading out - especially of menus was decreasing in ability despite the fact that I read so much (usually up to 7 books at a time so I don't get bored). But I was reading these all on my Kindle or iPad.

So now I read at least one paperback fiction book and the more hard core work texts I read online with all my fancy settings makes it easier.

This way I'm still reading quickly for work and accurately but I'm still practicing for restaurant menus!

 

Dr. Naoisé  Expression Developist™

13May/13Off

Purple Success™ as featured in The Irish Examiner

Large article & photo in Irish Examiner national newspaper with the headline “Helping Others Realise Their Dreams”

“Working apart they are successful; together they are pure dynamo.” Irish Examiner

Link to Full Online Version of the article

15Apr/13Off

ADHD Treatments

I was delighted that the kindle version of the ADHD book I'm part of was launched last week in the US - according to them, I'm one of the experts with proven results they searched the planet for!

Kindle edition link:
https://www.amazon.com/ADHD-Treatments-Remedies-Experts-ebook/dp/B00C90GGOS/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1365692615&sr=8-6&keywords=adhd+treatments+and+remedies



A good article on alternatives to traditional ADHD medication:
12 Best Adderall Alternatives: Natural Over the Counter ADHD Substitutes
https://www.cognitune.com/best-natural-adderall-alternatives/



Introduction

Welcome to the Confidence Club

One step closer to fulfilling a personal dream of mine - "to make school a happier, creative, more successful and enjoyable place for all students, regardless of their differences"... Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly

There is always a balance between making long term changes in education and supporting those people currently in the system!

One of the many reasons why Students attending The Homework Club become so successful is because of the awareness they have of their own Potential, Personality and Learning Style and how these effect their own educational success. Every Student at The Homework Club is set-up to work to their best abilities within the environment through an initial interview.

The Confidence Club now offers this service to everybody, especially those restricted through distance and who aren't able to attend our classes at The Homework Club.

Pages

Categories

Posts

Archives