Here's what some practitioners have to say about the Brainbow®:
Unlock Learning & Health
Neurodevelopmental Educator & INPP Practitioner
Connect Movement Therapy
Neurodevelopmental Therapist & INPP Practitioner
Curious about the background story of the Brainbow®?
What was the struggle that led to the development of the Brainbow®?Read the Brainbow® Story here
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Those who hear you explain your neurodevelopmental approach in your work using the Brainbow® will be saying:
"Ahh! That makes so much sense now!"
The Brainbow® Background Story:
Do you find yourself struggling to explain why the neurodevelopmental processes and sequences that happen in the first three years of life are so important for later learning success?
I would find myself:
(a) trying to simplify it, and as a result, oversimplifying it and missing the point; or
(b) overcomplicating it and trying to include too much of the processes involved and confusing people; or
(c) unsure what to focus on most so that people got the big picture, and the specifics of what was happening for their child and the learning challenges they faced without confusing the parents who were already confused; or
(d) trying to explain why the first 3 years were so important for laying academic learning foundations without a concrete example or model to use, or
(e) frustrated by hierarchical and linear models that seem to value the top brain functions without adequately considering the foundational neurodevelopmental aspects of learning that come before it; or
(f) ALL or SEVERAL of the above.
I played around with some models, looked at many others, including the well-known "Pyramid of Learning" by Williams and Shellenberger (1996), and decided I needed to develop my own way of explaining the foundations of learning success, particularly academic learning in school.
There were parts missing from other models and they seemed to represent things in a hierarchical way, rather than a developmental way that was a more complex network of interactions.
I developed the Brainbow® as a solution and explanation for parents, teachers, allied health workers and those who want to understand more about why the body-to-brain learning process is crucial for academic learning success.
It also helped explain how we learn to learn.
how my clients used their bodies to learn or how their bodies were interfering with their learning.
It wasn't about how "smart" they were.
The Brainbow® helps explain why the sequence and complex inter-woven nature of neurodevelopment in the first years of life is foundational for later functional and learning success, and why it can also interfere with learning success. It's about how the "learning brain" develops and functions.
So who am I, and what do I do?
Hi! My name is Christine Payard (PhD). I'm a Neurodevelopmental Educator who, as a teacher in many different settings and contexts, found that there was a huge gap in my understanding of learning and how we learn and in my ability to help students with learning challenges.
I saw children and adults struggling with learning tasks and skills including reading and writing. I knew that their difficulties weren't about their intellectual capacity. In fact, their difficulties had pretty much nothing to do with their problem-solving, creativity and intelligence. AND, it also had very little to do with their motivation and desire to learn in their academic settings.
These students wanted to learn and succeed academically, there was just something stopping them.
Most of the time, these people felt like they were the odd ones in the system. It was their fault they couldn't learn and participate fully, and as a result, many of them started to view themselves as "dumb", "stupid" and beyond help.
They were often the naughty, disruptive, disengaged student and they just needed to get through their time at school as quickly as possible. Or, alternatively, they disengaged from the school learning environment and found their "happy places" and tuned out, limiting their learning potential and success at school.
We all know those students. In fact, some of us were those students.
In my work as an educator, and more recently a Neurodevelopmental Educator, it became clear to me that our assumptions of "How we learn", and how students learn in school are very brain-based, assume we have complete control over our bodies and assume we all have mature brain and body systems.
We attribute a lot of the student's learning success to their motivation and desire to participate in the academic tasks presented to them, when in fact, there may be something else blocking their learning potential at school.
The Neurodevelopmental perspective we use in helping children and adults with their learning difficulties focuses on the underlying neurophysiological connections and developmental processes that lay the foundations for learning success. It's a body-to-brain learning process.
If the learning foundations aren't strong, the task of academic learning can be extremely challenging for these students. And, I'm not talking about foundations associated with phonemic awareness, letter identification, or alphabet and counting knowledge etc. ANd, I'm not just talking bout early childhood learning.
I'm talking about the neurophysiological foundations that are important for learning at any life stage -- not just in early childhood.
Basically: if the body isn't supporting learning success, it can interfere with that success.
We need to understand how that works to help those who experience learning challenges, and it always helps if we can explain that process as well.
So, I needed a model to illustrate, demonstrate and explain how our neurodevelopmental processes contribute to later learning and body function, and why we need to pay attention to the neurodevelopmental aspects of learning if we are going to help those with learning challenges.
That's where the Brainbow® helps and what I've found is that: