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  • PALS

PALS November 2014 - Speaker Meghan Swick from Brain Balance


  • Meghan Swick: Brain Balance Achievement Center of Pittsburgh (see PowerPoint notes)

  • All students have learning challenges, some have been diagnosed, and others have not. Within the initial consultation BBAC knows whether or not a child would benefit from the services provided. (PP notes page 1)

  • Looks at a hemisphere disconnect in the brain. BBAC’s approach is to work on all areas at once; Sensory Motor, Nutrition (tests for food sensitivities), and Cognitive Academic. (PP notes pages 2&3)

  • BBAC looks at the milestones in Brain Growth and Development to ensure all have developed appropriately and assist in areas of weakness. (PP notes pages 4-6)

  • Based on assessment results an individual treatment plan is developed. BBAC Program is three times a week for twelve weeks at one hour per visit. Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. There is also a homework/home exercise. (PP notes pages 7-8)

  • All staff members of BBAC-PGH have a Master’s Degree in their individual field, Special Education, Psychology, Nursing, etc…

  • Generally students are placed in pairs within an appropriate age range as well as being paired left brain strong with right brain strong. No more than four children in a room at one time.

  • Not funded with Medical Assistance, private funding only. Currently $6000.00 for the 12-week program. Blood work starts at $295. Some families use the flex pay in their health insurance. Some parents have found grants to use for payment. The center does not supply the information for grants, but has worked with parents who have found grants in the past. Some school districts have paid for services. FCASD is not one of them.

  • Parents can call (412.665.0224) and arrange a site visit/tour and an introduction to the program and center.

  • Extended School Year

  • Data is collected before and after the school winter break to determine if Extended School Year will be offered to the student.

  • Now is the time to start having the conversation with the IEP Team.

  • Some students require the continuity of supports to achieve the goals set in their IEP.

  • ESY is supposed to be individualized for the student as with the IEP. ESY progress is monitored separate from a student’s IEP.

  • ESY is looking at skill maintenance. Social Skills also offered by FCASD in ESY.

  • If your child is not offered ESY services, FCASD also offers Reading and Math Camps. A parent can also request materials from the child’s general education teacher, special education teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and/or reading or math intervention teacher to complete with the child over the summer months.

Open Forum

  • Many students are finding the Livescribe Pen “Smartpen” extremely helpful when it comes to in class note taking and other aspects of the learning process.


  • Records audio that can be easily played back using the pen and dot paper feature making it easy for students to figure out what they forgot to write down.

  • Students can reorganize their notes on their desktop, laptop, tablets, iPods, and/or smartphones to better prepare for exams.

  • Notes may also be shared with others including the audio in a feature called a “pencast”.

In Attendance

Abby Torres, Sarah Nickel, Stacy London, Meghan Swick, Dr. Lonnie Carey, Heather Hoover, Cathy Nader-Syiek, Terri Semon, Doris A. Scott

Next Meeting

Wednesday, January 7, 2014 9:30a.m. Panera Bread Waterworks Mall 942 Freeport Road, PA 15238

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