Mission of the Resilient Lives Centre
Our aim is to provide a space where different specialties come together to enhance the well-being of children, adolescents and families. Our mission is to nurture the development of children, adolescents and families so that they can respond with resilience to the challenges of modern, everyday life, turning these challenges into opportunities for personal growth.
We strive to work beyond intervention to prevention, as early prevention leads to a more resilient society as a whole.
Goal of the Cognitive Lab
The aim of the Cognitive Lab is to cultivate and address any problems in the executive functions of children 5+
What are staff functions
Completing most tasks requires the successful orchestration of various types of executive function skills.
3 dimensions are considered the most important:
- Working memory
- Emotion regulation
Each person has 12 staff skills:
- Working Memory
- Emotion control
- Commencement of work
- Time management
- Setting and achieving goals
- Observing my thoughts and myself
- Stress tolerance
Working Memory is the ability to hold and manipulate information in our head for short periods of time.
It provides a mental surface on which we can place important information so that it is ready for use during our daily lives.
Examples of Working Memory
Working Memory enables us to:
– we remember a phone number
– back to our book before a friend interrupts us
– we remember if we had added salt to the food
– run a numerical problem with several steps
Working Memory also helps children with social interactions, such as:
– to play in a theater
– to make series in group activities
– easily rejoin a game after stepping away to drink water.
What is CogMed?
Cogmed is specifically designed to train attention and working memory. Numerous scientific studies have shown that Cogmed has a strong effect on the ability to focus attention for longer periods of time.
Improved attention is useful for everyone, but especially important for people who have problems in this area.
With the help of a Cogmed Coach you can tailor your practice to suit you and your family. Possibilities range from as short as 20 minutes a day to intensive 50-minute sessions.
The training takes place on a computer, smartphone or tablet and consists of a series of short exercises that force the person being trained to push the limits of their working memory.
The exercises are carefully designed to challenge the attention and working memory of the person you are training. As the learner improves at an exercise, the level of difficulty increases. The program is tailored to ensure that training is maintained at an optimal level of effort.
Cogmed has great potential to help with attention deficit and other cognitive problems. In order to realise the results it is necessary that the trainees adhere to the training program and push themselves in each exercise.
In order to help the learner commit to the program and maintain the full course of education, the school psychologist of our centre helps him. This person is trained in the Cogmed method and specialises in the specific types of issues the trainee is dealing with.
The psychologist guides the trainees with the right expectations and creates a training program. As the trainee does this program, the psychologist maintains regular contact, offering the consistent support needed to succeed.
Immediate results of CogMed
- Increased capacity of Working Memory
- Improved ability to pay attention and concentrate.
- Positive secondary outcomes such as better school performance.
- Improved self-confidence.
- Significant effect on working memory, attention and cognitive performance.
The direct result of training is increased working memory capacity and improved ability to pay attention and stay focused. These benefits usually appear immediately after the program ends.
In addition, many Cogmed users report how their improved attention leads to positive side effects such as better school performance and improved self-confidence.
Cogmed has been used to deliver more than 200,000 trainings and studied by researchers in more than 120 experiments published in scientific journals.
Cognitive Lab Interventions
Interventions take place in 50-minute meetings with a minimum number of meetings of twelve (12)
First phase: Update and evaluation
- The first appointment is free and parents are informed about the program and given the following screening questionnaires:
The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is a part of the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA). The ASEBA is used to detect behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents. The CBCL is completed by parents. The other two items are the Teacher Report Form (TRF) (completed by teachers) and the Youth Self-Report (YSR) (completed by the child or adolescent). The time frame for item responses is the last six months. It is used for children aged 6 to 18 and consists of eight scales:
- physical complaints
- social problems
- thinking problems
- attention problems
- rule-breaking behavior
- aggressive behavior.
Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function(BRIEF)
The BRIEF assesses executive functioning behaviors at school and at home. The BRIEF was developed for parents and teachers of school children. It is designed to assess the abilities of a wide range of children and adolescents and is useful for detecting specific difficulties in children who have learning disabilities, attention problems, traumatic brain injuries, pervasive developmental disorders, depression, and other developmental, neurological, psychiatric, and medical conditions.
- If no mental test has been done in the last two years, then the child will undergo a short mental test using the main indicators of the WISC-V. The WISC is typically administered to children (ages 5 and older) and adolescents (under 17 seventeen years of age) to assess the Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ), which represents children’s general mental ability and cognitive functions. The WISC assessment consists of four indices: the Processing Speed Index (PSI), the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI), the Fluent Reasoning Index (PRI), and the Working Memory Index (WMI). This short assessment does not give us the general quotient of the child’s mental abilities, but it gives us important information about any problems. If deemed necessary, then a recommendation will be made for the administration of the comprehensive mental evaluation.
- Informing parents about the suitability of the child for the program.
- Create a CogMed account, where the child will be able to complete their homework through their personal electronic device
- It is very important that parents encourage the child to practice even 10 minutes a day.
Second Phase – Intervention
- The intervention includes 50-minute meetings with a school psychologist where the first 20 minutes the child runs the CogMed digital program on an electronic device.
- Then the child together with the school psychologist work on the individualized needs of the child in relation to the executive functions that need development using optimal techniques.
- The parents and the child receive at the end of each meeting a brief indication with statistical representations of the child’s progress, as well as his homework. It is very important that the child practices in the specific area at home as well.
When the child has completed at least 12 sessions, progress is assessed and partially re-assessed using short questionnaires.
Depending on the indications, and once the child has demonstrated at least 50% improvement in therapeutic goals, then termination, reducing the frequency of meetings, is discussed accordingly.
Specialists involved in the CogMed program
Cases will be assigned to one of our school psychologists from start to finish of the program with a maximum waiting time of two weeks. The registered school psychologists of our center are:
Eleana Hadjimina, MS
Sophia Peletie, MS (Coordinator)
Christina Aristidou, Special Education Teacher
General Supervisor: Dr. Maria Kontouli, Psy.D, Registered Clinical Psychologist