Our Program

What is LIU-VAS?

Low Academic Performance, Hyperactivity, and Inability to Concentrate

Every child improves yearly: at age 3, they will know less than when they are 5, at 5, less than 7, and so forth. However, their IQ will not dramatically change despite chronological aging. Thus, IQ level cannot be a measure of annual growth and development. Neither a child's IQ nor his or her age is an adequate representation of his or her learning abilities or behavioral actions.

In actuality, "learning abilities" - acuity in auditory and visual perception, and quick reflexes - are the most important factors that affect the child's behavior. Children are equally intelligent as the years go by, but in order to facilitate excellent academic performance and appropriate behavior, their chronological age must correspond to that of their ability level.

Balancing the Three Aspects of VAS is Key to Success

Why do children dally on their nightly homework? It is because all homework assignments require the use of visual perception in order to process the words. If the child's visual perception has not developed according to his or her age, his or her visual memory and distinguishing ability will fall be those of his or her peers, causing a loss of interest and inability to perform well. This will result in a seemingly brief assignment taking several hours to complete.

Why are children intelligent, but unwilling to work hard? The most probably reason is an imbalance in the VAS triangle. Most children in this group have a strong auditory base and are talkative, causing most to deem them smart. However, visual perception and sensory-motor skills have not developed. Thus, if assignments require visual understanding or written words, they will have difficulty. Indeed, they may seem like they have an inability to focus or are not hardworking.

Why does some children have strong memory skills but poor comprehension ones? From the aspect of learning abilities, children with strong auditory abilities will be good at memorization, but fall behind with nonverbal skills, which results in a lower performance with comprehension.
Children learn through various sensory experiences. Thus, only through these experiences will children learn of abstract concepts. For example, it is impossible to teach infants of the concept of "running fast," until the day they gain the mobility skills to learn for themselves what is slow or fast. These syllables are meaningless until they grow up. For many years, we have always believed that children with normal IQs with academic struggles either have psychological issues like lack of interest or hyperactivity, or do not have a methodology towards learning. Therefore, teachers have been preoccupied with research on teaching materials and strategies as a solution. Psychologists have been preoccupied with behavioral therapy. However, no educators have suspected that learning abilities were the source of such academic challenges.
If the children with low academic performances work on homework from several years ago, they will find the material incredibly easy. In fact, academic challenges are inevitable if the child's learning abilities do not correspond with the type of work assigned, since the work is standardized for the average child of that age. Should the child only be tutored on a particular subject, and not be trained on core learning abilities, academic challenges will not be alleviated. The balance of VAS abilities will affect children's communication, writing, reading comprehension, and math development. Assessment of these core VAS abilities will reveal the children's ability of learning. By promoting and the particular area(s) that require(s) boosting, their learning abilities will be enhanced accordingly. Optimal results will be clearly visible after training.

Signs of Autism

a. Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is not the Educational Goal

Even though new versions and methodologies of ABA exist nowadays, ABA is still only a behavioral modification method to promote social interaction in children with autism. Therefore, the purpose of ABA is not to facilitate learning and help transition to academic work once communication skills in autistic children are bolstered.

b. LIU's Philosophy towards Teaching Autistic Children

The characteristics of autism are poor communication and social interaction skills. Thus, medical and psychological treatments are aimed towards these issues; for example, ABA focuses on improving social interaction skills and speech pathologists on the language deficit. However, LIU's philosophy differs from these: while others focus on the methodology, LIU addresses the core reasons behind these characteristics. Additionally, speech pathologists concentrate on articulation, and thus are unable to promote fundamental language development. By focusing only on medical and psychological perspectives to promote social interaction and language abilities, children are losing valuable time that could be used towards early intervention.

c. Misdiagnosis of Autistic Children

Slow language development, inability to maintain eye contact, poor social interaction and communication skills, and a tendency to wander are often misdiagnosed as autism or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). In fact, some children may have learning disabilities instead.

d. Don't protest, "I've tried everything already!"

Autism cannot be cured. However, maturity and comprehension level can be bolstered as the years go by. Nevertheless, this increased maturity is highly dependent on environmental conditions; unfortunately, many children around the world are subjected to numerous "treatments" that simply take up time. Medical treatment cannot serve as a substitute for education, and futile attempts to cure autism will only neglect children's chances of learning.

Outstanding Learning Abilities

The philosophy of LIU is to improve all aspects of the VAS triangle to at least two years past the child's chronological age. Thus, it appears as if a mature third grader is sitting in a first grade classroom, leading to ease while learning. With facilitation employed by the educators, these children can outperform their peers.

LIU's Philosophy towards Gifted and Talented Children

From the LIU-VAS perspective, the discovery of and support for gifted and talented children comes from their learning abilities and inherited talents. Children's visual perception (visual organization and processing, like writing, reading, and organization and comprehension), auditory integration (sound recognition and auditory memorization), and sensory-motor skills (sophistication of physical response and coordination) are the three major domains that observe and process environmental stimuli. If a child excels at visual perception, he or she will be talented in mathematical and engineering areas; if a child excels at auditory integration, he or she will be talented in literature, music, and writing areas; if a child excels at sensory-motor skills, he or she will be talented in dancing and other physical activities.

Balance of the VAS Triangle

What parents must focus on with gifted and talented children is to promote the balance of all three domains of the VAS triangle. If a child excels with auditory integration, he or she might be extremely talented with the musical field. However, the fine motor skills necessary for manipulation of his or her fingers or the understanding of musical theory might escape them. Therefore, the balance of this triangle is invaluable.

LIU's Perspective

Lessons in the classroom are designed as training for lifelong learning. Our job as parents and educators is not to teach children to focus on what they excel and take an interest in, but to teach them how to maintain appropriate development in other areas as well. By focusing only on the areas children excel in, we are teaching them to neglect other important aspects, which will only hurt them later on in life.
Besides innate talent, the most important factor that affects gifted and talented learning is based on the efficacy of the child's ability to learn.

What is the VAS assessment?

LIU's VAS assessment is a comprehensive assessment designed for children. After communicating with the parents and understanding specific expectation and needs, the evaluator will schedule an assessment.
This assessment will evaluate and analyze the child's VAS abilities, which affect the child's capabilities of oral communication, writing, reading comprehension, math, and behavior. The 25-35 minute assessment will include visual drawing abilities, auditory memory span, auditory memory abilities, and sensory motor abilities. Through observations and evaluation of these various activities, the specialist will be able to draw conclusions that let him or her provide analysis and consultation to the parents.

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