“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
John Wooden

BrainWare SAFARI and Students with Learning Disabilities

BrainWare SAFARI can help students with learning disabilities by strengthening the cognitive skills that will enable them to learn more effectively and more efficiently.  In peer-reviewed, published research, students with specific learning disabilities who used BrainWare SAFARI for 12 weeks, improved key cogntiive functions, including verbal working memory, attention, and short-term memory to the level of normally developing students. With stronger cognitive skills, these students were able to make substantial gains in reading and math -- 0.8 grade equivalents in reading and 1.0 grade equivalents in math, in just 12 weeks.

BrainWare SAFARI addresses weaker stkills and builds them in a comprehensive and integrated way, like cross-training for the brain.  It is delivered in an engaging video-game format, which helps the skills develop more quickly and helps motivate persistence in areas where the deficits are greatest.

The program can be used as an intervention within the school setting (for example, as part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)), or at home.  Many clinicians and learning specialists use BrainWare Safari, along with other interventions, to help students with a variety of learning disabilities.

Cognitive Skills and Learning Disabilities

As the National Center for Learning Disabilities (LD) describes it, LD is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, store and respond to information.  But all learning disabilities do not look the same and, indeed, a student may have a deficit in one area or multiple areas, but not in others.

The important thing about learning disabilities is to recognize that they can create significant barriers for children learning how to read, write, do math, learn life skills and develop their abilities to plan and organize themselves.  When there are underlying learning disabilities, they are likely to impact a child’s progress in more than one subject area.  Because learning disabilities affect the basic processes the brain uses to receive, process, store and manipulate information, simply teaching more reading, more math or more writing is unlikely to resolve the problem.  Development of those underlying skills is necessary and possible.

Common Cognitive Skill Deficits in LD

While deficits in any area of cognitive functioning can impede efficient learning, some common areas of deficits impact many students:

Cognitive Area

Cognitive Skill




Divided Attention

The ability to attend to two activities and the same time.

Listening to the teacher while taking notes.


Working Memory

The ability to hold information in the mind while performing mental operations on it.

Copying a math problem from book to paper, or remembering the first part of a sentence to the end to enable comprehension.

Auditory Processing

Auditory Sequential Processing

The ability of the perceptual processing system to send auditory information to the brain in the same order it was received.

Keeping sounds, words or steps in a set of instructions in the right order.

Visual Processing

Visual Processing Speed

The ability to perform tasks quickly – such as scanning, inspecting and comparing information or processing incoming information quickly.

Obtaining relevant information from a graph or reading the faces of a group of classmates.

Sensory Integration

Visual-Auditory Integration

The ability to match auditory and visual stimuli and coordinate them into a meaningful product.

Connecting the sight and smell of an orange into a single concept.


Resources on BrainWare SAFARI and Learning Disabilities

Research Study on Students with Specific Learning Disabilities

Strengthening Cognitive Processes in Students with Resource Plans

Case Study of BrainWare with Special Needs Students

Neuroscience and Special Education (InForum Report from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education)

BrainWare Safari and Students with Special Needs (IDEA)

Success Stories from Our Users

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Parents Say ... Other Programs Don’t Have the Depth of Research

by Sue D. (Michael, Age 12)

BrainWare is more intensive and strategic in terms of building connections in the brain. It's wonderful! Other games don't have the depth of research behind them."

Educators Say ... An Information Age Tool that Supports Information Age Thinking

by Ronald L. Kraft, Superintendent, MI

"To educate students in the Information Age instead of the Industrial Age, we need Information Age tools and materials that support Information Age thinking. BrainWare Safari is on the cutting edge of preparing students to be Information Age thinkers using exercises that develop their ability to recognize patterns, solve problems, and think more effectively."

Clinicians Say ... It Should Be a Staple in Every Household

by Teresa Rosen, PhD

"As a clinician and a parent, I have never seen a program that offers the intensity and diversity that BrainWare Safari offers. For the price, for the time involved, for the motivation of the child, there's nothing out there that even comes close. It should be a staple in every household."

Parents Say ... Grades Have Improved

by Mary H. (Philip, Age 10)

"Whereas before Philip would come home and want to do other things because homework was too hard or would take too long. Now he comes home and does it. And the best part is his grades have improved."

Kids Say ... Lots of Stuff is Easier

by Rachel C. (Age 8)

"I can concentrate more and lots of stuff is easier."

Educators Say ... Gives Teachers Valuable Data They Can Use to Improve Their Instruction

by Dr. Lou Whitaker, Principal, Pope John Paul II, FL

"The area we noticed the greatest improvement in was the attitude of the students. They enjoyed playing the games and the teachers and parents noticed the students were able to complete homework assignments with less stress and frustration--which was a direct result of BrainWare Safari. As an educator for over forty years, I have spent my career looking for new, innovative programs that produce results, give teachers valuable data they can use to improve their instruction, get students excited about learning, and put fun back in the classroom. BrainWare Safari is such a program."

Parents Say ... It Was Challenging and Kept Her Excited

by Karen W. (Victoria, Age 8)

"I liked the program because Victoria was able to have her own reward system right there in front of her and that would keep her motivated to continue to pass the levels. It was game-oriented so it was fun, but at the same time, it was challenginge to her and kept her excited. As she passed more levels, her success became greater, and she would even surprise herself."

Kids Say ... I Beat It!

by Adam K. (Age 12)

"It was really fun. Some levels were really easy, but others got harder and harder. I didn't think that I could beat the last level of one of the exercises, but I worked on it and beat it!"

Clinicians Say ... BrainWare Safari is Revolutionary

by Gary Vogel, OD, FAAO

"BrainWare Safari is revolutionary. For the first time, the kinds of exercises I have used one-on-one with patients have been incorporated into a fun and entertaining video-game format."

Kids Say ... My Teacher Was Very Impressed

by Rachael H. (Age 7)

"I think it was fun and it helps me with my memory. When I had Chinese class, I got all of them right. The teacher was very impressed."

Credibility Counts

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  • Parents’ Choice Award
    Parents’ Choice Award
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  • District Administration Top 100
    District Administration Top 100
    One of the top 100 products of 2011 as chosen by readers of District Administration Magazine.
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