Cognitive rehabilitation of patients with brain damage using the Feuerstein Method – prospective, retrospective and case study research.
Neuropsychological rehabilitation refers to non-medicinal treatment designed to help a person suffering from brain injury overcome the cognitive, mental, social, and functional difficulties created by the injury (Prigatano, 1999).
These treatments are provided by a variety of health workers (including rehabilitation psychologists, occupational therapists and speech therapists).
Rehabilitation aims to restore the patient’s quality of life, help them cope effectively with the difficulties and reduce the extent to which the harmful effects of the injury impact daily life.
Evaluation of the efficacy of neuropsychological rehabilitation at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center at the Feuerstein Institute
Examination of the predictive validity of dynamic assessment (LPAD) on patient rehabilitation.
The research is divided into three parts: 1) retrospective study – past patients were assessed and their current performance was compared with tests done before they began their treatment at the FI, 2) prospective study –current patients were assessed over a period of two years, and 3) case studies were written to illustrate in detail the remarkable recovery seen in patients treated at the Center.
Cognitive improvements were observed in the sample of patients, ranging across different domains (IQ, memory, fluency, and attention).
Time spend at rehabilitation at the Feuerstein Institute predicted better emotional well-being. Patients with a longer rehabilitation period had less depression and anxiety symptoms.
The scores of the MPAI (Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory) indicate that the adaptability of our patients is better than a comparable patient sample with similar characteristics.
The Rey Complex Figure Test (part of the LPAD) is a fairly good predictor of future cognitive and functional abilities.
Rehabilitation at the Feuerstein Institute has been found to be effective in restoring intelligence and memory, even when rehabilitation is not carried out immediately after injury.
It is possible to improve and even overcome limited cognitive abilities due to brain injury.
Evaluation of Hazon Course – Preparation for Partnership and Marriage for People with Mental Disabilities
Studies indicate that most adults with mental disabilities want to be in a loving relationship(e.g. Lifshitz-Vahav & Hagual, 2015).
Couples with disabilities are able to meet the requirements of living together (Lofgren-Martenson, 2004; Levitan, 1990).
People with disabilities who were in a relationship were found to be more relaxed, with a higher sense of independence, self-confidence, self-esteem, and sense of competence than people with similar disabilities who were not in a relationship (Reiter and Neuman, 2013).
People with mental/intellectual disabilities need more guidance and direction than those in the wider population when it comes to relationships and marriage.
However, society does not encourage or provide appropriate frameworks for marriage amongst adults with disabilities.
Will the participants gain the necessary skills required for a romantic relationship?
Will the course succeed in preparing the participants for partnership and marriage?
At the end of the course, the subjects had a better understanding of and demonstrated more appropriate behavior to marital situations.
The subjects improved their ability to understand others, to compromise, to express emotion and to respond appropriately to social situations.
Participants’ self-competence had increased by the end of the program.
In a simulation of a first date, participants significantly improved their ability to take
initiative and be an active partner in the conversation, as well as showing
empathy and taking an interest in the other.
The Hazon Course gives hope to young adults with disabilities who would like to be in a loving relationship.
With the correct assistance, these young adults are able to date, enter into a serious relationship, and get married.
Academic Integration of Students of Ethiopian Origin in Israeli Universities
The current criterion for acceptance to universities in Israel is based on the psychometric test. However, the ever-increasing argument has been that this test is culturally biased and discriminates against disadvantaged populations (such as students of Ethiopian origin-SEO).
In 1994, the proportion of Ethiopian-origin students in higher education institutions were only 0.9%; disproportionately low.
Discrepancies in economic, educational, employment and family status between Ethiopian Israelis and the greater Israeli population are still prevalent (Myers-JDC-Brookdale-Institute, 2012).
A special program was developed to integrate these students, based on dynamic assessmen [DA], an interview, academic-oriented metacognitive intervention, and counseling. These assessments measured learning potential as opposed to measuring current performance capabilities.
Will the students accepted to the program meet the university requirements? Will drop-out rates match the general dropout rate at universities?
Is dynamic assessment a better predictor of academic achievement than the psychometric test?
174 candidates with low psychometric scores were selected, screened and enrolled for studies in university; 49.4% enrolled to prestigious departments (e.g., medicine).
Out of all SEO who began their studies at the university, only 4.6% dropped out at the end of first year as compared to 10.8% on national Jewish sample. No significant differences were found between dropped out and continuing students in the psychometric test.
Prediction of first-year and three-year GPA scores by DA and psychometric scores were not significant.
Dynamic assessment may be a more effective selection tool for students with deprived cultural backgrounds to university than the standardized psychometric test procedures.
This program was effective in recognizing the learning potential of the SEO students. They are able to meet the course and university requirements like their peers, despite low psychometric scores. Without this program, they would have not been accepted to university.
Large academic achievement disparities exist between the Jewish and Arab sectors.
Only 47.8% of students in the Arab sector are eligible to matriculate, compared to 70.9% in the Jewish sector.
In the city of Ramle, the percentage of students who are eligible to matriculate is only 57%
The drop-out in the Arab sector is double that of in the Jewish sector (3.6% as opposed to 1.7%).
Can Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment intervention in ninth and tenth grades promote students’ achievement towards the matriculation exams?
Will intervention reduce the drop-out rate?
Is it possible to increase the percentage of those entitled to a matriculation certificate?
English and mathematics matriculation scores of 11th grade students who took part in the program when in 9th and 10th grade, were higher than the matriculation scores of students who did not participate in the program.
The intervention program in grades 9-10 resulted in a significant improvement in the matriculation grades in 11th grade in English and mathematics.
An intensive intervention program at the beginning of high school can prepare students for matriculation exams in a variety of subjects.
The Feuerstein intervention program can contribute to maximizing the potential of the students in the school and to reducing educational gaps that exist in Israeli society
Feuerstein Academic Intervention in Israeli Youth Villages, 2018
Israel’s youth villages provide boarding school settings for at-risk youth.
Many of the students living in youth villages come from the social and economic periphery of the country and suffer from social, academic and/or behavioral problems.
When compared to a control group of youth with similar characteristics, significantly fewer youth village alumni matriculate and complete the psychometric test. Furthermore, the average psychometric scores of Israeli boarding schools graduates are significantly lower than that of the rest of their cohort.
Can Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment intervention in youth village schools promote students’ achievement?
Is it possible to increase the percentage of those entitled to a matriculation certificate?
Is it possible to reduce educational disparities prior to the matriculation examinations?
In the ninth grade, students’ scores in all LPAD sub-tests increased significantly between the beginning and the end of the year.
Following the intervention program, grade 9 students’ scores were significantly higher than the scores of their peers
in the control group (for the Organizer and Numerical Progression tests). There was no significant difference between the two groups’ scores on the Verbal Comprehension test following intervention.
The Instrumental Enrichment intervention program is able to identify students’ learning potential, and impart the students with skills and learning strategies that are not taught in the standard curriculum framework.
The impact of the intervention program in school is most strongly reflected in tests that examine thinking skills such as reasoning and analytical thinking.