Cognitive Enhancements Solutions - Learning Programs for Children

PREP - the PASS Reading Enhancement Program

As the title suggests, PREP is a reading enhancement tool based on a theory of intelligence called PASS — Planning, Attention, and Simultaneous and Successive processing — which proposes that cognition is organized in three systems:

  • Planning
  • Attention
  • Information Processing

The three PASS systems

The Planning system involves the executive control system responsible for controlling and organizing behavior, selecting or constructing strategies, and monitoring performance. The Attention system is responsible for maintaining arousal levels and alertness and for ensuring focus on appropriate stimuli. The information processing system uses Simultaneous and Successive processing to encode, transform, and retain information.

Simultaneous vs. Successive processing

In Simultaneous processing, the relationship between items and their integration into whole units of information is encoded. In Successive processing, information is coded so that the only links between items are sequential in nature.

Several studies have shown that Simultaneous processing relates strongly to reading comprehension while successive processing relates strongly to decoding words. We have recently demonstrated that one of the primary characteristics of children with word decoding problems is poor successive processing abilities.

The PREP program

PREP consists of 4 successive processing modules and 4 simultaneous processing modules each involving a global and curriculum-related bridging component.

The global components comprise structured non-reading tasks requiring application of successive or simultaneous strategies while the bridging component involves the same processing and strategy used in activities linked to reading and spelling.

The program provides scripted instructions for each task along with a hierarchy of scripted prompts for each global and bridging component to support and guide any child so he/she can succeed with minimal assistance and maximal success.

The first level prompts remain quite general, helping a student find a strategy to remember the instructions for example. The third level of prompts is much more direct; a student may be asked to watch and see how another student successfully performs the task, or the facilitator may discuss a variety of ways to successfully complete the task.