Tips for Getting Started

Basic Tips for Using The Brain Building Book

Review Before You StartAs with any new tool, there is a learning curve.  Look through the book before you use it the first time and think about how you might introduce each piece given your personal style.
Start at the First Testing SessionIntroduce the book at the first testing session, including writing the child’s name on the first page.  Starting at the beginning of testing will help build the child’s vocabulary and practice the language over time.
Multiple SessionsFeedback sessions can be overwhelming.  The Brain Building Book helps with overwhelm by introducing information about learning and the brain over multiple sessions.  Referencing the pages over the course of multiple testing sessions (or throughout the day) will set the child up for an empowering – and consumable – feedback session.

If you use the book after testing is complete, it may be helpful to split it over two sessions.
Choose Your Own OrderYou do not have to go through the pages in order – in fact, I often find I’m going back and forth between pages depending on where the conversation goes.

Some pages will be more relevant to one child than another.  Feel free to gloss over the parts that aren’t relevant, and spend more time on those that are.
Annotate! This book is designed with a general, open structure so that it is easy to personalize for the specific child you are working with, as well as your own personal style.

Draw, write, add, illustrate, and annotate the book as you discover new information about the child throughout testing.  Encourage the child to write and draw in the book, too!
Prepare the BookBefore the feedback session, you may wish to write a few notes on the pages.

Alternatively, you can use the Feedback Organizer.  This way, you have everything written down, but you can pick and choose during your session based on what the child is ready for or where the conversation leads.

This Feedback Organizer turns into a great additional take-home for parents as a child-friendly summary of the most important findings. 
Less is MoreOften it is not helpful for children to tell them everything we learned.  Choose 1-3 items for each page.

Remember, this tool is meant to start the conversation and give adults some tools to continue talking about the child’s profile over time.  Understanding is not a single event – it is a journey!

For comorbid conditions, it can be helpful to choose one as the primary focus.

If parents would like to add more later, the Feedback Organizer can help give them the language to do so.
Send it Home!After the feedback session, give the child the book to take home.  If your feedback was virtual, mail it to them (Media Mail rates apply).
Additional MaterialsThe following materials may be helpful when using this book:
– Different colored markers
– Plush neurons from Giant Microbes
– Squishy brain stress ball or brain model
“How to Explain” Blog Series from 

Session Breakdown

This is how I use the book across testing sessions.  Your setup may be different, but hopefully this gives you ideas.  Please let me know how you use the book, and I’ll add it to the manual for others to learn from!

Testing Session 1Testing Sessions 2-3Feedback Session
ThemeAll About You and Your BrainStrengths, Growth, & DifficultiesSpecial Words, Crew, & Tools

Explain why we are doing the assessment

Learn what they like to do
Introduce parts of the brain and how they work together to do those things they like to do

Establish a growth-mindset approach

Identify strengths from the child’s experience or testing observations

Establish that they have already overcome challenges

Help them talk about current challenges

Revisit previous pages to help reinforce and integrate information
Review what you and the child have discovered during testing

Introduce specific words that will help them understand and explain their brain (diagnosis or other terms)

Name the people who will help them build their skills

List the tools and strategies that can help

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