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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a digit span?
A digit span is a measurement of how many numbers you can hear in a series and recall, or see in a series and recall. This is typically tested both forward and reverse. Most IQ tests assess digit spans. The most common method used to test sequential processing is the digit span. Simply Smarter assesses your digit spans with Baseline Tests as a way of determining how well you are doing. Then Simply Smarter activities use digit span recall exercises as a way of improving your sequential processing.
What’s 7 +/- 2?
It is generally accepted that, without intervention, sequential processing develops at the rate of one digit (or one piece of information) per year for the first seven to nine years of life, and then remains relatively stable. The initial research on sequential processing indicated that a majority of adults had auditory/visual forward digit spans ranging from 5 to 9 digits. This “normal” range for adult digit spans became known as 7 +/- 2 (seven plus or minus two). The preliminary research data currently being collected through the Simply Smarter Project 9 +/- 2, however, indicates that the extremely important function of auditory sequential processing has actually dropped to 6 +/- 2 over the last fifty years.
What is NACD’s Simply Smarter Project 9+/- 2?
The Simply Smarter Project 9 +/- 2 is an international program initiated by the National Academy for Child Development (a non-profit organization) to help raise the “normal” processing level of adults around the world to 9 +/- 2 digits.
Does my digit span indicate how smart I am?
No! Your digit spans measure your ability to take in pieces of information and to hold and manipulate them. NACD’s clinical experience suggests that sequential processing is a vital key to how well you can access your innate genetic intelligence. Many highly intelligent people have low digit spans. Our experience indicates, however, that if your digit spans are low, your access to your innate genetic intelligence is not as good as it could be. Also, the higher your digit spans are, the better able you are to utilize your intelligence.
Is the goal to learn how to memorize long series of numbers?
No. Learning strategies that help you remember longer and longer sequences of numbers are not going to improve your sequential processing. The goal is not to learn how to remember chains of numbers, it is rather to help you develop the neurological ability to take in and manipulate more and more distinct pieces of information.
How much improvement is good improvement?
In working with many thousands of individuals on the development of sequential processing skills, we have learned that even an improvement of half a digit translates into noticeable change in one’s everyday ability to learn, think and communicate. One of the best ways to observe the difference a digit can make is to look at the difference in the function of a two-year-old versus a three-year-old child. The difference in their behavior, their language skills, their ability to understand, learn and interact is not simply a reflection of having “learned” more. It is a reflection of the difference between being able to process three rather than only two pieces of information at one time.
An improvement of even one digit can profoundly change your life. The longer and more consistently you work at the program, the further you will go.
What is my potential?
NACD clients have shown us that our potentials are essentially limitless.
NACD has worked with thousands of individuals with supposedly “limited” potential and watched them go beyond all the professionals’ expectations. Developing sequential processing is one of the most effective neurological interventions NACD employs in the remediation of developmental delays, learning problems, ADD/ADHD, and other diagnoses. Many NACD clients eventually shed their labels and end up testing in the normal or gifted range. NACD has seen many children and adults labeled with learning disabilities or ADD who had poor processing skills. Over time these individuals developed their processing skills into the “Superior” and even “Millennium Mind” levels.