Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is the Little Thinkers Center?

The Little Thinkers Center is where we help children develop their critical and creative thinking skills. We do this by giving children specific experiential activities that are fun yet challenging enough to build the divergent thinking skills needed to understand the whys behind the problems.

For example, to understand math, it doesn’t matter that you know 2×2 = 4. You have to know WHY 2×2 = 4. That requires concept learning, not content learning. Being able to grasp this type of thinking opens the door to a new world of possibilities. And the tools children gain here will help them tackle challenges academically, socially, and emotionally.

How was the idea born?

Having treated children with severe anxiety disorders for the last 2 decades, it was apparent that many of the triggers came from academic or social challenges. What was disturbing to see was that many of these children didn’t believe in themselves to have the ability to overcome obstacles. They didn’t have the thinking skills necessary to efficiently solve questions from school work, conflicts with peers, or even simple everyday problems.  They lacked the “I can” attitude needed for self-confidence. Thus, when I was pregnant in 2016 with twins, I knew I wanted to have a place where my boys could gain these critical and creative thinking skills. Unfortunately, there aren’t many quality options in Southern California. So, with my training from Dr Harry Wachs and my experience in child development, the Little Thinkers Center was born.

–  Dr. Jenny Yip – Founder of Little Thinkers Center

What kind of challenges or disorders do you address at the Little Thinkers Center?

Any child with challenges academically, socially, in critical thinking and problem-solving, or physical-motor skills, or a child who struggles with academic stress, anxiety, and low self-confidence can benefit from the Little Thinkers Center. Our program will also help children with specific learning challenges, such as reading, math, visual-spatial awareness, executive functioning, working memory, and non-verbal learning.

My child struggles at school, but is not diagnosed with anything. Can you still help?

Of course. The reality is that many children struggle academically, socially, or in sports these days. Whether it’s due to perfectionism, stress, or a learning challenge, the most important factor to any successful endeavor is the belief in yourself to tackle obstacles and challenges in life. Not having that belief in yourself can be mentally and emotionally taxing and create unnecessary stress. And stress interferes with the learning process. What results is a vicious cycle that contributes to low self-confidence. Again, what determines success is not just about a child’s ability, it’s about a child’s belief in themselves to overcome a challenge when it’s presented. At the Little Thinkers Center, we help children acquire the thinking skills that result in higher self-confidence and lower stress.

What are the "Thinking Games" exactly?

The thinking games were created by Dr Harry Wachs in the spirit of children’s play for its own sake. Play in itself requires thinking, and as Jean Piaget once said, “Play is the Work of Childhood”.  The thinking games are categorized according to different areas of development. And the positive results include: enhanced problem-solving capabilities, stronger academic performance and curiosity, improved social interactions, and most importantly, authentic self-confidence and resiliency. All of this fosters an “I can” attitude that’s needed for self-esteem and the belief in yourself to achieve what you set your mind to.

Are the thinking games & activities suitable for children of any age?

Our thinking games are most beneficial for children who are past their sensorimotor stage of development.  This occurs around age 2 give or take. Children in the sensorimotor stage are still absorbing so much knowledge through their senses and interactions with their natural environment that it’s best to give them those opportunities to keep exploring. An important point is that our program doesn’t focus on chronological age and instead tailors the thinking games to each child’s developmental level and readiness.

How often should my child come to therapy, and how long are the sessions?

Each session is 45 minutes long and prescribed at least once a week in the beginning. Children requiring a more intense regimen may come several times a week. As the thinking skills strengthen and the child is able to engage in activities with more ease, sessions are then spaced out, and eventually terminated. 

What is the assessment process like, and how do I schedule an appointment?

Before sessions begin, an initial 30min phone consult is scheduled to determine the appropriateness of our program. Following which a 2-hr evaluation will be conducted to assess the child’s developmental level, and identify specific challenges and learning gaps. This evaluation will guide the individually-tailored program for that child. To get started with the initial phone consult, just call or email us, and our Clinical Coordinator will walk you through the process.

How soon should we expect progress?

Like most skills in life, progress is individually based and depends largely on the developmental and maturity level a child presents with. We offer follow-up evaluations every 3 – 6 months to determine each child’s progress and update the program as needed.