Intempo: Big results for small children
Intempo’s offer is based on a holistic learning environment featuring systematic stimulation of language and the senses, which can help children up to 5 years of age to improve their capacity for learning. This improved learning ability will continue to be of benefit in later years. In addition, this learning program can help to prevent dyslexia and behavioural problems.
"We operate at the crossover point between neuropsychological research and new developments in teaching", explains Heidi Aabrekk. She is the CEO of Intempo, a company that she launched in 2009 with support from Innovation Norway, and has recently become one of Ferd’s social entrepreneurs.
Heidi Aabrekk is both a qualified special needs teacher and has a Masters degree in innovation in schools from the University of Oslo. Her involvement reflects her professional background and her personal experience of having a son born with serious brain damage. When her son was around one year old, he started to receive treatment at an American institute that had developed a holistic training program based on a new approach and fresh insights.
"The results were amazing. Even though my son could not communicate and was functionally blind, he learned to write when he was two years old. After a further six months, he was able to communicate with the help of a letter board", reports Heidi Aabrekk. She goes on to explain that her son is now eight years old and still has limited motor skills and no speech, but is able to communicate very well using a letter board and loves going to school.
"I went on to look into the theory and methodology behind the training my son had received, and it became apparent to me that this approach was actually extremely suitable for all children, regardless of whether they have special needs or normal capabilities", she explains.
"Språkleken bravo" – a practical teaching tool
In order to put this approach into practice, Heidi Aabrekk developed the language game Språkleken bravo, a practical teaching tool based on several hundred flashcards that cover basic concepts in areas such as language, mathematics, the natural world, technology, creativity and society.
“The cards are used both to teach children about the concepts they present and to train them in language awareness. The training program takes around 10 minutes each day, and can be carried out by parents, day nursery employees or other persons who have completed one of our courses”, she explains.
The commercial basis envisaged for Intempo is that it will generate revenue from sales of equipment for the Språkleken bravo teaching tool, as well as from arranging courses and sales of books and DVDs.
“Intempo has not as yet put a great deal of effort into sales and marketing, but feedback from the 80+ day nurseries that have so far purchased equipment and training is good. Ferd Social Entrepreneurs will now support Intempo with both financial resources and professional expertise to help the company develop its operations”, explains Øyvind Sandvold, Business Developer at Ferd Social Entrepreneurs who is responsible for the business area’s involvement with Intempo.