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Do you or your child find learning difficult? 15 – 20 % of people do.

 

If some (or all) areas of learning (reading, spelling, comprehension, maths or physical co-ordination) are a challenge....

If strong ability (even giftedness) in one area is being undermined by inability in other areas...

If learning frustration and anxiety are leading to emotional and behavioural issues....

If you (or your child) have been diagnosed as having a Specific Learning Disability or Disorder such as:

Site under construction - we are reviewing helpful and interesting information to be added to the site as soon as possible.

Articles
& Resources
The Brain

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  • Brain (cognitive/neurological) Processing

  • Brain Plasticity

Processing Disorders

  • Visual

  • Auditory

  • Sequencing

  • Memory

  • Etc.

Learning Disabilities

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A guide to understanding learning disabilities, signs and symptoms.

Specific Learning Disabilities

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  • Dyslexia

  • Dyscalculia

  • Dyspraxia

  • Dysgraphia

  • Dysphasia

  • Visual Processing Disorders

  • Auditory Processing Disorders

  • Spatial Deficits

  • Etc.

Cognitive (Brain) Training

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​Cognitive functions, skills and processes.

  • Dyscalculia -  difficulty understanding and applying the concepts of mathematics, time or money

  • Dyslexia – difficulty with words: reading, spelling, writing, speaking

  • Hyperlexia – great reading ability but poor comprehension

  • Non-Verbal Learning Disability – great verbal skills (vocabulary) but poor comprehension and difficulty understanding non-verbal cues (like body language, facial expressions, gestures)

  • Dysphasia -  difficulty with speech and language (understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension           

  • Dysgraphia -  difficulty with spelling and writing – figuring out what to write and/or the motor aspects of writing, confusion with grammar, punctuation, letter reversals, omission of words or letters, difficulty organising ideas.

  • Dyslogia - difficulty expressing ideas verbally due to impairment of the ability to reason or think  logically   (See  Semantic Pragmatic Disorder)

  • Dyspraxia – Sensory Integration Disorder - poor hand-eye co-ordination and dexterity, difficulties  with balance and proprioception (leading to clumsiness).    

  • Sensory Processing Disorder – over or under sensitive to sensory input, or difficulty processing information using the senses              

 

                                    …..the under-lying problem is probably some form of brain processing problem.    

                                                                                                                                             

“Processing” is the way information (received through the senses) is interpreted by the brain.

A “processing disorder” is confusion, blockage or inefficiency somewhere in the processing system, so that sensory information is not effectively interpreted or retained in the memory.

Processing Disorders include various forms of:

  • Visual and spatial processing – despite good eye-sight         

  • Auditory processing – despite good hearing 

  • Language processing 

  • Motor processing (for co-ordination and dexterity) 

  • Sensory processing 

Any single cognitive processing problem (or a combination of them) will impact, not only on learning, but on how well we function in our daily lives. Each of us processes uniquely, and we all have strengths and weaknesses in the various areas of brain processing – but when an area of weakness is so troublesome that it hampers our ability to cope, or negates our areas of strength, we need help to overcome this disability.

Emotional & Behavioural Fallout

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  • ​Emotional affects of learning disorders

  • Behavioural affects of learning disorders

Diagnostic Challenges

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  • Diagnostic confusion

  • Diagnostic tools

Giftedness / Twice Exceptional

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Definition

Co-Existing Conditions

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  • ADHD

  • Autism

  • Aspergers

The good news is that a brain can be “re-wired” – it is possible to build new pathways to improve processing and make learning easier. Given time, understanding, help, patience and perseverance, the brain can change its structure and functioning.

This is called brain- or neuro-plasticity – the ability to improve cognitive skills, and  restore (or maintain) them if the brain has been affected by brain trauma (injury or stroke) or neurological disease (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's etc.)

Brain plasticity allows new brain connections to be created and neural circuits to increase, improving their function. Accepting new, challenging tasks creates and establishes new neural connections. The more a neural circuit is used, the stronger it becomes. This can be achieved through a programme of specified exercises and activities that train the brain to gain improved processing abilities.  

There is Hope

 
How to Respond...

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  • What do I do now?

  • How do I cope?

The Links Between Lifestyle and Learning Disabilities

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  • Sleep

  • Exercise

  • Nutrition

  • Music

  • Art

  • Etc.

Does This Sound Like Your Child?

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  • Disorganisation

  • Irresponsibility

  • Poor time management skills

  • Impulsivity and Emotional Instability

  • Resistant to change

  • Struggles to focus, easily distracted

  • Talks a lot, wide vocabulary

  • Asks a lot of questions

  • Is socially awkward

  • Freezes under pressure

  • Clumsy (unco-ordinated)

  • Better at reading than mathematics

Implementation of a successful programme requires:

  1. An accurate, detailed assessment to determine exactly which processing difficulties are involved.

  2. An individualised programme of exercises and activities specifically designed to train the brain to gain the skills it currently lacks.

  3. Patient and compassionate understanding from family, friends and educators who accept that the problems faced are real, and who are prepared to work with the student in a team-effort to overcome the processing problems.

  4. HOPE - belief that the brain can be re-wired – which inspires and motivates the student to put in the effort required to achieve this goal.

Research shows that early intervention and specialised programmes are vital in helping those with learning and associated behavioural challenges to achieve their full potential.

Call Us:

0272 45 7013

182 Harewood Road, 

Papanui,

Christchurch 8053

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