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Look at the Whole Child

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A person has a learning problem if they consistently make more mistakes than the average person, or they must consistently work longer or harder than the average person.

If this is true of your child, you may wish to ask the following questions.

  • Does my child enjoy learning? If not, why not?
  • Is my child eating a variety of healthy foods?
  • Is my child maintaining good sleep patterns and getting enough sleep?
  • Is my child getting enough exercise?
  • Is my child coordinated?
  • Is my child organized?
  • Does my child independently complete homework and follow through on responsibilities?
  • Is it easy for my child to communicate what he needs and wants?
  • Is my child accepted socially?
  • Is my child kind, considerate, and compassionate in social situations?
  • Does my child have self-confidence?
  • Does my child feel safe and protected at home and at school?
  • Do I know my child's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Does my child have the skills to perform successfully at school?

These questions will help you identify factors that affect a child's ability to learn.

If you answered "no" to any of the questions, you will wish to pursue the respective topic further.

If it's a matter of changing dietary habits or improving sleep patterns, the solution may be largely self-evident.

However, if communicating is difficult for your child, or if your child has low self confidence, low social acceptance, or struggles to independently complete their work, there could be underlying factors that should be considered.

The most common cause of learning deficiency is inefficient processing skills.

More specifically, in order to learn efficiently and effectively, a person must be able to do the following:

  • Pay attention
  • Quickly and accurately process what they see and hear, interpreting language and using logic, as needed
  • Remember the information that they acquired

When any of these processing skills is weak, there will be a corresponding decrease in learning ability. Only by addressing these underlying issues can a deficient learner become an efficient, truly independent learner.

It's important to keep in mind that the brain can change.

Recent research tells us that the brain has plasticity, that is, the ability to change with training. Through intensive training that challenges a person cognitively, chemical and neural changes can occur in the brain.

Complementing this knowledge, we also know that with the right training, new, higher functioning neural pathways can be developed to enhance a person's processing skills. As a result, programs that target processing and motor skills can improve those skills in a person having a brain injury, a motor disability, or a learning deficiency.

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