Can Learning Disabilities Be Improved?
The frontal lobe of the brain is the primary area involved in fundamental learning abilities such as planning, organization, attention, impulse control, and making sound judgments. You can see on the Brain Map above (the top one) that is associated with learning disabilities, that the frontal lobe is struggling to perform its duties of executive function, organization, planning, working memory, and attention as indicated by red. When a brain is struggling to process information, it can lead to symptoms that make it very difficult to learn, be productive, and reach one’s full potential. Many times, people with learning disabilities feel as if their brain has shut down and is not able to work toward their goals causing stress and anxiety.
Neurofeedback gently guides the brain pattern above toward the ideal pattern for learning, organization, and productivity (red is gone above). Dr. Trish Leigh is a Board Certified Neurofeedback practitioner and has helped many people achieve their best brain functioning to live their best lives.
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Special Note to the parents of Children with Learning Disabilities:
If you have been told that your child has weak “executive function” skills that are contributing to his or her learning difficulties, you may not understand the importance of improving those skills. Improving executive function can dramatically increase outcomes for learning, improvements in behavior, and overall happiness. In addition to executive dysfunction, Dr. Trish Leigh at Leigh Brain & Spine helps kids with a variety of learning disabilities including those that include reading, writing, math, language, communication, auditory and visual processing, and more.
Each area of the brain has been mapped out by scientists and their functions discovered. For a particular learning disability the part of the brain that controls that skill can be dysregulated.
Dr. Trish will perform a specialized brain-based assessment to determine how each area in the brain is performing and if there is a dysfunction that could be causing the learning challenge. After proper assessment the correct course of treatment can be recommended.
Types of Learning Disabilities
- Dyslexia: children suffer with difficulty recognizing letters, learning letter sounds.
- Dyscalculia: children demonstrate problems with learning numerical and visuo-spatial fundamentals and skills
- Dysgraphia: children use distorted and incorrect handwriting, as well as issues with other fine-motor skills.
- Dyspraxia: children plagued by significant difficulty with carrying out routine tasks that instead become clumsy with uncoordinated movements. Can be global of all body movements or only of speech movements.
Solutions in the Brain for Learning Disabilities – Neurological Regulation
Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to improve its performance, is at the heart of Leigh Brain and Spine. Learning disabilities are caused by Neurological Dysregulation Syndrome (NDS). Depending upon which areas of the brain are dysregulated, the subsequent skills and abilities are impacted. The areas for language comprehension and production, attention, executive functioning, cognitive processing (verbal and/or mathematical), writing and speech prosody are most impacted for children with learning disabilities. Learning involves many, many areas of the brain working in concert. Many times communication between brain areas is weakened when a child suffers from a multi-modal learning disability. When the brain is regulated and the areas are strengthened to perform better and communication between brain areas is improved, symptoms of learning disabilities disappear.
Treatments available at Leigh Brain & Spine, designed to improve brain functioning in the areas that are affected for your child, will alleviate the symptoms of the underlying brain functioning issue and improve your child’s learning and behavior.
- Not all learning and attention issues are learning disabilities.
- ADHD is not a learning disability (LD), but it’s common in kids with LD.
- There are interventions, including Neurofeedback, but no medical treatments, for learning disabilities.
- Issues with eyesight, hearing or motor skills are not learning disabilities.
- Medication doesn’t “cure” kids with learning disabilities.