LEARNING DIFFICULTY OR LEARNING DIFFERENCE? 

LET’S PUT THIS INTO PERSPECTIVE

People classed as having a ‘learning difficulty’ can be high achievers. Whilst you may have a cognitive weakness in a particular area it does not mean you do not have a superior strength in others.

There are many famous actors; musicians; sportsmen and sportswomen; scientists; inventors, authors and businesspeople all who have dyslexia and despite, or because of this, they are exceptional in their respective fields.

Internationally around 10% of the population have dyslexia which is one of the most commonly regarded ‘learning difficulties’. However, despite this ‘disadvantage’ 1 in 3 entrepreneurs in the US (35%) and 1 in 5 in the UK (20%) have dyslexia.

Dyslexic minds are able to process information differently and see the big picture. They have a divergent, lateral thinking mind which has created some of the world’s greatest inventions such as the light bulb and the telephone. 

Perspective is starting to change and with neuroplasticity we can help improve the brain’s ability to perform complex tasks and the capacity to learn. 

WHY A LEARNING DIFFICULTY MAY NOT BE A DISADVANTAGE. [Download the reports]

WHAT IS A LEARNING DISABILITY OR LEARNING DIFFICULTY? 

10% of the adult population has dyslexia or another learning challenge so if you have a weakness in a specific cognitive area or your child is struggling at school, they are not keeping up with the curriculum, or if they display a behavioural problem or you feel that something is not quite right, please contact us below as we may be able to help.

1 in 5

Children and young people in New Zealand need extra support for their learning. 

Dyslexia

Dysgraphia

Dyscalculia

Auditory Memory

Visual Memory

 

Auditory Processing

Non-Verbal Learning

Executive Functioning

Logical Reasoning

Attention Difficulties

A difficulty in learning tends to be in a specific area.  Often IQ is typically of average or above intelligence but due to specific difficulties, it  it makes learning very frustrating and difficult.

A child is challenged across all aspects of learning this may be referred to as global delay.  This learning disability may be graded as mild, moderate, severe or profound.

COMMON SIGNS THAT A PERSON MAY HAVE LEARNING DISABILITIES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: 

Problems reading and/or writing.
Problems with math.
Poor memory.
Problems paying attention.

Trouble following directions.
Clumsiness.
Trouble telling time.
Problems staying organized.

Some disabilities look like this. Others look like this.
Is your child happy at school?
Is there something that just doesn't seem quite right?
Have they ever said they feel dumb?
Have they ever complained that they just don't get it?
Have they ever been in trouble for not paying attention or finishing work?
Imagine what they could achieve if we were to unlock their full potential?
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DEFICITS ARE SPECIFIC TO THE INDIVIDUAL AND MAY INCLUDE: 

listening
speaking
reading
writing
maths
reasoning
attention
memory

language
auditory and visual processing
decoding
motor coordination and planning
spatial orientation
impulse control
sequencing
following instructions

A typical profile of a student with a learning difficulty will show weakness and strength in different areas.

As a result, these pupils are often mis-diagnosed by teachers and they are often labelled as troublesome, disruptive, stubborn, irresponsible, or lazy.

They will often struggle to achieve in a mainstream class because of their deficit and without correctly addressing their learning issue first, they will seldom reach their full potential.

Expecting a child to learn in a class when they are already struggling to keep up is like continuing to pour water into a bucket with holes and expecting it to hold water.

Pip Block Principal A1 Student 

COMMON FEATURES OF A LEARNING STRENGTH OR LEARNING DIFFICULTY 

Motor Symbol Sequencing – Automation of motor plans used in symbol formation for writing, reading, and speech Difficulty with note taking, completing timed written and reading tasks, written expression, finding and keeping place in text while reading; messy handwriting; miscopying; misreading; irregular spelling; speech rambling; makes written errors in mathematics.

Symbol Recognition – Recognition and recall of symbols and symbol patterns Difficulty with word recognition, spelling, remembering symbol patterns such as mathematical or chemical equations; slow reading speed.

Broca’s Speech Pronunciation – Pronunciation and integration of syllables into stabilized and consistent word pronunciation Difficulty pronouncing words and thinking and talking at the same time; avoids using words because of uncertainty of pronunciation; flat and monotone speech with lack of rhythm and intonation; limited ability to learn and use phonics.

Lexical Memory – Remembering several words in a series Ability to follow auditory information; good associative memory.

Quantification Sense  – Sense of number and quantification Ability to retain numbers in one’s head, do mental math, make change, learn math facts; good time management and budgeting.

Symbolic Thinking – Thinking and problem solving in language-based tasks Ability to be self-directed and self-organized in learning, keep attention focused on task to completion, see the main point, problem solve; has mental initiative.

Non-Verbal Thinking -Thinking, planning and problem solving in non-verbal situations Difficulty interpreting non-verbal information such as body language, facial expression and voice tone and registering and interpreting one’s own emotions; weak social skills; trouble problem solving and planning in non-verbal situations.

Symbol Relations – Connecting concepts and ideas; understanding logical and conceptual relationships Difficulty with comprehension, logical reasoning, understanding mathematical, scientific or literary concepts, flexibility of thought, reading a clock; can appear stubborn or inflexible.

Predicative Speech – Encoding sequential information found in language, mathematical and serial processes Ability to communicate orally, put information into one’s own words, use internal speech, comprehend sequences, learn steps in mathematical procedures.

Auditory Speech Discrimination – Differentiation in hearing similar speech sounds, for example ‘hear’-‘fear’ Ability to listen to speech and accurately hear words and understand someone with an accent.

Object Recognition Recognition and recall of an object’s details (person, place or thing) Difficulty finding objects, remembering visual cues such as landmarks, remembering faces and recalling the visual details of pictures.

Kinesthetic Perception -Awareness of one’s body in space and recognition of objects by touch Ability to move the body fluidly; awareness of where one’s body is in space relative to objects; appropriate pressure when handwriting.

Primary Motor – Speed, strength and control of muscle movements on the left side of the body Good muscle tone and fluid body movement.

Kinesthetic Speech – Awareness of the position of the lips and tongue for speech articulation Lack of clear articulation of speech and speech slurring may occur.

Predicative Speech – Encoding sequential information found in language, mathematical and serial processes Ability to communicate orally, put information into one’s own words, use internal speech, comprehend sequences, learn steps in mathematical procedures.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I, OR MY CHILD HAS A LEARNING CHALLENGE?

If you have a weakness in a specific cognitive area or your child is struggling at school, they are not keeping up with the curriculum, or if they display a behavioural problem or you feel that something is not quite right, please contact us for some initial advice as we may be able to help. There is no charge for the initial discussion about your or your child’s learning difficulties.

If we feel our program is likely to be a good fit for you or your child, we will recommend booking a consultation to establish if a student is able to undertake the cognitive exercises required within our program. This may be followed by full Arrowsmith assessment to establish your child needs help with.

Parents often worry about their child being labelled with a “learning difficulty” and when they first approach us they often say that they ‘have tried everything’ such as extra tutoring or homework sessions to address the issue.

Instead of ‘helping’ this can often put their child under even more pressure because in spite of all this ‘help’ they fall further and further behind. Parents often say their child has lower self-esteem and has become more withdrawn.

It is important to realise that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ and every child will learn in a slightly different way.

The sooner a student is able to address their particular learning difficulty, the sooner they will then be able to return and learn within a mainstream environment.

Some of our current full-time students are achieved some life changing results this year, by addressing their learning difficulty in under a year and then returning to mainstream.

Parents often feel a part-time option may be better so their child doesn’t fall further behind however our results show that students who are ideal for the full-time program return to mainstream faster and better able to learn.

Furthermore, students that have graduated report that instead of ‘missing a year’ they have easily caught up on content and they have subsequently progressed to achieve some exceptional grades.

NEUROPLASTICITY-THE SCIENCE BEHIND LEARNING

International Education Policy is based upon the pre-existing idea that the brain’s anatomy is fixed.

It was thought that a learning difficulty is for life and it was necessary to ‘compensate’ and ‘work around the problem’. Research now proves this is not the case. 

Why compensate when you can change?

Using neuroplasticity your brain’s can create new neural connections and strengten existing ones.

By targeting weak areas with specially designed cognitive exercises our students improve their brain’s ability to perform complex tasks. 

A Cognitive Profile is like a fingerprint.

Arrowsmith targets 19 different areas of the brain. To find out your cognitive profile take our free on-line test. Results are confidential and immediate.

Advances in education and scientific research prove that it is possible to build a new neural pathway in the brain using neuroplasticity so that learning disabilities can be much better addressed.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young., the founder of Arrowsmith is recognized as a pioneer and creator of one of the first treatment applications utilizing the principles of neuroplasticity when she started using these principles in 1978 to address her own learning difficulties.

The program has now evolved over 40 years to address a wide range of learning difficulties experienced by students across the world, targeting 19 different areas of the brain.

To find out if Arrowsmith may be able to help you please schedule an initial call with us. We do not charge for this advice.

Please connect with us on social media and help us spread the word. 

YOUR BRAIN CAN CHANGE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY STUCK!

WITH REGULAR EXERCISE YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR CAPACITY TO LEARN.

Our programs can help build a stronger foundation for learning which enables our students to increase their ability to understand core subjects like numeracy and literacy as well as improve their working memory. 

Arrowsmith can also help strengthen cognitive weaknesses of children and adults, even if you have a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia.

If you or your child would like to improve your ability to understand core subjects like numeracy and literacy or your working memory we also offer remote learning programs, Arrowsmith at-home to provide a flexible solution for all New Zealanders to address a cognitive weakness around a busy schedule.  

Schedule a free 15-minute call with us to discuss your particular needs. 

Change your brain and change your life! 

A1 Student Ltd Copyright 2018