Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia
November 6, 7, 8
Neenah, Madison, Milwaukee, WI
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November 18, 19, 20
Worcester, Woburn, Natick, MA
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December 2, 3, 4
Perrysburg, Youngstown, Independence, OH
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December 11, 12, 13 Merrillville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, IN
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Processing Speed - You Must Increase It! Here is how...
October 23, 2013
Processing speed is an extremely important learning component and must be increased. Extra time to process is a fine accomodation for now but fixing the problem, not accomodating it, is what we need to focus on for long term learning. See my complete article below on how to increase processing speed.
Click on the following link to download a sample exercise to improve processing speed: Growing Brains Processing Speed Sample. This is a sample from my Growing Brains Everyday curriculum, on sale this month.
Here is a question and answer from a client I thought would be helpful and interesting to you.
Q: I am trying to come up with an effective, efficient way to help my 2nd grade son (who has sensory processing disorder) work on his homework & unfinished work. Do you have any suggestions?
A: I hope that while you are looking into some easy accommodations, you are also looking at therapy that takes longer but will help your son over the long term.
Meanwhile, your son will be able to do better with his homework with the following suggestions:
- Be sure he has eaten and has access to water. If he yawns, he needs a sip of water and maybe a short walk to the next room and back.
- Before starting he could do some brain gym exercises to wake up his brain. Lazy 8 is my favorite. If you don't know it, you could buy the BrainGym for Teachers book - inexpensive and packed with good exercises to get his brain fired up
- Since he has sensory processing disorder, if you have a sensory diet for him, do it just before sitting down. If not, the book "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun" has many things to put into a sensory diet.
- So, take about 15 minutes to prep his body and brain.
- While working, he may need to stand or even walk around while working. Many people think better when they move.
- He may be able to work better on a slant. Try a 2" binder turned sideways.
- He might get distracted by sound. Rather than try to keep the environment extremely quiet, try "white noise"
- If he gets easily distracted by visual stimuli, remove all things from the table that he works on except what he absolutely needs. Have him face a blank wall that has no pictures or distracting wall paper.
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Processing Speed - You Must Increase It! Here is how:
If processing speed is not increased, and a child is getting extra time in school to do work or take tests, it is an excellent accommodation for now, but not forever. If a learning disabled child (smart but not achieving at his or her IQ ability) learns to rely on this crutch, jobs that will be appropriate for his intelligence will necessarily be under his or her ability level. I am an employer, and I couldn't hire someone to help me in my business who would take 50% longer to do their job than it should. In the business world, time is money.
So, the first step is to identify why extra time is needed. If it is because noise in the room breaks concentration, and then it takes a while to get back on track, then hypersensitivity to noise, not processing speed is the issue. Look for my next newsletter all about hypersensitivity to noise.
If there has been an issue identified through testing that the child has low processing speed, the cause could be from at least two different sources. Let's say that the child takes a long time to process auditory information. This is the case when Johnny, the LD child, has trouble keeping up with a lecture because the teacher is speaking faster than he can process it. Notes are incomplete, his understanding is incomplete. Sometimes, he may even answer an earlier question in class because it took so long for him to process the question!
The cause of this may be a combination of being left ear dominant and having a retained Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR). The left ear dominance is important because the left ear is controlled by the right hemisphere, but (for the vast majority of us) language that we hear is processed in the left hemisphere. The ATNR is important because during this stage of development in infancy, the hemispheres are being connected, allowing us to quickly process information in both hemispheres quickly. If it is retained, it is almost like Johnny has a block between the two hemispheres. The information can eventually get there, but it takes a while.
Don't worry if this is the case however, it takes just about a month to integrate the ATNR (This is in Section 4 of the Growing Brains Everyday Curriculum, which is on sale and you can instantly download at http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=1778774). If you have access to a listening therapy program, such as The Listening Program, Therapeutic Listening, Integration Listening Systems, or others, they all are right ear weighted, so that in a short period of time the ear dominance is changed.
There is a second reason for slow processing speed - and that is that the brain is slower than normal when processing all sorts of information. In this case, you can improve processing speed by working on it daily for at least 30 days (be sure not to miss more than one or two days a week). Click here to download the processing speed exercise taken from Section 5 of Growing Brains Everyday. This is just day 1 of 30 days; each day has a slightly more challenging exercise.
So there are two things to really help those who have processing speed issues. Work on them, and you are truly helping save a child's life!