3 Truths About Learning Barriers
May 7 is National Barrier Awareness Day and LearningRx is sharing some of the myths about learning disabilities and how to overcome learning barriers.
Myth #1: Smart kids can't have a learning disability.
The truth: A learning disability can impact the way children of average to above average intelligence receive, process, or express information. It impacts their ability to learn the basic skills, like reading, writing, or math.
Did you know that Albert Einstein had ADHD? Or that Thomas Edison had dyslexia? Because IQ is simply a measure of cognitive abilities, it’s easy to see how a very smart child could still have a learning disability. Just imagine a child whose cognitive skills are all very strong, except one. A bright child who struggles with selective attention, that is, the ability to remain focused on a task while being subjected to distractions. Or a brilliant teen whose memory skills are so weak that he can’t remember what his homework assignments are.
Myth #2: Accommodations are the best options for students with learning struggles.
The truth: Sometimes, accommodations at school only enable the learning disability by working around the student's need rather than addressing the root cause of the problem.
A child with slow processing speed, for example, may regularly be given extra time to complete tests. Likewise, a child with attention struggles may be allowed do work in a separate room from his class to avoid being distracted by other students. These accommodations do nothing to help the child prepare for academics down the road (or adulthood) where teachers, professors, and bosses don’t cater to the individual’s needs.
Myth #3: Tutoring in the only way to help kids with learning disabilities.
The truth: Tutoring doesn’t get to the root cause of most learning disabilities. It can be effective for a child who has missed a lot of school due to an illness, injury, or family move. Essentially, it provides a way for a student to “catch up” on material that they’ve missed due to an extended absence. But because tutoring teaches WHAT to learn, not HOW to learn, it doesn’t address underlying learning struggles and it’s certainly not the ONLY way to help kids with learning disabilities.
Studies show most learning disabilities are rooted in weak cognitive skills, so it makes sense to try cognitive skills training.
One form of cognitive training is called personal brain training, and involves working one-on-one with a trainer, doing fun, challenging mental exercises that train weak cognitive skills. Personal brain training incorporates immediate feedback, intensity, and loading, among other features, to target brain skills. Effective brain training customizes programs based on the results of an initial cognitive skills assessment and uses exercises founded on years of clinical and scientific research.
To learn more about LearningRx's 1-on-1 brain training programs, visit www.learningrx.com.