Learning Concepts

Diversity in Learning Styles

Those whose learning styles do not easily fit into the main stream learning can be assessed with learning difficulties like Dyslexia or Dyspraxia.   In fact, the brains are not necessarily wrong, they are just wired differently.  In the past, schools have often taught to the left hemisphere – the auditory side of the brain.  With new understanding, the teaching processes in schools are now becoming more diverse and inclusive.

Understanding the differences in the left and right hemispheres of the brain can go some way to understanding why and how the differences affect people of all ages – through both thinking and learning styles, and also emotional and behavioural states.

 In understanding those differences, it creates an awareness of the diversity in thinking and learning, and the unique nature of each individual.

Dyslexia - grid

In the past, students who have battled the age-related assessment targets and fallen short time and time again, often had their self-esteem and self-worth battered and bruised.  As more is understood about the diversity of learning, different approaches and allowances are made to ensure that all students receive learning in the way best for them.

As a culture, we now understand more about the nature of learning and processing information. Although there is no single or simple answer, in short, environmental factors and genetics often play a strong part of it.  The other significant part lies in left or right brain weaknesses or strengths which can leave the brain and body out of alignment.

Environment Factors

Environmental factors are quite diverse, and come from the environment in which the child is exposed to.  This can begin at the point of conception.  Environmental triggers can be:

  • Diet related – food sensitivities like gluten, dairy, or other basic foods.
  • Reactions to additives, colourings and preservatives.
  • Pre- and Post-natal exposure to pollutants  such as chemicals, toxins, alcohol or drugs .
  • Emotional upsets, bullying, behavioural difficulties.
  • Disconnection at certain stages of brain development (dyadic relationships), particularly in the first 3 years.
  • Exposure to EMFs – the common wifi or Smart Metres in the home or at school can interfere with the developing brain.

Epigenetics

  • Epigenetics is where there is a genetic pre-disposition for a child to have a learning difficulty because a parent or other close relative did.  This is an important factor, but epigenetics also realises that for a particular gene to manifest as a learning disability or difficulty (for instance), there may still need to be a set of environmental triggers to support that genetic pathway.  In part, this can explain why one child in the family will be predisposed to a learning difficulty while another isn’t.

Left Brain-Right Brain Balance

  •  When either the left or right hemisphere is delayed or deficient, or sometimes  over activated, this can lead to a block of information flow between the two sides.
  • By creating a more harmonious flow between the two sides, it can assist and support many learning difficulties.
  • Most people can  work quite happily on a sliding scale between both hemispheres, even when they have a preference for one side or the other.  A learning disability becomes more pronounced when a student finds the sliding scale more difficult to manage.

Brain Plasticity

  • In many cases it is possible to create small changes in the brain to support easier learning!  The foundation of this is called Brain-plasticity.  Brain-plasticity is a common catch word these days.  At its most simple definition it means that the neural pathways in the brain can be adjusted, shifted and rewired.
  • Brain Plasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt to change and to rewire itself. With every new experience, the brain changes in some way. As we experience an event or learn a new skill, and practise it repeatedly, new connections are formed and strengthened between neurons.
  • This is how brain exercises can help support easier learning.  The neural pathways can become more balanced, and it allows for a more cooperative connectivity between both hemispheres, without taking away the unique nature of the brain.

Brain Integration Exercises

  • In Dyslexia, it is often the left side of the brain that has some level of developmental delay.  Brain integration exercises can help to stimulate the delay, and to help both sides of the brain to work together more freely

Free Downloads

Below there are a range of PDF’s that will help explain child development and learning.  Click on the links for free downloads:

CHILD DEVELOPMENT: In understanding how children develop through a series of stages, it can enable a better understanding of the age-related challenges that can arise.
Erik Erikson’s PsychSocial Developmental Stages

HEMISPHERES OF THE BRAIN: The brain is divided into two hemispheres.  It has been researched that each side is responsible for different strengths for learning and processing information.  Most often, both sides work together and cross over when they need to.  However, there are times when one side is more functional than the other, often showing up as some form of learning difficulty.
Left and Right Brain thinking and learning pdf

MULTI-SENSORY LEARNING: There are many ways to define the multi-sensory aspects of learning.  This PDF will offer an over view of the main styles of learning processes, with some cues to help understand each learning sense.
Multi-Sensory Learning VAK

BRAIN INTEGRATION: Exercises which cross the mid-line of the body, both horizontally and vertically, can help to integrate both sides of the brain.  It also includes checking to see how well aligned the body is. Often one side is weaker than the other, creating uneven body alignment and learning alignment.  These are included in our lessons.

Definitions of Learning Disabilities
https://www.speld.org.nz/specific-learning-disability-definitions

Some Key Indicators
https://www.speld.org.nz/services-for-children/key-indicators

Tutoring
I am a qualified SPELD trained teacher for Learning Disabilities, and have been working with students for the most part of nearly 20 years. I may have spaces available for tutoring – reading, writing, spelling, maths, up to Year 10.  Please enquire via information on contact page.

Not all students with difficulties in learning will require a full assessment.
Sometimes they may just need a bit of extra assistance
to get them back to an easy learning place again.
You are welcome to contact me for a free chat. 

Some common things parents ask about:

  • What does it mean to have a learning difficulty?  Can it be fixed?
  • Why do they mix up their letters or numbers?
  • Why do they remember something one day, then forget the next?
  • Why can’t they tidy their room, or remember what you asked them to do?
  • Why do they get confused about the order of instructions?
  • Why do they daydream or fidget a lot and lose focus?
  • What are the different types of memory and processing?
  • Why so they seem muddled or clumsy?
  • What does Body Posture and Hydration have to do with it?  How can I help?