There is a wide array of learning difficulties, and many children (4-6%) suffer from them. Learning diffuculties are not due to a lack of intelligence, to unfavourable socioeconomic circumstances, or to a psychoaffective problem. These difficulties have a neurobiological origin and arise from the fact that certain areas of the brain did not develop correctly during the prenatal period.
These difficulties include dyslexia (issues with reading), dysgraphia (the relation of sounds to written letters), and dyspraxia (the use and coordination of learned gestures). Included among these difficulties are dysphasia (spoken language) and dyscalculia (mathematical functions and numbers).
The Tomatis Method operates on the plasticity of the neural circuits involved in the decoding and analysis of sounds, as well as on those involved in motor ability, balance, and coordination. Therefore, the Tomatis Method can help children develop compensatory strategies to deal with and manage their learning difficulties and language disorders. The Tomatis Method does not eliminate these problems altogether, but helps the person better manage them and thus effectively overcome them.
About Learning Disabilities and ADHD
A learning disability is a disorder which affects a person’s ability to either interpret what they hear or see, or to link information from different parts of the brain. Although the individual with a learning disability has an average or above average IQ, the disability becomes evident in both academic and social situations. The individual can have marked difficulties on certain types of tasks while excelling at others.
Learning disabilities arise from perceptual problems leading to significant delays in important learning challenges. Often, this condition is referred to as a ‘hidden disability’ since few, if any, obvious external characteristics cause the individual to be seen as ‘different’ initially. Valid assessments of individuals with learning disabilities require the exclusion of other disabling conditions – mental retardation, emotional disturbance, cultural disadvantage and sensory deprivation.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is considered to be a neurobiological disability that interferes with a person’s ability to sustain attention or focus on a task and to control impulsive behaviour. We may all have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulses, but for some people the problem is so chronic and persistent that it gets in the way of daily life – at home, at school, at work and in social settings.
ADHD is not a learning disability (LD). Each is a distinctive neurologically-based disorder. Each is recognised and diagnosed differently. And each is treated in a different way. The treatment for ADHD will not correct LD. The treatment for LD will not help ADHD. About 30- 40% of people with LD will also have ADHD, so if one disorder is found it is important to look for the other.
What is ASD?
- Aspergers Syndrome
- Rett Syndrome
- Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
- Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a mysterious, lifelong communication and behavioural disorder. Today 1 in 150 children will be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Those affected with ASD may experience challenges in communication and language, problems with social interactions, unusual and problematic behaviour and sensory processing difficulties.
Autism Symptoms Checklist
Autism symptoms vary from child to child and time to time in severity and manner. Not every characteristic appears in every child.
- unusual eye contact
- lack of meaningful speech
- resists change in routine
- difficulty mixing with other children
- indicates needs by gestures
- inappropriate laughter
- marked physical overactivity or extreme passivity
Persons with ASD have a wide range of intellectual abilities. Other common characteristics include problems with sleeping, eating, and toileting.
Austism Spectrum Disorders are treatable – early diagnosis and intervention are vital to the future development of the child. Never has the future looked so bright for autistic children. With new research advancements and new treatment options such as intensive behaviour intervention, sensory integration, and auditory training, along with public awareness and dedicated educational personnel, our autistic children can reach new heights.
You don’t know how lonely it is
I feel it every day
I appreciate what you’ve done
Just help me find my way.
Quote from David W. Eastman 1963-1988.
An accident claimed David’s life at the age of 25. David, a non-verbal, autistic adult will be remembered by his poetry which gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of a person with autism.
Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. These include, but are not limited to:
- language processing
- phonological processing
- visual spatial processing
- processing speed
- memory and attention and
- executive functions (e.g. planning and decision-making).
Learning disabilities range in severity and may interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following:
- oral language (e.g. listening, speaking, understanding)
- reading (e.g. decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition, comprehension)
- written language (e.g. spelling and written expression) and
- mathematics (e.g. computation, problem solving)
Learning disabilities may also involve difficulties with organisational skills, social perception, social interaction and perspective taking.
Learning disabilities are lifelong. The way in which they are expressed may vary over an individual’s lifetime, depending on the interaction between the demands of the environment and the individual’s strengths and needs. Learning disabilities are suggested by unexpected academic under-achievement or achievement which is maintained only by unusually high levels of effort and support.
Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors or injury that alters brain functioning in a manner which affects one or more processes related to learning. These disorders are not due primarily to hearing and/or vision problems, socio-economic factors, cultural or linguistic differences, lack of motivation or ineffective teaching, although these factors may further complicate the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities.
Learning disabilities may co-exist with various conditions including attentional, behavioural and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions.
For success, individuals with learning disabilities require early identification and timely specialized assessments and interventions involving home, school, community and workplace settings. The interventions need to be appropriate for each individual’s learning disability subtype and, at a minimum, include the provision of:
- specific skill instruction;
- compensatory strategies; and
- self-advocacy skills.
Contact Dr. Adelina Coresi
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