Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Learning Skills 101 - Did You Spell Washington Backwards?

So far, we have been discussing what learning skills are and how they impact a student on a daily basis. If you recall, we stated that learning skills are the underlying mental skills formally known as attention, visual/auditory processing, memory, processing, word attack and auditory analysis. Most of our children experience these skills through reading, writing, spelling, paying attention, remembering, recalling and how quick we can respond to a request.

Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing the three types of attention. Selective, Sustained and Divided Attention, and Working Memory were seen as necessary cognitive skills for students. Without these cognitive skills as strengths, the student has great difficulty within the classroom and in his life. Last week we tried an exercise from Unlock the Einstein Inside: Applying New Brain Science to Wake Up the Smart In Your Child.

The exercise demonstrates how all of the major cognitive skills work together we you learn. How did you do with trying to spell the name of the first American president backwards as fast as you could? I explained how this task required you to use higher learning thinking skills. Logic and Reasoning, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing and Long-Term Memory were used for this exercise.

Dr. Gibson's Book points out how weakness in any of these mental skills might affect performance:

  • If Attention is weak you may have never fully heard the request.
  • If Short-Term Memory is weak you may have forgotten the request before you responded, maybe needing the request repeated.
  • If Processing Speed is slow the request may have seemed too complex, requiring the need to have it repeated.
  • If Logic and Reasoning is weak you may have failed to come up with a solution.
  • If Auditory Processing is weak you may have been unable to unglue sounds in "Washington."
  • If Long-Term Memory is weak you may have been unable to remember letters that represent the sounds in "Washington."
  • If Visual Processing is weak you may have been unable to create a picture of the word in your head.

The point is that if any one of these cognitive skills is weak it will hinder your performance.

Your child may be experiencing similar "breakdowns" of processing while learning because one or more cognitive skills are weak. The best way to find this out is to have your child's cognitive skills tested. The good news is after a student works with the
Enhanced Learning Skills System, they will have strengthened all of their cognitive skills. ADHD symptoms, that are cognitive based, disappear to the point the teachers and family take notice. Recognize that there is hope and a solution. Call today for more information on your choices! Call me at (908) 285-8352.

Next week we will begin to discuss visual and auditory processing.

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