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Learning Disability: What is Learning Disability?
A learning disability pertains to issues with the way the brain processes information. This can interfere with a person’s ability to perform school or work related cognitive processes, including:
- Learning new information
- Organizing information
- Interpreting spatial information
- Verbal understanding and expression
- Understanding and interpreting social cues
Additionally, a learning disability can severely impair a person’s functioning in family and social situations. Academic achievement and overall success in life are often far below actual potential for individuals with learning disabilities. These children and adults often feel frustrated and “dumb” because they fail to perform up to their potential.
Learning Disability and Brain Function:
There are some very specific processing issues that are noted in the qEEG when someone is experiencing the symptoms of a learning disability. Often, processing is slowed in one or more regions of the brain, and there may be an issue with coherence or asymmetry. Once the specific problem areas are located, neurofeedback can help reduce symptoms by rebalancing the brain.
Learning Disability and Common Symptoms:
The following is a checklist of common symptoms that may point to learning disabilities. Most people will, from time to time, see one or more of these warning signs in their children. This is normal. If, however, you see several of these characteristics over a long period of time, consider that this is a possibility.
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Learning Disability: Case Study
This case involved a sixteen year old female who, as reported by her parents, was diagnosed with more than one learning disability, and was struggling with a constellation of cognitive and behavioral challenges. The girl’s difficulties included auditory processing problems, Dyslexia, insufficient academic achievement (almost being held back a grade), an inability to focus and pay attention, and sleeping in class. In addition, the girl was involved with other at risk students and had experimented with drugs. She had long-standing difficulties with waking up in the mornings. Despite extensive tutoring, cueing and coaching, the girl was unable to organize herself enough to track, complete and turn in assignments. She also struggled with low self-esteem; her feelings were easily hurt, and she tended to hold grudges for a long period of time. The girl was in counseling and was medicated with prescribed stimulants. The physician had recommended an increase in medication, but her parents hoped to avoid this.
After she received an initial neurofeedback session the Mother reported the girl was involved in a terrible fight with peers at school. After several more training sessions a teacher contacted the Mother by phone to inquire about a “drastic change” in her daughter; it was as “as if all of a sudden a light went on”, the teacher reported. The visible effects of learning disability were drastically reduced in the classroom. She “is suddenly able to listen and seems to understand what is being said” the teacher noted, and asked if there was something the parents were doing that could account for such positive changes. The teacher also reported the girl as having a much brighter affect. As training progressed, the girl’s interim report card showed minor improvements in all subjects except math. Later, the parents reported their daughter had formed new and more appropriate friendships. In addition, they were working with the prescribing physician to titrate the girl’s medications with an eventual goal of cessation. Further into treatment the girl’s report card demonstrated one and two letter grade improvements in all subjects. The parents reported their daughter’s Dyslexia and other learning disability struggles diminished, and that she was able to titrate off of stimulant medication. By discharge, the parents reported that their daughter “wakes up easily most mornings, remains focused, and gets out the door on time”. They reported feeling “deeply relieved” that “our daughter enjoys school most days, and is doing well socially and academically”.
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