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Why Self-Esteem Affects Your Child’s Education

Why Self-Esteem Affects Your Child’s Education

Every child struggles with self-esteem at some point in their life. Imagine how much more challenging self-esteem can be for a child who struggles in school or who has a learning disability. This can really hinder their confidence and how much effort they are willing to put into their education. When a child has high self-esteem, they don’t waste much time impressing others because they already know their value. Your child’s judgment of  himself,  influences his or her friends, if they get along with others, the kind of person they marry, and how productive they will be in the future.

If a child is experiencing self-esteem issues, it will affect many aspects of their life. It will hinder creativity, integrity, stability, and can and even affect whether he or she will be a leader or follower. You child’s feelings of self-worth determine their aptitude and ability, which eventually leads to every child’s success or failure as a human being.

It is important as parents to help our children understand mistakes are not only part of growing up, but making mistakes is important. When Thomas Edison was questioned about trying 1,014 times before inventing the light bulb, he said, “I did not fail 1,014 times. I successfully found out what did not work 1,014 times.”

Instead of looking at how many mistakes your child makes on their math test, first praise them for how many they got right and then help them to correct their mistakes. Emphasize to them that we all learn by making mistakes.

There are many ways we can contribute to our child having a healthy self esteem and  self-confidence  not only at home, but at school and among their peers. Here are a few tools that can help:

  1. Focus on strengths.The first step to building self-esteem with your child, especially if they have a learning disability is to target his or her strengths. Try finding something outside of school your child can feel successful at whether it is a sport, art class, craft, or music lesson. As your child gains more self-confidence, continue to remind them that he or she can be just as successful in school. Talk with your child’s teacher to let them know what you are working on outside of school so the teacher can also focus on similar academic strengths that will help them succeed in the classroom.
  2. Partner with Your Child’s Teacher.As a parent, it’s important to invest as much time in your child’s education as the teacher does.. You can prepare a learning plan with your child’s teacher to ensure his or her learning materials are at their level and are tailored to their needs. Your child may need more individual attention or require additional resources like a professional tutoring center.
  3. Keep instructions positive.Kids hear a lot of negative words, especially if they struggle with behavior or attention issues. Instead of using words like “no,” “don’t,” “stop,” and “quit,” try telling your child what you want them to do, not just what you want them not to do. Many kids need to know what the appropriate or expected behavior is and parents and teachers must  be involved in  redirecting inappropriate behaviors and instructing the child on what he or she should be doing instead.
  4. Clarify expectations.Taking on complex projects even if the instructions seem simple to others can be tough for children. Sometimes helping children understand tasks and projects from a different angle is more effective. For example, instead of saying, “it’s time to pick up your toys,” try saying, “please pick up your toys.” By using this different approach, children can organize what they need to do to complete the task. Many children, especially those with ADHD, have difficulty creating long-term goals. By giving children “bite-size” pieces, they can build the skills that benefit them in the long-term.
  5. Use rewards.We have found at  Learning Enhancement Center that  rewards are a great tool to motivate our students and rewards give them something to work toward. Rewards are a helpful tool to encourage positive behavior and helps children to complete hard tasks. After the child sees that good behavior and greater accomplishments can be reached, they won’t always need the reward.

 

In conclusion, let us not overlook the fact that every child needs to feel both loved and worthwhile; however, lovability must not be tied to worthwhile performance. The more loveable any child feels, however, the more likely he or she is to perform well in school and gains more confidence in their abilities.

 

 

What is Dyslexia?

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that has neurological roots. It primarily affects one’s ability to read. People with dyslexia have difficulty with accurate and fluent word recognition. They also tend to have poor spelling and decoding abilities. It is not uncommon for two or more children in a family to have dyslexia. One person might have mild dyslexia while the next person can have a profound case of it.

It is estimated that Dyslexia affects 20-30 percent of our population.  Even though people with dyslexia have average to above average intelligence, their dyslexia creates problems with reading, speaking, thinking, and listening. This, in turn, can create emotional problems and self-esteem issues throughout their life. Self-esteem can be a contributing factor for low grades and overall under achievement.

The main difficulty for dyslexic students is poor phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is when the listener is able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word “bat” into three distinct phonemes, /b/, /a/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. A dyslexic student’s brain may only hear one or two of those three sounds. Developing phonemic awareness is the first step in learning to read.

The problem in reading doesn’t lie in how the student “sees” the word. For example: A student that sees the word “SAW” doesn’t see it as “WAS”, they have trouble manipulating the word and sounding it out in the correct order. They must look at words in parts, meaning they must break the word into syllables. The student spends so much time decoding that their reading speed tends to be a lot slower than other students in class.

 

An understanding how the brain functions is helpful in understanding the brain of someone with Dyslexia. The brain is divided into 2 hemispheres. The left hemisphere is in charge of language and ultimately reading. The right side of the brain generally handles spatial activities. Research has found that those with dyslexia rely more on the right side of the brain and frontal lobe than those without it. When a person with dyslexia reads a word, it takes it a longer time to get to the left side of the brain where it is being processed. It can get delayed in the frontal lobe of the brain. Because of this neurobiological glitch, they read with more difficulty.

The good news is those with Dyslexia can physically change the way their brain functions with multi-sensory intervention and cognitive therapy. They can be trained how to effectively use the left side of their brain and thus improve reading.

Learning Enhancement Center offers such training. We have a proven 13 year track record in helping children and adults with Dyslexia.

Call today for an assessment and consultation (903) 597-7500

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What is Brain Training?

 

3/19/14

What is Brain Training?

 

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What is Brain Training? What Happens When We Learn?

Brain training is a simple but powerful way to enhance a student’s core ability to learn faster, easier, and better. The brain processes information through a complex network of nerve cells called neurons. As we learn, groupings of neurons physically work together to accomplish learning or thinking tasks. Research shows that additional, nearby neurons are drawn into this process when the task is new or unfamiliar, or when the intensity of the learning demand is increased. Once the task is mastered, the borrowed neurons are released to go back to other duties; however, the gains in efficiency and processing speed required for that task are retained and make learning-related tasks easier.
What is Brain Training? The Key to Enhanced Learning
Neuroplasticity defines the brain’s ability to change and modify neuron activity and connections in reaction to increased learning demand. Gray matter can actually shrink or thicken, plus neural connections can be forged and refined or (conversely) weakened based on certain environmental activities. Brain training takes advantage of neuroplasticity by engaging a student in specially designed exercises to promote rapid strengthening and growth of these neuronal connections.

Cognitive Abilities such as attention, sensory processing, memory,and reasoning—can be increased with proper training. This increases immediate and future brain function, quicker processing, and easier learning across a wide range of learning challenges.

 

 

Sound Therapy

What if you found a program for students that would result in:

  • Better articulation
  • Improved sleep
  • Better ability to follow directions
  • Improved auditory comprehension
  • Improved vocal quality
  • Better organization
  • Improved social interaction
  • Increased balance and coordination
  • Improved language
  • Increased attention
  • Improved communication
  • Reduced sound sensitivity
  • Increased frustration tolerance
  • Increased learning

 

Through the work of dedicated pioneers in the field, a whole new world of listening, communication, and success has been opened to our students.Sound has a profound effect on living systems. Unlike light, which bounces off the body, sound goes directly in. The vagus nerve, which connects the ear to the brain, also connects the ear to nearly every organ in the body.Have you ever gone into a teenager’s room, and felt like the music rattled you from head to toe? It did! Literally, inside and out.Many studies have been done to understand the effect of noise on people and nature. One study found that children on the train track side of a New York public school lagged a year behind in learning to read when compared to their classmates on the other side of the building. Other studies have found the same learning difficulties for children living near airports. The learning environment for the average student today is bursting with distracting, everyday noise. Overhead lights emit low buzzing sounds. Air conditioners, computers, traffic and construction noise, and voices in the cafeteria or gym classes bombard students’ brains and compete for their attention. This seemingly continuous barrage of environmental noise is a constant source of stress in an already stress-filled society. Yet, the brain needs sound. A diet of healthy sound can have amazing effects on our learning, communication, emotions, relationships, sleep, coordination, creativity, organization and general sense of well-being.
A Look at Auditory Processing (The Technical Process)
In order to think about and understand language, an auditory stimulus (sound) has to be received by the outer ear and channeled through the middle and inner ear to the auditory nerve.  The ear’s job at this point is hearing.  Once the signal is transferred from the inner ear to the eighth auditory nerve, it goes on a journey through the brain stem and the brain on its way to the cortex where language is processed. The Central Auditory Nervous System (CANS), where this journey takes place, is an intricate system dedicated to dealing with auditory information.When the signal gets to an area of the brain called Heschl’s Gyrus the transition from auditory processing to language processing begins. It is at this point that the brain begins to process speech and language from the auditory signal. The final leg of the journey sends the language signals to the cortex where the information is coded, organized, interpreted, and understood. A central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) occurs when the auditory signal is received accurately by the ear, but becomes distorted, confused, or compromised in some way before it is received by the language area of the brain.
It’s Hard to Get the Message When You Have A Bad Connection
Perhaps the best way to understand a central auditory processing disorder in our “modern age” is to think about what it is like to be in an important conversation with a bad cell phone connection. You have to listen extremely hard, and any extra noise around you (i.e. kids, traffic, etc.) becomes extremely irritating and hard to block out.  Because the signal is not clear, you miss part of what the speaker is saying and you find yourself saying, “What did you say?” and struggling to fill-in the gaps.  You’re not exactly sure what the speaker said, but you don’t want to sound stupid or uninterested, so you make what you think is an appropriate response. Oops! That backfired.  Now you have to explain about the bad connection and why you misinterpreted what they said and made an “off-the-wall” response.  You do not quite understand the speaker, yet when you have a clear connection, you really don’t have a comprehension problem.  It’s taking so much energy to keep up with this conversation, that you find your attention drifting. You’re feeling distracted and frustrated, and doggone it, important or not, you just want to get off the phone!  Luckily for cell phone users, the way to a better connection is to hang-up and dial again.  But for students with CAPD, this is life.
Leading the Sensory Team
The auditory system is like the quarterback of the “captain” of the sensory team. It is the first system to function in utero and it is the system that allows the sensory team to work efficiently. When the auditory system is weak, it can affect the integration of information being fed to the brain and the nervous system by the other senses.An inefficient auditory system can inhibit the development of strong listening skills. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is passive. Listening is active and conscious and has a huge impact on learning.Inadequately developed listening skills can cause problems with information processing, attention, memory, concentration, relationships, motor coordination, language learning and communication.The ear is tied-in to the vestibular system (balance and movement), so coordination, posture, and sensorimotor integration can be affected by a weak auditory system.Through improved listening, we see improved spatial awareness which supports organization; better body control for sitting in a chair and posture; improved eye-hand coordination for writing and improved motor coordination and performance in sports.A well-functioning ear is like a battery which changes sound waves into electrical waves. These electrical waves stimulate the cortex (the thinking and learning part of the brain). Healthy sounds are nutrients that can stimulate the middle ear and charge the nervous system.Because the auditory system has strong interconnections on multiple levels across both sides of the brain and throughout the body, it can impact how energized or de-energized we feel, how well we process information for learning, and how alert and organized we are. Just as a healthy diet contributes to the physical and mental health, healthy sound makes healthier, more available learners.
Music and Sound Therapy
Over the years at the Learning Center, we have found that the use of music has been a tremendous tool for opening the door to learning and communication. For students that were shut-down to learning because of constant failure, music was an avenue to renew hope and interest. Our interest in music therapy as a gateway with emotionally-blocked students gradually led us to the use of music and sound stimulation to strengthen and re-train the auditory system for learning, communication, comprehension, and language.Auditory stimulation and training has been effective in treating a variety of disorders, including auditory processing disorders, speech and language disorders, learning disabilities, autism and spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, and reading and spelling disorders.The focus of auditory stimulation and training is on reeducating the ear and auditory pathways.

 

The Science Behind Our Training

The Science behind our training at Learning Enhancement Center

Years ago the science behind brain function and the ability of the brain to change its capacity for learning was a mystery. Through scientific research we now know that the brain and nervous system has to change structurally and functionally as a result of input from the environment. This is what is referred to as Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a term to describe the capacity of the brain to change and adapt, – to be plastic- and is also known as brain plasticity.  The changes occur in response to stimuli, cognitive demands and new learning, and result in the brain creating new neural pathways and connections. It has now been proven that our brains have the lifelong ability to adapt and change.

Why our training is effective

Whenever you think, learn, or remember, groups of neurons in your brain physically work together to accomplish the task. If what you’re trying to do is difficult or unfamiliar, nearby neurons are drawn into the process to help accomplish the task.

Our programs target specific cognitive functions such as working memory, processing speed and fluid intelligence. Our students perform certain cognitive tasks that are intense, repeatable, adaptive and highly targeted.  Well-designed brain training techniques like the ones we have developed at Learning Enhancement Center can achieve positive results for individuals of all ages.