Does your child have the most important skills and tools available to succeed in school this year? As parents, we want our children to have all the advantages we can offer, that may include; computers, books, teaching CDs, tutors, all manner of teaching aids, and anything else we feel is necessary to advance our child’s education. These are necessary educational resources we need to have at our disposal from time to time. If our child is making progress in school, we may not notice any problems exist and maybe they don’t. However, there are many children that are making good grades, but work extra hard, even though every resource for learning is available to them. Why is learning easier for one child but difficult for another, when all the other contributing factors are equal and every educational resource is available to them?
To answer this question we must understand that processing information fast and efficiently is at the heart of all learning. Some common cognitive functions are:
how fast and accurately we can read and comprehend
how well we can concentrate
if we can follow a series of steps or instructions, such as a word math problem
how well we can focus and keep attention in the midst of distractions
how accurately we recall information we have just learned – short-term memory
how well we remember information, to recall on a future test – long-term memory
logic and reasoning skills
and much more…
Let’s compare two students Jason and Daniel, age 12.
With all factors being equal:
Our first child Jason, is a highly motivated student, but works extra hard to keep his grades up to par with the rest of his class. He sacrifices enjoyable activities and time with friends and family to work hard, just to achieve average grades. At first glance, we would not think of Jason as having a learning disability. In fact, we often commend a child like Jason for working so hard.
In contrast, our next child Daniel, wants to succeed as much as Jason. However, Daniel is failing to keep up with his class and lacks the motivation to continue further down the road of frustration and failure each day. Which child has the disability Jason or Daniel? Most of us would quickly label Daniel as the child as having a serious learning disability.
However, it is likely that Jason and Daniel both have learning disabilities. Jason has just learned a more effective way to cope with the disability, by working extra hard. Jason is succeeding in one area of his life academics while missing out on enjoying other activities. He is staying one step ahead of disaster by working extra hard.
Learning does not have to be so hard and consuming. A child who is working fast and efficiently can learn any subject without struggling. The successful child has, in the majority of cases, more fully developed cognitive tools and skills to use in the learning process. Developing cognitive processing skills and giving a child the tools and techniques to learn, is the backbone of the learning process. Fortunately, cognitive processing skills can be developed through training. There are excellent cognitive training products available for parents and teachers to train children at home and at school. There are specific exercises and techniques that can train children to work and process information faster and easier. Cognitive training can advance a child’s processing speed 2-4 years or more in only a few weeks of training