Cobblers about the Brain

March 11, 2018

Cobblers about the Brain  

The brain is about the size of a large grapefruit.

At birth, it contains about 100 billion brain cells.

Each cell is capable of making up to 20,000 connections with other cells.

Those cells form learning connections at the rate of 3 billion per second.

These connections are the key to brain power.

So for dyslexics, why is learning so difficult?                    Think back – where did it all start?

It all started the moment you realised that your child was struggling. You can give that struggle any name you like – underachievement, lack of progress, developmental delay – it’s all the same thing. But what is different? The difference is that everything inside of you is telling you that your child is intelligent. So your head says ‘My child has got problems,” and your feelings say, ‘But my child shouldn’t be experiencing all these difficulties.”

Over the past few months I have been involved in researching some fascinating stuff which describes and explains the reasons for this struggle far better than I could ever do. However, I am going to relay that information to you and give you the language to talk with some authority about your child’s condition.

So where did it all start?

In the 1920’s, psychologists were taking notice of a group of struggling children who did not respond to conventional teaching methods. Previously these children were referred to as unintelligent, but psychologists noticed that these pupils were showing obvious signs of intelligence in other areas of their development. As the parent of a dyslexic child, you are experiencing this paradox.

Think how your child’s teacher or the school reacts to your child’s low achievement. Do they just assume that every child who underachieves is unintelligent? Do they compare performance against a measure of intelligence? Do they pay lip-service to those signs of intelligence, because they feel it is an irrelevance? Or do they take up the challenge and say, “How can I use that intelligence to improve the teaching and learning?”

Most Literacy skills are termed ‘Lower Order Skills’. They include the ability to write legibly, to read and spell letter patterns. These skills are practised over and over again until they become automatic. They are traditionally taught using the non-reasoning part of the brain, the part that learns sequences and procedures. This part of the brain also stores such information as how to ride a bike, catch a ball, brush your teeth, form letter shapes – anything routine.

So I leave you with this question. How does your child respond to being taught routine skills?   Stay tuned for the next episode!!!

‘ Cobblers about Innovative Thinking’

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