How Cognitive Training Enhances Learning

How Cognitive Training Unlocks Your Learning Potential

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shutterstock_108895151-289x300You know your child is smart and has great potential but they consistently struggle in school or following through on tasks. Both you and your child are frustrated by their persistent learning challenges. The smart you know is there seems to be locked-up in certain academic or social situations. Their smart shines brilliantly at times but too often it seems to be trapped deep inside.

Unlock their smartness by strengthening their cognitive skills, which are the underlying building blocks for learning. Think of a tree with bright red apples on it. Underneath the ground where you can not see needs to be a healthy root system that is gathering nutrients to produce good fruit on the tree. Thinking skills are like the roots of the apple tree. They are hidden in your brain but must be strong and healthy to produce good grades in school and to help you reach your learning potential.

Tutoring centers focus on learning techniques and skills or teaching material again that was not absorbed the first time. A better way is to identify the weak cognitive skills that hinder the ability to absorb or retrieve information; and strengthen them through rigorous training. The results are remarkable.

axon-potentional-partnershipStudies reveal 80% of learning difficulties among U.S. students and adults are the result of weak thinking skills. Attention, processing speed, working memory, logic and reasoning and auditory processing are a few of the cognitive skills underlying the learning process. Each of these skills can be targeted and strengthened. Rarely are learning difficulties the result of poor or inadequate instruction or even a lack of motivation. We often hear parents say, “My child works so hard but they just can’t get it.” Their smart may be trapped by under-developed cognitive skills

Too often learning difficulties are treated by accommodation (lowering expectations) or compensation (focusing only on strengths). Thinking skill weaknesses need to be identified and overcome. Instead of accommodation or compensation, work hard to overcome weaknesses. With cognitive skills training gains are second to none and carry over into social as well as academic settings. Self-confidence increases and the gains last!

ReceptorOnce specific cognitive skill weaknesses are identified through standardized testing, an individualized plan to overcome the weaknesses needs to be crafted. A trainer then works one-on-one with the student to overcome the deficient skills. A skilled musician is trained through guided instruction, meaningful practice, feedback and being challenged to perform increasingly difficult pieces of music. It takes time and hard work to develop musical skills. Deficient cognitive skills are trained much the same way. One-on-one cognitive skills training uses guided instruction, immediate feedback and correction, meaningful targeted practice and increasingly challenging, skill specific tasks. Training develops skilled musicians and skilled learners.

researchCognitive skills training gets results! Students with cognitive skills two or more years below age level average gains of 3.6 years in at least one of the weak areas. And the gains last! Students retested after one year retained 98% of the gains made during training.” For more information see web site below.

Elaine Sullivan, BSN, is owner of The Brain Gym in Bucks County, PA and Berks County, PA. http://www.thebraingym.net Elaine began her career as a Registered Nurse working in critical care attending patients neurologically impaired by stroke and traumatic brain injury. Elaine has been working with children and adults doing one-on-one cognitive training for the past fifteen years. She is certified by LearningRx as a trainer for Processing and Cognitive Enhancement, and is certified by The National Institute for Learning Development in Norfolk, VA.

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