CIRCUIT TRAINING FOR THE BRAIN?
We all know how important it is to exercise our bodies, but did you know that we can exercise our brains as well? Neuroplasticity also known as brain plasticity, refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses that are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. The brain was once thought to be a physiologically static organ, but research demonstrates that the brain can change. It can be whipped into shape with some hard work and determination (just like our bodies). Studies determined that environmental changes could alter behavior and cognition by modifying and improving connections between existing neurons and by creating new neurons. Neuroplasticity occurs with significant active engagement over a time. Similar to the body’s physical training, the brain must practise repeatedly to become efficient at a particular task or behaviour.
Children with learning disabilities and attention disorders can stimulate and strengthen their brains’ ability to learn with repeated cognitive exercises in order to overcome their neurological weaknesses. Plasticity-based computer programs such as Fast ForWord help students strengthen fundamental cognitive skills that are critical to learning.
Auditory processing, Sequencing, Memory, and Attention are developed in the context of learning activities that simultaneously help students improve their language and reading skills. Other changes include better listening and communication skills, improved ability to follow directions, improved reading abilities and better academic performance. Clinical populations that are appropriate for this brain fitness program are children and adults who have been diagnosed with, or have difficulty with the following:
- Specific language impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Central Auditory Processing Disorder
- Hearing Impairment : children with hearing aids or cochlear implants
- Writing and reading weakness
- General Academic weakness
- Delayed language development or history thereof
Difficulty with language and auditory processing can have adverse repercussions on cognitive skills and academic performance. The learning process can become laborious and often lead to low self-esteem and other mental health issues. So, just as we know it is important to exercise our bodies to reduce the risks of health problems, we can also exercise our brains to reduce the negative effects of neurological weaknesses.
For more information on the Fast ForWord program check out the www.scientificlearning.com website or call and ask for Nicole at Dr. Scott B. McCabe (519) 880-2178 to discuss whether this program is suitable for your child.