Disintegration occurs when the left and right side of the brain do not work together. When a child crawls on all fours, integration usually occurs. We must not generalise as all children, who did not crawl on all fours, have integration difficulties.
Signs of this difficulty
• Frequent falls and has a tendency to bump into things.
• Inability to follow directions.
• Language problems as evidenced by delayed talking and confused or garbled speech.
• Clumsiness and awkwardness when throwing or catching a ball.
• Difficulty remembering any academic knowledge acquired.
• Confused sense of time and distance.
• Good verbal ability but unable to read or write.
• Difficulty cutting with scissors and keeping inside lines.
• Poor sense of humour.
• Difficulty understanding oral directions.
• Problems with play because they don't understand the rules
• Often told by teachers that they are lazy because they don't do as they are told while they seem so obviously bright.
Remediation: A Program called "Brain Gym."
Auditory Processing Difficulties
Auditory processing is important in the learning process. When there is damage to the auditory processing part of the brain, children don't hear the sounds in the correct sequence. For example when the word 'cat' is said the children with auditory processing difficulties may hear 'tac'. As hearing sounds in the correct sequence is a very important skill for reading and spelling, it is important to identify and remediate this problem as early as possible.
Signs of this difficulty
• Can be very good at oral communication.
• Can be very good at manipulating materials such as blocks and jigsaw puzzles.
• They enjoy having stories read to them and can usually relate them back very well.
• They have difficulty with sounds and particularly with spelling.
• They write letters in the wrong sequence for example 'child' spelt as,'chidl'.
• They cannot write the correct letter when given the sound.
Remediation: A Multisensory Reading Program.
Visual Processing Difficulties
This difficulty occurs when the visual processing part of the brain is not functioning correctly. Visual processing involves the ability to distinguish the differences in shapes. It is also a very important part of learning to read and spell. Children who have visual processing difficulties:
• See what is on the page differently to what is actually there.
• Children may see squiggly lines down the page.
• They may not be able to distinguish the differences in letters.
Signs of this Difficulty
• Complains of sore eyes.
• Constantly rubs the eyes.
• Is good at oral discussion.
• Confuses b/d, p/q and other similar letters.
• Reverses letters or words when writing.
• Says that the writing looks fuzzy.
• Says that the writing moves.
• Skips words.
• Tires easily of reading.
• Complains of headaches after reading.
Remediation: Irlen lenses or help from a Developmental Optometrist.
When children have difficulties with comprehension they:
• Have trouble following directions.
• Do not understand when read to, as they only hear words.
• May have a poor sense of humour.
• Forget the details of their toys.
• Can't describe what someone was wearing (from memory).
• Have problems understanding the rules of a game and so can be in trouble from their friends.
Remediation: Nancy Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing program.
In conclusion it is important that the kind of Learning difficulty is identified early and appropriate intervention implemented. This prevents the child from developing low self-esteem or from becoming a behaviour problem.
Marguerite's passion is to help children and adults reach their potential in a more peaceful and joyful world. She is committed to early intervention and prevention. This is evident in her books, services and workshops. She is the author of Inspiring Success, Book A and Book B. Inspiring Success available from User friendly Resources.