Learning and homework struggles are rooted in clusters of weak cognitive skills. As a new school year begins, many parents are worried that there’s nothing they can do to help their child’s academic performance. Evidence of challenges with homework and studying re-emerge just where they left off last year. But a new report is shedding some light on learning struggles, explaining that they are rooted in clusters of weak cognitive skills. Specifically, that training one specific skill—such as attention—isn’t enough because learning struggles, including ADHD, may be rooted in clusters of weak cognitive skills. The same applies to struggling readers and those who have difficulty with comprehension and math.
“About 30% of our clients were diagnosed with ADHD before coming to us,” says Tanya Mitchell, Chief Research & Development Officer for LearningRx (www.learningrx.com), a one-on-one brain training franchise with 80 centers across the United States and locations in 40 countries. “We found that most of those students, in addition to weak broad attention skills, had weak long-term memory, processing speed and working memory.”
According to Mitchell, cognitive skills can be targeted with an intervention like personal brain training, which incorporates immediate feedback, intensity and loading, among other features, to train those weak skills.
“Over a six-year period, we had 5,416 children and adults come to LearningRx with the diagnosis of ADHD,” she says. “We measured the cognitive performance of these clients before and after brain training, and the largest gains were seen in IQ, auditory processing, long-term memory and broad attention. After LearningRx brain training, IQ scores improved by an average of 15 standard points, and broad attention skills improved an average of 24 percentile points.
”Most of the clients who had been diagnosed with ADHD had very low pre-training processing speed (33rd percentile), long-term memory (34th percentile) and working memory (38th percentile). But after one-on-one brain training, all of these skills improved significantly. Of course, every person is unique, so there’s no guarantee everyone will have these exact results,” says Mitchell. “But we’re not talking about a handful of people. These are the results of more than 5,400 clients, which provides some of the largest data ever on the impact of one-on-one brain training.”
“Weak cognitive skills are to blame for most learning struggles,” explains Mitchell. “But these brain skills can be trained to make learning easier and faster. These results provide significant insight into why one-on-one brain training works best on attention struggles when multiple cognitive skills are targeted. We’ve found similar results with other learning struggles among our 100,000 graduates. Although one weak cognitive skill in particular may be steering the direction of the learning struggle, other brain skills are usually weak. The good news is, once we identify which cognitive skills are weak, a customized a program to train those skills is seen as effective.”
Because parents are often the first to notice when their child is struggling, it’s often helpful for them to know the warning signs of a cognitive skills weakness so they can recognize them and have their child’s brain skills assessed. To start, parents can take this free online survey at www.lsds.leaningrx.com and then schedule a learning skills assessment at a local LearningRx center.
Michael Ginsberg is the owner of the LearningRx cognitive training centers in Marlboro and Red Bank, NJ. LearningRx, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the largest one-on-one brain training organization in the world. LearningRx has helped more than 100,000 individuals and families sharpen their cognitive skills to help them think faster, learn easier, and perform better. Their on-site programs partner every client with a personal brain trainer to keep clients engaged, accountable, and on-task—a key advantage over online-only brain exercises. Their pioneering methods have been used in clinical settings for 35 years and have been verified as beneficial in peer-reviewed research papers and journals. To learn more about LearningRx visit www.learningrx.com.
This article appears in the October issue of Natural Awakenings Monmouth/Ocean najerseyshore.com. To subscribe, please click the image below. Thank you :)