Learning Disabilities and Neurofeedback Therapy
What are Learning Disabilities and How Can Neurofeedback Help?
Learning disabilities are problems that affect the brains ability to receive, process, analyze, and store information. This can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who isn’t affected by learning disabilities. There are many kinds of learning disabilities. Most students affected by them have more than one kind. Some interfere with a person ability to concentrate or focus (ADD/ADHD), while others make it difficult to read, write, spell or solve math problems.
In every activity we do, our brain has to process the information presented to us. When we look at a picture, our brains have to form the lines into an image, recognize what the image stands for, relate the image to other facts stored in our memories, and then store the new information we are gaining from the picture. The same goes with hearing something. Our brain has to recognize the words, interpret the meaning, and figure out how it is significant to us. For many of us, our brain does this with no problem, but for a person with a learning disability, this process may be slower, or our brain may have a hard time finding the information it has previously stored.
Dyslexia as a Learning Disability
The most common learning disability is dyslexia. Dyslexia causes a person to have trouble recognizing and processing letters, and sounds associated with them. A person with this learning disability may have trouble with reading and writing tasks. Some people with dyslexia can sound out words in a sentence and read an entire paragraph, making them good readers, but they then struggle with making sense of information the paragraph was telling them.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists point out that learning disabilities are treatable, but if not detected and treated early, they can have a serious "snowballing" effect. For instance, a child who does not learn addition in elementary school cannot understand algebra in high school. The child, trying very hard to learn, becomes increasingly frustrated, and develops emotional problems such as low self-esteem because of the repeated failure. Some learning disabled children even start to misbehave in school because they would rather be seen as "bad" than "stupid."
Treating Learning Disabilities with EEG Neurofeedback
We can treat learning disabilities with EEG Neurofeedback to train the areas of the brain that are not performing properly. Neurofeedback is a painless training system which trains the brain to perform more efficiently with the individual’s active participation. We can tell how the brain is working by observing the electrical activities it gives off, which are called brain waves. First, we measure the client’s brain waves by recording these activities while they wear a cap which has 19 different sensors on it. This process is called EEG. Once we have analyzed the EEG, we will know which areas of the brain we want to train.