GDD

How Brain Training Can Help Special Needs Children Lead a Better Life

– Help for Global Developmental Delay children

In the recent months, Singapore Brain Development Centre has received an increase in the number of enquiries from parents of special needs children in the areas of their children’s developmental issues. As we listened and took an understanding of the issues faced by struggling children as with troubled parents, we would like to share how our customized program of Brain Training, together with our specialized child gym training program could integrate and help special needs children to lead a better life.

In this article, we would be sharing on a case study of how Singapore Brain’s program has helped in a Global Developmental Delay child, named *Isabelle, to improve on her overall cognitive skills as well as in her overall behavioral issues. *Name has been changed to protect the identity of the student.

So what is Global Developmental Delay, in short GDD?

Global developmental delay is a term used to describe a generalized intellectual disability that is usually characterized by lower than average intellectual functioning along with significant limitations in at least two other areas of development. Common signs of global developmental delay include delayed acquisition of milestones (e.g., sitting up, crawling, walking), limited reasoning or conceptual abilities, poor social skills and judgement, aggressive behaviour as a coping skill, and communication difficulties.

Global developmental delay has many causes which, as an end result, affect the functioning of the central nervous system. Causes can be genetic (e.g., Fragile X syndrome), or metabolic (e.g., PKU), prenatal (e.g., rubella or birth trauma), perinatal (e.g., prematurity or the result of a childhood injury or infection). Sometimes the cause for the condition is undetermined.

How Brain Training has helped Isabelle

Isabelle, a 9-year-old child, first came to Singapore Brain in January 2015 after being diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay. She also showed symptoms of sensory issues such as movement and regulation issues, which will affect her judgment and perceptual abilities. She has difficulty in sequencing and recognizing patterns, which will affect her ability to perform in Mathematics subject, although she has shown better response in terms of her language ability.

Singapore Brain conducted a Clinical Test (CT), which would measure individual cognitive and decoding skills, on Isabelle. The CT includes sub tests of the six major skill groups and a rating survey for Attention. The six skill group sub tests cover Processing Speed, Working Memory, Long-Term Memory, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing, and Logic & Reasoning.

The assessment resulted in Isabelle’s overall cognitive ability that fell in the lower range of 1.85 years below her age, which displayed signs of cognitive delay based on her chronological age of 9 year old. Isabelle was also weaker in her Processing speed skills, Working Memory skills, Logic Reasoning skills, and Word Attack skills. In addition, she also presented significantly weak in her Auditory skills, Processing Speed skills, and Visual Processing skills.

Having gone through Singapore Brain’s program for over a span of 7 months, where we customised a training program consisting of specialized child gym training and sensory integration exercises targeted to improve Isabelle’s fine motor skills and Brain Training program, Isabelle has shown tremendous improvements; from being able to successfully get adjusted to the environment better and positively to being able to complete tasks such as school assignments in an effective pace. Isabelle is also able to create conversations with her classmates, parents, family members as well as with her teachers and trainers in Singapore Brain; where her social skills were no longer how it were when she first came in as being very shy and afraid of people surrounding her.

The trainers at Singapore Brain are very proud upon seeing her developmental improvements. How did we do it? How did a child, as to which a delayed child be able to function and improve so much better and faster after going through our program? Because, we believe that all children can and will be able to maximise his/her brain’s potential to the fullest, and that through patience and the right treatments of our Brain training program; over a course of time, yes, a delayed child like Isabelle, will be able to achieve optimistic results in her overall cognitive abilities.

For troubled parents with struggling children in the special needs areas; of which for this case of Global developmental delay (GDD), let Singapore Brain ease your worries and let us help improve the life of your child through our specialised Brain Training programs.

Contact us today for a Free evaluation of your child.

BRAIN TRAINING 101

1 Jun 2015 Healthy

How Brain Training Works

Whenever you think, learn, or remember, groups of neurons in your brain physically work together to accomplish the task. If what you’re trying to do is difficult or unfamiliar, nearby neurons are drawn into the process to help you out.

LearningRx brain training exposes each student to a customized series of intense mental workouts. To perform these workouts, the brain is forced to strengthen, reorganize and even create new neural pathways. In other words, brain training “rewires” the brain to perform more efficiently than ever before.

How important is it to force your brain to work hard? According to Dr. John Ratey of Harvard Medical School, and the author of A User’s Guide to the Brain, using your brain keeps it vital and growing, and not using it leads to decay. Dr. Ratey concludes that, “for the first time, we are learning to see mental weaknesses as physical systems in need of training and practice.”

How Do We Know Brain Training Works?

A rapidly growing body of scientific and medical research continues to prove that brain training rewires the brain and creates life changing results.

For example, using noninvasive fMRI technology to create detailed images of the working brain, scientists have documented that the brains of “good” readers and “poor” readers are “wired” to function differently. Intense training makes it possible to rewire the brain so that reading becomes faster and easier than ever before.

What Can Brain Training Mean to You and Your Family?

Don’t “settle” for the brain you think you were born with. Whatever your age or situation, you really can experience the life changing benefits of a faster, smarter brain.

The results of LearningRx brain training programs speak for themselves. In fact, our students test higher in IQ—an average of 15 points higher!—after completing brain training with LearningRx.

How does this translate into real life changes?

  • With stronger cognitive skills and higher IQ, our students learn things faster and easier than ever before.
  • They have measurably better memory skills and concentration.
  • They perform better in the classroom, on the athletic field and even behind the wheel of a car.
  • They report having greater confidence in academics and in life.
  • They’re more likely to go to college.
  • They have an edge in their careers.
  • And because there’s a link between IQ and income, they’re even likely to make more money.

Brain training rewires brains and changes lives

For more information on how brain training can improve your life or the life of someone you love, take one of the following steps:

  • Find a LearningRx Brain Training Center near you and schedule an assessment. It’s your first step to a faster, smarter brain.
  • Learn more about the research behind brain training.
  • Read testimonials of men, women and children who have experienced the life changing benefits of LearningRx brain.

IS OUTGROWING LEARNING PROBLEMS A MYTH?

31 May 2015 Healthy

How Brain Training Works

Parents, the truth is… waiting for your child to “grow out of” learning, reading, or attention difficulties is not really an option. Learning struggles rarely go away with time. On the contrary, waiting and hoping a problem will go away without appropriate intervention will only lead to frustration, poor grades, low motivation, and time wasted in school. What should you do? If you sense a struggle, find help now before an undiscovered learning weakness permanently limits your child’s potential. There are easy, affordable steps you can take. If you fear that your child has a learning disability, the first step is to have his or her cognitive skills tested. Cognitive skills testing will uncover the source of the struggle, and guide you to a training strategy that can make the difference.

Parents, the truth is… intelligence is not fixed or unchanging! Potential is the possibility that something can develop or become actual. Obviously your child has the potential to actually improve reading, spelling, comprehension, and change overall intelligence, as science now proves. The “gap” between untapped potential and a child’s performance can be closed with the right brain training. If this weren’t possible any efforts aimed at improvement—study, practice, drills—would be meaningless. Tell that to the winner of the school spelling bee, accomplished musician, or star athlete! What can you do? Uncover the source of what’s keeping your child’s full potential from being released. Have his or her cognitive skills tested to reveal these “gaps” caused by cognitive weaknesses. The test results will guide you to a powerful training strategy to help your child realize his or her own potential. If cognitive skills weaknesses are at the root of your child’s trouble, traditional solutions like tutoring might not be the answer.

Tutoring is simply re-teaching what should have been learned the first time! Going over something again and again may have some benefits, but to truly improve cognitive learning skills, most people need something more powerful than tutoring. If all you want is to help your child pass a class, then tutoring may be the quick fix you are looking for. But if you desire revolutionized learning and lifelong educational success, LearningRx is the solution. No amount of tutoring or extra homework will improve brain performance the way LearningRx does.

PROFESSIONALS ANSWER PARENTS’ TOUGH QUESTIONS

1. Our doctor diagnosed my son as ADHD and prescribed medication to control behavior. My heart breaks at the thought. Do I really have to drug my child?

Probably not. In a society where a large percentage of students significantly under-perform, seemingly easy solutions are a temptation. “Should I medicate my child?” is a question on the minds of parents nationwide and is most often asked by parents of children tagged ADD/ADHD. There is a growing field of cognitive brain training researchers investigating alternatives to drugs for ADHD. In almost every case, learning skills testing reveals that these children have “cognitive deficits, specifically in working memory.” Weak cognitive skills often mean they can’t pay attention long enough for good academic performance.

Researchers have explored methods to train the brain and impact weak learning skills. In one case, a number of ADHD students underwent 5 weeks of specific skills training and afterwards, 60% no longer fit the label. These results point to the possibility of overcoming lifelong learning hindrances in an extremely short period of time with the right mental skills training. Why wouldn’t everyone do it? The investment in cognitive skills training is “not easy for a time-crunched society and far more laborious than popping a pill.” Although maybe not as easy as taking a pill, the benefits of overcoming skill weakness and building advanced learning ability are worth the short-term effort.

Response compiled from Gunjan Sinha, an award-winning freelance science and medical journalist. She has written well over 100 feature and news stories, appeared on Dateline NBC, CNN, and been featured on several national radio stations. Specific citations are derived from Training the Brain: Cognitive Therapy as an Alternative to ADHD Drugs. Scientific American. July 2005.

2. I’ve been told that I should accept my daughter’s limited ability in school. Am I wrong to want more for her than constant learning struggles for the rest of her life?

No, not at all. That sort of advice is designed to protect your feelings…not help your daughter succeed. As an educational psychologist in private practice and the public school system for the past 14 years, I have completed over a thousand psychoeducational evaluations and intelligence tests on struggling learners from preschool to adult. I encountered numerous families who surrendered to the notion that their child would always struggle to learn, read, or do math. They all but gave up on the dream of their son or daughter attending college. These kids needed hope based on a system that would diagnose and effectively treat the core cause of learning difficulties. Cognitive skills testing and training offers this hope. Any student’s ability to learn can be enhanced, regardless of where they are today. Intervention through appropriate cognitive skills testing and training dramatically improves basic processing speed and memory skills in ways once thought impossible. This opens up promise for struggling students to literally change the course of their lives.

Dr. Russell Griffiths is a Licensed Educational Psychologist who was awarded the Outstanding School Psychologist of Orange County by his peers in 2004/2005. He was the school psychologist for the Orange County Department of Education for 6 years and worked with Probation and Social Service students.

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