Category: Memory

“This is Too Hard!” 5 ways to help a child with a learning disability

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It’s painful watching your child struggle in school, but there are things you can do to help. Find out how to turn “This is too hard!” to “I can do this!” with these 5 tips.

  1. Remind them that even very smart kids can have a learning disability; it’s not necessary an indication of intelligence. Explain that Albert Einstein had ADHD and Thomas Edison had dyslexia and look how brilliant they were!
  2. Enroll them in personal brain training. Most learning disabilities are due to weak cognitive skills. If weak cognitive skills are, indeed, causing your child to struggle, that’s actually good news because there is something you can do about it: weak skills can be strengthened. One-on-one brain training provides a way to strengthen the core skills the brain uses to think and perform. And because every brain training program is customized, even extremely smart kids can benefit from brain training. LearningRx brain trainers work with clients of all ages about five hours a week, for 12 to 32 weeks, depending on the program. Workout sessions are customized to meet the individual objectives—and strengthen weak skills—unique to each client. And because workouts consist of game-like mental exercises, clients of all ages typically enjoy the experience.
  3. Make decisions based on facts, not assumptions. Many parents mistakenly believe that learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, are a lifelong label, or that some kids are genetically destined to always be bad at math. These are myths that can keep parents from seeking out help.
  4.  Don’t give up! At LearningRx, we hear time and time again about parents who put their child in tutoring with little to no results. That’s because tutoring is a great solution when there is an identifiable, external reason that a student did not grasp classroom content the first time it was presented in class. Perhaps a child was sick or on vacation, or a relocation in the middle of the school year created a gap in curriculum. It’s also possible that something (like an extended illness or pregnancy) impacted the consistent delivery of material. The point is, when something has interfered with the delivery of content to your child, hiring a tutor to reteach that content makes sense. On the other hand, brain training does not reteach missed content, but instead exercises and strengthens the basic skills the brain uses to think, learn, and perform. In other words, brain training improves the way the brain grasps information the first time it is presented. So, if your child is struggling in more than one class, or struggling year after year, weak cognitive skills may be to blame. And if they are, brain training can strengthen those skills.
  5. Start with baby steps. You don’t need to figure everything out at once. Begin by taking one or two small actions to get the ball rolling. Talk to your child’s teacher about specific issues your child displays, such as speaking out of turn, difficulty staying organized or taking longer than most students to complete tests. Call your local LearningRx to schedule a cognitive skills assessment. The one-hour assessment will provide a detailed look at your child’s individual cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and will give you invaluable information you need in order to decide on the next best step to help your child.

I Didn’t Let Alzheimer’s Steal My Future

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When my doctor told me I was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, I was devastated.

Not wanting to become a burden to my children, I sold my house, moved to an assisted living center, and waited for Alzheimer’s to finish robbing me of whatever quality of life I had left.

I’d been talking slower and getting confused. I couldn’t even remember my address! But the greatest loss of all had been reading. Before, I’d enjoyed reading books, magazines and my Bible every single day. Now, I could read a paragraph over and over and not understand or remember anything I’d read!

I began to sink into depression.

That December, someone gave me a book about the brain’s ability to create new neurons at any age. The book mentioned a company—LearningRx—that pairs you up with a brain trainer who takes you through special mental exercises, stimulating your brain to reorganize existing neurons and even create new ones.

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Concussions from School Sports Were Keeping David from Landing His Dream Career

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 Sometimes David got to the locker room and  couldn’t remember the football game he’d just played.

In junior high, David had been a straight A student. But after a concussion, he began struggling in school, and additional concussions while playing football in high school only made things worse.

Years later, married and with a baby on the way, David graduated from a police academy. But repeatedly his applications for jobs were rejected because his test scores were too low.  After applying to 56 police departments—without a single job offer—David called LearningRx.

He calls what happened next “an awakening” of his brain.

“Shortly after starting brain training, I remembered a dream I’d had the night before,” David says. “That hadn’t happened since… well, since I was a kid! After that, improvements just kept coming.”

One day, driving on a familiar tree-lined street David realized that, in his peripheral vision, he could see houses past the trees. For years, his field of vision had only included the street and the trees. Brain training was even improving his vision!

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Want a Better Memory? Do These Three Things (And Don’t Do These)

Your memory is powered by core brain skills, also known as cognitive skills. But your brain isn’t exactly the Lone Ranger. It can’t function by itself (or even with a single trusted friend named Tonto). Instead, your brain depends on myriad systems in your body (and the health of those systems) in order to do its best work.

To keep your body, your brain (and your memory) riding strong, here are three things you should do (and three things you should avoid):

1. Do treat depression. Everybody feels blue now and then, and these feelings usually mosey on out of our lives by themselves. Ongoing depression, however, is another matter and can lead to numerous health risks and problems. For example, long-term depression elevates levels of cortisol in the brain. This can shrink the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for short term memory. One study showed that people who had been depressed–even if it was years ago–had smaller hippocampuses by as much as 15%. Because the hippocampus helps process short term memories, long-term depression can impair the ability to hang onto new information. If you have been depressed or sad for more than six weeks, get help. See a doctor or mental health professional.

2. Do exercise your body. Your brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. Exercise not only increases blood flow temporarily, it also helps keep your heart and arteries healthy so that even when you’re not exercising, blood flow to the brain stays strong. Even more fascinating, studies show that regular aerobic exercise actually grows new brain cells in the hippocampus (yes, the memory-processing part of your brain that long-term depression can shrink). Extra good news: Exercise is a recognized treatment for depression, too! In one study by the National Academy of Sciences, a three-month program of vigorous aerobic exercise produced a 30 percent increase in hippocampus brain cells!

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You Created Some Great Holiday Memories. Now Hang Onto Them.

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With Thanksgiving and Christmas behind us, you probably had the chance to hang out with friends and family, creating warm, festive memories.

Now all you have to do is remember them.

As we age, memory can weaken. The good news is that memory skills are not “fixed.” You can improve and strengthen your ability to remember important events and details in your life. This is because of something called neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s life-long ability to reorganize, strengthen, and even create brand new connections that allow us to store and retrieve information, including memories!

Here are three ways to protect and even improve your ability to remember the important events and details in your life:

1. Practice the 8-second rule. Sometimes we can’t remember something because we never focused on it long enough to get the information into our memory banks to begin with. By practicing and strengthening your attention skills, your brain will have what it needs to retrieve the information later. A good rule of thumb is to focus for a minimum of eight seconds on whatever it is you want to remember later.

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