Authored by: Liz A. Khaemba\r\n\r\n‘I had serious problems learning as I was growing up.’ ‘Where were you when I was in school’? These are questions I have been asked over and again by parents of children on our Fast ForWord program. Eustace, a medical doctor, said that in lower primary school, he had to memorize nearly everything the teacher said. He could barely read by class 3. He says an aha! moment led him to start reading when he was in class 5. Eustace felt left out by his peers. He admits that watching others breeze through medical school was traumatic. He had his head in books so much he was labeled the class geek. “I almost quit medical school because of the amount of reading that was required”, he says. Learning difficulties have left him with low self esteem.\r\n\r\nAs most parents know, a child’s learning process is a fascinating and delightful thing to be a part of. As children soak up experiences like a sponge, they learn, solve problems, think abstractly, and make sense of the world. Some children however, learn slower than their age mates. 40% of these children have learning difficulties that do not fall in any one category of learning disorders. Research has found that more boys than girls have learning difficulties and have linked this to a fragile X chromosome. Female children have two X chromosomes while males have only one X. Researchers have tested a family in which four males with moderate to severe learning disability were found to have a mutation in a gene called DLG3, as did the unaffected carrier females who had passed on the mutation.\r\n\r\nWhat this means is that you may have passed on a learning difficulty gene to your child. He or she may be experiencing the same problems that you did at school. Telling your child that you sat up, paid attention and always came top of your class as a way of trying to get him or her to work hard may be having more detrimental than beneficial effects. I asked Eustace to explain to his father his own experiences while he was at medical school. He finally understood why he had problems with learning when his father, himself a highly respected engineer, recounted how he struggled at Alliance High School in the early 70s. Although he has never identified the particular learning disorder he has, he says he got to be an engineer by the skin of his teeth.\r\n\r\nReading for comprehension is challenging for many individuals. Learning facts, which constitutes a large percentage of academic education, is rather different from reading a novel for enjoyment. This is why a learner will selectively remember what he or she saw on television, but not what he read from a text book or heard in class.\r\nHowever, all is not lost. Genetics may determine who we are at birth, but our environment also plays a big role in determining who we ultimately become intellectually. Transformative Learning’s specialists focus on training caregivers, parents and children on strategies that ensure that a child or learner continually utilizes environmental stimuli to enhance brain skills and make learning enjoyable. Caregiver (parent or house-help) emotion and responsiveness, parental attention and proper communication between members of the family are some strategies that we train parents and caregivers on.\r\n\r\nFast ForWord and Reading Assistant are acceleration and intervention programs that have been proven by research from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and other recognized research organs to correct processing and learning difficulties in school going children.
Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Specialist with over 7 years experience working with adults and children in hospital, clinic and school settings. Intervention Specialist in child and adolescent behaviour and learning.
We are regional representatives (VARs) for Scientific Learning Corporation, a public company based in the United States of America.