From Struggle to Flight

Allison Lam ADD, ADD / ADHD, ADHD, Anxiety, Attention, Auditory Processing, Autistic Spectrum, Classroom, Comprehension, Core Learning Skills, Development, Developmental delays, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Executive Function, Homework, Learning Challenge, Learning disabilities, Learning Disability, Mental Health, Poor comprehension, Poor critical thinking, Poor grades, Poor organization / study skills, Poor reading, decoding, spelling, Reading, School, Social Skills, Spelling, Test anxiety, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Weak executive function, Weak oral or written language, Writing

From Struggle to Flight

Dragon’s Teeth in Maui is one of my favorite places in the world.  Here in the coves created by lava flow, you can see sea turtles battling the currents and undertow as the waves pound in and out.  They are incredibly resilient and just keep going no matter how much they are tossed around.

I am reminded of our students.  They battle daily to stay afloat in school in spite of the constant struggle created by their learning and attention challenges.

This morning, I saw something amazing:  A young sea turtle was swimming by in calm waters.  There was so little resistance that it almost looked like it was flying!

This is what I want for our students – and what we know is possible in most cases.  By identifying and developing weak underlying processing/learning skills, we can eliminate the cause of most learning and attention challenges.  With strong underlying skills, the reading, writing, spelling, or math skills that have been affected can be remediated and can stick!  

Children and adults do not have to spend their lives waging an uphill battle with their learning or attention challenges.  They can learn to fly!

How Can Learning Skills Change?  What Do You Actually Do?

People ask, HOW can you do that?” Brain plasticity research proves that through targeted and intensive training, the brain can literally develop new neuropathways.  The brain can change and can learn to process information more effectively.

Over the last 30 years, we have trained with those doing the cutting-edge, clinical research in the field all over the world.  We have brought the knowledge, techniques, and programming of these experts into our center in order to create specific and targeted programming for each individual student.

Experience is Everything

On Saturday October 7, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., we are opening our doors to the public to come in and try out our various therapies and techniques.  Experience for yourself:

  • What it FEELS like to have a learning or attention challenge
  • What our students actually DO when they are at the learning center.

 

Click here for details and RSVP:  http://learningdisability.com/sim/

Do you or someone you know struggle at work or school? Are you ready for a change?

JOIN US for a FREE Information Night.  

Click here for details and RSVP http://learningdisability.com/parent-info-night/.

 

“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”

 

We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.

 

Jill Stowell, M.S.

Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities

Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

 

 

 

Maui Moments Anytime, Anyplace

Jill Stowell General Information, Learning Disability

I woke up this morning in one of my favorite places in the whole world – Maui.  In fact, as we speak, I can see giant sea turtles popping up and down in the surf just feet away from the deck where I’m sitting.  (I know, it’s pretty pathetic to be working on my computer in a place like Maui, but I’m an early riser, so I get to talk to you before the rest of the family is up and about).Maui

This spot on the deck, where I can hear and see the waves rolling in and out is the epitome of calm for me.  Whenever I feel stressed or anxious, I can take some deep breaths and mentally “see” and “hear” this spot in Maui, and feel the calm roll over me.

Do you have a place or a memory like that?  Does your child?

As you head back into the reality of school and homework, you or your child may be starting to feel anxious about what this new school year will bring.  How many hours of homework will there be every night?  How many tears?  How many battles?

There is a simple, healthy, and well-researched technique that can help counteract, and in fact, reverse the impact that anxiety and stress has on our immune system.  It restores emotional balance and clear, efficient thinking, and it is as effective for children as it is for adults.

Heart Breathing Strategy

Breathe in and out slowly, imagining the breath flowing around the area of your heart.

  • Repeat 3 times.
  • Continue the heart breathing and “think a happy thought.”  Guide the student in remembering a time when she felt deeply appreciated or have her imagine a place or event that makes her feel really calm and good.  (For me, that’s this spot in Maui).

Heart breathing is an excellent technique for reducing anxiety and controlling stress.  It provides a strategy for consciously slowing down one’s heart waves or heart rhythm, which also slows down brain waves to produce a calmer, clearer state for thinking, learning, emotional balance, and decision making.

The Heartmath organization has developed a product that can be loaded onto an iPhone or iPod Touch called the Em-wave.  We use it with Heart Breathing to help students actually see their progress in slowing down their heart rhythms and gaining a sense of calm and focus.

Learning to self-monitor and control stress reactions supports

clearer thinking for learning, relationships, and problem solving.

The Em-wave is available at: www.heartmathstore.com and www.amazon.com.

 

I hope this new school year is full of joy and successes for you and your family!

Jill Stowell

 

If your child has traditionally struggled in school, it does not have to continue this way. Join us for a Parent Information Meeting to find out what you can do to make real and permanent changes in your child’s learning and school career.  Click here for details and RSVP: http://learningdisability.com/parent-info-night/.

 

“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

Can You Hear Me Now?

Allison Lam Anxiety, Auditory Processing, Classroom, Comprehension, Development, Learning Challenge, Learning Disability, Social Skills

Can you hear me now??

Wait…What?…You’re cutting in and out.

Recognize this conversation?  Of course you do.  We’ve ALL experienced a bad cell phone connection.

And it’s incredibly irritating, anxiety-provoking, attention-destroying, and short-lived.  We lose our comprehension as we unsuccessfully try to connect the dots, so we hang up and try the call again.

But what if that’s what life were like for you ALL the time?  Can you imagine how lost and anxious you would feel?  Thankfully, a call back on a cell phone usually solves the problem.  But for children and adults with auditory processing problems, this may be standard fare.

It’s Hard to Get the Message When

You Have A Bad Connection

Poor or inconsistent auditory input can affect, among other things:

  • Listening
  • Following directions
  • Comprehension
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Articulation and pronunciation
  • Vocabulary
  • Conversation and social skills
  • Intonation and verbal expression
  • Sense of well-being.

What Do Auditory Processing Challenges Look Like in the Adult World?

We talk a lot about children with various learning and attention challenges..  But these same challenges exist for adults as well, often with equally or even more devastating ramifications.  

Here are real stories shared with me by adults with auditory processing challenges:

Jesse is a manager at a mid-size corporation.  He often has to attend meetings, but the strain of listening to the input from many different people is so taxing for him that he has to retreat to his office to take a nap on the floor.  Jesse says, “A one-hour meeting is so exhausting that I’m pretty much done for the day.”

Katherine is a struggling small business owner.  She loves what she does but is on-edge all of the time.  Auditory input is so vague and unclear for her that she feels distracted and a little lost as she moves through her day.  This impacts her ability to be productive and follow through, keep business associates and clients, and grow her business.  In fact, it makes this very bright woman look spacey and not quite all there.

Jack, a young U.S. Naval officer and graduate of Annapolis found watch-standing, which is using information in a time-critical manner to perform tasks such as driving the ship through the water, near impossible.  Running a division and managing the workflow, knowing what was going on, and doing the administration for a certain part of the ship was also a struggle. He started to be combative with fellow watch-standers to compensate for how much he was struggling and appeared apathetic and uncaring to those around him. He shared that the only reason his career survived before he could get help was due to the fact that the Navy doesn’t fire first year officers.

Marina talks non-stop.  She drives her husband and friends away with her constant loud chatter.  Marina has subconsciously compensated for her very weak auditory processing by talking all the time so that she doesn’t have to listen.  Her poor listening skills affect her ability to self-monitor her volume and content.  She seems to talk around and around things because she’s not really even listening to herself.  Marina is often unintentionally abrasive because she doesn’t “hear” her tone of voice.

Counseling is Not the Answer

Adults struggling with relationships or in the workplace often turn to counseling for help.  If the root cause of the problem is weak auditory processing, trying to talk through or manage the problem is not likely to be successful.

To improve listening attention, clarity of the message, and mental organization of auditory information, the auditory system needs to be stimulated and strengthened.  

Brain and clinical research and our experience with thousands of children and adults with learning challenges over the last 30 years shows us that auditory processing can be developed.  Auditory processing disorders do not have to be permanent.

Developing auditory processing skills so that the brain gets a clear, complete, accurate, and organized message paves the way for successful and lasting remediation of reading, spelling, speech, language comprehension, and communication skills.

Do you or someone you know struggle at work or school? While there are no simple, overnight solutions, most learning and attention challenges, including Auditory Processing Disorder, can be dramatically improved or completely corrected through targeted brain training and academic remediation.  For more information:

JOIN US for a FREE Information Night.  

Click here for details and RSVP http://learningdisability.com/parent-info-night/.

“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”

We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.

 

Jill Stowell, M.S.

Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities

Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers