Using the power of the brain and its capacity to make new connections can help parents and teachers accelerate learning for kids with learning challenges. While working with students of all ages for almost forty years, I have repeatedly witnessed the wonders of brain plasticity—the ability of the brain to develop new neural pathways—to overcome learning challenges. This holds true for students with learning disabilities, students classified as slow learners or educable mentally handicapped, those with ADHD and ADD, and even people who have suffered strokes.
Each person can learn if taught using their brain’s best learning style or modality. I have tracked the progress of individual schools and school districts, measuring gains from specialized instructional methods. Reading level gains have been dramatic, with accelerated improvement over an 8-month period, even for those in special programming. Naturally, students with significant mental challenges progress less dramatically than those without them, but the rate of gain has been faster than before specialized teaching methods were used.
It’s easy to underestimate the power of this approach.
One of my programs was used in Fairmont School District, Lockport, Illinois. The superintendent reported: