Module 5: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities

We continue with the Brain Development Blueprint following the trajectory of brain development. This module focusses on more academic learning disabilities and dyslexia.

The focus is on more left-brain disorders that affect reading, academics, memory and learning through-out our lives. Learning disabilities are the single largest problem area affecting 15-20% of the child, adolescent and adult population. These are widely recognized as developmental neurological disabilities, but this knowledge is completely ignored in schools. In this module, we discuss the epidemiology, prevalence and neurophysiology of Dyslexia, reading disorders, processing disorders and Learning Disabilities as a whole. In continuing the understanding of the brain, we will focus on the neurophysiology and neuroanatomy of the cortex. We will first look at the sensory areas of the brain and we will discuss the development of vision and hearing. We will look at the relationship between the dorsal and ventral cortical systems for vision and hearing. In the developmental exam, we will focus on cranial nerve exam and sensory-motor testing. We review the relationship of Dyslexia to left hemisphere function and dysfunction. We discuss the use of light and sound therapeutically and the relationship of the right and left hemisphere in word reading vs reading comprehension. We review standardized testing. We conduct a practicum where we look at specific primitive and postural reflexes that are believed to be associated with Dyslexia and learning disabilities. Most importantly, we will conduct a specific hands-on practicum known as Learning Disabilities Simulation Training. In this practicum we will take several members of the class and have them take part in various activities that will literally allow them to experience first-hand what it feels like to have various disabilities such as dyslexia, auditory and visual processing disorders, sensory tactile deficits, visual – motor integration problems, etc. We will use this also to reinforce the major issues and disabilities that are found in schools and, generally, in education. Altogether, this Learning Disabilities Simulation is one of the most powerful experiences learners will ever experience in this area and it is one they will never forget. We will also present various live and videotaped cases of dyslexic and learning-disabled children and discuss as a group the various treatment options. As in each module, we will now also go through the specific tools of the Digital Health for the cases of learning disabilities and primarily left-brain disorders – virtual reality, computer games, frequencies of sound and vibration and laser.