Sydney Dyslexia

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ADHD and the Fruit-fly experiment

 

Interesting study that shows the correlation of dopamine, hyperactivity, learning ability, ADHD and how fruit flies have emotions and the ability to learn.

In the article below you will learn from David Anderson that ADHD and other common brain disorders are “actually disturbances in the neural circuits that mediate emotion, mood and affect.” In that respect it makes sense to me to listen to the explanations of Ron Davis. He believes that ADHD is often caused when students are not interested in the subject and/or don’t understand  what the teacher is saying. Their perception is altered by that combination of boredom and confusion and causes disorientation. Disorientation speeds up the internal clock, slowing down external time. Their sense of balance and movement is also affected and distorted – and movement (hyper activity) helps them to restore the balance between internal and external differences: “emotion, mood and affect” are at work. The affect if not moving would be similar to motion sickness. The solution would be to give the ADHD individual the tools to restore orientation and control their behaviour themselves, without drugs. Adderall, Ritalin and other amphetamines aim to increase the amount of dopamine that is released into the brain. Orientation does the same, yet without amphetamines.

To read the article on the Neuroscience of ADHD:

http://ideas.ted.com/the-neuroscience-of-adhd/

 

 

 

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One Texas School triples Recess Time

 

When I read that article, it actually surprised me most that the reporter, teachers and parents were actually surprised by the positive outcome of that measure. I have found when working with children that they need a lot of short breaks, especially after something new and profound has been introduced to them. We allow them to allocate their own recess – and this has never been abused. Sometimes the opposite happens: children don’t take enough short breaks and try to push through, when things get tough. I have found it much more useful to stop and start quite often. It creates new neural pathways in our brain and makes it increasingly simple to travel them and become prolific at a new learning experience.

http://www.offgridquest.com/education/texas-school-triples-recess-time-and-see


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Context Blindness and Concepts of Life

Although Context Blindness is rarely associated with Dyslexia, I have found quite a few children, who present not only with Dyslexia, but also with some of the symptoms and sensitivities of Autism. There is no reason to assign them yet another label, but instead use some of these interesting correction pathways to add to their box of tools.

Some children are more ADHD or ADD than typically dyslexic, in which case their fast processing rate and auditory processing difficulties caused them to miss out on basic life concepts. That causes problems at school, sometimes in Maths too (as these are the pillars for Maths as well) and often behavioural issues. Context Blindness may or may not be one of their challenges. However, the concepts are the same and always add great value and clarity.

Caetextia (Latin for ‘context blindness’) is mainly associated with Autism or Asperger Syndrome. Its proper definition: ‘context blindness’, a chronic disorder manifesting in the inability to adjust behaviours or perception to deal appropriately with interacting variables.

Context blindness can involve different aspects of life and learning. It may be related to physical perception of self and others, to changes, to the environment, to social interactions, perceptions of reality, to taking words literally, to making different judgments for different situations and many other examples where matters can be taken out of context.

It would be incredibly labor-some and downright impossible to ‘correct’ every possible situation that an Autistic individual could get themselves into, where they might encounter a mistake in context.  There is a much easier way and that involves going to the root cause of these misjudgments and challenges.

Ron Davis (himself Autistic and Dyslexic) has found a simple step-by-step program where basic concepts which are mastered in the proper order, can eliminate the effects of Caetextia.

Some examples on how these concepts are directly linked or responsible for these misconceptions:

1. Self: The Concept of ‘the Individual’. For Dyslexia: Most dyslexic children do not know the difference between “I” and “me” and creating self with all its current wisdom, knowledge and understanding. For Autism: An  example of context blindness and Self: John, a bright Asperger man, only ever combed his hair at the front, he had no awareness that there was a back of his head. Seeing things from different angles is one difficulty for context blind individuals. By creating and mastering ‘Self’ in clay, in all aspects of ‘Self’ as a body, a mind and a lifeforce, there is suddenly a 3D picture, an awareness of more than the mirror shows and these ideas are revisited in life situations from all angles until there is certainty around the ‘I’ (the person who is speaking) and the ‘me’ the self that is being interacted with. Not only does John now feel, touch and see the back of his head (on a model of himself, for example), but also every other context that is related to bodily functions.

2. Change: The concept of ‘something becoming something else’ is a huge one for some Dyslexic and most Autistic individuals. It first entertains the idea that time has to be involved, in order to have a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ event. By creating a scenario in clay, where one action is the ’cause’ and the second model is the ‘effect’ of that cause, we open a case of possibilities. Both models are separated by an arrow. (the arrow shows the ‘becoming’, the changing). Many AS children (and adults) see the effect, but living very much in the present moment, they often cannot relate that outcome to something previous. What has caused this?    Mary for example sees her mum crying. (effect). She has only once seen her mum in tears and that was when her grandfather had died. Not knowing why her mother cries this time (cause), she assumes that somebody must have died. But her mum had been cutting onions and that cause was hard to accept for Mary. She also was not aware that somebody can be crying because they are happy or frustrated.

Naturally, the concepts of ‘consequence‘ and ‘time‘ follow afterwards and deepen the experience even further. Over thirty concepts build a very solid foundation for any individual to navigate life with much more clarity and certainty. I have been using the basic six concepts for many dyslexic children as well, as they are often misunderstood or missing.

In the Book ‘Autism and the Seeds of Change’ by Abigail Marshall and Ronald Davis, all concepts are described in detail. Autism and the Seed of Change


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How well do you focus?

imagesOur ability/inability to focus

Did you know that the average person unlocks his or her phone 110 times a day?

According to the study by Locket (an app creator), we not only can’t help but check our smart phones incessantly, we also use them 195 min per day (2013), it was only 95 min/day in 2011.

If you want to check if that is YOU, just download the free app ‘Checky’ and it will count how many times you are following this habit.

No wonder our attention span is a mere 8 seconds! How are we expecting to learn, when we cannot even hold a thought for a minute, our focus on a conversation or a lecture at school or work?

The ability to gain and maintain focus has become not only a rare talent, but also a very lucrative one. It is the very ability that makes an average student brilliant, it is the trait of extraordinary people, millionaires and sages.

I never forget the story by Jim Kwik, when he met Bill Clinton. Jim was intrigued by Bill’s reputation of having an excellent memory. It is Jim’s profession to teach people how to increase their mental capacity and memory. He asked Mr. Clinton which tricks he uses. Is it imagery, rhymes, associations? To his surprise, it was none of these. There were no tricks or shortcuts. Mr. Clinton simply pays attention and gives 100 % of his focus to the person he talks to. It occurred to Jim that during their entire conversation, nobody else seemed to matter, the security guards, phones ringing and noises were not a distraction and he had the feeling that for Bill nobody else existed while they were talking.

For any dyslexic individual – and those with ADD or ADHD – this is a huge breakthrough, when they have learned to use that gift of total focus and stop their minds from running the show, unchecked and causing disorientation. Their ability can develop and knowledge can be gathered, when there is focus.


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Focus is the Key

Many of you might have seen or heard of the magic pill in the movie – ‘Limitless”

If you’ve not seen the movie, here’s how it works.

You take a magic brain pill. And BOOM! In seconds,It releases your inner genius.

In the movie, the lead actor went from a struggling author to a bestselling author, multi-million trader
and even ran for office in a short span of a year!

Science fiction?

Yes, but some people seem to think of Ritalin as being such a drug. Commonly used to treat ADD, ADHD, students, doctors, lawyers claim that Ritalin or similar drugs give them more focus and concentration before exams or other major events.
While it doesn’t release your “genius”… it seems to work miracles for some pupils who are struggling to focus and finding that the pill helps. Many even go without sleep for days using Ritalin.

Unfortunately, using such drugs come with consequences.

Common side effects of Ritalin include…

…nervousness, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite,…nausea, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations,
headache, …increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and psychosis – not to mention the fact that such drugs are often the pre-drugs and lead to using speed and other stimulants and drugs.

There has to be a better way to gain and retain focus. We have taught this to numerous clients and even if nothing else is changed, even if clients are not continuing with their follow-up homework, I have seen amazing changes, if the tools to focus are used on a daily basis. They lead to orientation, being able to keep the attention on the task at hand, finish the work that was started at the same level of accuracy as the beginning and lead to confidence in their abilities.

In the end you want your child to reach its full potential and participate in life at the highest and happiest level possible.


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Disorientation and Daydreaming

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In the Davis Dyslexia world, the term ‘disorientation’ is frequently used – and not always understood in connection to Dyslexia. I have written a simple explanation in my book ‘Nurturing the Secret Garden’:

“The feeling of confusion results in a state of disorientation, caused by a mind searching for meaning. We call disorientation the state of mind, where mental perception does not reflect the reality of the environment. Every one of us experiences disorientation at one time or another, when one of our senses is not in alignment with our body. Let me give you an example:

The other day I drove through a car wash, closed all the windows, and watched from inside my car as the giant bristles moved backwards and forward, washing the sides and roof of my vehicle. Have you ever experienced that sense that your car was in motion just because the outside brushes were? That was my experience and although I knew very well, that my car didn’t move an inch, the feeling of disorientation gave the impression of movement. Having the sense of movement or balance out of alignment causes the mind to disorient and record false data.

Daydreaming is a visual, sensory disorientation. The body is present in the classroom or wherever anxiety, panic, confusion or boredom causes the mind to disconnect from it. If a person was forced to read in a state of disorientation, the print on the paper would appear to be blurred or changed in size, shape or appearance. The spaces between words might look like rivers running along the page; the reader might skip lines or words, swap the order of words around, omit or guess words. Additionally, if asked to stand on one leg, they would sway—and that would give away the direction where the mind’s eye has moved to.

When I explained to one of my clients that him standing on one leg shows me where his mind is, he told me that he can prove me wrong. Being an excellent sportsman and additionally practising yoga had given him a wonderful sense of balance and he could easily and calmly stay on one leg for a long time. I marvelled at his centeredness and asked if he was able to read a simple text to me while on one leg. Thinking that this would be an easy task, he was amazed how quickly he lost his balance by reading the sentence from a children’s book in front of him. It gave him a real-life example of the material that would cause his mind to disorient.”