Intensity leads to plasticity…..

Plasticity refers to how circuits in the brain change–organize and reorganize–in response to experience, or sensory stimulation. You can think of the brain as a muscle that adapts and changes with exercise. Current research findings shows that periods of rapid change or plasticity occur in our brains under four main conditions:

  1. when the immature brain first begins to process previously unencountered sensory information (developmental plasticity)
  2. when changes in the body, like a problem with eyesight, or the loss of a limb alter the balance of sensory activity received by the brain (activity-dependent plasticity)
  3. when we modify our behavior based on new sensory information (plasticity of learning and memory or recall)
  4. after we experience damage to the brain such as a stroke or mechanical injury (injury-induced plasticity). Scientists believe that the same brain mechanisms promote all four types of plasticity; the strength of connections, or synapses, between brain cells are modified.

One very recent study shows positive changes directly resulting from auditory training provided to children with auditory processing disorders. (Krishnamurti, et.al.).  In two other reports, dedicated scientists and clinicians demonstrate that poor readers have less stable auditory nervous system function than do good readers (Hornickel, et.al ). When they assessed the impact of classroom FM system use for 1 year on auditory neurophysiology and reading skills in children with dyslexia, the results were clear and dramatic. Children with dyslexia who used classroom assistive listening devices (FM systems) had more consistent auditory brainstem responses to speech after 1 year with increases in reading and phonological awareness. It is suggested that the enhanced signal-to-noise ratio provided by the FM system improved auditory brainstem function by providing the nervous system with a clearer acoustic signal. (Read more about these studies)

Cutting edge research has grown our understanding of brain plasticity and we know that the cognitive skills involved in reading and writing can be improved.  Auditory and language processing, phonological awareness, visual memory and critical thinking can be strengthened, often significantly, in a relatively short time  given intensive targeted instruction.

Reading involves the integration of three sensory cognitive functions – visual, auditory and language processing. It is necessary to identify and strengthen areas that are not yet being used efficiently in order that your child is able to integrate these functions during the reading/writing process.  Every person is individual and every brain is individual.  Typically, students who have difficulty learning to read over-compensate using areas in the right hemisphere responsible for creative problem solving and spatial reasoning.

What we do is TRAIN the brain to become more efficient. We activate those areas in the brain that are dormant. Current neuroscience shows that learning “disabilities” do not have to be permanent.

It’s TIME to make a change.

Meet with an ADHD specialist

Krishnamurti, S., Forrester, J., Rutledge, C., & Holmes, G. (2013). A case study of the changes in the speech-evoked auditory brainstem response associated with auditory training in children with auditory processing disorders. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 77(4), 594-604.

J. Hornickel et al., “Assistive listening devices drive neuroplasticity in children with dyslexia,”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 32:14156-64, 2012.

J. Hornickel, N. Kraus, “Unstable representation of sound: a biological marker of dyslexia,”Journal of Neuroscience, 33:3500–04, 2013.