Have you heard that the brain is plastic? Brain plasticity or neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize, change, and grow new neural pathways throughout the lifespan. But did you know that cognitive exercises can play a significant role in plasticity? This can be a game changer for individuals with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, because these learners can actually strengthen weak areas of cognition.
What is Cognitive Remedial Therapy?
Cognitive Remedial Therapy is an approach that uses focused cognitive activities to improve core neurocognitive abilities such as attention, working memory, mental flexibility, planning, processing speed as well as visual, auditory, sequential and simultaneous processing.
Can Cognitive Remedial Therapy Erase Deficits?
Much like a personal trainer can strengthen a weak tendon or muscle through targeted, repetitive workouts, a learning specialist or educational therapist can enhance and improve cognition, through focused mental exercises. There is a three step process. First, assess a student’s cognitive processing abilities. This information can be gleaned from psycho-educational or neuropsychological reports. Second, you want to define the cognitive processing weaknesses. This can be determined by locating the lowest cognitive test scores. And third, you want to implement focused exercises that commence at one’s current ability and gradually increase in difficulty.
What are the Tools for Success?
You can create and implement your own exercises, or you can use a bundle of activities and games created for students with dyslexia. Again, be sure to follow the three step process. First assess cognition. Second, define weaknesses. And third, implement exercises. For the best results, do the activities for 10-15 minutes, 3 times a week.
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Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY. To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz