In this article I will introduce you to what neuroplasticity is and how it might help those with neurological impairments. Image Credit Recently there has been some very interesting news regarding neuroplasticity.
This attention can benefit many youngsters, including neuroplasticity handwriting and learning disabilities with learning disabilities LDs involving handwriting, which may accompany reading disabilities, writing disabilities, nonverbal learning disabilities, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Although word-processing programs and assistive technology are undeniably boons to children with writing problems, technological advances do not eliminate the need for explicit teaching of handwriting. Why handwriting is important Contrary to the view that handwriting is a trivial skill, handwriting actually is important for a number of reasons.
One involves the concept of mental resources to which I have alluded in several other columns, in relation to reading and mathematics as well as writing. Just as effortful word decoding may impair reading comprehension, or lack of automatic recall may reduce the mental resources available for learning advanced computational algorithms in math, labored handwriting creates a drain on mental resources needed for higher-level aspects of writing, such as attention to content, elaboration of details, and organization of ideas.
Moreover, when handwriting is perceived as arduous and time-consuming, motivation to write may be greatly reduced, leading to a lack of practice that may further compound difficulties with writing.
Finally, handwriting in the earliest grades is linked to basic reading and spelling achievement; for example, when children learn how to form the letter m, they can also be learning its sound. Attention to the linkages among handwriting, reading, and spelling skills can help to reinforce early achievement across these areas.
At one time, manuscript print writing was typically taught in first grade, whereas cursive was introduced later, usually in third grade. Historically, some authorities argued for the superiority of one form over the other for children with LDs, most often for the superiority of cursive over manuscript.
However, there is little evidence that cursive is easier to learn than manuscript, and there are clear advantages to having children focus on the form of writing similar to what they must read in print. Most critically, children should be able to use at least one form to produce legible, reasonably effortless writing, and instruction should focus on the form that appears most likely to lead to that outcome, especially for older children with handwriting difficulties.
Assessment of handwriting skills Assessment of handwriting should incorporate observations of execution, legibility, and speed of writing.
Execution includes correct and consistent pencil hold, posture, and letter formation. Counterproductive habits in these latter areas are not always obvious from looking only at writing samples and can greatly impede progress in handwriting.
For instance, young children may "draw" a letter such as m using separate strokes, starting on the right side of the letter. Forming the letter beginning on the left side, without lifting the pencil from the paper, is much more conducive to building eventual speed of writing.
Legibility involves the readability of letters, as well as spacing within and between words. Speed is important as children advance beyond the first few grades so that they can use writing efficiently in a variety of tasks. If children have learned both manuscript and cursive, as is often the case with older youngsters, then assessment should consider the execution, legibility, and speed of both forms of writing.
The early years of schooling are especially critical for handwriting instruction; once children have formed counterproductive habits in handwriting, such as poor pencil hold or inefficient letter formation, those habits can be difficult to change. Even for young children, however, handwriting instruction should occur in the context of a broader program of written expression in which children learn many other writing skills and develop motivation to write.
Of course, children also should have access to word-processing programs and assistive technology, with appropriate accommodations as needed for individual students.
In my previous post called “Learning Disabilities: Basic Facts About Learning Disability” I mentioned that there was new research taking place that may bring new hope for learning disability children, called timberdesignmag.com this article I will introduce you to what neuroplasticity is and how it might help those with neurological impairments. Despite the fact that the concept of neuroplasticity is broad, vague, and hardly new (the theory was born in the mids and was heavily researched throughout the s), it is one of the most reliable and fundamental discoveries about the brain that we have to date. Learning disabilities in writing can involve the physical act of writing or the mental activity of comprehending and synthesizing information. Basic writing disorder refers to physical difficulty forming words and letters.
Here are a few specific suggestions for teaching handwriting: Teach children consistent formation of letters using a continuous stroke if possible. Children should learn a highly consistent way to form a given letter every time they write it. Although some letters, such as f and t, require lifting the pencil from the paper to make a second stroke, teach letter formation using a continuous stroke without lifting the pencil from the paper when possible.
For example, teach children to write the letter b by starting at the top with a vertical stroke, then making the loop to the right without lifting the pencil, rather than having children form the vertical line and the loop in separate strokes.
Focus initially on learning the motor pattern rather than perfect legibility or size. When children are learning to form a new letter, it is helpful to begin with large movements such as forming the letter in the air; have children use a sweeping movement with the entire arm, not just the hand.
This initial practice should emphasize learning the motor pattern with correct formation of the letter e. Teach similarly formed letters together, and use an instructional sequence that takes into account both ease of formation and frequency in words.In my previous post called “Learning Disabilities: Basic Facts About Learning Disability” I mentioned that there was new research taking place that may bring new hope for learning disability children, called timberdesignmag.com this article I will introduce you to what neuroplasticity is and how it might help those with neurological impairments.
Human Neuroplasticity and Education Neuroscience, Education, and Learning Disabilities Albert M.
Galaburda We are entering an . Learning disabilities in writing is known as dysgraphia: Children with a writing based learning disability may have trouble with written expression.
For some children, just holding a pencil and organizing letters on a line may be difficult. Neuroplasticity means that the brain is changeable. Through training and specific programs, we can help children with learning disabilities.
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