Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Calling all teachers!!


Reading, writing and computing are not really "the basics"; they require that the brain process very detailed sensations and engage in precise motor and mental responses.  The visual system must distinguish the very small differences among letters of the alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks.  The child must have good space perception to see the difference between 41 and 14 or between was and saw.  His cerebral cortex must process the visual input according to spelling and grammatical rules that are both arbitrary and variable.  For the cortex to do this, all the parts of the brain that deal with language must communicate with all the parts that deal with visual perception and memory.  Writing is even more complicated, for in addition to all of the above, the brain must process hand and finger sensations, compare them with memories of how the hands and fingers are supposed to feel when they write, and then organize the muscle contractions that move the pencil.
None of these brain functions can work well if the brain cannot receive and process sensations from movement and gravity.  If a child has a vestibular disorder, many of the sensorimotor patterns in his brain will be disorganized, and he will have no way to remember what a printed word means or how to write that word himself.  The cruelest thing anyone can say to a child with a learning disability is "You could do it if only you would try!"  How can a child read if he can't even connect what he sees with what he hears?  How can he write his name if he has to concentrate on keeping himself in his chair?  These sensorimotor abilities are the real "basics," and learning problems will continue until more attention is given to their development.  Some children have acquired the basics through normal development, and they are ready to learn to read at 5 or 6 years of age; but many other children have not been able to master the basics because of a neurological irregularity.  To try to teach them to read at age 6 is to invite failure and misery for the child.  The child usually strikes back and is then considered a behavior problem.

Did you find this interesting reading and sound familiar........

This is just a very very tiny paragraph from an amazing book I am reading at the moment ~ I personally feel every educational professional {from Heads to teaching assistants and most definately SENCOs} should read it - it would probably answer a lot of questions and solve a lot of problems within schools.  The label "naughty" child should not exist and it wouldn't if more educational settings understood Sensory Integration Dysfunction / Sensory Processing Disorder OR took it seriously!

There any many many books on this subject available so there are no excuses but the one I am reading is SENSORY INTEGRATION AND THE CHILD BY A. JEAN AYRES (understanding hidden sensory challenges).

1 comment:

  1. I am going to go buy that book this week. When we dig out AGAIN. hehe