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Not Weird, Just Wired Differently

clrldWe all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning abilities just as it is with other aspects of our lives. Our learning styles also vary accordingly. Some of us are visual learners while some others may thrive better with verbal learning approach and some others may require a multi-sensory approach to learning. In addition, our interests in particular subject areas also vary as this often influences class placement in schools as well as eventual career choices.

Let’s go down memory lane for a while….

Try to remember how best you learned back in school,

Were you the kind of student that would rather seek visual aids such as pictures or charts in order to comprehend whatever information the teacher presented?

Or could you handle grasping the ideas from the verbal/theoretical methods of teaching?

Also, did you constantly require repetition in order to understand the information provided by your teachers?

And did you find that your teacher’s teaching style was not suitable to your learning style?

Most learners have different experiences and often develop strategies to “cope” with their learning challenges. However, individuals with learning difficulties may seem to be unable to cope with the challenges of learning as they may constantly feel weird as a result of their learning difficulty.

Let’s identify some common learning difficulties and their peculiarities

  • dyslexia-spelled-out-in-lettersDyslexia: is a brain related disorder that affects how the brain processes written and spoken language. Individuals with dyslexia have difficulties, decoding words, reading, spelling and comprehension of written words/sentences. They may often seem to reverse letters/words or miss out/misplace words when writing. Dyslexia has nothing to do with poor intelligence, poor vision or laziness, it is simply as a result of how the brain is wired and how it processes such information.     
  • discalculia-tratamiento-1Dyscalculia: is a brain based disorder that affects how the brain processes math concepts. Individuals with dyscalculia present with varying levels of difficulty ranging from comprehending numeric concepts such as number sequence to the application of numeric operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication & division.
  • Dysgraphia: simply means impaired writing. It is a brain related disorder that
    involves difficulties with handwriting such that writings are illegible, pencil/pen grip is poor, letter/words spacing is disorganized and written
    expression is problematic.
  • apdAuditory Processing Disorder (APD): this has to do with difficulty “comprehending” auditory information such as sounds or spoken words. This often affects how well an individual is able to understand verbal instructions/directions and affects the ability to cope with noise.

 

As previously stated, getting a professional diagnosis of a learning difficulty is key to knowing the necessary steps in interventions to take in order to improve the learning capabilities of such learners.

Innovative approaches in the field of Neuropsychology & Educational Psychology towards improving cognitive functioning of individuals with learning difficulties have proven to be efficient. For more information about these approaches, kindly visit: www.mobilehealthconsult.org

Remember to follow me on twitter @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on

#Learning Difficulties.

 


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Understanding ADHD: Facts and Myths

 

ADHD (1)

Over the years, so much has been said concerning ADHD which are merely misconceptions about the disorder. Some have thought of it as a result of bad upbringing, while others have thought about it as the individual’s fault; they believe those with ADHD behave in certain ways to purposely annoy or to avoid school work and  other given tasks. Also, some feel those with ADHD should be given harsh discipline in order to overcome such condition.

 As parents, care givers, teachers, siblings of individuals with ADHD and also those with ADHD , it is important that we have adequate knowledge about the disorder and be able to distinguish between mere myths and true facts about ADHD.

Highlighted below are some of the common misconceptions or myths on ADHD and the facts that refute them.

#1

Myth: Children with ADHD are just lazy

Fact: They are not lazy. They work as hard as other kids and may even work twice as hard but their results may be hindered by their condition.  

#2

Myth: ADHD isn’t a real disorder.

Fact: It is a brain based disorder which often results in some learning and behavioural difficulties. It is also one of the most common childhood disorders.

#3

Myth: ADHD is Gender-specific. Only boys have it.Girl with ADHD

Fact: It is not a gender-specific disorder as it affects both boys and girls.

#4

Myth: Sugar causes ADHD

Fact: Sugar increases energy levels and can induce hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD but it is not the cause of ADHD.

#5

Myth: ADHD results from bad parenting practices.

Fact: Though the symptoms of ADHD can be improved or worsened by parenting practices, ADHD is not caused by bad parenting.

#6

Myth: ADHD is prevalent among hyperactive children.

Fact: Although, hyperactivity is a common symptom experienced by individuals with ADHD, individuals that are less hyperactive can have the Inattentive subtype of ADHD.

#7

Myth: A person with ADHD isn’t vulnerable to any other conditions.

 Fact: A person with ADHD is actually predisposed to other conditions such as conduct disorder and anxiety disorders.

#8

Myth: Children with ADHD don’t become successful adults.

Fact: ADHD isn’t a hindrance to success in life. Actually, many successful and popular icons were diagnosed with ADHD such as Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln.

Adhd brain smWhen next someone tells you one of the above mentioned myths, you sure will have the right facts to debunk them. Kindly follow me @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #LetstalkaboutADHD and share other myths you’ve heard as well.


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Understanding ADD/ADHD

Multiethnic Arms Raised Holding ADHD

When you hear ADD or ADHD, what comes to your mind?

Well, throughout the month of June, I shall be sharing very interesting information about ADD/ADHD such as what ADD/ADHD means, myths and facts about ADD/ADHD, types, causes, signs/characteristics, diagnosis, prevalence, management, clinical interventions, parenting tips, adult ADD/ADHD and successful people with ADHD. I bet you’re wondering how someone with ADHD can become successful in life right?  Trust me, it’s going to be an interesting month.

What is ADD/ADHD???

ADD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Disorder, while ADHD represents Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Let’s break this down a little bit:

A-      Attention refers to the ability or will to keep the mind on something in particular i.e being able to focus on ADHDsomething, usually for a period of time.

D-      Deficit means an inadequacy, insufficiency or lack of the ability to perform a given task.

H-      Hyperactivity simply means activity level which is above normal range.

D-      Disorder refers to a mental or physical interruption of normal functioning.

 

ADD/ADHD is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder which results in difficulty sustaining attention, problems with executive functions (ability to plan) and inability to control certain behaviours.

ADD/ADHD affects academic performance and social relationships and it is one of the most common childhood disorders which can span through adolescence and adulthood.

Young, sad boy sitting at desk over piece of paper with pencil in hand. Looking at camera, front view

There have been quite a number of myths about ADD/ADHD, am sure you’ve heard about some also. In the next article, we shall be checking out some interesting myths and facts about ADD/ADHD.

Kindly follow me @DrMorayoJimoh and let’s talk about ADHD


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Understanding Dyslexia: Successful People with Dyslexia

Dyslexia

This month has been our dyslexia awareness month with the theme as “Understanding dyslexia“. During the course of this period, we have shared information on dyslexia which includes: myths and truths about dyslexia, prevalence of dyslexia, causes of dyslexia, differences in brain functions of people with dyslexia and those who do not have it, assessment/diagnosis of dyslexia, strengths and positive skills of people with dyslexia, strategies to help them learn, accommodations and school supports and so much more. It has been an interesting period of unraveling the myth behind dyslexia and creating awareness about it.

In this final part of the series, we will be sharing information about famous and successful individuals who have experienced similar difficulties with language and were found to be dyslexic. Yes! These set of people were able to maximize the diverse strengths they possess and utilize their skills to excel in life, despite the negative reports they received from teachers and the society at large. As creative thinkers, they have been able take on extraordinary and legendary roles, making their impact felt across generations.  Although, some are dead, the impact made by them is still felt till date while some are alive and excelling in their fields. Among these successful people are inventors, actors/actresses, CEOs, entrepreneurs, film producers/directors, writers, architects and more.

Truly, having a diagnosis of dyslexia is not a sentence to failure rather, an awareness of a different learning ability.

Below are some  famous and successful people with dyslexia:

Steve Jobs:Apple Announces Launch Of New Tablet Computer is a name that comes to mind when the computer and telecommunications company ‘Apple’ is mentioned with many inventions such as laptops and portable devices like iphones, ipods and ipads. Steve jobs is best known as a co-founder and CEO of Apple. He experienced difficulties in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia.

 

Albert EinsteinT1519086_24: was a German Physicist, an author and award winning scientist. He was famous for his timeless discoveries and theories. Having dyslexia, he was able to use his imagination and creativity to stand out in his discoveries. He was also known to be a genius with an IQ of 160.

TOM CRUISE

 

 

Tom Cruise: was diagnosed with dyslexia and had to work harder on what he was really good at from a young age. In Hollywood film industry,  he is a peak performing actor and producer well known for his leading roles in popular movies and production. He is one actor that has excelled in his field.

 

Thomas Edison:Thomas Edison was a scientist and inventor with creative innovations that caused a revolution in how things are done presently across the world. Among his innovations was the invention of the light bulb. He was said to have been dyslexic.

 

Will_Smith__public_domain_-1

Will Smith: The fresh prince of bel-Air as he is popular called is indeed a king of comedy dedicated to excellence. He is an award winning actor famous for his many comedy roles in movies. He refers to his dyslexia as one of the major reasons for his success.

 

 

Richard BransonRichard branson: After series of struggles with school work, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, with this, he was able to use his strengths to excel. he is a well known successful entrepreneur. He  is the founder of the Virgin group owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines.

 

 

Sally Gardner: a famous author who was diagnosed with dyslexia. She has sold more than Sally Gardner1.5 million copies of her work in the United Kingdom. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.

 

Orlando

Orlando Bloom: a famous actor and movie star claimed he had to do work three times as hard to get two-thirds of the way.  As a child he was diagnosed  with dyslexia but he was also told that he had a high IQ score. This gave him the confidence he needed to succeed.

 

faraday

Michael Faraday: an English scientist who contributed greatly to the field of electromagnetic induction was reported to have had terrible trouble with spelling and punctuation. He also had poor memory. One thing that Faraday had common to dyslexics was a powerful visual sense. He was able to form a mental image of most of his studies.

 

GeorgeGeorge Washington: The  first  United States President  had trouble with words particularly spelling. Historians report that George Washington didn’t spend much time in school and was a self-taught man.  George often spelled words the way they sounded: blew for blue, oyl for oil and coff for cough.  Although there is no evidence, some believe he had dyslexia.

ford

 

Henry Ford: The famous entrepreneur and businessman was recorded to have had dyslexia. He even attributed some of his success to dyslexia. Even today, decades after he was born, you might still see cars on the road bearing his name.

 

Whoopi goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg: An actress and humanitarian, Whoopi was diagnosed with dyslexia. She claims that the support of her mother and a great  and understanding teacher helped her surmount her learning challenges. She is one of  twelve people in history to have won all four of entertainment’s major awards: Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy.

 

 

These are only a few of the many famous and successful individuals that were diagnosed with dyslexia and have been able to focus and maximize their strengths to excel in life. They did not let anything hold them back not even a learning difficulty!

 Children with dyslexia have enormous capacity and abilities to succeed.

 They learn differently. They have gifts.They are special!

They can become anything they set their minds upon with your love, encouragement and support.

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Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!


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Understanding Dyslexia: Strengths and positive skills

HiResWith the previous article dwelling on the signs and causes of dyslexia, it is important to note that a formal psycho-educational assessment is required to ascertain if a person has dyslexia. This assessment is aimed at examining memory, language, orientation in time and space, behaviour, motor skills, intellectual ability, bodily awareness, information processing, psycho-linguistic processing, and academic skills of the child. It determines whether or not the child is reading, writing or spelling at age appropriate level. Such assessments also take into account the child’s birth history, developmental milestones and overall school performance. It is conducted by trained specialists such as educational psychologists.

Strengths and positive skills of individuals with dyslexia

Although children with dyslexia have average or above average intelligence, they may experience difficulties learning language based subjects since language is the most common mode of communicating new knowledge in schools. People or children with dyslexia can learn to read and be proficient in language skills when their strengths are maximized. They have inherent strengths that if used can make them perform at levels at par with their contemporaries.

Below are some positive strengths of individuals with dyslexiaStrengths

  • They are great at visuo-spatial thinking.
  • Fast problem solvers who are able to think laterally
  • They are intuitive and good at reading people
  • They are verbally articulate and may be  great communicators
  • Creativity is a major strength possessed by them – so many people with dyslexia excel as designers, artists, actors and more
  • They are excellent at solving puzzles
  • They are spatially talented- many individuals with dyslexia are employed as engineers, architects, designers, artists, mathematicians, physicists, physicians, dentists and some other professions.
  • Individuals with dyslexia frequently enjoy above average physical co-ordination skills
  • they possess great emotional strengths such as empathy
  • They are inclined to think outside the box most of the times.
  • They are persistent individuals.

strengths 1

 

In order to maximize these strengths, brain based strategies are necessary to be utilized when teaching individuals with dyslexia and this will be the focus of the next article.

Always remember that individuals with dyslexia have strengths and learn differently!

Follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!

 

 

 


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Understanding Dyslexia: Learning and Brain differences

 

black-boy-readingJohn hates being called to read aloud in his class, he usually has some trouble saying some words even when he recognizes them. School is not really his favourite place to be because all his teachers complain about his writing and spelling. His parents often compare him with his  siblings saying “he is just the lazy one”.  He often gets discouraged thinking he is not as smart as his siblings and other pupils in his class. John would rather work on his drawings and participate in other activities that deal less with writing or reading.

What John, his parents and teachers have not realized is that he has dyslexia.

 

In the previous article of this month’s series on understanding dyslexia, we shared some information about what dyslexia is and some prevailing myths and truths about dyslexia. In this second part, we will emphasize on the description of dyslexia, causes, prevalence, signs and symptoms which accounts for learning and brain differences in people with dyslexia.

DESCRIBING DYSLEXIA

Dyslexia can be described as a brain based learning difficulty which is often hereditary and results in problems with:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling

Also, it is associated with difficulties in concentration, short term memory and organization which are essential skills to facilitate learning that has to do with language. This is why people with dyslexia can be wrongly labelled as being “lazy”, “stupid”, “dumb”, “less intelligent” or “mentally slow/retarded” . Eliminating these wrong notions about dyslexia creates a better understanding of what is really responsible for the perceived learning differences/difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia.

CAUSES OF DYSLEXIA

The major cause of the brain based learning difficulty especially with literacy skills experienced by people who never had any damage to the brain and having adequate intelligence is genetic. As noted earlier, it is a condition that is hereditary; research has shown that it runs in families therefore, a child has a 50% chance of having dyslexia if only one parent has it and a 100% chance if both parents have dyslexia.

People with dyslexia use only the right side of the brain to process language, while people without dyslexia use three areas on the left side of the brain to process language.maxresdefault

Dyslexia is not as a result of laziness, stupidity or poor intelligence, rather, the brains of people with dyslexia are wired differently which accounts for the language difficulties they experience.

 

PREVALENCE OF DYSLEXIA

  • Dyslexia is the most common learning difficulty.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia.
  • Dyslexia occurs around the world irrespective of tribe, race or socio-economic background.
  • It occurs in both boys and girls.
  • It can be seen in adults too.
  • It varies from person to person.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DYSLEXIA

The following are some signs and symptoms experienced by people that may have dyslexia.128563473

  1. Difficulties with reading, spelling and writing despite normal intelligence and proper teaching: consistent reading, spelling and writing errors such as putting letters or words in the wrong order for example; ‘was’ for ‘saw’ or sounding ‘dub’ for ‘bud’ or omitting letters when spelling, such as ‘shool’ for ‘school’ could be a sign of dyslexia.
  1. Delay in reaching developmental milestones: this occurs when children are unable to reach certain language and motor development at the expected age. It could be an early sign of dyslexia.
  1. Speech problems: such as sudden loss of speech and difficulty expressing self through spoken language are possible signs of dyslexia.
  1. Directionality difficulties: confusion with directions such as being uncertain about left or right, up/top or down/bottom directions. It is also responsible for letter reversals such as ‘b’ for ‘d’ (not corrected after a long time of correcting and proper teaching). It is also known as mirror writing and could be a sign of dyslexia.
  2. Pronunciation problems: such as being unable to pronounce long words properly.
  3. Difficulty carrying out a sequence of directions: being unable to follow a sequence of directions is a possible sign of dyslexia.

 

girl

Dyslexia should be seen as a different learning ability rather than a learning disability. People with dyslexia within any age range are capable of learning efficiently with a different approach that matches their learning ability.

Beyond all the difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia, are strengths unknown to many and themselves. Some of their strengths and more information about people with dyslexia will be shared in the next part of these series.

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on understanding dyslexia throughout this month of November!