It Takes A Village!

When I woke up this morning, I was so excited thinking about all that I wanted to share with you all today. There were so many things that flooded my mind. Do you know what stuck out the most? I kept saying it over and over. Do you know what it is? I am sure you guessed it by now. It Takes A Village! 

It really does especially when working with children, adolescents, and often adults with special needs. This is why I work primarily as a school based speech language pathologist so that I may have the pleasure of making an influence in the lives of children with communication and learning challenges. Developing effective communication skills is the foundation of a child’s learning and social interactions with  his or her family, friends, teachers, and people in the community. Many children naturally learn to communicate, but children with developmental delays and neurological impairments need direct intervention services from a speech language pathologist to gain these skills. 

The village is a community that builds successful lives. For  a child with special needs, it includes the child, parents, speech-language pathologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, pediatrician, psychologist, teacher, administrator, friends, family, and other community workers that interact with each other for a shared purpose of positively influencing the life of a child. 

I am glad that you are taking the time to read this blog today and I challenge you to join this community. Stay connected with this blog and you will receive valuable information about assisting children with communication disorders, learning disabilities, and students without learning challenges. Even if you don’t work directly with children, you most likely will read something that will be beneficial in caring for your own children or that you can share with a family member or friend. Remember, It Takes a Village! 

You don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about educational/therapy resources for children and take part in something BIG! It Takes a Village to positively influence the life of a child starting with the day he or she is born and continuing as he or she begins elementary school, graduates from high school, decides on a college/career path, and enters the work force. 

Thanks for visiting today. See you next time. Stay connected! Just click on the social media circular buttons at the top of the blog or the links below.

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Have a wonderful day! 


Tamara Anderson, Ed.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Education Specialist
Writer

Learning Styles Myth or Fact: Right Brain vs. Left Brain

                        


While
chatting with a friend recently, she asked me if I had recommendations for
learning strategies to help her god daughter in school because she is a “right
brain learner.” She explained that she tends to do well when she uses visual
aids and wanted to know if I had any video resources that I could send them. I told
her that I would be happy to share some information with them.
It is true that specific parts of the brain have specific functions such as Wernicke’s Area in the Left hemisphere controls language comprehension (receptive language) and Broca’s Area controls expressive language. However, research in fact confirms that both hemispheres work together to process and learn new information. See Jensen (2000) and Leaf (2007) for references at the bottom of this entry. The interactive processing or comprehension of information is more related to the various styles of learning or multiple intelligences that can assist a student to comprehend academic content and not just understanding if  they are a left brain vs. right brain learner. 
This is supported by the theory of multiple intelligences that explains that
people have different cognitive strengths and contrasting cognitive styles. This theory proposed that there are seven types of intelligences that are of equal importance and include: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. 

                                         
As a speech-language pathologist, I have experienced working
with students who perform best when they are allowed to practice specific
skills through oral language practice (interpersonal/intrapersonal
intelligence), using visual cues/organizers (spatial intelligence), and with hands on activities (kinesthetic intelligence).  Because the students I work with have
language based learning disabilities, their linguistic intelligence (e.g. reading/writing) is often their weakest skills. Therefore, these students have to use their other
strengths or intelligences to learn new skills. 

Many students who identify with being “right-brain learners” may benefit from the use of pictures, integrating singing academic lyrics, playing background music, or participating in kinesthetic/hands on activities to learn a particular skill. 

The bottom line is that students often learn best when they are exposed to more than one learning style to encode the information into their brain. When this is done, they effectively transfer the information into short term memory and then long term memory. Although people may have their own preferences for learning, both sides of the brain work together to effectively process and learn new information. 

I will provide additional resources on this blog about
learning styles, brain-based learning, and specific resources that can help all students learn.
Tamara Anderson, Ed.S., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist 



References:

Jensen, E. (2000).
Brain-based learning. The new science of teaching & training. San Diego,
CA: The Brain Store Publishing.

Leaf, C. (2009). The
switch on your brain 5 step learning process. Dallas, TX: Switch On Your Brain USA.


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