Educational Therapy &
Confident Learners Built Here
The LexiConfidence Approach
“A stitch in time saves nine.” Benjamin Franklin proposed such wisdom applicable to his time, yet such words echo truth in modern day education. When a child is struggling in the classroom, what good is the "wait and see" approach or retention? Learning is comprised of many layers, and the approach to academic intervention is often a top-down process in our society. I was taught the same top-down model, until my own curiosity to find the optimal approach to intervention led me to practitioners who shared their stories of success using an integrated approach that begins with the foundation.
Imagine if your kitchen sink in the house is not working properly. You call a plumber. The plumber assesses the situation and then proceeds to solve the problem by fixing the sink. Now, suppose this scenario ensues. Your sink is unusable. You call a plumber. The plumber assesses the sink and diagnoses the problem. He writes a report with recommendations, namely compensate for the problem. In other words, he provides a diagnosis and a list of accommodations for the sink that isn’t working efficiently, but your sink is still inoperable when he leaves. When your child receives a diagnosis, a list of accommodations is not going to help your child’s cognition. We who specialize in helping struggling learners need to properly assess not only top-down, but also from bottom-up. We need to be looking beyond academics in our assessment. “A stitch in time saves nine.”
We know that the brain can receive remediation and that the brain is modifiable and has plasticity. Effective instruction should start with assessment and be tailored to the child’s “roadblocks”, not a list of compensatory strategies. Understanding neuroscience is paramount because through our conceptualization of how the brain learns, can we optimize instruction and efficiency.
I have friends who own a safari in Botswana, and I am fascinated to hear about their vastly different working environment than mine. In many parts of Africa, flying is more efficient than driving, and moreover necessary because of the lack of infrastructure. A drive that should take an hour could take ten because there aren't roads connecting the destinations. I use this as a metaphor, as I see this in learning. It is essential to build neural pathways in the brain, then have the repeated practice to make the pathways more efficient. This creates the white-matter, myelination, that helps improve processing and performance. We build the road (explicit teaching), pave the road (guided practice), drive the road (repeated practice-homework). This is why the homework is essential for both neuro exercises, cognitive therapy, and educational therapy (dyslexia, dyscalculia). Without the repeated practice, the pathways aren't firing as they should.
Reading comprehension is a higher-order thinking skill that requires working memory. Persistent problems with alphabetic principle and decoding, adversely affect reading fluency. This causes a cognitive overload so to speak which impedes working memory, a cognitive function that is the ability to hold onto something long enough to do something with it. As an educational therapist, understanding the how and the why of learning differences is key to creating new brain pathways and unlocking them. Many children in educational therapy struggle with hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination, handwriting, balance, sensory processing, and those who have learning differences all have retained reflexes; the research tells us. I find it necessary to consider the sublayers of learning; foundational steps that must be in place in order for academic performance to be optimal. Those sublayers cross over into territories such as previously mentioned, fine and gross motor, coordination and balance, nutrition, stress, yoga, sensory processing, primitive reflexes, kinesiology, cognition, and when there is a problem in the foundation, there are learning challenges in the classroom dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia…
LexiConfidence LLC is an integrative approach unique to the learning needs of your child.