I did well in grade school, middle school and high school. As the years past it became more difficult to succeed but I still pulled it off. By college I had developed ways to manage the voluminous amounts of information I had to process, but I was constantly anxious and feeling bad about myself. I took massive notes, writing down almost every word of the professors’ lectures. I spent hours highlighting and rewriting the material, unable to make outlines easily like my fellow students. I could categorize, prioritize, and summarize in my head but putting that on paper was difficult. And often my conclusions, bins and most important points were different from other students’. Thank goodness for my husband, who planned out each paper I had to write and edited my essays. I wish executive functioning skills had been an area of teacher training back then. I wish teachers had known how to recognize these problems, been able to assess my confused brain and provide some strategies to make learning easier. Mostly I hope they do now!
Hello, I am happy to say the March newsletter is now out. Auditory processing is a new area but one that is critical for teachers to be aware of. Developmental vision problems are easier to see–that a student cannot track across a page, cannot easily copy, or squints. But with auditory processing, one can assume that the student is just hyperactive, distracted or angry for a reason related to his or her brain psychology, habit or family history, not auditory input and interpretation. Particularly for students with histories of trauma, portions of the brain related to auditory processing become damaged. But these are hidden issues. Please write with any questions you might have. I am happy to share more information about this important skill for learning.
I now have a web page and place to blog! There are five years of newsletters you can pick from or you can begin with this March 2016 ‘Smoothies’ for the brain that will be sent out next week. It talks about the important learning skills related to auditory processing, a relatively new area to schools interested in brain-compatible instruction. At the NEARI School we work with students with different kinds of auditory processing issues. When my colleagues and I first studied this area, we assessed our own auditory processing skills. As a result I learned that I had a processing deficit (and normal hearing). I added some strategies to my life and work day, and felt the changes immediately. I made sure to sit near the front in meetings and trainings, I always took notes and asked for visual representations of what I was learning, and got up and moved around regularly to activate my senses. Just knowing I had trouble interpreting what was said because of a brain issue, I felt less guilty that I was just being difficult and agitated because I was choosing not to pay attention. Do you have such a story? Or does one of your friends or students have a processing problem that you have dealt with? I am eager to hear from you. Questions, stories of success, resources you find useful, suggestions for discussion…