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Renew Neurotherapy

Learning Disabilities And Disorders

Learning difficulties

 

 

Learning Difficulties Clinic - St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa

In conjunction with our partners at Neurologic Physiotherapy we have etablished a clinic specifically for children and adults that have difficulty learning. Our dedicated therapists have access to the very latest analysis tools and treatments to help you or your child improve their ability to learn.

 

Conditions

Renew Neurotherapy has the ability to analyse and treat a wide range of learning disorders and disabilities. Depending on the condition and the severity we use combinations of tools from the fields of psychotherapy, occupational therapy and neurofeedback to ensure the best possible outcome for you or your child. We have outlined below some of the more common conditions we have treated, if you don't see your specific condition feel free to contact us.

Dyscalculia - Learning disabilities related to Math

Difficulty learning math is a very common problem. As such, we have developed a specific program to help children and adults that have difficulty learning math.

The underlying issue is that students struggle to "visualise" the concepts within mathematics.  Instead they memorize solutions and fail to develop thinking, reasoning and problem solving techniques. This brute force approach inhibits their ability to learn. Our "On Cloud Nine" Maths skills programs is an innovative approach that enables students to visualise the fundamentel concepts and take their math skills to a whole new level.

Dyslexia - Learning disabilities related to Reading

Reading problems can occur either when there is difficulty understanding the relationship between sounds, letters and words or comprehension problems resulting from an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs.

Dysgraphia - Learning disabilities relates to Writing

Learning disabilities in writing can involve the physical act of writing, the mental activity of comprehending and synthesizing information or a struggle to organize thoughts on paper.

Dyspraxia - Learning disabilities associated with Motor Skills

Motor difficulty are made up of two types. Fine motor skills (tying shoe laces, writing) or gross motor skills (running, throwing). The brain must be able to communicate with the necessary limbs to complete a given action.

Dysphasia / Aphasia - Learning disabilities associated with Language

Language and communication learning disabilities involve the ability to understand or produce spoken language.

Auditory Processing Disorder - Difficulty hearing differences between sounds

An inability to distinguish subtle differences in sound, or hearing sounds at the wrong speed may impact reading writing and verbal communication.

Visual Processing Disorder - Difficulty interpretting visual information

Like auditory processing but relating to things we see. Visual perception includes missing subtle differences in shapes, reversing letters or numbers, skipping words, skipping lines, misperceiving depth or distance, or having problems with hand-eye coordination.

ADD / ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while not strictly a learning disability, fundamentally disrupts learning. ADHD suffers often have problems sitting still, staying focused, following instructions, staying organized, and completing homework. Neurofeedback training and sleep hygiene have, in evidence based studies, proved to have long term benefits in the treament of symptoms of ADHD.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Difficulty mastering certain academic skills can stem from pervasive developmental disorders such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children with autism spectrum disorders may have trouble communicating, reading body language, learning basic skills, making friends, and making eye contact. Each child is unique and as such the treatment will depend of the assessment of speech and language, cognitive and sensory motor skills.

Stroke / Neurological Conditions

During a stroke blood supply to part of the brain is interupted or reduced, resulting in the death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. An extremity rehabiltation program can promote and maximise recovery by exploiting the brains natural neuroplascity (establishing new neural connections).

Anxiety, Sleep and Executive Function

Anxiety, sleep and executive function are significant contributors to learning disorder symptoms.  We all know that poor sleep results in decreased ability to concentrate, think clearly, and stay on task.  Anxiety has the same result.  Racing thoughts and the physical feeling of anxiety interrupt the brain's ability to stay on task and can even result in emotional outbursts.  Executive functions are the class of skills needed to organize, plan, adapt behaviour to the environment you are in, manage time and use good judgement.  All three of these issues can dramatically contribute to the presence of learning disorders or attention deficits.  In fact, sometimes they can even masquerade as attention or learning issues!  When we address sleep, anxiety and executive function problems; we often see learning and attention issues resolve.

Our Approach

Client Centred Care

You no doubt came to this website because you or your child is unable to do something that is important to them. Our goal, as Occupational Therapists in a multidisciplinary team is to identify and remove the barriers that are preventing you or your child from doing what matters.

Drawing from the best practices of psychotherapy and occupational therapy we have developed wide ranging assesment and analysis tools covering the following categories:

Math
Emotion and behaviour regulation
Sleep and Pacing
Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills
Study Skills and Organization
Neurofeedback
Sensory integration
Executive Function
Upper extremity rehabilitation

Based on detailed analysis we develop treatment strategies specifically for you from the tools in our comprehensive toolkit.

Treatments for Learning Disabilities

Renew Neurotherapy and Neurologic Physiotherapy have a wide range of tools at our disposal for the assessment and treatment of learning disabilities. Faster recovery is achieved by combining the best practices of Neurofeedback, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Here are a few of the strategies we adopt to treat specific conditions:

 

Category Assessment Tools Treatments and Interventions
Math Key Math assessment Cloud Nine strategies
Kinesthetic strategies
Vision strategies
Emotion and Behaviour Regulation Sensory Profile 2
Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED)
Pediatric Symptom Checklist – 17
Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (11 – 17 years)
Adult assessments:  GAD, PCL, PHQ, Disability Index (as appropriate)

Zones of Regulation strategies
Peace Out
MindMasters 2 (CHEO)
Zones of Excellence
Executive function strategies
CBT  - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy strategies
Body awareness
In-home and classroom strategies
Neurofeedback

Sleep and Pacing

Sleep Questionnaire
Fatigue Scale
Sleep and Concussion
Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
Peace Out
Relaxation strategies
Sleep hygiene
Dreamscripting for nightmares
Sleep log
Spoons
Sleep Consolidation training
Parkwood Pacing Points

Handwriting and Fine Motor Skills

Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2)
McMaster Handwriting Protocol
Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (Beery VMI)
Proprioception/posture assessment linked to handwriting
Breathing/core assessment
Handwriting without tears
Handwriting activities
Ergonomics
Classroom recommendations (letter template)
In-home and classroom strategy list
Proprioception activities
Upper extremity strengthening and core training

Study Skills and Organization

Study Skills Assessment Questionnaire
Executive function and attention assessments
Functional assessment and observation
Executive function workbook
Scheduling
Organizational strategies
Tools for Kids
Mnemonics
Study skills
Behaviour activation
Accountability strategies
Awareness building
Motivational interviewing strategies
Self-Discipline strategies
In-home and classroom strategy list
Neurofeedback
Neurofeedback

Quantitative Electroencephalography (QEEG)
Baseline Measures

Analysis
Protocol development
Training

Sensory Integration

Sensory Profile 2
Functional assessment/Observations

Sensory Diet
In-home and classroom modifications and strategy list
Neurofeedback (right parietal)
Kinesthetic strategies
Body awareness
Proprioceptive strategies

Executive Function and Attention

Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA)
Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE or Folstein test)
CNS Vital Signs

Executive function worksheets and strategies
Behaviour activation
Awareness building
Attention strategies (self-talk, environmental modification, self care, sleep, meditation)
Upper Extremity Function Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2)
McMaster Handwriting Protocol
Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP)
Functional activities
Strengthening and proprioception
Tone reduction strategies

All assessments and treatments may be supplemented by Neurofeedback (qEEG baseline measurements and training) as required.

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How Your Brian Heals Itself

Learning difficulties arise because some connections in the brain are disrupting normal lines of communication and making information difficult to process. Under the right learning conditions, the brain has the ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. These new connections help skills like reading and writing that were difficult using the old connections.