I have been reading “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain” once again in order to try to understand more clearly how learning difficulties impact the lives of those who live with them, particularly Simon, obviously. My interpretation of what Barbara Arrowsmith Young has done is that she has defined 19 areas of learning difficulties and devised specific exercises to improve cognitive function for each weakness – the premise being that, rather than avoiding those areas, if you exercise them, much like a muscle, the cognitive function associated with that area will improve.
I have summarised some of the impacts that will result from weakness is a specific area (again to try to understand how these impact on life in the real world) – these are generalisations and not all of the difficulties described are always seen in every case.
A weakness in “motor symbol sequencing” has profound consequences. A weakness in this area results in impairment of processes involving input through the eye (reading) and output through the hand (writing) and mouth (speaking). At a severe level of difficulty speech lags far behind thought, so it is rambling and disjointed, wandering in the same way that writing does. The person could have all the information in their head to tell their story properly but the leave out critical parts (though they think they have stated them) making it difficult for others to follow. They may stumble or hesitate or become shy and withdrawn because of their inability to express themselves. They may have trouble writing neatly. Their spelling of one word may vary even on the same page. For these students performing any task that involves using this area of their brain takes extra effort, the additional load on the brain means that they tire quickly and can’t sustain attention. Clearly this will impact upon their performance in the classroom or work place and has social implications also.
I can’t finish this tonight as Simon has gone to bed and I am sitting here with my headtorch on trying to read my notes! Quite a sight, I am sure you can imagine! And my other difficulty is that I have superglued some kitchen roll to my one of my fingers, making typing a wee bit tricky! It makes feel even worse for the old lady, and for her husband, who put superglue in her husband’s eyes thinking that is was his eye drops – terrible!
Does anyone know what is going on in the photo? More preparation for winter I think, with hay bales being put at the base of trees on the slopes where sleds may run into them?