Systems supporting learning
At Integrated Learning Therapy, you might often hear us comparing children to a house. Strange, but true! Let me explain.
So often we lose sight of the way a child’s brain develops and how that development may impact on learning. We tend to see a child’s difficulties in school and try to analyse the symptoms the child is showing to better understand the nature of his or her problems. The trouble with this approach is that it keeps our focus on the symptoms of the problem, rather than the underlying cause.
Integrated Learning Therapy (ILT) tries to avoid this by teaching how a child’s brain develops and what needs to be in place for learning to be efficient and effective. This is where the example of a house comes in. Children, like a house, need strong foundations. It is useless trying to build walls and complete a house on poorly laid or non-existent foundations. Once the foundations are in place, walls will stand firm; no cracks will open up around doors and windows, and the roof will not leak. When foundations are poor, we spend a lot of time trying fruitlessly to patch cracks and leaking roofs; as soon as we have finished patching an area, the foundations shift and we have to start again.
This is the reason why so often, remedial work done shows no real, quick gains. After all, if teacher A has not managed to help a child learn to read, why should teacher B succeed? Efforts may bring results, but these often take long and require considerable work on the parts of both adult and child. On the other hand, when the root cause of a learning difficulty is identified and corrected, gaps in learning become more quickly and easily filled.
So the very first step to take when considering a child who is not able to function in school, is to look at his or her foundation systems, to identify which did not develop as they should have. Remembering that movement (and experiences from the environment) is responsible for many of the most basic foundational systems, it becomes possible to use specific, controlled and slow movements to give the brain a second chance to lay down strong foundations. Once this is done, the house becomes a haven and learning can take place with far greater efficiency.
Here’s a short video clip for you to watch which explains this further:
Do visit our website www.ilt.co.za to find out more about ILT and also contact us if you are interested in taking one of our courses to help you better understand the children in your care. You’ll see that our courses are accredited for CPTD points with SACE and also earn you credits towards further qualifications with ETDP-SETA. Earn while you learn J
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