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You became an educator to make a difference, to change lives. Many say you have the most important - and challenging - job in the world.

With your creativity and dedication, you strive to meet the needs of your students every day. Even, and perhaps especially, your students with learning disabilities. 

This is no easy task - students with learning disabilities have such significant needs. Especially challenging, is how different their needs are to each other.

If you find yourself overwhelmed or frustrated with your ability to make a measurable difference in the lives of students with learning disabilities, you are invited to consider a different experience - both for you and your students. This blog delves into that alternative path.

If you find yourself at a crossroads - not sure how to equip these bright students who are struggling to communicate or realize their intelligence, consider a neuroplastic, cognitive approach. First, through an understanding of the cognitive reasons why your students have challenges. Then, how specifically targeted cognitive programs can strengthen their brain and leave their learning disabilities in the past.

With that in mind, let’s start off by looking at how weaknesses in the cognitive functions within our brains lead to the diagnosis of a learning disability.

How Cognitive Functions Relate to Learning Disabilities

Our cognitive functions are behind everything that we do in life. Within an educational setting, cognitive functions are critical to learning new information in the classroom, completing a project or homework for a specific deadline, and socializing with friends.

In any task that children perform - whether reading, writing or problem solving - networks of different cognitive functions are relied upon. Specific capacity across these functions determines the degree to which an individual learns with ease and independence.

Underperforming cognitive functions, particularly combinations of weak cognitive functions, can make task acquisition more difficult for a child, sometimes even impossible.

This is when learning disabilities are typically diagnosed. Arrowsmith understands that by strengthening the brain through the principles of neuroplasticity (the brain’s powerful ability to change over time), students can increase their capacity in these cognitive functions - improving their academic and social well-being, and setting them up for success in later life.


A Cognitive Approach to Addressing Learning Difficulties

The Arrowsmith Program takes a cognitive approach to addressing a range of learning problems, with targeted exercises honed through many years of meticulous implementation, each proven to strengthen and enhance the following cognitive capacities:

For decades schools around the world have been offering these cognitive programs to their students. Many schools offer dedicated cognitive classrooms, where students spend a portion of their day in exercises proven to change their brain.

In these cognitive classrooms, students are strengthening their ability to remember, understand, communicate and problem solve. To better understand several of these cognitive functions, download our Chart of Learning Functions and Learning Outcomes which includes common signs that may indicate a problem in that area, as well as the learning outcomes that students experience after completing their individualized Arrowsmith Program.

In addition, to learn more about how these cognitive functions are involved in learning essential academic skills, check out our webinar - How We Learn: The Brain's Role in Academics - or read more on our Arrowsmith Program page for Educators.

What Learning Disabilities Does the Arrowsmith Program Address?

The Arrowsmith Program has a track record of strengthening individuals' brains and helping them overcome learning disabilities for better performance in all areas of life. What was once believed to be lifelong, can now be overcome through the Arrowsmith Program’s transformational vision.

Through neuroplasticity and cognitive exercises, organizations worldwide utilize the Arrowsmith Program to help individuals overcome different types of learning disabilities, including:

By harnessing the power of neuroplasticity, the Arrowsmith Program strengthens the underdeveloped cognitive functions of students with learning disabilities. This approach does not just aim for short-term academic gains; it transforms their overall capacity to learn; improving their academic and social well-being, setting a foundation for long-term success.

As an educator, using Arrowsmith’s neuroplastic approach will transform how you think about learning disabilities - and importantly - enable your school to improve student outcomes, and give your students the opportunity to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.

Are you interested in learning how your school or educational facility can benefit from implementing the Arrowsmith Program? Contact our team today to learn more.


Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
Post by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young
January 29, 2024
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the international best-selling author of The Woman Who Changed her Brain, and a pioneer in using neuroplasticity to change the brain, cognition, learning and social-emotional well-being of learners worldwide. Though she began life with severe learning disabilities, she built herself a better brain and developed the Arrowsmith Program, which has helped thousands to increase their capacity to learn.