Science has made great strides in understanding the inner workings of the brain, and one important discovery that brings new hope for learning disabilities and disorders is calledneuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brainís natural, lifelong ability to change. Throughout life, the brain is able to form new connections and generate new brain cells in response to experience and learning.
This knowledge has led to groundbreaking new treatments for learning disabilities that take advantage of the brainís ability to change. Innovative programs, such as the Arrowsmith program, use strategic brain exercises to identify and strengthen weak cognitive areas. For example, for children who have difficulty distinguishing between different sounds in a word, there are new computer-based learning programs that slow down the sounds so that children can understand them and gradually increase their speed of comprehension.
These discoveries about neuroplasticity provide hope to all students with learning disorders, and further research may lead to additional new treatments that target the actual causes of learning disabilities, rather than simply offering coping strategies to compensate for weaknesses.