No matter what the diagnosis, there is hope and great potential waiting to be tapped. This is because the brain is capable of tremendous and miraculous change. Rewiring and producing lasting change in a brain is a day-to-day process. There are no quick fixes, no shortcuts. The path may be challenging, but it is traversable, step-by-step.
The first step in producing lasting change addresses the neurological system and how the student receives, processes, stores, and utilizes information. Focusing on this domain is about training the brain to operate more efficiently.
"When one 'neural road' is shut down, a secondary road is found, and exposed, the more it is strengthened.
This 'unmasking' is generally thought to be one of the main ways the plastic brain reorganizes itself."
Normal Doidge, M.D., The Brain That Changes Itself
From shortly after conception and throughout life, the nervous system is a dynamically changing, self-organizing system. It follows no single master plan and is never static. As a matter of adaptation, we develop our neural wiring in direct response to our life experiences, and new nerve cell growth continues until the day we die. As many as 60,000 new nerve cells per day grow in the Hippocampus, the place where we start formulating memories from environmental input.
The existence of neuronal stem cells have been proven (neurogenesis) in the following areas of the brain:
Cardiovascular activity (running) was found to be the most effective contribution to increased proliferation of new neurons. The important combination was found to be running (creates new cells) and continued learning (prolongs their survival).
"The harder you use the brain the more it will grow. Damaged or older brains can rewire themselves to
compensate for losses. They can shift responsibility for a given task from one region of the brain to another."
Stanley Rappaport, Chief of Neuroscience Lab
National Institute on Aging
At Jacob’s Ladder, we work from the ground up to create a strong foundation for learning, beginning with:
"In 1868, Jules Cotard studied children who had early massive brain disease, in which the left hemisphere
(including Broca's area) wasted away. Yet these children could learn to speak normally. This meant that
even if speech tended to be processed in the left hemisphere, as Broca claimed, the brain was
plastic enough to reorganize itself when necessary."
Norman Doidge, M.D.
The Brain That Changes Itself
Level I-The Brain Stem
Level 2-The Midbrain/The Limbic System
Level 3-The Neocortex/Cerebrum
Jacob's Ladder addresses issues at the most basic, foundational level before pushing for skill sets that reside in the highest level of the Neocortex.
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