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Brain Processing: Implications for the student with disabilities

Educational & Memory implications


Introduction ď Ź

Neuroscience has established close links between how the brain processes information and the retention of that information.


Background ď Ź

To comprehend how the brain will impact the educational setting, especially with a student who has a deficit in processing, one must understand the brain and its functional components and how the processing takes place in order to meet the needs of all students.

ď Ź

Understanding how information is processed by the brain and how acquisition can be impaired, a teacher will be able to better how to meet the needs of the students.


The Brain 

The brain is composed of four primary lobes: occipital, frontal, parietal and temporal It is within these lobes that processing of information takes place. These lobes determine how students obtain, process and retrieve new information as well as whether the information is placed in short- or long-term memory This determines how information will be accessed in the future


Location and Function 

Occipital Lobe-middle back of the brain –

Responsible for vision

Frontal Lobe- around the forehead -Responsible for purposeful acts from judgment to planning

Parietal- top back portion of the cerebrum -processes higher sensory and language functions

Temporal-above and around the ears on both side –

Responsible for auditory, memory meaning and language


How the brain naturally processes information    

The brain will naturally look for a rhythm and pattern It will assess relevancy and meaning It responds immediate to symbols & images It absorbs to concrete visuals


Brain processing 

PET scan shows different regions of the brain that are engaged Processing is the pathway to perceiving, recognizing and interpreting sensory information For some students this may cause sensory overload


Methods ď Ź ď Ź

The brain uses different methods to gain information and to retain it In the school setting a student uses mainly two methods *Auditory Processing * Visual Processing


Processing and Acquisition & Influence learning Auditory -lectures -dictations of procedures Visual -notes -reading -writing

History Science Language Arts Math P.E. Elective -computer -art -drama

Comprehension & Interpretation

Derive Meaning & Obtain Knowledge


Methods to academic achievement ď Ź

Learning is a process of interpretation by which we acquire knowledge and skills

ď Ź

Memory is the process by which we retain the knowledge and skills for the future


What are the Educational Implications or results for a student with disabilities ď Ź

their visual/auditory processing will impact their acquisition of material

-meaning is distorted and/or misunderstood -information is lost -learning looses relevancy

ď Ź ď Ź

their learning ability has been compromised their perception will be different from other students without a processing deficient


Auditory Processing Auditory processing is more than hearing what is said. It is a perception and assimilation of what is perceived by the ears.


Auditory Perception Skills are: 

Phonological awareness -what letter sound is heard (phonemes) -example: b/a/t

Auditory discrimination -recognizing a difference between phoneme sounds - example: pig/big

Auditory memory -recall and store what was heard -example: directions

Sequencing -hearing items in order -example: phone numbers, spelling


Auditory processing roles Discrimination sounds Segmentation of sounds

Memory Recall comprehension

Sequencing what is heard perception

Derive meaning Comprehension interpretation


Strategies for Auditory deficit students 

DO SAY SEE

Input/out put system -Explanation (say) -Modeling (see) watch -Structured practice (do)

See SayDo This method helps promote long-term memory.


Interpretation/application for auditory deficit 

Give visual support  “see”

-graphic organizers -props -examples 

Have student repeat  “say” -confirm understanding

role play  “do”

-evoke meaning -relevancy {what does this have to do with me} -perception {how does this fit into my world}


Mnemonics 

Mnemonic strategy provides a visual or acoustic cue by developing rhythmic or visual patterns Connects ideas in developing concepts to concrete images Mnemonics helps with semantics and syntax order

Three main types Keyword rhyming pattern by providing a picture of the word or concept being taught

Letter strategy Acronyms and acrostics

Peg word rhyming words used with math facts in a sequence


Visual Processing Visual processing is more then taking in through the eyes Visual information is being aware of letters and their relationship within the content


Visual Perception skills 

Visual discrimination -ability to differentiate one object from another

-difference between “n” & “m” 

Figure-ground discrimination -ability to distinguish an object from its surrounding background

-ignore background stimuli on a page 

Visual closure -able to recognize or identify an object

-to see the whole from parts 

Spatial relations -awareness of the position of objects in space {size, distance, order relationships between objects}


Visual Perception task example


Visual Processing Roles in school Decoding Language

Visualizing Shapes Spelling picturing

Perception grammatical rules

spatial Relations Writing math

Literary analyses comprehension

Forming Images Part to whole


Strategies for visual deficits students Figure-Ground discrimination 

“Window” in a index card- to clear focus on object blocking peripheral material* Straight edge - highlighted bookmark

Spatial Relations    

Graphic organizers Number line Ruler manipulative

Visual discrimination  

Raised lines / darker more distinct [writing] Color differential for spatial awareness

Visual closure  

Recall the big picture of subjects-parts to whole Graphic organizers


Visualization & Imagery strategy Bring together the verbal and the nonverbal images  Have students picture in their minds what the abstract (word) looks like -use function words to help student image 

(shape,color,movement,sound …)

Using images to represent symbols Walking

Using symbols to represent image


What’s the connection between processing, memory and education

If information is not obtained through auditory or visual methods, the information will not reach long term memory which will impact the student’s education.


Memory storage system 

The brain’s memory ability is distributed throughout the cortex within the hippocampus, the area where the formation of spatial and other explicit memories are taking place.

Executive system (working memory) – Phonological loop (left hemisphere) –

Holds acoustic/speech pattern

Visuo-spatial sketchpad (right hemisphere)

Visual, spatial, kinesthetic Mental imagery


Memory regions Phonology loop -auditory perception ď Ź

phonological awareness discrimination memory sequencing blending

Visual spatial sketchpad -visual perception ď Ź

discrimination figure ground visual closure letter recognition visual perception & reverse


Baddeley,2000 working memory system Central Executive Allocates cognitive resources to memory systems Fundamental in directing, shifting, sustaining attention Inhibits negative distracters

Visual-Spatial sketchpad The mind’s inner eye Visual imagery Mental rotation Facilitates mental academic skills

Phonological Storage Holds acoustical information for up to 2 seconds without rehearsal

Phonological loop The mind’s inner voice Verbal rehearsal of information Capacity associated w/calculation Automatic retrieval of information in Stored in verbal format

Subvocalization Rehearsal system Inner voice refreshes information in the phonological store


Information processing & memory model Visual/ auditory pathway

Active (working) memory Executive system •Phonological loop •Visuo-spatial sketchpad

Cognitive process

short term memory Perceiving Interpreting Associations Thinking Memory Decision making

stimulus

Long term Memory retrieval Episodic semantic

Student out put Actions behavior


What does this mean for a teacher? 

 

A student needs to gain the information being taught through these two methods. If either one is missing; the information will not be absorb Grades will not reflect the ability of the student The student’s education will suffer


Impact on students with a processing deficit This affects all aspects of learning regarding their education:     

Discussion on all topics Reading text books-all subjects Listening during lectures Spelling/writing in Language Arts Math reasoning and calculations


Impact on students with a processing deficit    

If a student has a deficit in either one of the common methods, they are not able to access the curriculum. They will processes information inadequately do to miss perceptions Low grades will result Inappropriate behavior may result


How do we put the pieces together?


Bridging the Gap 

Develop lessons that are interesting and meaningful use models & interactive practice

Use a variety of methods for instruction (not just text) with the objective of perception in mind

  

Look for acquisition by the student Notice the discrepancies in work and ability Seek support for modifications and accommodations with a special ed. teacher if needed


Let’s Process 

Success is learned and will take a team approach collaboration & consultation Be a part of the learning process team by learning and understanding how the brain functions and how students learn Be open to new ideas diverse strategies


The End


Presenters    

Brenda Heckathorn Endeavour Middle School Lancaster School District

Heckathornb@lancsd.org

 

Frances Alonso Jacobson Middle School Tehachapi Unified School District Falonso@tehk12.ca.us


References

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 Copland, D. E, Radvansky, G. A. (2006) Memory retrieval interference: Working memory issues. Journal of Memory and Language,  55, 33-46 Aspects for Evaluating Learning Disabilities.  Journal of learning Disabilities, 38, 563-568 Pickering, S. J., Gathercole, S. E. (2004) Distinctive  Working Memory Profiles in Children with Special Educational Needs. Journal of Educational Psychology, 24, Clikeman, M. S. (2005)  Neuropsychological 394- 406  Vaughn, S. & Linan-Thompson, S. (2003) What is special about Special Education for  Children with Disabilities? Journal of Special Education,  Semrud-Clikeman, M. (2005) Neuropsychological Aspects for Evaluating Learning  Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38, 563-567  Visual and Auditory Processing Disorders, By: National Center for Learning Disabilities (1999)

Swanson, H. L., Ashbaker, H. M. (2000) Working Memory, Short-term Memory, Speech Rate, Word Recognition and Reading Comprehension in Learning in Disabled Readers: Does the Executive System Have a Role ? Intelligence, 28, 1-30 Bayliss, D. M., Jarrold, C., Bradely, A. & Leigh, E. (2005) Differential Constraints on the Working Memory and Retrieval Abilities of Individuals with Learning Difficulties and Typical Developing Children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 92, 76-99 Salthouse, T. A., Siedlecki, K. L. (2006) An Individual Differences Analysis of Memory Control. Journal of Memory and Language, 55, 102-125 Jensen, Eric. (2000). Brain-Based Learning (Rev. ed.). Sand Diego, CA: USA Jones, Fred. (2000). Tools for Teaching, Ch.8, p.75


Recommendations for Resources for Diagnosis and Interventions Websites www.ldonline.org www.carsplus.org www.3Dscience.com ď Ź

Books The Source for Solving Reading Problems ISBN # 0-7606-0404-5 The Neuropsychology of Reading Disorders ISBN #0-97033337-0-6 The Neuropsychology of Mathematics ISBN # 0-9703337-2-2 The Neuropsychology of Written Language Disorders ISBN #0-9703337-1-4


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