Stowell Learning Center

Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance!

12A couple of weeks ago, a family with a little boy about 8 years old walked into church a little late – the worship band was already rocking and everyone was standing and singing.

The boy started dancing down the isle.  I thought, “Wow! He’s got great rhythm!”

His dad, trying not to call attention to the fact that they were late, whispered to his son, “Stop dancing!”

My next thought was, “Yeah, it’s a little conspicuous, but that timing and rhythm is a gift – something that we find we have to work very hard to teach some of our struggling learners.

According to Advanced Brain Technologies, “Neuroscience has proven through functional brain imaging that music engages more brain areas than anything else, and rhythm is the most important and fundamental aspect of music.  Your brain health and body-brain connection depend on rhythm.”

If you think about it, you’ll realize that everything relies on timing.  How we walk, our speech patterns, give-and-take in conversation, traffic lights, hitting a baseball…everything.

Dyslexic learners often have neuro-timing deficits that cause them to experience confusion and disorientation when looking at a page of print.

Students with social challenges sometimes have timing issues that cause their speech to sound stilted and just a little off cadence, and therefore different and difficult to understand.

Awkward, uncoordinated movements that keep kids from enjoying sports may be the result of poor rhythm and timing.

Timing is one of many underlying skills that support efficient learning.  When smart kids struggle in school, it is almost always because there are underlying processing/learning skills that are weak, inefficient, or not supporting them well enough.

Another great thing that neuroscience has shown us, is that these skills can be developed.  Learning and attention problems don’t have to be permanent!  They can be dramatically improved or completely corrected by addressing the skills, including rhythm, that are at the root of the problem.

So keep on dancing!

Go to www.learningdisability.com for FREE resources and more information about correcting learning challenges.

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