What is a learning disability?
A learning disability may come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the child. It is not always easy to identify a learning disability in a child, but the time for concern would be if your child consistently struggles over and over again to master certain concepts. For instance, your child might see, hear and understand things a little differently than the rest of his or her peers. Experts suggest that the brain of a child with a learning disability acquires and processes information differently, unlike neurotypical kids. This doesn’t mean that your child is not as smart as everyone else; it just means that they need to be taught with a more unique, individual and creative teaching style, more tailored to meet their unique learning style. Some of the areas of your child’s learning disability might be: Reading (Dyslexia), Math (Dyscalculia), Writing (Dysgraphia), Motor Skills (Dyspraxia- Sensory Integration Disorder), Language (Dysphasia/Aphasia), Auditory Processing Disorder (difficulty hearing differences between sounds), and Visual Processing Disorder (difficulty interpreting visual information). However, what scientists know now is that under the right learning conditions, the brain has the ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections.
What your doctor will tell you about a learning disability:
Your child’s pediatrician may want a complete medical examination to rule out any underlying medical conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, dysmorphisms, and any genetic factors. They will also tell you that the known risk factors are prematurity, low birth weight, early malnutrition, poverty, understimulating environments, head injury, epilepsy and other possible health conditions and family history of learning disabilities, attention deficit, memory difficulties, or dropping out of school. The pediatrician may request on your behalf a Multifactorial Learning Disability Assessment to help formulate a 504 plan or an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) at your child’s school. Additional independent testing may also be suggested by your pediatrician who will most likely refer you to neuropsychological resources. Your pediatrician might tell you that every person’s brain works differently and parents should help children build upon their strengths and develop their talents in spite of their learning disability because your child is not lazy or stupid.
Another way to think about a learning disability:
Today’s children are constantly bombarded with environmental toxins found in our food, water, air, and soil. The result is that children have developed chronic inflammatory responses from toxic exposures which are causing changes in their brain, immune, sensory and nervous systems. It is no surprise that there are so many children experiencing some form of a learning disability given the amount of lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, formaldehyde and many other very toxic pathogens affecting their young brains and sensitive gastrointestinal systems. Our digestive system is home to trillions of good bacteria found in our microbiome, but in the presence of toxic pathogens this bacteria can alter the functioning of your child’s brain and behaviors. Children are much more sensitive to toxic exposures than adults and can very quickly develop toxic overload which ultimately affects neurological functioning. However, researchers now know that the brain has the ability to change (neuroplasticity) and create new connections and generate new brain cells. Positive energy coupled by a multifaceted approach to healing a learning disability can help your child achieve greater outcomes: green your environment, eat organic, change your child’s diet keep your home safe and toxin free, address nutritional deficiencies, clean up the G.I tract, begin a detoxification program, support methylation and MTHFR and have your child do a variety of sensory and brain healing therapies appropriate for your child’s particular learning disability.
A learning disability checklist to start:
- Make dietary changes. Eat whole foods; buy organic. Remove all GMO, fast and processed foods and those with colors, artificial ingredients, preservatives, phenols, salicylates and inflammatory foods such as casein, gluten, soy. Strictly limit sugars, salt, and white refined carbohydrates. Join the Feingold Association www.Feingold.org to learn more.
- Include plenty of good quality fats, such as coconut and olive oil, avocados, wild salmon, organic chicken and turkey, ghee, eggs, etc.
- Heal the gut with GAPS, PALEO, or (GF/CF) Gluten Free/Casein Free, Body Ecology Diet, Modified Atkins Diet (replaces the Ketogenic Diet) are all possible diets depending on the needs of the child.
- Clean up your environment. Remove animals (both live and stuffed!), carpets. Use non-toxic cleaners, building materials. Green your home!
- Ask your pediatrician to run some laboratory tests that give information about possible food sensitivities and allergies, Test for Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgG,IgA,IgE and IgM. Other testing could show deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, bacterial overgrowth and gluten and casein sensitivities.
- Use homeopathy specific for learning disabilities: (Baryta Carbonica, Calcarea Carbonica,Baryta Iodatum, Carcarea Phosphorica, reading: Anacardium Orientale, Agaricus Muscarius, Thuja Occidentalis; math: Ammonium Carbonicum, Crotalus horridus, Nux Vomica, Lycopodium Clavatum; writing: lachesis, Thuja Occidentalis, Lycopodium Clavatum) Consider using Schueller’s cell tissue salts which can be effective as well. Sequential Homeopathy can also be specific for learning disabilities if needed.
- Add fermented foods and probiotics daily to keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong. Eat keifer yogurts and fermented vegetables. Some good probiotics are VSL#3, Gut Pro, Dr. Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics, Garden of Life, and Culturelle.
- Use herbs, essential oils and nutritional supplements such as neuromins DHA, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylserine, MCT Coconut Oil, zinc, protein shakes, frankincense oil, trace minerals, methylcobalamin B12, folinic acid or 5MTHF, picamilon, piracetam, cognitive amino acids, lavender oil, essential fatty acids, grapeseed extract, gotu kola, gingko biloba, and Dimethylglycine (DMG)
- Digestive Enzymes such as betaine hydrochloric acid, Vitalzyme Complete with DPPIV for gluten and casein intolerances, proteolytic enzyme, BiCarb, bromelain and papaya,
- Take Vitamin D3, Vitamin C and sulphur – N’acetylcysteine (NAC) (sulphur) helps with detoxification process and healing of the G.I. tract, MSM transdermal cream and Epsom Salt Bath.
- Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children
- Infared Sauna can detox heavy metals through the skin by sweating.
If you’ve addressed these issues and are still dealing with a learning disability:
- Test OAT (Organic Acid Test) by Great Plains Laboratory for yeast overgrowth and Candida, oxalates, and other microbial infections
- NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas: malabsorption & dysbiosis; cellular energy & mitochondrial metabolism; neurotransmitter metabolism; vitamin deficiencies; and toxin exposure & detoxification need.
- Neurorelief (Neurosciences Laboratory) specialty lab that tests neurotransmitters to determine chemical imbalances in the brain.
- Homeopathic or Naturopathic physicians can diagnose and treat learning disabilities naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.
- Try the following therapies: Auditory Integration Therapy (auditory processing); Neurobiofeedback (neurological); Chiropractic Neurology (right and left brain hemisphere); Behavioral Optometry (Vision Therapy); Sensory Integration (motor skills); Brain Gym (movement); and Brain Balance Centers; NET (Neurological reorganization)
Still looking for answers?
Visit the Epidemic Answers Provider Directory to find a practitioner near you.