Even though children’s learning and behavioral difficulties receive the most attention, many adults also struggle with them.
Some adults, of course, were identified with learning difficulties during their own childhoods. Perhaps their school systems were able to implement learning strategies and modify classroom approaches to try to help them. Or maybe they received interventions for ADD/ADHD.
What if that wasn’t the case, though. Can adults still have issues?
Unidentified Learning Difficulties
Many adults live with unidentified learning difficulties. Likewise, underlying behavioral disorders with ADD/ADHD may remain undiagnosed.
These adults may have been able to manage their schoolwork, but with great frustration and confusion. And this frustration follows them into the workplace. Their ability to oversee daily management of their personal lives can also be affected. They may feel inferior and embarrassed. Or they wonder why they can’t successfully achieve the goals and tasks set before them.
Fortunately, whether identified and treated during childhood or not, the adult brain is still receptive to intervention for these issues!
Most commonly, difficulties and struggles center around the areas of reading, attention, and general learning performance. Dyslexia is a frequent diagnosis. Attention issues, such as ADD/ADHD, aren’t learning difficulties, per se, but can interfere with the brain’s ability to focus enough on learning tasks.
Why Does Adult Learning Performance Matter?
It may be tempting to dismiss the need to address adult learning difficulties. After all, they may have long since graduated high school or even college.
Why should they submit themselves to testing to diagnose possible difficulties? Why should they submit themselves to additional interventions? This can be especially discouraging if they feel such interventions weren’t helpful during childhood.
The fact is, however, that learning does not stop after individuals leave school. The task of learning remains critical throughout life. The ability to read with clear comprehension and ease is of major importance in adulthood as well. No matter the career, there will also be new tasks to learn and new training to complete.
And disorders such as dyslexia don’t only affect the ability to handle the written word. They also affect an individual’s skill at talking and listening. The ability to understand and communicate is vital in any job. Likewise, the need to maintain effective attention on new and everyday tasks is important.
How Can Adults Improve?
Using specialized auditory and neural tests, researchers have identified highly specific methods to measure listening and processing ability. They can compare the differences between those diagnosed with learning difficulties and those without. And they have found that those with learning difficulties had much higher error rates when listening and responding to auditory input.
The listening program that I use in my practice is designed to address these neurological differences. The Tomatis Method has a long, scientifically proven history. Its methods work to retrain the very pathways in the brain that lead to learning difficulties.
As I discuss in other places on my website, the neural networks of the brain remain incredibly flexible throughout life. While it is true that the brain is most open to change and growth during childhood, the ability does not go away in adulthood. (You can read a bit more about this in my post on peak performance.)
In fact, the way in which the brain processes information remains consistent throughout the lifespan. The auditory system is deeply connected to the other sensory processing centers. By re-training the auditory system, we pave the way for improvement in learning.
My Work with Adults
When adults come to my clinic for treatment, I perform the same thorough evaluations as I do with children. In some cases, I will refer out to specialists in other fields for learning difficulties. The most effective approach may require teamwork and a multipronged approach.
If an adult has never been formally diagnosed with a learning or behavioral issue, they may find relief with a diagnosis. Finally, they can understand what made learning so difficult for them.
I have seen many adults successfully improve their reading, attention, and learning performance over the years. It is so gratifying to witness their growth. They have been able to move forward in their careers and daily lives with confidence and understanding.
If you’re ready to learn more, please contact me for a consultation.