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Could Your Learning Disabled Child Be A Genius?

Apr 23, 2008
Many gifted and talented children are being misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Mood Disorders. The problem, for many, is that professionals don't take into consideration the specific social and emotional characteristics of gifted children.

In working with children who are troublemakers and outsiders at school, I find about 90 percent have above average rates of brain activity. They have difficulty in school not because they are too slow but because they are too fast. They need much more stimulation than they receive, so they create complexity to keep themselves interested. Unfortunately, this self-created complexity takes them away from what's really happening around them.

It's only natural for these kids not to engage fully in school activities -- they find them boring. They don't need 'learning-aids,' they need help in understanding their own exceptional talents and then figuring out a strategy, with their parents, of how to exercise these talents.

There's a tremendous amount of confusion surrounding genius. Some people believe it marks an individual as being overly intelligent. Others go to the opposite extreme and declare the presence of brilliance to be evidence of a nerd, a weirdo or an outsider. Some even treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as an expression of genius. What helps some of these misdiagnosed kids, is a type of exercise to get their brains rewired.

Several years ago, I worked with a four-year-old boy named Klaus from Augsburg, Germany. Klaus was passive-aggressive, and his parents were worried that he wouldn't be able to attend school because he'd either withdraw or get into uncontrollable fights with other children.

My partner Otto and I were confident, however, that Klaus would be helped by a certain sequence of neurobic exercises designed to enhance the information flow between senses, brain and nervous system. In just three months, we turned his situation around entirely.

At first, Klaus wouldn't speak a word, not even hello or goodbye. Since he wouldn't communicate with us, we worked with his father, as if he were Klaus.

The pressure to respond to others in social situations appeared to be very difficult for Klaus; therefore, observing role plays between his father and us allowed the boy to listen without being put on the spot to respond himself. Klaus was such a bright little boy, he was able to pick up everything he needed by watching us work with his father.

We showed his father charts of how the body works in tandem with the brain. We didn't expect a four-year-old to grasp the biology, but we wanted him to have more of a physical sense of himself. We then showed the father a sequence of exercises that help the two halves of the brain work together. These exercises involved images, voice and physical movement to create sensory integration.

We believed that Klaus' problem wasn't mental intelligence, but instead a disconnect between his body and brain, plus a disconnect between the two hemispheres of his brain, which left him isolated in his own world and unable to relate to others. He couldn't assimilate the world properly in order to interact with it, so he simply withdrew or lashed out defensively.

Klaus watched his father perform the exercises and then did them himself. This had a profound effect. His left and right brains came into sync, and he found he was able to interact with other people. For the first time in his life, Klaus could participate rather than just watch. What he had only imagined -- being able to participate freely with his friends and classmates -- he could suddenly do. He became a socially successful little boy, and we were thrilled for him. He just needed his Physical Intelligence wired properly.
About the Author
Get neurobic exercises in the free Exercise Your Brilliance Training Program at http://geniuscoaching.net/trainyourbrilliance.htm. Susanna Lange is a certified learning consultant and coach and the co-developer of Genius Coaching, which helps people discover and maximize their talents and strengths.
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