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Integration: A Rationale
Please read the following carefully:
Mr. Shapiro is not a licensed
optometrist or opthalmologist. He does not diagnose or treat the
presence of abnormal conditions of the eye and its appendages, or the
accommodative and refractive conditions of the eye: or prescribe
visual training and/ or the use of scientific instruments to train the
visual system. He is not licensed in the state of Colorado to do
so. You should consult with and follow the instructions of an
optometrist or opthamologist when using visual training procedures.
Why Developmental Integration Exercises Work!
A great number of elementary and secondary
students who have alert minds and are INTELLIGENT have
major problems with reading and academic achievement. There are
students who have average to above average intelligence, but who
according to the U.S. Department of Education, "exhibit a disorder in
one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in
understanding or in using spoken or written language."
While the primary approach available today
for helping students is EDUCATIONAL in nature, the
DEVELOPMENTAL approach offers dramatic answers for students
struggling with learning and reading difficulties. Whereas most
existing programs are geared towards helping the child COPE
with his or her lowered academic levels of
achievement, the developmental approach aims at OVERCOMING
There are of course many factors that
influence learning and intelligence, but research has shown four major
skill areas that must be part of a student's development in order for
effective reading and school achievement to occur. They are:
skills (Motor and body coordination, essential to overall body
awareness, communication between left and right hemispheres of the
brain, sensory-motor integration)
(Directionality, depth perception, awareness of shape, symbols, spatial
judgments form likenesses, differences in letters, numbers and words,
essential to math, handwriting, and spelling.)
processing skills (The ability to process what is heard, essential to
following directions and sequencing.
skills (The ability to process what is seen, the strengthening of the
brain's ability to process visual information, essential to attention
span, comprehension, getting a 'visual or mental picture', smooth,
reading, and identifying words)
This fourth area; VISION
PROCESSING, plays the most significant and vital role in reading
and achievement. There is a high correlation between learning and
reading difficulties and the effectiveness of the vision processing
system. The ability to 'use the two eyes together as a team'
comfortably and efficiently, in order to process visual information back
to the brain has a direct bearing on reading and learning.
Research has shown that 80-85% of learning, reading, comprehension, and
spelling is based on how effectively the VISION PROCESSING SYSTEM
is working! Dr. Getman, a famous developmentalist stated that "The
total development and achievement of a student depends upon the degree
of supervision that vision processing exercises over activities that
bring about neural integration within all information processing
In order for reading achievement to occur, the two
eyes must work together as a 'team'. They must 'reach', or fixate to a specific point and
focus on the word. Then that information must be
'grasped' and stored in the brain. The final step is for the eyes to be
able to 'release' and process the information with split-second
timing. The strength of this on-going function of: "reach",
"grasp", and "release" is what determines how effectively a student can
concentrate and pay attention, read for various lengths of time,
comprehend what he reads, spell, write, and many, many other academic
doctor, Dr. Harmon stated that: "any breakdown in this
system results in loss of concentration, poor comprehension, and
avoidance of reading." Most students having difficulties in
reading and learning exhibit this inability of the brain to process
visual information. In addition, this visual processing system must be
integrated with the other three essential skills areas: auditory
processing, perceptual and motor-coordination skills. Vision processing
is the 'sum-total guiding force behind all movement,
action, and most importantly, reading and learning achievement.'
Research is now showing that not only can these vision processing
difficulties be located and measured, they can be corrected through
intensive developmental exercises!
It is of course essential that any child have a
routine eye exam by a qualified eye-care professional to test and
correct any possible eye abnormalities that might be affecting his or
her sight. Once that is accomplished, steps can then be taken to
improve and enhance the visual processing, auditory processing,
perceptual, and coordination skill areas that affect reading and
learning. In other words, the brain can be trained to receive and
utilize information more effectively. It is similar to improving
in sports or musical ability. Practice in specific, guided exercises
'trains the brain' to become more efficient in that skill.
Learning and reading are no different!
The goals and
benefits of developmental therapy are many. According to noted
doctor and leader in this field, A.M. Skeffington, "The main goal
of developmental integration is to arrange conditions so that an individual can develop
and reach his fullest potential". With this in mind, it is
our goal at The Learning Connection to provide a program for local
families as well as out-of-town families whereby a student can acquire
these essential, vital skills to insure effective reading and learning
achievement. The end result is LIFE-CHANGING: A
student who can learn and achieve and gain the confidence to succeed not
only in school, but all of life!
can now succeed!