Does your child face difficulties in learning, reading or writing Or instead of trying hard they still struggle in learning any other specific set of skill? It could be a sign of a learning disorder.
Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Common types of Learning disorder or disability involve problems with reading, writing, math, reasoning, listening, and speaking. But it does not mean that such child is not capable enough or dumb, on the other hand they can be as smart as any other child, just that they have a different brain or they see, hear and understand things differently. One of the most common learning disorder includes dyslexia
What is dyslexia
Dyslexia is one of the commonest learning disorders. It is defined as a disorder where a child, in spite of all the classroom teaching, is not able to attain the language skills of reading, writing and spelling according to their level of intelligence. dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language therefore People with dyslexia have difficulties in learning and trouble reading at a good pace and without mistakes.
Rightnow there is no cure for dyslexia, but early diagnosis and right support can improve their reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.
Symptoms of difficulties in learning
Generally parents notice the signs of learning disorder or dyslexia by the time their child reaches preschool age or begins to start learning and reading. Some of the symptoms of learning disorder are:
- Late talking
- Trouble learning the numbers alphabets colors shapes etc
- Reversing or transposing the letters while writing ( such as b instead of d or p instead of q)
- Read and write very slowly
- Difficulty following directions or learning routines
- Problem in remembering the sequence of things
- Misspells words and makes frequent errors.
- Slow in learning new skills
- Difficulty in basic math concepts
- Problem in storytelling and rhyming
- Difficulty in memorizing.
- Struggle with planning and organization.
If you find that your child faces difficulties in learning, talk to their teacher for extra support to help your child. The most common treatment for learning disabilities is special education. Specially trained educators do this after assessing the child’s academic and intellectual potential.
Causes of learning disorder/ dyslexia
According to the experts the exact cause of learning disorder or dyslexia is unknown. However there are some conditions that result in learning disorders.
- Genetic: the children with family history of learning disorder are at the higher risk. If the parents or any siblings has dyslexia then he/she is likely to develop the same disorder.
- Exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins such as lead (in paint, ceramics, toys, etc.)
- Drug or alcohol consumption during pregnancy
- Low birth weight.
- Premature birth and maternal use of valproic acid or thalidomide during pregnancy can also be one of the causes for dyslexia.
- Birth injury or trauma
- A stressful incident after birth such as high fever, head injury, or poor nutrition.
- Learning disorder and ADHD often co exist: research shows that either ADHD leads to learning disorder or that both are comorbid conditions. 30 to 40 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability.
Food that may help kids with difficulties in learning
It is very important to feed kids a nutritious diet from the early years itself, even more important if the child is suffering from a learning disorder. Experts say whatever is good for the brain is likely to be good for learning disorders and dyslexia. Below is the list of essential nutrients and foods recommended as a part of a healthy diet for kids with difficulties in learning.
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. It builds, maintains and repairs body tissues. It is also essential for brain health and plays an important role in producing neurotransmitters (brain chemical). It’s also integral in forming enzymes and hormones in the body. From digestion to immunity, from hair to nails, everything requires protein. Some foods rich in protein are: nuts and seeds, egg and dairy products.(how to get a protein rich diet?)
2.Omega 3 fatty acids:
Research has established a link between omega 3 fatty acids and brain development in early childhood. These healthy fats have amazing brain boosting power and play a vital role in enhancing memory and attention span. Fish & walnuts are a very good source of omega 3. (Why is Omega 3 important for your kids?)
In our body, Magnesium is responsible for nerve transmission and nerve-muscle coordination. In other words, it protects against the excessive excitement in a child (which can be traumatic). There is enough research going on how Magnesium can help in fixing or preventing neurological disorders. Banana, avocado, pumpkin seeds and spinach are some food sources of magnesium.(what are some disorders in which magnesium can help?)
All the nuts like almonds, walnut, cashew, peanuts and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and help in boosting memory. They are also antioxidants which protect against cell damage. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are a valuable substance for brain function, memory and thinking abilities. This fatty acid also encourages cognitive functions.
Apart from nuts, seeds like flex, chia, melon, sesame and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers and therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration and memory. One of the easiest to feed brain boosting foods for kids.
Pure Cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin which is helpful to improve cognition in studies. Hence, cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children.
7.Herbs for dyslexia
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It is known to reduce anxiety and stress. Moreover, it increases acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. This herb also reduces mental fatigue and enhances sleep quality. In addition, it protects the brain nerve cells from damage. Another important use is that it provides benefits against illnesses such as epilepsy, depression, arthritis and diabetes.
Brahmi is a superfood for the brain and is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power in kids. That is why in older times, kids were often given Brahmi powder with ghee/honey. This would increase their focus and attention, while keeping them calm and distressed.
Shankhapushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Since it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.
Scientifically proven studies conducted by NIH
There are many researches by NIH that support the benefits of Ayurvedic herbs in kid’s brain development. a few are as below:
How to feed all these foods to kids?
Now the question arises- how to include all these bitter Ayurvedic herbs, nuts, seeds and antioxidants in your child’s diet?
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