David's Success Story:

Learning Differences

 

Student Information

Name: David*

*actual name replaced 

Gender: Male

 

Age: 9

Diagnosis: Unspecified Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Evaluation Dates: July 2019 & January 2020​

Initial Functional Challenges: David entered Jacob's Ladder having difficulty in identifying and expressing the full range of emotionality. He displayed low confidence within social academic settings due to challenges with visual tracking and near point/far point accommodations. He lacked the proper educational and intervention strategies to directly address the root cause of the midbrain feeding up to the frontal lobe, which is responsible for attention and focus. 

David's Individualized Plan

Based on David's evaluation, we created an individualized model of care to help him develop a better-connected brain and reach the following emotional-behavioral goals.

Goal #1

 

Anxiety: David manages anxiety related to self-perceived failures 

 

 

 

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Accepts feedback without deflecting

 

2. Independently accesses Self-Regulation Strategy (SRI)

3. Accepts mistakes as part of the learning process 

Goal #2

 

Emotional Wellbeing: David accepts and embraces the full spectrum of emotionality 

 

 

Behaviors Measured Daily

  

1. Avoids maladaptive coping mechanisms to push down emotionality 

2. Appropriately expresses feeling state 

3. Identifies thought as related to emotion in the moment 

Goal #3

 

Focus & Attention: David uses mindfulness to maintain focus and attention  

 

Behaviors Measured Daily

 

1. Makes connection to bodily manifestations of yellow zone state in order to utilize appropriate Self-Regulation Strategy (SRI)

 

2. Follows directions the first time 

3. Maintains a calm body during cognitive endeavors 

 

David's Functional Gains

As David developed the proper connections between areas in his brain, he experienced tremendous gains in his emotional, behavioral, and relational functioning. 

Starting at Jacob's Ladder

1. Challenges identifying and expressing the full range of emotionality

2. Low confidence within social academic setting due to challenges with visual tracking and near point/far point accommodations

3.  Lack of educational/intervention strategies that directly addressed the root cause of the midbrain feeding up to the frontal lobe, which is responsible for attention and focus

Six Months Later

1. Has become proficient with utilizing Zones of Regulation curriculum to identify current emotional state and knows what tools to utilize. Benefits greatly from learned self-talk skills (Inner Coach versus Inner Critic)

 

2. Eagerness to participate in classroom academics and often volunteers to read and complete math problems in front of peers

 

3. Showing progress in ability to self-advocate for wants/needs that would assist in focus (flexible seating, reset tools, etc), as well as progress in his ability to appropriately accept limits (schedule, first/then)

 

How David's Brain Changed In 6 Months

By utilizing a QEEG brain map, we were able to identify and measure where communication flow was lacking in David's brain (hypo coherence) or where communication flow was locked and/or was overly used in David's brain (hyper coherence).

 

We identified David's top 10 hypo coherent connections and top 10 hyper coherent connections. Based on the regions of the brains that were struggling to communicate, it became clear why he was experiencing the observed functional challenges.

 

Over 6 months, David implemented specific activities in his individualized model of care to normalize these connections. Below is an example of two connection improvements.  

 

Example #1 Of David's Brain Improvement

Communication flow within David's Inferior Frontal/Prefrontal Gyrus was lacking by -4.39 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

 

Through David's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved his communication flow to -1.23 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Inferior Frontal/Prefrontal Gyrus – Part of Broca’s Area (Left)

  • Verbal language functions – Broca’s Area

  • Mirror neurons and imitation of social interactions

  • Deductive reasoning

Inferior Frontal/Prefrontal – Part of Broca’s Area (Left)

  • Verbal language functions – Broca’s Area

  • Mirror neurons and imitation of social interactions

  • Deductive reasoning

Example #2 Of David's Brain Improvement

Communication flow between David's Somatosensory Cortex and Temporal Lobe was locked and/or overly-used by +3.83 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

 

Through David's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved his communication flow to +1.94 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Somatosensory Cortex (Right)

  • Sensorimotor integration

  • Mapping of sensory input – homunculus

Temporal Lobe (Right)

  • Auditory working memory, perception, and processing

  • Comparing present input with past experiences

  • Episodic memory (remembering events) and declarative memory (remembering facts)

  • Detection and understanding of non-verbal aspects of language: emotional tone in voices (happy vs. angry) and nonverbal sounds

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