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03/Jun/2022

Role of Ayurveda in Learning Disorder

Learning disorders involve an inability to acquire, retain, or broadly use specific skills or information, resulting from deficiencies in attention, memory, or reasoning and affecting academic performance. Affected children may be slow to learn names of colours or letters, to count, to learn, to read or to write. Learning disorders include a group of disorders such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. Each type of disorder may coexist with another. Learning disorders are not caused due to physical or mental illness, economic condition, or cultural background; neither do they indicate that the child is weak or lazy.

Identifying a learning disorder is a complex process. The first step is to rule out vision, hearing, and developmental issues that can overshadow the underlying learning disorder. Once these tests are completed, a learning disorder is identified using psycho educational assessment, which includes academic achievement testing along with a measure of intellectual capability. This test helps determine if there is any significant discrepancy between a child’s potential and performance capability (IQ) and the child’s academic achievement (school performance). A learning disorder cannot be cured. However, with timely intervention and support, children with learning disorders can be successful in school. Parents and teachers are the first persons to notice that the child is finding it difficult to read, write or learn. If you think that your child may have a learning disorder, seek help from a mental health expert or other trained specialists for the required intervention program or therapy.

Ayurvedic medicines are most effective in treating all types of learning disorders. These medicines are made of nature’s finest herbs and are processed without adding chemics. These herbs are known to calm the nerves and result in a neurological balance in the body. Some of those herbs are as follows

  • Brahmi – Known for improving impaired mental functions in the body.
  • Mandukparni – Known for increasing learning capabilities. It is filled with stress relieving properties.
  • Ashwagandha – Known for decreasing excitatory neurotransmitters and suppressing over activeness in our brain.
  • Jyotismati – Known for increasing memory power.

At Jeevaniyam, our unique approach is done by the process of learning is explained in Ayurveda as gaining knowledge. This includes mainly four factors according to Ayurveda philosophy soul, intellect, Mind and the senses. Learning happens when these factors work together towards that single aim.


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31/May/2022

Teaching Strategies For Students With Learning Disorders

Children with specific learning disorders often have other developmental disorders too, such as ADHD. A child can have more than one specific learning disorder. Children with a specific learning disorder find a specific area of learning very challenging, such as reading, spelling, handwriting or mathematics, but do well in other areas of learning. Some may even excel in other areas of learning. Most instruction at home or in school can be adapted to accommodate the needs of students with learning disorders such as dyslexia or other learning problems. These strategies can be used to modify instruction in most subject areas to improve students’ comprehension of tasks and the quality of their work.

At Jeevaniyam, we support students with learning disorders, or a parent looking for some guidance. We use the following steps to help the child to overcome their issues.

Break Learning Into Small Steps

Often also referred to as “chunking”, this strategy involves breaking down complex information into smaller and simpler parts that are easy for the brain to digest. Chunking is said to relieve the cognitive load on the brain and engage short-term memory in a more efficient manner.

Visual Aid

Visual aids are invaluable in teaching all students, especially those struggling with a learning difficulty. The human brain can process images faster and better than it can words. Using images, educational films and other visual aids such as diagrams and charts during lessons can help students build a direct correlation between words and their meanings – making learning much easier and faster.

 

Memory Techniques

Revision reinforces lessons taught in class, but students may still benefit from learning certain memory techniques to help them remember how one chunk of information relates to another. Mnemonics, mind maps and even simple diagrams can go a long way towards helping children understand and remember information easily.

Appeal To Multiple Senses

To improve comprehension and retention when studying, incorporate multiple senses.

For children who are visual learners, you can try:
  • Hanging up pictures and setting up models
  • Highlighting information in different colors
  • Asking students to create lesson-based art
For those who prefer audio-based lessons, you can:
  • Listen to books on tape or read aloud
  • Watch a video with accompanying audio
  • Utilize rhymes, chants and language games

Some kids are kinesthetic learners, those who learn through:
  • Lessons with finger paints, puzzles or sand
  • Modeling objects or designs in clay
  • Using small objects to represent numbers

Tactile teaching involves the sense of touch, such as:
  • Pairing counting with clapping or other movements
  • Using a highlighter to color-code passages while reading
  • Manipulating materials, like blocks, to visualize a scene

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27/May/2022

Learning Disorders V/S Scholastic Backwardness

Many children may struggle in school with some topics or skills from time to time. When children try hard and still struggle with a specific set of skills over time, it could be a sign of a learning disorder. Having a learning disorder means that a child has difficulty in one or more areas of learning, even when overall intelligence or motivation is not affected.

Scholastic Backwardness is one of the commonest educational problems encountered in children and consists of the fact that the child’s performance at school falls below the expectations, i.e., according to the level of his intelligence.

The reasons for children having are:

Learning Disorder Scholastic Backwardness
Hereditary – It is observed that a child, whose parents have had a learning disability, is likely to develop the same disorder. Learning Disorder – Kids who are diagnosed with the following issues:
1, Dyslexia – Difficulty in reading
2, Dyscalculia – Difficulty with math
3, Dysgraphia – Difficulty with writing
Illness during and after birth – An illness or injury during or after birth may cause learning disorders. Other possible factors could be drug or alcohol consumption during pregnancy, physical trauma, poor growth in the uterus, low birth weight and premature or prolonged labour. Intellectual Development Disorder – Children who have intellectual disability can have problems in academics as taught in regular school. On the opposite end of the spectrum, children who have very high IQ scores can become bored and feel a lack of stimulation in the school curriculum lag in academics.
Stress during infancy – A stressful incident after birth such as high fever, head injury, or poor nutrition. Developmental Disorders – Autism spectrum disorder.
Environment – Increased exposure to toxins such as lead in paint, ceramics, toys etc. Emotional Disorders – Anxiety, depression and phobias.
Comorbidity – Children with learning disabilities are at a higher than average risk for attention problems or disruptive behaviour disorders. Physical Issues – Vision and Hearing problem

At Jeevaniyam, as a first step we do an evaluation by a healthcare professional which concerns about the child’s behaviour or emotions. We do manage learning disorder and scholastic backwardness with the help of ayurvedic protocols along with talk therapy, special education services and other learning development protocols which are developed in house.


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17/May/2022

Recognising & Coping with Learning Disorders

Learning disorder is an information-processing problem that prevents a person from learning a skill and using it effectively. Learning disorders generally affect people of average or above-average intelligence. As a result, the disorder appears as a gap between expected skills, based on age and intelligence, and academic performance. Many children may struggle in school with some topics or skills from time to time. When children try hard and still struggle with a specific set of skills over time, it could be a sign of a learning disorder. Having a learning disorder means that a child has difficulty in one or more areas of learning, even when overall intelligence or motivation is not affected.

Factors that might influence the development of learning disorders include:
  • Family history and genetics. A family history of learning disorders increases the risk of a child developing a disorder.
  • Prenatal and neonatal risks. Poor growth in the uterus (severe intrauterine growth restriction), exposure to alcohol or drugs before being born, premature birth, and very low birth weight have been linked with learning disorders.
  • Psychological trauma. Psychological trauma or abuse in early childhood may affect brain development and increase the risk of learning disorders.
  • Physical trauma. Head injuries or nervous system infections might play a role in the development of learning disorders.
  • Environmental exposure. Exposure to high levels of toxins, such as lead, has been linked to an increased risk of learning disorders.
Some of the symptoms of learning disorders are
  • Difficulty telling right from left
  • Reversing letters, words, or numbers, after first or second grade
  • Difficulties recognizing patterns or sorting items by size or shape
  • Difficulty understanding and following instructions or staying organized
  • Difficulty remembering what was just said or what was just read
  • Lacking coordination when moving around
  • Difficulty doing tasks with the hands, like writing, cutting, or drawing
  • Difficulty understanding the concept of time

At Jeevaniyam, we use our specialized and individualised Ayurvedic approach for the treatment for learning disorders for children with learning disorders who often need extra help and instruction that are specialized for them. Having a learning disorder can qualify a child for special education services in our facility. A team of professionals, including a doctor, a psychologist, special education teacher, occupational therapist, social worker or nurse will constantly monitor and improve the child’s improvement in all aspects.


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09/May/2022

Music Therapy For ADHD

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), often shows up as the inability to concentrate for prolonged periods of time, being unable to follow instructions, having difficulty completing detailed tasks and being prone to error. It can be frustrating to live with and being unable to fully focus often causes stress. However, music therapy may be able to help and may even increase your ability to concentrate. We use music in order to help you channel emotions and release them. There are two forms of music therapy. In one, you create music as an emotional release. In the other, you listen to music while performing a creative activity. Both can be done in group sessions or one on one with the therapist.

If you choose to create music, your first concern may be that you do not know how to play an instrument. However, the ones provided are very basic – and anyone can play them in an expressive manner – so there is no need to worry. Neither form pressures you into speaking with your therapist. And everything happens in a relaxing environment. Music therapy is a form of expressive therapy.

An ADHD mind has lower levels of dopamine – the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, attention, working memory, and focus. Music activates both sides of the brain, engaging your entire brain so the activated “muscles” can work together and even perhaps become stronger. This leads to a boost in motivation and the ability to focus. Group music therapy can be both a social and physical activity. You meet like-minded people, and people who understand your condition and what you are going through. Playing instruments, you collaborate and work together to create new music. Often people develop strong friendships. After all, any neurological condition can be isolating.

At Jeevaniyam, we implement music therapy to prevent that attention deficit and hyperactivity. Music therapy aims for hyperactivity to decrease and attention span to increase. Music also soothes anxiety and stress in the body, and children with ADHD often feel anxious and stressed. For children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD), music therapy boosts attention and focus, reduces hyperactivity, and strengthens social skills.


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29/Apr/2022

Role Of Ayurveda In Academic Dysfunction

Academic dysfunction and learning disability hold pluralistic definitions but possess similar effects so far, the parents and teachers of affected students are concerned. The ambiguous apprehension of parents regarding the remedial training and interventions has enforced them to receive direction from Complementary and Alternative Medical Systems (CAM). Since Ayurveda significantly outstands among CAM system in Kerala, it proves better management in children with Learning disabilities.

Learning disability [LD] is the significant discrepancy between the predicted and obtained achievement of IQ. It has been technically defined as a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of academic skills presumed to have a root cause at the level of central nervous system. Whereas academic dysfunction [AD] is defined as the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has not achieved their educational goals, that has been validated through examinations or continuous assessment criteria’s.

Some of the symptoms of learning disability are

  • Difficulty telling right from left
  • Reversing letters, words, or numbers, after first or second grade
  • Difficulties recognizing patterns or sorting items by size or shape
  • Difficulty understanding and following instructions or staying organized
  • Difficulty remembering what was just said or what was just read
  • Lacking coordination when moving around
  • Difficulty doing tasks with the hands, like writing, cutting, or drawing
  • Difficulty understanding the concept of time

Ayurveda Samhita mentions herbs for addressing imbalances in memory and attention. The regional growth of indigenous medicine gave significant contributions to the development of primary health care. Ayurveda has various treatment methodologies like dhara, thalapothicil, shirodhara, shirobhasti which were very beneficial for the children. Certain drugs like Brahmi, Shankapushpi, Jatamansi etc are safe and effective herbal options for antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics which are commonly used to treat these children. Yoga and pranayama also work great for young children to improve their concentration.

At Jeevaniyam, we do evaluations by our healthcare professionals for other concerns about the child’s behaviour or emotions. We give the right referrals & treatment plans for parents, healthcare providers, and the school that can work together to find the right balance. Children with learning disorders often need extra help and instruction that are specialized for them. We have different learning modules that help them achieve their social smile.


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27/Apr/2022

Effective Ways to Handle Hyperactive Children

Children of all ages typically have a lot of energy; nevertheless, hyperactive children are those who are restless and have trouble listening, receiving commands, or following instructions or directions. If you have a hyperactive child, then managing them can be challenging and stressful at times. Even though a hyperactive child may look unsteady, with endless energy and a propensity for hopping from one activity to the next, restoring order to their life is not difficult. Patience can be considered a major attribute in parents while dealing with these children.

The first step of a parent is to correctly identify whether the child is hyperactive or not. The best way to identify this is by checking whether the child is having reckless behaviour and too much activity that stems from receiving a lack of sufficient attention. Such kids are prone to never get tired, can’t focus or have short attention spans in general. Hyperactivity in children results in poor academic performance, lack of socialization and in severe cases even complete withdrawal from participating in group activities, which in turn can lead to depression, frustration, and poor self-esteem.

Many parents prefer to maintain a loose and relaxed household without an overabundance of rules. This laid-back parenting style works well for many children. Hyperactive children, however, tend to have trouble in unclear environments. Hyperactivity is caused by a psychological disorder known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This is a problem with brain chemistry that affects the brain’s ability to pass information between brain cells. Therefore, it is not simply a matter of getting the child to see reason. Living within the constraints of daily life will be a struggle for him, so focus on the issues that truly matter and let other areas slide.

We, at Jeevaniyam advise parents with the following tips:

  • Break Down Complex Instructions
  • Minimize Distractions
  • Utilize Positive Reinforcement like praise and rewards for completing tasks
  • Help the Child Create a To-Do List
  • Give a chance for the child to run around and simply play in an unstructured setting
  • Be educated on your child’s disorder
  • Try and calm your child down
  • Play Games
  • Change Diet

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16/Apr/2022

What you need to know about ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that can cause unusual levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours. This is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

The most common symptoms that are usually found in such cases are:

  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing.
  • Poor time management skills.
  • Problems focusing on a task.
  • Trouble multitasking.
  • Excessive activity or restlessness.
  • Poor planning.
  • Low frustration tolerance.

It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviours. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends. A child with ADHD might:

  • Daydream a lot
  • Forget or lose things a lot
  • Squirm or fidget
  • Talk too much
  • Make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • Have a hard time resisting temptation
  • Have trouble taking turns
  • Have difficulty getting along with others

It is s believed to have neurological origins. Genetics may also play a role. Findings indicate that people with ADHD have less Gray Matter volume. Gray matter includes the brain areas that help with:

  • Speech
  • Self-control
  • Decision making
  • Muscle control

At Jeevaniyam, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behaviour therapy and Ayurvedic medication. For preschool-aged children (4-5 years of age) with ADHD, behaviour therapy, particularly training for parents, is recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is tried. What works best can depend on the child and family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.


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11/Apr/2022

Parenting Tips On How To Identify Developmental Challenges

Your children’s growth, needs, and challenges change quickly over the years and your parenting concerns develop right along with them. Shifting your parenting strategies to keep up with your child’s growth is a big task, but it’s important to consider your child’s health and wellness needs at every age and stage of development. In this guide, you’ll learn how to help your children thrive as they grow physically, mentally, and emotionally.

When it comes to developmental delays, there can be more than one type. The developmental delays fall into the following categories:

  • Language or speech problems
  • Vision problems
  • Movement—Motor Skills problems
  • Social and Emotional Skills problems
  • Thinking—Cognitive Skills problems

As a parent you give your children a good start in life—you nurture, protect and guide them. Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child. These links will help you learn more about your child’s development, positive parenting, safety, and health at each stage of your child’s life. Children take their own time to reach developmental milestones. While some children grow at the usual pace, some can be slow. However, parents don’t need to be alarmed when this happens. As a parent, you should understand that please understand that delayed development is perfectly fine. It’s okay for a child to miss certain milestones by some months, and there’s no cause for concern. The concern is only when the milestones are not achieved after the timelines.

The main reason why these developmental challenges happen. There can be many factors that affect the neurobiological system of a child, for example:

  • Genetic defects like down syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome, which is a type of gene mutation inherited from parents
  • Severe medical problems caused due to preterm birth
  • Unidentifiable causes

At Jeevaniyam we have different learning programs and unique approaches for children with developmental issues. They do not see their developmental challenges as a barrier to their future growth and fulfilment.


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30/Mar/2022

Cognitive Developmental Delay: How Can We Identify It?

A cognitive developmental delay refers to the condition of children whose intellectual function and adaptive behaviour are significantly below the expected average for their age. Other names for cognitive developmental delays include intellectual disabilities, cognitive impairment, or cognitive/intellectual disorder.

Data from 4000 families from 6 regions of India revealed that 10-18% of children aged 2-9 years from rural/urban/hilly areas had one or more Neurological Development Delay. Cognitive development delays are the most common types of developmental disorder. According to the Center for Disease Control, cognitive delays occur in approximately 12 of every 1,000 children and can range from mild and moderate to severe and profound.

The main causes of cognitive developmental delay are:

  • Pregnancy Condition: A child can develop a cognitive delay because of injury during pregnancy or inability to develop within the womb. Natal conditions such as the presence of drugs, alcohol, or infections (e.g., rubella) can also cause cognitive delays.

  • Birth Condition: A child can develop a cognitive delay because of problems during birth (such as inadequate oxygen or prematurity).
  • Genetic Condition: A child may inherit abnormal genes or a chromosomal disorder. Examples include Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, or phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • Health Condition: Malnutrition, untreated diseases meningitis or whooping cough, exposure to poison (such as lead or mercury) and inadequate medical care can also cause cognitive delays.

Some of the early signs that can be detected in the early stages for cognitive delay are as follows:

  • Sitting, crawling, or walking later than other children
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Short attention span: inability to remember things
  • Trouble thinking logically
  • Infantile behaviour that persists into preschool and school years
  • Lack of age-appropriate adaptive/self-help skills
  • Lack of curiosity
  • Trouble understanding social rules or consequences of behaviour

At Jeevaniyam we detect the early signs of cognitive delay with the guidance of our expert clinical psychologist. We do a detailed psychological evaluation to understand the cognitive ability intellectual functions, adaptive skills & adaptive behaviour. We do individualised assessments with the guidance of a clinical psychologist along with the other multi-disciplinary team professionals including speech and language pathologists, physical therapists & special educators.

Our holistic treatment includes personalised Ayurvedic protocol along with internal medications, lifestyle management, dietary interventions, clinical yoga, music therapy, counselling, behaviour modification therapy, sensory integration therapy, special education, supportive education, cognitive enhancement therapy and other need requisite therapies are given at Jeevaniyam to improve the cognitive ability along with the other deficits.


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