Optimise Your Life

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Learning Difficulties

Did you know that good readers SEE words? That most people with learning 'difficulties' are visual learners? And yet spelling is generally taught phonetically (using the auditory system) in schools which can lead to learning problems for a significant number of children.

What if learning difficulties were re-named learning differences?  And regarded as mis-applied strategies rather than defects in the brain?  That would mean that there is a lot  that can be done to greatly reduce - or even remove - the negative symptoms of dyslexia etc.

There are many advantages to dyslexia. Individuals are often incredibly intelligent, talented and often very creative.  And yet they can be labelled as broken or failing when judged by the criteria of our education system.

The Empowering Learning approach teaches people to see words, to play to their strengths and so reduce the 'negative symptoms' of dyslexia etc. - and to develop the great gifts that this way of thinking brings.

Are you:

  • Looking for a different approach to improving learning difficulties?
  • Looking to dramatically reduce the whole impact of Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) - Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Autism and Asperger's Syndrome?
  • Have you noticed how people have such exceptional talents coincidentally with often debilitating symptoms of SpLDs?
  • Are you curious about how some students develop skills naturally, without being taught and others don’t?
  • Would you like to see extraordinary changes quickly?

You can quickly learn skills to overcome many of the symptoms associated with learning difficulties, by learning new skills and increasing self esteem, through:

  • Becoming fluent at reading and spelling through developing the skill to "see" words in your mind's eye - the skill all good readers and spellers use naturally
  • Improving concentration and motor skills through learning how to stabilise your visual memory and clear confusion
  • Extending your visual memory for numbers, sequencing, comprehension, foreign languages, handwriting and other study skills.

For your free, no-obligation 20 minute initial consultation to find out more and discuss your requirements, please contact me now on 01582 766541 (Harpenden, Hertfordshire) or 07815 509168.

The Empowering Learning approach was devised by Olive Hickmott.  You can find out more from her on Youtube:

01 Are you looking for help with Learning Difficulties?

02 Some things just don't add up

03 So what is going on with poor literacy?

  "I was privileged to witness Olive Hickmott teach 2 girls aged approx 6 and 9 how to spell using visualisation and grounding. Within 1 hour, they were so adept that they were spelling words backwards…it proved to be a magical learning experience for the children, parents and me…so much so, that 5 hours later, the girls did not want to go home…the speed and joy of learning had been reawakened in these girls, who at the beginning were so tentative…these techniques need to be rolled out to all schools as soon as possible. Seeing is believing…"  Richard, a GP.

What makes Empowering Learning' s unique approach so different

We work with those who have various SpLD diagnoses, looking past the diagnosis to helping people use their fabulous skills to transform any limiting symptoms they have.

The visual sense is the fastest system we have for learning and is the natural way young children learn - using their imagination.
Visually we can absorb a lot of information simultaneously and quickly. Most students who are struggling are highly visual but are being taught using the slower auditory and kinesthetic senses. Most academic subjects are best learnt visually. This will speed up the whole learning process and is easy to learn and then teach.

Empowering Learning is focused on what people can do rather than what they can’t do. What you focus on is what you get more of. Most literacy teaching focuses on phonological deficiencies. Phonics promote sounding out and breaking down words, involving a lot of repetition and drilling which becomes tedious, boring and a chore to practice. Fluent readers however don't read using phonics. They read by recognising the whole word, provided they have seen the word before. Phonics comes in when a new word, not previously seen, is being read. These visual learners are therefore taught how to use their natural learning style and how to put it into practice in the best way.

Empowering Learning teaches people how to get into the best emotional state for learning. How we feel affects what we do. Many students sit in a classroom or test in a state of anxiety when they feel that they are ‘stupid’ or incapable of learning due to past negative experiences. This negative emotional state is a barrier to learning. By teaching students how to become calm and relaxed prior to learning they are more likely to succeed.

Families are engaged whenever possible. Having the right motivation to change is essential for any improvements to be made. For many students this is not possible to do without the support of their families. If a learning issue is prevalent amongst other family members then showing whole families how they can all help each other provides the essential motivation. Learning becomes fun as everyone can succeed quickly, homework time is less painful and there is more emphasis on the talent and creativity of the student.

Teachers learn how students learn visually, incorporating a full multi-sensory learning experience
. Whilst it is well understood how to teach visually most teacher training does not include how people to learn visually. This is a vital component in understanding the difference between those that develop their natural learning skills automatically and those that don’t.

Empowering Learning has studied how people without learning challenges think and behave. Once you know how someone does something you can teach others to do the same.

The philosophy is a coaching person-centered approach. Helping people understand their own experience and developing new skills in those areas they want to change. Some practice is needed but if you want to succeed this will be minimal, motivation is the key.

Empowering Learning is in the forefront of creative thinking for all learning difficulties. It complements rather than replaces other educational practices and techniques.

For your free, no-obligation 20 minute initial consultation to find out more and discuss your requirements, please contact me now on 01582 766541 (Harpenden, Hertfordshire) or 07815 509168.

Or e-mail at: diana at optimiseyourlife.com

To find out more about the Empowering Learning approach and to gain a completely new perspective on all types of learning differences, Olive's book Bridges to Success is a 'must read'.

Bridges to Success - How to Transform Learning Difficulties

buy now

CD of exercises also available

'Bridges to Success offers gifted and challenged individuals a completely new perspective on their current experience of learning difficulties and empowers them to achieve what they thought was impossible.'  For the first time the whole range of 'Learning Difficulty' diagnoses are considered together and common insights and strategies presented.

If you are interested in training to become an Empowering Learning Practitioner, Olive Hickmott  is running training courses ...