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Poor Organization, Planning – Executive Function? It Could be Related to a Weak Left Brain


When your child has a learning disability, it’s often because they have a weak left brain.

This weak left brain not only affects academics.

It affects executive function.

Executive Function Affects:

  • Organization
  • Planning and strategy 
  • Focus and attention
  • Multi-tasking
  • Impulse control
  • Memory

…and some of these processes related to executive function are very much a left brain function.

When your child is given a project and has to break it down into smaller tasks to complete it – that’s the left brain that needs to come online to plan and strategize.

You see the left brain is all about details. 

Kids with Learning Difficulties are Right Brain Over-Developed

The right brain is big picture.

Most kids with learning difficulties have an overdeveloped right brain. 

That means they are using their right brain for most tasks even when the left brain could do a better job.

This overdeveloped right brain is what gives them incredible zones of genius in things like art, mechanics, sports, legos and 3D vision.

But the default to think ‘big picture’ is what can make things in school feel so overwhelming and why it can be so hard to be organized and strategic.

When the Left Brain is not Coming Onilne

When the left brain is weak, your child is likely to skip over details and has difficulty breaking things down into smaller tasks.

Their short term memory is poor and that makes it hard to remember the teacher’s instructions or what they just read while they try and do something else.

Organization, planning and task completion can feel like an uphill battle.

The recommendations on IEPs are to colour code, provide organizers, agendas, set reminders and sit the child near the teacher. 

While this is a great temporary measure, it doesn’t help your child in the long run with all those skills that are essential for success in and outside of the classroom.

You see you can’t ‘teach organization’ when your child’s brain is lacking the connections in the brain for those functions. 

Strengthen the Weaker Hemisphere

You need to build that network by stimulating the weaker left side of the brain.

Stimulating the left brain is key for kids who have learning difficulties. 

Ways to Stimulate the Left Brain: 

Here are some simple ways you can do that at home.

  1. Left nostril breathing
  2. Problem solving and puzzles activate the left brain. Crosswords, Sudoku, attending an Escape Room and murder mysteries are all great ways to activate the left brain.
  3. Brain Teasers stimulate the left brain and the great thing is you can find plenty online.
  4. Math is definitely a left brain activity with its logical, linear questions that also require that left brain problem solving. Have your child do math exercises that are challenging but not overwhelming.
  5. Strap a vibrating toothbrush to their right leg (right side of the body is controlled by the left brain) and let them read, or do any of the above activities.
  6. While reading, writing and math are mostly left brain functions, use caution with reading or writing exercises that are excessively hard and can cause a struggling learner to further shut down. 

In my 6 month program, we make sure that the brain training is done in a strategic way by stimulating the sensory-motor system and doing exercises that are non-academic to start in order to build confidence and motivation among kids who are often already discouraged and resistant.  

Learn more about our programs by booking a free Clarity Call.

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