Example Profile: Left Brain Learner

Profile of a Left Brained Learner

Jaynee Hodgkins, Brain Integration Specialist

  • Very detail oriented
  • Tends to stay focused on what they are interested in
  • Tend to be auditory learners (this can change depending on their dominant learning profile, ie. If Student is both an auditory and visual learner)
  • A logical linear thinker who appreciates mathematics more than writing.  Will tend to not like writing stories and may become very frustrated during writing projects if stuck in left brain.  May have trouble coming up with ideas and expressing thoughts and feelings on paper.
  • Under stress, communication may be shut down (expressive and receptive)
  • Has the ability to follow step by step instructions
  • May have trouble seeing the “big picture” or coming up with big ideas for projects.  May get stuck on the details (ie. “can’t see the forest for the trees”).
  • Time Conscious
  • When under stress may try harder with lots of effort but with no joy, comprehension or understanding
  • Verbal learner who needs to talk,  process, analyze to learn
  • Tends to print
  • Takes notes

 

Tips for parents and teachers working with the left brained learner

The typical left brained student may be a very good student for some things such as math and computers.  Oftentimes they have difficulty expressing themselves in writing and they may become very frustrated with writing projects and have trouble “shutting down” on tests that require essay answers.  Boys who are started in academics at a very young age before they are ready for more left brained and fine motor skills, may get stuck in left brained “try” mode for school and typically writing issues show up between 3rd and 5th grade.  Highly intelligent, easily frustrated, these learners can find relief by sitting on an exercise ball to stimulate the inner ear (especially during writing exercises and homework).  Encouraging water and giving them a picture as a prompt can also help them communicate in writing more efficiently.

 

If the Student is not a completely left brained learner because he is mixed dominant (left hand/right eye) he may be more visual.  He is therefore more of a visual learner than auditory under stress and will appreciate pictures/charts/posters etc.

Student may benefit from sitting either further back or on the side where his movement doesn’t disturb others.  Moving is a way for students to “attend” by stimulating the vestibular inner ear.  When calm, helping him explore ambiguity, emotions and movement can help him see things from a whole picture perspective.

“Positive enjoyable sensory-motor experiences will help develop the skills necessary to emotionally interact and fully access imagination, creativity and introspection.”  (The Dominance Factor by Carla Hannaford, PhD.)

Student would benefit from seeing and hearing the details in order to learn because he is both an auditory and a visual learner.  “Because his dominant left hand is connected to the kinesthetic gestalt hemisphere, he may need to move, touch and manually explore in order to organize and express information”.  Throwing a ball while practicing math facts or spelling words can help.

  • Help Student learn math facts and spelling words, vocabulary etc. by utilizing flash cards in the upper left field of vision while he says the item aloud.  He can thereby take a mental snapshot of the information and it becomes more reflexive.
  • Put visual cues/steps/lists up for him to see
  • In class, allowing him to put up a cubbie or an office during class work will help minimize distraction.  If he is working with a group of students and becomes distracted by them, you may want to set up a sign whereby you know he needs less distraction ie.  He goes back to his seat and works quietly alone.
  • Parents can encourage exercises at home that reverse the fight/flight or “deer in the headlights” process that happen for these kids.  Teachers can encourage water and breaks or other tools that work for that student
  • In elementary school allow him to sit on an exercise ball at his desk to stimulate the inner ear (provides focus and emotional grounding)
  • In non stressed environment they can communicate but as they get stressed communication can become “shut down”.  Physical movement (a walk, a drink of water) can help them reboot quicker to be able to think rationally.
  • They can become overwhelmed during testing situation and revert to fight/flight (where no rational thought is going on) because they see entire test.  Having them hide all but one question from themselves will help
  • If student is mixed dominant (ie. left handed and right eyed) this can cause reversals in reading and writing as well as how they understand instructions given (in other words it can cause confusion)
  • Physically active, non-competitive activities that cross the midline of the body will help integrate this learner and provide stress relief (marital arts, swimming, soccer, knitting)
  • Student exhibits some Sensory Integration Dysfunction which is demonstrable by louder noises and frenetic activity.  BIT will help his “filters” come back to a homeostatic place.  A great resource is “The Out of Sync Child” by Carol Kranowitz
  • See Bibliography for more ideas

Jaynee Hodgkins, RN BSN pHn

JMHodgkins@msn.com 303-883-6109

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