By Jan Bedell, PhD, Master Neurodevelopmentalist


A common question from homeschool families is, “What curriculum do you have for ______?” Fill in the blank with one of the myriad of labels that are prevalent today – dyslexia, ASD, ADD, ADHD, dysgraphia, all types of syndromes. The answer is that there really isn’t one. WAIT! Before you panic or throw up your hands, let me reassure you that there are solutions to your dilemma, but it is not found in a specific curriculum. To find the answer, you definitely have to think outside the box. 

As a neurodevelopmentalist for 30 years, I can tell you that each situation is unique. Every child brings their own set of challenges to the situation and no two are exactly the same. 

Let me give you a few examples of possible root causes of specific symptoms that need to be considered for the best way forward for the child.  


If a child has trouble reading or is labeled dyslexic, a few of the root issues may be:

  • Eyes not able to track well horizontally and/or vertically
  • Eyes don’t place the image from one eye on top of the other to get a clear image to the brain- poor eye convergence.
  • Auditory processing, auditory short-term memory, is low so holding all the phonics pieces together to get a word out is a challenge.
  • Central vision is not developed well, causing skipping of words or lines
  • The brain is not storing learned information correctly which causes inconsistent recall, one day they know the word and the next they don’t.


If a child has ADD/ADHD symptoms or labels, a few of the root issues may be:

  • Hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation from visual, auditory, and or touch resulting in many of the symptoms on the checklists you find online or in a clinical setting, like distractibility to name one.
  • Metabolic issues, chemistry of the body is causing poor behavior.
  • Low auditory processing is a huge factor in these labels. Poor development in this area results in:
    • Inability to stay on task
    • Trouble following directions
    • Difficulty seeing cause and effect
    • Remembering to do chores
    • Immature behavior
    • Struggles with math word problems
    • Slow, low or no use of phonics
    • Challenges with following conversations
    • Low reading comprehension
    • More comfortable playing with younger children
    • and many more

If a child has dysgraphia symptoms or labels, a few of the root issues may be:

  • Poor proprioception, knowledge of where you are in space.
  • Immature pathways from the brain to the fingers. 
  • Underdeveloped muscle tone causing inefficient hand strength.
  • Weak central vision development causing: 
    • Inability to write on a line
    • Large letters combined with small letters
    • Inconsistent spacing of words
    • Hands tire easily with writing
    • Struggles to stay in the lines when coloring 

These situations are frustrating for parents, teachers, and children.  The good news is that the brain possesses an amazing, God given, ability to grow and change if there is the right kind of stimulation. 

Each label or symptom within a label has a reason in the wiring of the brain that allows it to exist. More and more often, I see children with multiple labels. This just means that the brain inefficiencies are overlapping causing many symptoms in multiple categories. As stated previously, each child has a unique set of symptoms. There are, however, many combinations of symptoms that we see with different labels. When the root cause is addressed it brings relief in academic pursuits without the change of a curriculum. 

Our job as educators, at any level from the home educator to the professional that is advising the family, is to look past the current functional ability- HELP MY CHILD CAN’T READ OR DO MATH!- to what may be causing academics to be less than desirable. Your first advice in this search is, “The full answer will not be found in any one curriculum.”

My challenge to you is to start the WHY search! 

Why is the child distracted? 

  • Is it too much sensory stimulation? To find out and discover some solutions go to our YouTube Channel – Brain Coach Tips. Look for: It’s Not That Loud!; Hyper Vision; It’s Just a Sock!.  
  • Is it low auditory processing? To start your search watch- The New Label on the Block CAPD

There is much more to explore here on our channel, when looking for root causes. We are also here to help you if you want personal direction. Just set up a free consultation at Brain 

May God richly bless you in your search for how to best help your child!


About Jan:

In 1992, a journey started that transitioned Jan from desperate home school mom of a struggling learner into a master neurodevelopmentalist.

With her new knowledge of brain optimization, coupled with experience as a public, private and home school teacher, she developed curriculum and training programs for parent and professionals.

The NeuroDevelopmental Approach gave her hope for her daughter and now Dr. Jan aka Brain Coach™ dedicates her time to helping children, teens and adults reach their fullest God-given potential whether they are gifted, typical or challenged.



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By Jan Bedell, PhD


Why do so many children in America have symptoms associated with labels like, ADD, ADHD or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)?  A mystery has arisen around the epidemic of children that struggle with:

  • following directions
  • the ability to attend and stay on task
  • distractibility
  • understanding the big picture when in a situation
  • social immaturity
  • reading comprehension
  • the ability to use a phonic approach to learn to read
  • and many other symptoms


Solving the Mystery from Within

These struggles are the cause of many challenges in school and often produce labels resulting in medication.  The NeuroDevelopmental Approach says, “let’s solve that mystery by finding the root cause of the symptoms.”  In other words, “Say NO to labels and YES to hope!”  Change the brain at the root cause and the symptoms can be eliminated. After all, the labels of ADD, ADHD and CAPD are symptomatic labels.  A symptomatic label comes from a list of symptoms. If there are enough checkmarks on the list, then the person is given a corresponding label.  The bottom line for us in the NeuroDevelopmental field is that each symptom is caused by something in the brain.  The good news is that the brain has plasticity, which means it can change and grow even where there are current struggles.

Many years ago when our educational system was developed, we were an auditory society.  We ate together as a family 2-3 times a day and TALKED. In contrast, we often eat on the run while the videos are flowing through the backseats of our cars.  In the past, we read as a family in the evenings or listened to radio broadcasts for hours.  We were an auditory society, and we developed our auditory sequential processing ability by the practice of intense, frequent listening.  In more recent times, we have transitioned to a more visual society.


“…the brain has plasticity, which means it can change and grow even where there are current struggles.


Auditory Sequential Processing Explained

Auditory Sequential Processing is the ability to hold pieces of information together in the order that it is communicated. An example would be being able to accurately retell a story that you have just heard in the correct order of events.  A good auditory processing ability is vital to reading comprehension as well as the ability to hold all the phonograms together to read words with a phonics approach. It is also important to picking up social cues, following directions and staying on task.  All these skills are needed to reach our full potential in school and in life. Good processing is necessary to avoid many of the symptoms previously mentioned in this post that cause us to suspect or label individuals. For a more in-depth look at auditory processing, listen to the Brain Coach Tip – The Best Kept Secret in Education, Auditory Processing






Auditory Processing and Behavior

Behavior is also greatly influenced by auditory processing, especially if the processing is weak. For example, if a 12 year old processes more like a 4-5 year old, he will act like a much younger child, causing much conflict in the home and with peers.  It boils down to this: you are expecting a 12 year old maturity level, but the individual is “developmentally” 4-5 years old.  This doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the individual or a reflection of their IQ.  No, it simply means something has blocked the right stimulation from the environment to gain 12-year-old processing ability.

Since the brain is dynamic and ever changing, much can be done to increase the processing ability of any person, at any age.  The results can be dramatic!  One example is a young man named Aaron who had been labeled ADD and put on Ritalin from the 3rd-9th grades to cope with the demands of school.  After participating for one year in the home-based activity list from Little Giant Steps, based on The NeuroDevelopmental Approach, he was able to finish high school very successfully without the use of medications or modifications. Today Aaron is a dedicated Christian husband and father of four as well as a part owner in a successful small business.


Drug-Free Treatment Solutions

You have heard of preventative medicine right?  We promote ways to prevent children from being labeled with ADD, ADHD or CAPD as well as offering drug-free solutions to reduce or eliminate the symptoms if an individual has already been labeled.  Working on auditory processing twice a day for two minutes is one of the keys to both prevention and changing the symptoms.

If you exercise the brain with specific stimulation, it produces better function.  Learn more about neurodevelopment and get a free auditory processing test kit to start enhancing your families’ future here:  Auditory Processing Information.



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