Mr Ben Arikpo, the Chairman of Dyslexia Foundation, on Friday, said learning disabilities that affect the brain’s ability to process, analyse or store information can be corrected through brain exercises designed to help anyone to become smarter.
He made this known in Abuja during discussion with journalists as part of activities to commemorate the 2018 Brain Awareness Month.
He said March was an International Brain Awareness Month and the Dyslexia Foundation Nigeria (DFN) in partnership with Brain Training and Development Centre (BTC) was creating awareness about the brain.
He added that the brain awareness month was a global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research.
He noted that “every March, brain awareness month unites the efforts of partner organisations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages.
“Activities to mark the month may include open days at neuroscience labs, exhibitions about the brain, lectures on brain-related topics, social media campaigns, displays at libraries and community centres, classroom workshops and more.”
Arikpo said learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Autism, Down syndrome and hereditary Dementia are all neurobiological in origin.
He, however, noted that common misconceptions about the causes of learning disabilities in Nigeria include poverty, developmental delay, speech, hearing or vision impairment, learning a second language or even witchcraft attack for which there is no remedy.
He said “contrary to these beliefs, many aspects of the brain can be altered as the brain is neuroplastic.
“This means that the brain can change throughout an individual’s life and with the right stimuli, it can be trained to become more efficient in spite of any brain disorders or labels that one may have been born with.”
According to him, over 30 million persons are estimated to be affected by signs and symptoms of dyslexia in Nigeria.
He added that “when you add up the estimates for other less prevalent learning disabilities mentioned above, the statistics will paint a grim picture of the challenge facing the nation’s already ailing education sector.”
He pointed out that the Brain Training and Development Centre, work hard to surpass these learning disabilities through individualised therapy.
Arikpo said the therapists at the centre were trained in technical side of specific learning disabilities, as well as ways to navigate the emotional side of these learning issues.