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Spectrum Learning


Asia's First Neurofeedback Centre (Established 1995)


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>Tel: +65-68349476       Email: Jess@spectrumlearning.com.sg


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Is your child a Slow Learner or have Learning Difficulties?

Learning difficulties is a general term used to describe a difficulty with learning a subject but it is not severe enough to be considered a disorder. Those with learning difficulties across all subjects are considered slow learners. They do poorly in school but are not eligible for special education. The severe ones may exhibit symptoms of delayed mental development.

Symptoms of Learning Difficulties:

Usually slow learners have a combination of different types of learning difficulties. Typical symptoms include:

As a result of these learning problems, they show no interest in their studies and have no motivation to improve. In severe cases, they show no interest in anything at all and are passive.

Many of these children have remedial in school and tuition outside school. But despite all these effort, they continue to do badly in their tests and examinations. Most of them are normal. But a good proportion of them are passive and even slow in their speech and actions. For these children, they eventually become disheartened and their self-esteem will start to decline. Some are labeled as stupid, lazy or have no interests in studies.

Most parents and even educators do not know what to do for these children other than to do more remedial or tuition. For many, remedial and tuition does not help at all. Some may even send their children to motivational workshops, hoping that the will be inspired and start to do better. Again, many find that these does not help.

Many are not aware that there are known causes for learning difficulties or slow learners. Addressing these causes will help the child to overcome their learning difficulties and improve their test results significantly.

Tests and Assessments for Slow Learners:

Usually, it is rather easy to identify a slow learner in school. Tests and assessments are done to see if they are dyslexic or have any other learning difficulties or disorders. These are usually done by an Educational Psychologist, where the strength and weakness of the child are assessed. These are usually assessments of abilities but it does not identify the possible causes.

Causes of Learning Difficulties

All educators and tutors do not look for causes of learning difficulties or slow learning. This is because the focus is on the subject material and the grades. In teacher’s training, the focus is on pedagogy and misconceptions. It is interesting that while learning is in the brain, all educators do not look at or into the brain for answers.

At Spectrum Learning, we started off as educators. But we find that conventional methods of teaching and remedial are of not much help to those with learning difficulties. We have taken a brain-based and biological approach to this problem. We started looking into what is going on in the brain using QEEG or brain mapping. QEEG is a safe and non-invasive brain imaging tool that allows us to study what goes on inside the brain. We also started to investigate other biological causes of this condition, and have found quite a few.

Brain Factors

Brain mapping or Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) is a procedure that records neural activities of the brain from at least 19 locations on the scalp simultaneously. At Spectrum Learning, we routinely do a QEEG on children with learning difficulties. We measure the brain wave activities while the subject is engaged on a series of academic or study tasks. These are usually the tasks which the child has difficulties in.

From the QEEG, we find that many children with learning difficulties have brains that are under-aroused. They have excessive Delta and Theta waves and too little of Beta and high-Beta waves. High Deltas waves indicate that the brain is shutting down while high Theta indicates that the brain is idling. This can make them look passive and day-dreaming. The low arousal also cause them to be slow in their thinking and work.


A) The diagram on the left is a QEEG analysis of a 9 year old boy who is a slow learner. This is the profile during eyes open. The QEEG indicated that his brain is very under-aroused, making him passive and not motivated to do anything. This level of Delta in the brain can indicate an injury.

B) The diagram on the right is the QEEG of a 11 year old girl who is a slow learner during eyes open. Note the elevated Delta at the mid frontal and left frontal side of her head. This indicates that these sites are under-aroused. This will negatively affect motivation, mood, working memory and analytical thinking. Her language area (T5) is much more active compared with her left frontal. As such, her ability to understand is better than her ability to reason and analyze.

Both Beta and high Beta waves indicate brain activities. These brain waves should increase whenever we learn or think. For children with learning difficulties, instead of Betas and high-Betas increasing, most parts of the brain show a reduction instead. This indicate a shut down when they engage on a mental task.

C) The QEEG topograph on the left shows a child with severe learning difficulties. The blue areas indicates the regions in the brain where Beta and high-Beta reduces while on a learning task. It is widespread across many parts of the brain. The yellow areas indicate stress.

For others with not so severe learning difficulties, the inactive region may not be as widespread. Some have shut downs that are localized only at specific parts of the brain, leading to specific learning difficulties.

Hidden seizures:

Using our QEEG or brain mapping technology, we found that quite a number of children who are slow learner or having learning difficulties actually have hidden seizures, i.e. seizures that cannot be seen with the naked eye. All of them have a history of head injury when they were younger. Neurofeedback is an excellent treatment for seizures and epilepsy.

Like the other disorders, there are a variety of QEEG profiles. As such, we strongly recommend doing a QEEG for children who are slow learners or have learning difficulties.

We are truly a brain-based intervention center as we actually look inside the brain. Many centers that claim to be brain-based do not look into the brain.

Biological factors

Our investigation does not stop at looking into how the brain function. We often ask ourselves why does the brain shut down? At Spectrum Learning, we offer biochemistry assessments, which allow us to analyze the activities inside one’s body.

We have done many biological tests, similar to those done for autistic children and have discovered many biological factors that can cause learning difficulties. Some of them includes:

Some of the above may seem mundane, but its effect on brain development is very significant. Many of them go unnoticed and the child is exposed to these factors for a long period of time. All educators are not train in this area and many are not aware of its tremendous impact on brain development and learning abilities.

In Singapore, one of the common causes is exposure to toxic elements mercury and cadmium. Both these toxic elements affects memory formation and recall. Mercury can also lead to inattentiveness and poor social behavior. Mercury exposure can come from eating too much fish and seafood, especially among Chinese. Cadmium can come from plastic toys or plastic bottles and cook wares.

There are other factors can can cause or aggravate Learning Difficulties or slow learning. Contact us to find out more or to do a test for the possible causes.

Spectrum Learning’s Intervention:

- What can be done to help?

Brain Factors:

Neurofeedback is a non-drug intervention for learning difficulties, which aims at exercising specific parts of the brain. With neurofeedback training, the neural activities at specific locations of the brain can be trained directly. For children with cognitive slowness, we usually use neurofeedback to train their brains to recover first. This is important as it also helps in detoxification, if any is needed. Most neurofeedback centers overlook this crucial step and do activation training which may send more toxins to the brain.

Upon recovery, neurofeedback training is then used to activate sites in the brain which are inactive. This is done by reducing Delta and Theta (dreamy) brainwaves, and to increase Beta (active) brainwaves in order to enhance cognitive abilities and functions.

These regulations will  translate to the following:

Other technologies:

We also include other technologies such as sound therapy and NIR therapy to help your child to improve faster. Like neurofeedback, these are safe and non-invasive therapies.

Sound Therapy: We have evaluated different types of sounds and found that they have different specific effects on the brain’s arousal. Our sound therapy is done together with the neurofeedback. This allows us to monitor the effect of the sound by looking at the brain waves in real-time.

NIR Therapy: This is the state-of-art therapy used by astronauts for healing in space. This therapy involves shining NIR light which can help to energize the brain.

Biological Factors:

From the biological assessments that we do, we will recommend an individualized nutritional and dietary program. We will also recommend a detoxification program when necessary.

Over the years, we have uncovered specific nutrients that can repair and rebuild the brain. This can also boost mental functions. Many of our clients have benefited from these supplements.

Many studies have shown that proper nutrition and diet can help a child’s brain to develop healthily, leading to higher IQ and academic success. Make sure your child does not lose out in education due to these factors.

Contact us to find out how you can help your child.


Slow Learners

Test and Assessments Interventions

Finding the Causes

Most clinicians do not bother about the causes as diagnosis is based on behavioral symptoms …   

At Spectrum Learning, we have been investigating the possible causes …

Brain Mapping - QEEG

Brain Mapping (QEEG) is a safe and non-invasive brain imaging technique. It measures brain waves (EEG) that the brain sends out from at least 19 locations simultaneously.

Careful analysis of these brains waves (EEG) can reveal information on how one is using his/her brain. It can also tell us the maturity of different parts of the brain. It is often used to investigate if there are any hidden seizures.

Read more …

Learning Difficulties

Slow Learners

Intervention Program

Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Conventional Tests and Assessments

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