A huge piece of helping our children overcome their learning disabilities or struggles is to target their weaknesses with specific cognitive activities. This is different than academic activities. For example, if the child is having trouble in math because of the inability to see the relationships of numbers, then cognitive activities that focus on noticing relationships of pictures, for example, may be given. The ability to compute is an end result of being able to see relationships. Common mental processes which are targeted during cognitive training are: visual memory, auditory memory, working memory, mental manipulation, impulsivity, rhythm & timing, and mental processing speed.
Neuroplasticity is the understanding that the brain can always change, until the day we die. Our brain has the capability to build and change its neuropathways if given the proper environment. Researchers, when designing programs to improve the brain, look at intensity, duration, and frequency. Generally, programs to help change the brain are 5 days a week for about 20-60 minutes in length. The training will increase in intensity as the the tasks become easier for the child. This gradual increase in difficulty is an important element when working with your child using cognitive activities or games. As soon as the activity appears to be easy, you need to up the ante, always providing that cognitive challenge.