Welcome to the December/January edition of The Learning Brain.

As 2013 draws to a close, we see that education funding has again become a hotly debated topic.  At the time of sending you this newsletter, the federal government has once more changed its position on the Gonski school funding.  Whether there are more changes to come, only time will tell. Let’s hope that the uncertainty about funding will be cleared up soon.

To all our readers who have commented on items in The Learning Brain and given us feedback this year, we say a big thank you.  You can expect the next issue of The Learning Brain in your inbox in early February.  In the meantime, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a relaxing holiday season.

Warn regards,

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Whats New

Eye Contact Could be Early Autism Marker in Young Infants


Though autism typically isn’t diagnosed during the first 24 months of a child’s life, new research suggests that a steady decline in attention to other people’s eyes during the first two to six months of a baby’s life could be an early indicator of developing autism.  Learn More.

Latest Research
Free Download

Executive Function


For children to engage in classroom activities such as reading and organised games, they must first learn to regulate their emotions and inhibit some behaviours, such as shouting out.

Dr Virginia Main explains how executive function effects not only a child’s learning and cognitive skills, but also social and emotional competencies.  Download her paper.

Book of Month

When the Brain Can’t Hear


In this landmark book, When the Brain Can’t Hear, Dr. Teri James Bellis, one of the world’s leading authorities on auditory processing disorder (APD), discusses promising clinical advances and treatment options, and provides a host of proven strategies for coping with APD. If you or anyone you know has difficulty comprehending spoken language, or if your child is struggling in school, this important book may have the answers you need.

Whats On

School Holiday Intensive Reading Program at Home

Confused GirlHow could you help your students or children start the 2014 school year better mentally prepared for the challenges ahead?
For many families the school year is a blur. Keeping up with school work and after-school activities is a full-time job. There is stress, and some children struggle to reach their potential.

The school holidays are different.  Many children have the time, and importantly, the mental energy to take on something new.  This is the perfect time to target the underlying difficulties that made your child’s school year so challenging.

In just 2 months, our intensive holiday reading program can make a real difference for students – in school work and behaviour. They can start the new school year at a significantly higher reading level.  Contact us for more information about this holiday program.

Teachers, if you have students you think could benefit from a better start to school next year, please share this link with their parents.

The Learning Difference Convention

Congratulations to the lucky door prize and competition winners at the Learning Difference Convention last month.  Both Logan and Asher have won a 3 month Fast ForWord Brain Training  subscription.  We look forward to working with you.


Do you have questions about your child or students? Email us


Question: My child is sometimes difficult to understand, what should I do?

Answer:   There are several different factors that contribute to ‘speech’ difficulties, including:

  • problems with speech muscles not working properly
    –  dysarthria – the muscles are weak
    –  dyspraxia – difficulty with voluntary control of movement for speech
  • some problems with the structure of the mouth
  •    –  tongue tie
    –  dental overbite
  • phonological problems
    –  difficulty with the way the brain perceives speech sounds.

If your child has difficulty producing speech sounds it is important to have a professional assessment from a speech pathologists.