Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to common questions we receive.

Is Cognitive Development the same as tutoring?

Not at all. Tutoring reteaches information that wasn’t grasped through teaching, while cognitive development develops the brain skills necessary to help an individual learn, find, and use that information effectively.

Students typically struggle because of:

  • Poor instruction – this happens about 10% of the time
  • Sensory Issues: Vision or hearing impairment, for example: Again, about 5%
  • Behavioral issues: This accounts for about 5% of learning issues
  • Weak Cognitive skills: Weak Cognitive skills are responsible for about 80% of all learning issues.

Tutoring works on the first 2 (perhaps the first 3) issues, cognitive development works on the last. Which is incredibly good news! If 80% of learning struggles can be corrected at the foundational level, think what a different learning experience an individual could have!

There are definitely times to hire a tutor. In cases of poor instruction, missed instruction due to prolonged illness, moving to a more academically rigorous school district, or struggling in a highly specialized academic class (higher math, advanced science, for example), hiring a tutor makes sense.

In contrast, if you know of someone for whom learning has been a struggle in general, is struggling in more than one class, has struggled over the course of several years, that is an indicator that cognitive development is a necessary intervention.

Will my child outgrow his or her learning struggle?

Not necessarily. Children, teens and adults who struggle do so for a reason, and the reason may be weak cognitive skills. As your child is maturing, weak cognitive skills may not catch up. Whatever stage of education or life you or your child are in, it’s never too soon to take action to find out if there are weak cognitive areas and to take action if some are found.

What causes reading struggles?

Most reading struggles are due to a weakness in auditory processing. This is the cognitive skill that allows us to identify, segment, and blend sounds. But other weak skills can interfere with reading also. Poor attention skills, for example, can cause a reader to be frequently distracted. Poor memory skills can interfere with recalling the elements necessary to successful reading and understanding the written word. Poor visualization skills can keep a reader from creating the mental pictures that help them comprehend and engage with what they just read. Cognitive development works on each of these weaknesses (and more!)

Who has cognitive development helped?
  • Attention and ADHD: Attention struggles make it harder to keep up in class or on the job, complete tasks or assignments in a timely manner, feel confident, juggle the demands of school and life, and even drive safely. The good news is that attention is a skill that can be trained and strengthened.
  • Dyslexia and reading struggles: Studies show that weak cognitive skills are at the root of 85% of all reading struggles! This is why interventions that strengthen auditory processing, coupled with strengthening other cognitive weaknesses at the same time, get such tremendous results.
  • Learning Disabilities: The brain uses a core set of skills to think and learn. These skills include attention, memory, auditory processing, visual processing, logic & reasoning, and overall processing speed. If even one of these skills is weak, it can hinder thinking, learning, reading, remembering, paying attention, and more.
  • Autism: Cognitive development interventions are particularly great for kids and adults on the spectrum because the individual, customized sessions are structured and rewarding. The one-on-one nature of the coaching relationship allows each mental workout to reflect the unique needs, abilities, and goals of every client.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Many victims of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) experience changes in cognitive performance, leaving victims and their families struggling with what to do next. Cognitive development training targets and improves cognitive performance regardless of diagnosis, so the impact can be life-changing.
  • Struggling kids: When cognitive skills are weak, life is harder than it needs to be. When kids struggle in school and life, it’s imperative to find out if weak cognitive skills are at the root of the problem. Because if they are, those weak skills can be strengthened.
  • Adults: The brain is never too old to change. While cognitive development is a popular intervention for children and teens who are struggling with learning or school, a growing number of adults are discovering the benefits of cognitive development.

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About Us

Metro Learning Solutions takes a different approach when addressing learning struggles. We take relevant, research-based studies designed to uncover any cognitive weaknesses that might be responsible for learning difficulties. Our goal is to turn these weaknesses into strengths.

We serve families in the Metro Des Moines, Iowa area.

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