Brain science shows why children learn differently: Expert

Occupational therapist and teacher Kim Barthel noted that brain research in the last decade has shown that people learn best by natural inquiry rather than absorbing facts.
Occupational therapist and teacher Kim Barthel noted that brain research in the last decade has shown that people learn best by natural inquiry rather than absorbing facts.ST PHOTO: AMELIA TENG

The brain of a child with autism is similar to a war veteran's. Both have a heightened sensitivity to things around them, such as facial expressions, because of how their brains are wired.

Their behaviour, said world-renowned occupational therapist and teacher Kim Barthel, can be explained by a part of the brain called the amygdala, which takes in information and determines if anything is a threat.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2018, with the headline 'Brain science shows why children learn differently: Expert'. Print Edition | Subscribe