The Learning Skills Continuum

The Chatterbox Learning Academy is based on the Learning Skills Continuum. Here, learning skills are like rungs on a ladder. In order for the ladder to be stable and work properly, each rung is dependent on the development of the rung before it. The lower rungs form the foundation of learning and development. 

Any missing or weak rung creates a hole in that foundation of your child’s intellectual processing. But your child is not alone. These shaky foundations are found in 30% of people, causing their skills to develop slower than others. For this approximate 1/3 of the population, as they mature from infancy to adulthood, these gaps can cause varying learning disabilities that challenge a person’s daily existence and lifetime potential. 

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At the base of the ladder, the first rung is your child’s Core Learning Skills. Core Learning Skills include:

  • Developmental auditory (hearing)

  • Visual

  • Gross motor skills

  • Internal organization such as motivation or getting started with projects due to primitive reflex

  • Body and attention awareness

We think of body and attention awareness as, “Where is my body at in space, and what is my mind doing right now?” 

Processing Skills are the next rung on the ladder and build on the Core Learning Skills. Processing skills include: 

  • Memory

  • Attention

  • Auditory and visual processing

  • Processing Speed

Processing Skills take the input of Core Learning Skills and give them meaning and context.

Next rung on the Learning Continuum ladder are Executive Functioning Skills. Executive Function includes:

  • The ability to strategize

  • Organization

  • Self-regulation processes

These are the thoughts that take place to organize one’s activities, or movements. They sequence action items in the right order (for example, the steps it takes to tie one’s shoes) and are motivated to complete tasks. 

The top two rungs on the continuum are Basic Academic Skills and Content Area / Higher Academic. 


Schools are not designed to teach kids how to learn.

Academic Skills are what your child learns in school. These skills include: 

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Spelling

  • Math

When your child arrives on the first day of their school journey, teachers begin teaching Academic Skills. If he or she has weak skills on the learning continuum, Academic Skills will be that much more challenging to develop. Rather than starting with a strong base of support for learning academics, your child’s missing core learning, processing or executive function skills creates a challenging, unstable foundation.