Cognitive Impairment

Definition of Cognitive Impairment

It would probably be best to start off with a definition of exactly what Cognitive Impairment is. Very generally stated, this is a condition, typically found in children, where the child has some type of problems with their ability to think and learn. This condition most readily presents itself when the child is at school and has difficulty with subjects such as reading or mathematics, far more problem than they should for a child with normal development at their age level. This will also show itself at home such as when the child has problems getting themselves dressed or even with feeding themselves. But if diagnosed early and with support from parents and trained professionals, the child should be able to learn to do things like walk, talk, and read with minimal problems, although they will likely do so at a much slower pace than children who are not afflicted with this disorder.

The best and perhaps only real way that a doctor or trained professional can determine if a child has cognitive impairment is by conducting tests. First the child’s general intelligence is measured and compared against children of the same age group who would be considered to be developing at a normal pace. In Southern California, a child psychologist Orange County may conduct these tests. Keep in mind that this is only a “clue” in the determination of the existence of cognitive impairment, but it is an important first step.

The reason that the child’s intelligence or IQ level is measured is because there are various forms of cognitive impairment, ranging from mild to moderate to severe to profound. A child with a mild cognitive impairment will typically have a higher IQ score and can therefore learn more quickly than a child with with severe cognitive impairment.

Virtually any child will learn at the pace that is most comfortable for them, and this statement is also true for a cognitively impaired child. Children who suffer from cognitive impairment, also known as “CI”, will need help to develop adaptive skills, where these skills will be designed to help them be able to work and play by themselves with minimal or perhaps even no supervision.

These skills or techniques are taught to the child by trained professionals or certified teachers who understand the needs of CI students, often via sessions consisting of both physical and occupational therapy.

Every child, even one with cognitive impairment disorder, has a legal right to attend public school. However, the parents should be aware that not all public schools are properly equipped to handle a CI student. This is not the school’s fault, it is a simple economic fact of life. Your child may learn and develop faster with much better results of you can send that child to a school that is equipped with work with students such as this, or even a private or special education school. Your child can learn better and faster if they are taught by certified teachers who are familiar with teaching students who learn in a slightly different way than other children. This may be done in consultation with a local Orange County therapist.


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