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Signs and Symptoms of a Cognitive Disorder


Cognitive skill disabilities are aspects of ADHD and learning disabilities that can have a big impact on whether your child copes successfully at school. It's important to understand what cognitive skills are, the signs of cognitive skill deficiencies and what they might mean for your child.

What Are Cognitive Skills?

One of the easiest ways of understanding what cognitive skills are is to refer to Bloom's classifications. Cognitive skills are:

  • Knowledge: remembering information.
  • Comprehension: understanding what has been communicated.
  • Application: using general concepts to solve problems.
  • Analysis: breaking down information into parts to see relationships between ideas.
  • Synthesis: making something new by organizing information into new relationships or patterns.
  • Evaluation: deciding which methods should be used to solve problems.

When a child uses these cognitive skills to understand and learn, they are performing what's known as cognitive processing. These thought processes and include perception, reasoning, memory and judgment.

What Are the Signs of a Cognitive Processing Disorder?

School-age children who have ADHD and other learning disabilities may experience issues with cognitive processing. Signs of cognitive delay can include:

  • Difficulty paying attention, even for short periods.
  • Inability to sit still for any length of time.
  • Taking an extraordinarily long time to complete tasks, such as homework or writing tests.
  • Poor memory when recalling learned facts or multi-step written instructions.
  • Weak listening skills and difficulty in remembering oral instructions.
  • Difficulty with reading, spelling, vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Problems with abstract concepts in math.
  • Struggling to plan and prioritize.

Impact on Your Child

If your child is experiencing cognitive skill issues, it will have an enormous impact on school performance unless help is given. One of the frustrations you and your child may experience is that learning performance is inconsistent. One day your child may struggle with various learning issues, the next day things go smoothly, but the following day it's back to square one. Inconsistent performance is one of the signs of cognitive skill deficiency, and it's important to remember that this is not a case of your child not trying hard enough at school. Professional intervention can help your child cope with academic demands and make up for lost time.

A child who is struggling with cognitive delays often feels unworthy and exhibits low self-esteem. This spills over from school into social interactions with family and friends. These feelings often manifest themselves in bad behavior.

If your child has cognitive impairments, they are only a part of your whole child. With support at home and at school, your child can learn to address his or her weaknesses and experience greater academic success.

Don't let your child fall further behind! To learn more about why our whole-child approach is the most effective way to help your child with learning struggles, contact us online or find a center near you.

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