by Elizabeth Cossick, M. Ed.
This is part two in a four-part series on cognitive weaknesses. Comment on this post to be entered to win a $20 School Box gift card.
Most parents and teachers know the typical warning signs of a learning problem: declining grades, apathy, noticeable shifts in mood. “But for many children, like Jenny (featured in part one of this series), the signs that something’s amiss are much more subtle,” shares LearningRx owner and former Cobb County, Georgia, teacher Kristen Thompson.
Here, Kristen shares some lesser-known telltales of cognitive weaknesses:
- Completing homework is a struggle and takes an inordinate amount of time.
- Looking several times at something while copying is necessary.
- Remembering and independently following multi-step directions is a challenge.
- Solving math word problems causes frustration. (Math skills are directly connected to cognitive skills.)
- Responding with, “I don’t get this!” or “What should I do first?” is common.
- Reading comprehension is weak; the “big picture” is often missed.
- At test-time, recalling facts and remembering what was studied is difficult.
- Asking for things to be repeated is a regular occurrence.
- The student’s sense of direction and map-reading skills are weak.
- The ability to readily “get” jokes or understand others’ senses of humor seems hindered.
- Jigsaw puzzles are avoided or deemed “too hard.”
- Organization of materials and time is elusive.
“The good news, however, is that the brain can be trained to overcome any cognitive weaknesses that might be causing these behaviors,” shares Kristen.
The first step, according to Kristen, is identifying exactly which cognitive skills are being impacted by a weaknesses. For more information on each of these different cognitive areas, stay tuned for part three in this series.
Click here to take a quick online quiz to determine if your child is displaying these warning signs.