Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cognitive Skills, Adaptive Behavior, Receptive Language

What are cognitive skills, adaptive behavior, and receptive language? To be honest, they are skills and behaviors that most people take for granted.  However, a lack in these skills can be a signal or warning sign to a bigger problem, like a specific learning disability.  Really everyone should take a minute to learn what each means.  If you know of someone that has a delayed child, please be careful as to how you approach the subject with them.  It is extremely hard to hear that there could be something wrong or a delay in your child.  (Trust me, I know.)  You might just want to kindly suggest they read the blog or visit the Birth-to-3 Program website to get a free evaluation for their child.  I mean everyone likes FREE, right?

Cognitive skills are the more well known of the 3 areas that I will be writing about in this post. 

“Cognition is a group of mental processes that includes attention, memory, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions.”

Cognitive skills for toddlers include:

·         Ability to explore and interact with toys

·         Perceptual Development (to notice a difference in objects)

·         Memory (to retrieve information)

·         Problem solving (to understand features of objects and their relationships)

The difficulty with this is that testing for cognitive ability is based on one's ability to communicate. So if your child has delayed verbal speech then the current cognitive tests may fail to represent your child's cognitive ability.

Adaptive Behavior                                                                                       

Adaptive behavior refers to the independent skills that people need to execute everyday tasks.

For toddlers (ages 1 -3) and young children this includes:

·         Attention span (can they sit still on your lap)

·         Eating (do they eat well)

·         Sleeping (do they sleep through the night)

·         Dressing (do they help stick their arms through the shirt hole, etc.)

·         Safety (are they aware of dangers)

·         Toileting Skills (do they lie still to be changed; is potty training not going well)

For teens and adults this includes:

·         Communication and social skills (interacting and communicating with other people)

·         Independent living skills (shopping, budgeting, and cleaning)

·         Personal care skills (eating, dressing, and grooming)

·         Work skills (following directions, completing tasks, and getting to work on time)

·         Practical academics (reading, computation, and telling time)

Receptive Language/ Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)/ Aphasia

Receptive Language is the ability to interpret and process spoken language.  It is also known as Auditory Processing Disorder, Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), Aphasia, or Comprehension Deficit.

For toddlers - teens this includes:

·         Looking at a person or object when you say the word

o   (ie. Where’s mommy? Where’s the baba? And looks at it.)

·         Difficulty understanding and following directions

·         Struggles with longer complex sentences

·         Has trouble understanding figurative and literal language

·         Often Avoids answering questions –

o    Says, “I don’t know” or “I forget”

o   Ignores the question all together

o   Shakes head yes or no

o   Repeats the last couple words of the question but doesn’t answer

For a more in depth explanation of receptive and expressive language I recommend reading this article:

Works Cited:

CT Birth to Three Program

Battelle Developmental Inventory -2

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