What are cognitive skills? Simply put, this form of development refers to one's abilities to gain meaning and knowledge from experience and information. At Pheno Brain Training, we assess a person’s cognitive skills and customize our programs to meet their needs. But, what are cognitive skills and how do they determine how an individual learns?
Why Cognition Is Complex
Cognition is more than just learning information. Instead, it’s the ability to think about new information, process it and speak about it. In addition, cognition involves the application of this new information to other, previously acquired information.
As children mature, for example, they develop the ability to think on higher levels. They can process information more skillfully and make connections to other information more easily. In other words, their thinking skills get progressively better.
Children should be able to improve their ability to focus, to remember information and think more critically as they age. Cognitive skills allow children to understand the relationships between ideas, to grasp the process of cause and effect and to improve their analytical skills. All in all, cognitive skill development not only can benefit your child in the classroom but outside of class as well.
Understanding the relationship between cause and effect can prevent children from giving in to peer pressure and making poor choices. It can also help them realize that if they play video games instead of doing their homework, they will likely do poorly on the quiz they have in math class the next day.
Nature vs. Nurture
Genetics do play a role in a child's cognitive skill development, but these skills can also be taught through practice and training. A child, without a disorder such as ADHD, can learn to pay attention. That being said, while most preschool-aged children have short attention spans of about 15 minutes, the typical third-grader should be able to pay attention for a longer amount of time.
Children can be taught to focus on completing a task by removing distractions such as toys, TV or talking while trying to finish their homework. Parents, teachers and caregivers can help children develop cognitive skills by asking them questions about a story they read, a field trip they made or a project they completed. By questioning children about their experiences, adults motivate children to think, reflect and engage in critical thinking.
When Your Child Misses Cognitive Skill Milestones
Sometimes children fail to hit age-appropriate cognitive skill milestones. Since all children are different and meet milestones at their own pace, failing to meet the mark at a certain age doesn't necessarily mean a child has a learning disability. If you're concerned about your child's cognitive development, however, don't ignore the warning signs or your gut instincts. Speak to your child's teacher or contact us, we’d be happy to provide a cognitive assessment for your child.
Your pediatrician or the school district may be quick to label your child as having a learning disability. We would first determine if and what aspect of your child’s cognitive process are delayed.
If your child does have a learning disability, it's important to seek help as soon as possible before the disability or disorder has the opportunity to stymie academic advancement and create psychosocial problems.
Many children with learning disabilities go on to pursue higher education and lead fulfilling and productive lives. We help children with a wide array of learning obstacle excel at academics, sports and life.
If you or someone you know would like a cognitive evaluation, we are offering a FREE assessment if you schedule an appointment by June 15 and you will receive a $200 discount if you enroll in one of our programs by mid-June as well. If there is a topic you would like to see addressed in a future blog, please let us know.
For more information on our services and programs, visit www.phenobraintraining.com