PSYC 3850 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Lev Vygotsky, Adaptive Behavior, Delays

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PSYC 3850
CHAPTER 6
COGNITIVE AND LEARNING CHARACTERISTICS
A person with a developmental delay may exhibit or acquire much of the same
knowledge as one without a CID but at a slower rate and/or at a later age. A
developmental difference is when a person displays behavior that is atypical for
their age. Thus a difference may be that the behavior is typical at some point on
human development but its persistence suggests challenges beyond delayed
development.
Cognitive Characteristics
THE AAIDD notes that intellectual functioning must be viewed within the context of
several other dimensions such as:
- Adaptive behavior (conceptual, social and practical skills)
- Participation, interaction and social roles
- Health (physical and mental along with etiological factors)
- Context (environments and culture)
Two important theories were developed by Piaget and Vygotsky that are
constructivist in nature. Each theory emphasizes that a person constructs through
increasingly complex cognitive functions their understanding of the environment,
events and interactions with others along with their own thoughts and actions.
Schemas (frameworks) are within a child’s mind by which they can organize and
interpret the input through the senses and experiences. View box 6.1 on page 157.
Some noted that critics of Piaget point out that the stages do not necessarily
correspond to the emergence of skills in children. Some may occur earlier or later
than he had suggested. They suggest that the stages are not as synchronous and that
they are not in a particular stage but are developing skills and knowledge from
different stages at different times. They can also be taught some things that they
would have only learned later. We need to take into account culture and education
as well.
Vygotsky had placed considerable emphasis on social and cultural processes in the
development of a persons mental functioning. Mediation through language is
discourse is the means by which cognitive functions are modified and altered. They
can occur within social, historical and cultural contexts. This should also occur
within their zone of proximal development: the range of tasks that are too hard for
children to master alone but that can be learned with guidance/assistance from
adults or more skilled children. Scaffolding is known as the process of altering the
level of guidance and assistance given as a child becomes increasingly more effective
and efficient at various skills and mental functions.
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These theories are relevant to our discussion in several ways:
- Cognitive development may be delayed or different
- Deficits in cognitive development are integral parts of what defines a CID
thus understanding how it affects a person is beneficial.
- These theories help us understand how persons learn and develop providing
some basis for understanding educational processes.
Cognitive Delays
Historically Zigler stated that the developmental delays position suggests that if you
equate on a cognitive level there should be no differences in cognitive functioning
associated with IQ. Others say that the condition becomes apparent when a person
has problems adapting to an environment or situation. In other situations where
adjustment is achieved, others may have no perception of delayed or different
development. Thus, the lack is evident in certain situations and others it is not.
Furthermore, others say that cognitive differences are more evident and that those
differences are relatively stable. They may assimilate, accommodate and learn
differently. One may be characterized as having differences in cognitive
development when the stages that typically occur in persons with CID’s are not
evident or the skills and knowledge developed in a stage are reduced or the
sequence of the stages is altered.
Some suggest that the executive functioning of a children with CID’s is closely
resembled to those without but with similar mental ages in certain measures. They
may have a specific profile of executive functioning and that the development of
these different skills may be related to their mental and life experience.
Theory of Mind: has to do with a person’s ability to recognize and understand their
own belief’s, desires, intents and that others may have mental states different from
their own. The AAIDD states that human functioning is a typically enhanced through
the use of individualized supports. How one adapts and thrives can be better
understood when we examine particular cognitive functions along with speech and
language development.
Learning Characteristics
These areas are the ability to transfer and generalize knowledge and skills and to
use learning strategies. In turn, deficits in the use of learning strategies can affect
cognitive and metacognitive processes as well. The environments where one is
successful and not has also been taken into consideration. The school is a more
exacting environment for the child than the social life for an adult.
Transfer and Generalization of Knowledge and Skills
It refers to ones ability to use knowledge and/or skills learned in one
situation/setting and applying that same thing in different ways over time in
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Document Summary

A person with a developmental delay may exhibit or acquire much of the same knowledge as one without a cid but at a slower rate and/or at a later age. A developmental difference is when a person displays behavior that is atypical for their age. Thus a difference may be that the behavior is typical at some point on human development but its persistence suggests challenges beyond delayed development. The aaidd notes that intellectual functioning must be viewed within the context of several other dimensions such as: Adaptive behavior (conceptual, social and practical skills) Health (physical and mental along with etiological factors) Two important theories were developed by piaget and vygotsky that are constructivist in nature. Each theory emphasizes that a person constructs through increasingly complex cognitive functions their understanding of the environment, events and interactions with others along with their own thoughts and actions.

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