Know your Child: Abstract Reasoning

December 9, 2014

This week, we continue our series on cognitive skills. Perhaps one of the most fascinating, abstract reasoning serves students well as they face challenges in school and in life. Nancy and her team at Mindprint help us better understand. How the experts define abstract reasoning This complex reasoning skill refers to one’s ability to draw inferences and analyze information involving objects, images, space or numbers. You may hear it called non-verbal reasoning, visual reasoning, or abstract math reasoning. In the shoes of a child with an abstract reasoning weakness The child with weak abstract reasoning skills often has the feeling of being lost in a big city without a map. Give this child clear directions, and it’s not a problem. Ask… Read More

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Know your Child: Visual Motor Speed

December 9, 2014

Visual Motor Speed: Visual motor speed refers to a child’s ability to efficiently integrate visual and motor skills efficiently to complete a task. Often weaknesses in this skill are related to fine motor or gross motor coordination difficulties. This skill is part of the general cognitive domain of speed. In the shoes of a child with a visual motor speed weakness Being a child whose weakest skill is visual motor speed can feel like an engine without enough grease. You have all the key parts you need to run, except you just can’t get moving. This can be a child who understands the material, knows what he wants to say, but can’t get his writing on paper quickly enough. Or… Read More

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Know your Child: Verbal Reasoning

December 9, 2014

Verbal Reasoning This complex reasoning skill uses words to draw inferences from limited information and develop an understanding of an idea by considering its components or connections to other ideas. We use verbal reasoning skills when we listen, read, speak and write. In the shoes of a child with a verbal reasoning weakness It can feel lonely as a child with a verbal reasoning weakness. In class, it may feel like everyone else understands what the teacher is saying, except you. You may be embarrassed to ask the teacher to explain it again, or you feel bad about slowing down the rest of the class. At lunch time you may not “get the joke” or follow the conversation so you… Read More

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Know your Child: Spatial Perception

December 9, 2014

How the experts define spatial perception This is the mind’s ability to process material that is visual or exists in a spatial array such as maps, graphs, or symbols. It may be called spatial relations or visual-spatial perception and is part of the complex reasoning domain of cognitive skills. In the shoes of a child with a spatial perception weakness In many cases, this weakness doesn’t become a problem until the skill is needed for a very specific task, such as drawing, reading graphs or maps, or working with geometric figures. Because students typically do not rely on these skills throughout the school day, or they are very important in one math unit but far less important in the next… Read More

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Know your Child: Flexible Thinking

December 9, 2014

Flexible Thinking This skill refers to one’s ability to shift thinking or attention in response to a switch in rule set, or to new or unexpected situations. You might hear this skill referred to as mental flexibility, cognitive flexibility or abstraction. It is part of the cognitive domain of executive functions. In the shoes of a child with a flexible thinking weakness Imagine driving without your GPS and you reach a “road closed” sign; you have no idea where you are or where to go next. You might get angry at the lack of warning and consider taking the closed road regardless. You might panic about what to do next and call someone for help. Or you might simply sit… Read More

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