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Understanding Milestones and Delays

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It’s amazing how a once helpless and totally dependent infant can over time become a skilled and independent individual. Every adult including you has passed through some developmental stages i.e infancy, childhood and adolescence. Through these stages, you have acquired skills and built capacity to function and respond efficiently to the demands of everyday life. However, some individuals are not capable of this due to some gaps in infancy and childhood.

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Child development is the pattern of change that occurs between birth and the end of adolescence. It is a multidimensional concept that encompasses physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional aspects. Children develop through different stages in a relatively predictable time and pattern known as developmental milestones. Developmental processes in childhood are very critical and have a huge impact on a child’s capability later in life.  When children experience a significant lag in attaining age expected developmental milestones, it is called a developmental delay. Simply put, developmental delays occur when a child does not reach specific developmental milestones for his or her age. For example, if the normal age range for a child to begin walking is between 9-18 months and a 24 month old child is not able to walk, it can be considered as a motor developmental delay.

Two factors play major roles in child development. These are:

  • Heredity: A child can be born with a chromosomal abnormality if such is present in the genes of either or both parents. These abnormalities cause developmental delays.
  • Environment: Environmental influence occurs in cases of exposure to harmful agents during pregnancy and/or after birth thus causing delays in the child’s development.

InteractionBelow are some warning signs of a developmental delay at different stages of childhood.

INFANCY (0-12 months) : Most children start to speak their first words by 18 months of age and by age 3, most of them can make short sentences. However, if a child is unable to speak words or make short sentences by age 3, this is considered as a language developmental delay.

TODDLERHOOD (1-3 years): Children at 12 – 30 months are usually adventurous and playful as a result of their increased energy and curiosity but when children at this age exhibit the opposite, it may indicate a developmental lag.

PRESCHOOL (3-5 years): Preschoolers are usually calmer and less dependent than toddlers. They are learning to become more independent, imaginative and creative. However, if the opposite is displayed by a child within this age range, it may be a sign of developmental delay.

SCHOOL AGE (6-12 years): At this stage, a child is expected to be able to solve basic problems, distinguish between right and wrong thereby making somewhat independent decisions. However, a child that does not exhibit this competence might be experiencing a developmental delay.

It is expedient that parents monitor their child’s development and seek help when they notice some of these signs so as to enable the child undergo a thorough professional evaluation in order to ascertain the presence of a developmental delay and proffer necessary interventions.

Don’t delay when a developmental delay is noticed in your child or any child you know. Early interventions go a long way in alleviating the effects of developmental delays.

Kindly visit http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org for more information.

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more informative updates on child development.

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You can also download our e-books on Child development by clicking HERE


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MANAGING DYSLEXIA WITH MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

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Every day school activity e.g. reading an interesting comprehension aloud in the class may seem so ordinary and stress free for most persons. There are however persons who find such tasks overwhelming. The letters may seem to dance as they read thus, experiencing difficulties reading them. Dyslexia is a difficulty of language development. It is the most common learning disability affecting about 5 in every 100 children across the globe.

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Dyslexia is a learning disability of reading characterized by the following symptoms.

  •       Difficulties with word recognition spelling and decoding.
  •       Difficulties reading fluently.
  •       Slow development of language skills.
  •       Auditory short term memory.
  •       Difficulties with directionality.

This differs in persons depending on the severity. Certain persons may experience more of the writing difficulties others may experience more of reading or directionality difficulties. Some persons show signs of difficulty with early reading and writing and then later experience other language skills disabilities. The above symptoms do not signify that the children have below average intelligence.

 

EFFECTS OF DYSLEXIA

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  1. SELF ESTEEM: The presence of the above symptoms often reduces an individual’s sense of self worth. This induces stress on the child and as a result, can make the child dread going to school. Dealing with the stress of school work makes for frustration and reduction in sense of self worth.
  2.  SOCIAL LIFE: Dyslexia makes it difficult for children to express themselves and others would also find it tasking to understand them. They also may find it difficult to understand jokes. Thus, making it difficult for them to relate with their peers and greatly limiting their social life.

 

  DIAGNOSIS

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Trained professionals can conduct certain assessments to determine/ identify it. You can also log on to www.mobilehealthconsult.org to book assessment appointments.

TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT

  • MINDFULNESS: This is a complete focus of the present moment involving awareness of bodily sensations, the environment and thoughts without judging it as good or bad. It has been found severally to improve general well being especially psychological health.

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Through mindfulness, dyslexic individuals can improve their memory span. Mindfulness also would be key in increasing focus and attention when given  academic tasks thus, greatly improving verbal skills such as the skills of writing, and reading. With these  symptoms checkmated, feelings of self worth and social life gets greatly improved. The effects of mindfulness however are not automatic. It takes time, persistence and patience to master. Sign up for your Childs free mindfulness training today at www.mobilehealthconsult.org/smartmind.

 

  • DEVELOP AN ENGAGING LEARNING FORMAT FOR THE CHILD:

This is an individualized educational program should be carried out by the educational psychologist. This program should address the child’s needs and difficulties.

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  • PHONO-GRAPHIC READING METHODS:

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This involves combining words with pictures. This helps the children create a mental pictures of the words and thus helps the child have better memory.

  • EXPOSURE: it may be helpful to expose the child to oral reading, writing, drawing of texts of varying topics at an early stage.
  • Emotional support and encouragement would also be needful for the child.

 


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Equip your child for life

???????????????????The school session is gradually coming to an end and summer is just around the corner. Students are putting in their best efforts to make sure they do well to be rewarded with an exciting summer trip. While some children are on the top of their game when it comes to learning and academics, some others may just be struggling to catch up and are slow learners. It is important to understand each child’s needs and peculiarities when it comes to learning. There are different learning styles depending on how each brain learns. Some children are visual in that they quickly assimilate concepts demonstrated in a visual form using pictures, charts, graphs, tables, etc., while some are kinesthetic. This means that they would prefer to touch and feel what is being taught by way of practical classes to assimilate the new information efficiently.

Smart Brain

Regardless of each child’s learning style, there are basic processes involved in learning, reading, writing and any academic task.  The underlying processes responsible for any form of learning to take place are called cognitive processes. The strength of these processes are very critical for learning and academic excellence. These cognitive processes include: Attention, Working Memory, Thinking and reasoning, Sensory integration, Problem solving, Auditory processing, Visual processing, Cognitive flexibility, Processing speed, etc

Learning difficulties, thus, arise when either or some of these skills are weak.

Here’s the good news!

Cognitive Processes and skills can be improved upon!

Research has shown that cognitive or brain training has the capacity to strengthen neural connections in the brain. The neurons are brain cells necessary for processing information from the five senses and also responsible for the above mentioned cognitive processes. When the brain is being trained consistently, those aspects are fortified and efficient processing of information results, however, when they are left dormant, they are pruned. Yes pruned! Research shows that we lose the functionality of aspects of the brain that are not in use. The popular saying in this regard is “You either USE it or LOSE it”.


brainware safariYou can equip your child or student for life; by giving him/her access to cognitive enhancement software that will serve to train the brain for optimal performance and academic success.  One major brain training computer program that has garnered a lot of research and interest from education professionals in the United States is BrainWare Safari. Developed by Learning Enhancement Corporation in Chicago, BrainWare Safari is an interactive software that incorporates 35 years of scientific research and approaches to cognitive development into a video game format. Its comprises of 20 exercises and 168 progressively challenging levels that improve cognitive processes as attention, memory, thinking, visual and auditory processing, and sensory integration.  Some of the benefits of BrainWare Safari include:

  • Improved cognitive ability by an average of 4 years in just 12 weeks of CONSISTENT use
  • Boosts academic performance by an average of 1 year 
  • Equips with problem solving skills
  • Increased Confidence
  • Passion for learning and success
  • Striking a balance between learning and fun
  • Home and School Use
  • Parental monitoring of child’s progress.

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For more information on purchasing BrainWare Safari and how it works to help children and students, or you, Please click HERE

….. Bringing out the best in children.