Posts made in September, 2015

The Influence of Diet on the Child’s Cognitive Development

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in Child | 0 comments

Different nutrients play various roles in the development of the brain. Some of these are iodine, iron, zinc, choline, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D. When it comes to behavioral and cognitive development, people in industrialized countries tend to see diet as both the cause and an important solution of the problems. For example, in the United Kingdom, 32 percent of boys under the age of 10, 23 percent of girls under 7 and 16 percent of girls between 7 and 14 years of age take supplements that contain vitamins and minerals. Apparently, people in general are worried about dietary deficiencies.

It is too simple and superficial to say that diet has a critical role in brain development and, consequently, in intellectual functioning. The brain, like all the other body parts, is composed of protein, lipid, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals supplied through diet. As the brain grows more quickly than the rest of the body, it is obvious that a dietary deficiency in a critical developmental stage could result in long-term changes in brain structure, and thus in its functioning. Moreover, the brain is the most metabolically active organ, despite having limited energy reserves. Therefore, it depends on the diet to provide it with a continuous supply of glucose. Similarly, minute after minute, the functioning of the brain requires an adequate supply of micro nutrients that act as coenzymes or are part of the structure of the enzymes required for an optimal metabolic activity.

Therefore, diet is responsible with providing the necessary substances of which the brain is composed and which play the role of fuel that the brain uses to function. Either way, the mentioned analysis proves that diet has the power to influence intellectual functioning: the important question is how often, if ever, is diet so deficient that could result in the apparition of a problem, to what extent are interventions needed in developing countries and whether the concern shown by parents in industrialized countries is legitimate or if it implies a problem whose obvious psychological and medical solutions have been ignored.

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Dyslexia In language

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in reading | 0 comments

The child has problems:

  • Composing and structuring sentences correctly.
  • Expressing himself in clear terms.
  • Using verbs at the right tenses.

In general, his expression and verbal comprehension are still poor, much behind his mental capacity.

3.2 In reading

The child often reads in a hesitant, mechanical way, and therefore he finds no pleasure in reading; school subjects in different fields are difficult for him.

This happens due to the fact that all the child’s effort is focused on deciphering the words, and he can hardly infer their meaning.

If the reading is done silently, it might become comprehensive, but if the child has to read loudly, various problems will appear.

Shows difficulty in using a dictionary, and also in learning the alphabetical order of the letters, as well as any other topic that implies a certain order, like the months of the year, the multiplication table, etc.

3.3 In writing

The motor aspect still shows a certain level of awkwardness.

Muscle stiffness and fatigue occurs frequently.

Calligraphy is irregular and unsophisticated. Some of the letters are almost identical. Writing is largely undeveloped, and the size of the letters varies a lot.

His spelling is poor, there are plenty of mistakes.

Many of the mistakes characteristic to the previous level still occur: confusions, omissions, inversions, repetitions.

When writing, the child needs to make a great effort to put the sentences in order, use the right punctuation marks and express himself in precise terms.

While this stage presents a variety of different characteristics, some children still show features typical for the previous stage; this depends on several factors:

Firstly, on the mental level: children with a high intellectual capacity manage to overcome the difficulties, so their dyslexia appears greatly attenuated.

Then, on the seriousness of the disorder: a severe dyslexia, regardless of the other factors, is more difficult to overcome than a mild one.

Finally, it depends a lot on whether the child was diagnosed early and has received an adequate treatment.

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Dyslexia In calculation

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in problems | 0 comments

Mirror-writing of numbers.

Inversion of figures in numbers consisting of two or more figures. Example: 24 and 42.

Problems increase when it comes to hundreds or thousands, such as 104 and 140.

Mistaking numbers that sound similar. Example: 30 and 40.

Difficulty in creating series of numbers, both in ascending and descending order.

Tendency to start math operations from the left.

Difficulty in solving problems, when this involves verbal comprehension.

  1. Children over 12 years of age (Secondary school)

The child has problems focusing when reading or writing.

Shows primary memory problems, not being able to remember what he read, due to his difficulty in understanding read and written text, as well as mathematical concepts.

Interprets information in the wrong way, as he is unable to comprehend abstract information and also due to his poor reading skills.

Shows difficulty in organizing his space, his working materials and also his own thoughts when reading or writing.

Cannot manage his time, and has no strategies to finish his tasks on time.

Works slowly and cannot adapt to new environments.

His social abilities don’t function properly, and he doesn’t manage to make friends or understand conversations.

Finally, he avoids reading, writing and doing math, and gets into an emotional block.

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Characteristics of a Dyslexic Child (part two)

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in language | 0 comments

2.2 In oral language

The child overcomes dyslalia (a disorder in the articulation of phonemes. It refers to the inability to pronounce certain phonemes or groups of phonemes correctly. The language of a child with a serious form of dyslalia can be incomprehensible.) and the omissions characteristic to the pre-school stage. However, his verbal expression is still poor, and he has difficulties in learning new words, especially if they are phonetically complex.

2.3 In reading

His reading is full of mistakes uncharacteristic for this age.

In letters: There can appear confusions, generally between letters that are somewhat similar from a morphological and phonetic point of view, such as handwritten ‘a’ and ‘o’, printed ‘a’ and ‘e’, pronounced ‘o’ and ‘u’. These confusions also include letters whose shape is similar, differing only in respect to their position towards a certain line of symmetry, like d/b, u/n, p/q, g/p, b/g, d/p. There can also occur omissions of certain letters, mainly at the end of each word and in compound syllables.

In syllables: Inversions, changing the order of letters within a direct (CV) or reverse (VC) syllable and changing the order of syllables within a word is still common.

In words: The child makes omissions, repetitions and/or substitutions of a word for another that starts with the same syllable or that sounds similar, like in ‘accept’ and ‘except’.

Lack of rhythm in reading (reads excessively and notoriously slow).

Absence of punctuation marks in reading and writing.

Skipping or repeating lines.

Mechanical, not comprehensive, reading.

2.4. In writing

Mirror writing, one letter at a time.

Numbers and letters well-written, but drawn with basic, twisted lines or individual, loose strokes. (Direction/ Address)

Mistaking letters that are similar in shape or sound (just like in reading).

Omission of letters, syllables or whole words.

Mixing uppercase and lowercase letters.

Inverting letters, syllables and words, although this happens most often in reverse or closed syllables.

Repeating letters, syllables or words.

Difficulty in correctly separating the elements of a sentence. Example: `The moth erof myf riend.’

Unclear writing, as he writes some letters a little differently.

Lack of hand coordination.

Inadequate position of the child, as well as of the sheet of paper.

Inappropriate muscle tonicity, caused by insufficient of excessive pressure.


Writing fatigue, as a result of the pressure put by the inadequate position.

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General characteristics of a child with dyslexia

Posted by on Sep 13, 2015 in General | 0 comments

Swaps the positions of letters, numbers and words.

Confuses the order of the letters within words.

Finds it difficult to make the connection between letters and sounds, and to decipher learned words.

Shows difficulty in pronouncing words, as he inverts or substitutes syllables.

Doesn’t know the left from the right, and presents mirror-writing.

Has poor motor coordination, gets confused easily, and is prone to accidents.

Does not hold the pen correctly.

His motor coordination disorder results in poor handwriting and calligraphy.

Cannot follow a series of verbal instructions.

His reading comprehension is very poor, and he remembers information very slowly.

Has problems understanding time, and is unable to tell the hour, day, month or year.

Cannot organize or write his thoughts. Grammar and orthography are characteristic and deficient.

Shows difficulties in learning basic numerical concepts, such as the multiplication table, and cannot apply these concepts in to calculate and solve problems.

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