Facts: Do You Know?

Do you know that long term participation in fine art activities can help Math?

A study that was conducted by researchers show that visual art involvement offers advantages related to mathematical reasoning, such as intrinsic motivation, visual imagination and reflection on how to generate creative ideas.

Do you know that spatial abilities predict mathematical performance?

It is believed that working on spatial ability makes natural sense for those who wants to excel in math! Greater spatial ability at age 13 is associated with preference for mathematics‐related subjects by age18; where students major either in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM). It is commonly associated with eventual expertise in these STEM domains (e.g. Wai, Lubinski & Benbow, 2009).

Do you know that Specific Language Impairment (SLI, a condition that affects around 7% of children worldwide) poses as a considerable risk for social and behavioural problems as well as academic difficulties?

Many studies have highlighted weak academic abilities as being linked to SLI rather than the child’s own intelligence. It makes sense therefore that SLI be detected very early in life (if possible during Kindergarten) and intervention be done as early as possible to overcome these barriers and ensure academic success.

Do you know that a child who has persistent glue ear (otitis media) can have difficulty with auditory processing for the next three years even after grommets have been fitted in?

Studies have shown that reduced auditory input, during the child’s early years - when the auditory neural system is still maturing, may adversely influence auditory processing in the child’s life in the future.

If your child has this condition persistently, a speech and language assessment and close monitoring should be done to ensure that the child’s language development is on track.

Do you know that narrative skills predict ability to adjust well with peers in Elementary School?

Authoring personal stories promotes attention to the sequence of events, the causal connections between events, the moral significance of what has happened, and the motives that drive human action. These skills may be critical for the establishment and maintenance of satisfying peer relationships during elementary school.

Therefore, the child should work on and practice personal narratives that are coherent and are attentive to moral concerns for those students who have trouble with peer relations.

Do you know that poor core muscles can affect attention and participation in class?

Good posture allows children to work and play longer. Poor sitting posture causes muscle fatigue, stiff joints and reduced blood flow around the body. Muscles are semi-contracted when the body is seated still. As such, more energy is needed to keep the muscles working during poor body posture, thereby affecting levels of concentration and the quality of the work produced. Therefore, a good posture and a strong core helps to keep the mind focused and sharp in children.

Do you know that make-believe games help children learn to self-regulate their emotions?

Make-believe games are forerunners of the ability to self-regulate, reduce aggression, delaying gratification, civility, and empathy. When children use toys to introduce possible scenarios or friends, the representation of multiple perspectives occurs naturally. Taking on different roles allows children the unique opportunity to learn social skills such as communication, problem solving, and empathy.

Do you know that children with weak visual memory have trouble copying and forming letters?

Visual memory is a critical factor in reading, spelling and writing. Children who have not developed their visual memory skills cannot readily reproduce a sequence of visual stimuli. They frequently experience difficulty in remembering the overall visual appearance of words in letter sequencing during reading or spelling. They may remember the letters of a word but often cannot remember their order. They may also know the initial letter of the word but are unable to absorb the subsequent letters after. As such, children will have trouble copying letters, words and sentences from a chalkboard or book. They may present signs such as very slow handwriting, trouble forming letters, and mixing up letters or words within sentences.

Do you know that High Emotional Intelligence (EQ) level predicts academic success during transition of high school to university?

Studies have been conducted where groups who had achieved very different levels of academic success were compared to their level of EQ. Highly successful students who achieved a first-year university GPA of 80% or better where compared with relatively unsuccessful students who received a first-year GPA of 59% or less. Results showed that academic success was strongly associated with several dimensions of emotional intelligence.

Do you know that children with autism also have an impaired sense of Self?

Impaired sense of self will affect own’s own understanding of the world around the person. It makes sense that the starting point of intervention is to look at what kind of therapy / intervention would help create a strong sense of self.

Do you know that children with autism have impaired episodic memory but actually have an intact semantic memory?

Episodic memories are memories of personally experienced events that occurred in a particular place at a particular time. By contrast, semantic memories are memories of timeless, decontextualized facts and is associated with knowing something outside the self rather than self-awareness. Although individuals with ASD show deficits in episodic memory, they have intact semantic memory.

Therefore, to help a child encode experiences in their lives that would later form their autobiographical memory, remediation methods like RDI can help children to spotlight their experiences to build that memory.

Do you know that the number of words a child knows by Prep school doesn’t necessarily predict their language processing outcomes?

The “30-million-word-gap” has been a big talking point as a predictor of language success over the last 20 years. Scientists now know that the number of words a child hears by the time they are in Prep school doesn’t adequately predict good outcomes. Rather, it’s how the parent and child engage in the back and forth of conversation to participate in quality communication that is a far stronger predictor of language success. In fact, research has now shown that this type of parent-child engagements actually facilitates positive structural changes in the brain.