In this post we will be discussing atypical cognitive growth and development as it pertains to the ASWB social work exam. In previous posts on typical cognitive development we discussed Piaget and his theory of cognitive development. In this post, we will explore the other side, and start to discuss atypical models, as well as focus on the one major cognitive developmental delay.
Atypical cognitive growth will tend to arise from a developmental delay. Some of the most common causes of these delays are brain injury, abuse and neglect, and gene or chromosomal abnormalities. Between 1% and 2% of children will have a developmental disability.
Down’s syndrome is a major cause of cognitive developmental delay. In case they ask you what this is on the social work exam the social work exam it is having an extra copy of chromosome 21, or chromosome21 trisomy which causes Down’s syndrome. Down syndrome will occur in 1 in 733 births, though risk does increase with increasing age of the parents.
Down’s syndrome is associated with cognitive impairment, as well as a set of physical characteristics that include microgenis, muscle hypotonia, a short neck, and macroglossia. An intellectual disability will tend to be present, normally in the mild (IQ 50-70) to moderate (IQ 35-50) range. A small proportion of those with Down syndrome will have more severe intellectual disabilities.
Down’s syndrome individuals will typically show a speech developmental delay, and may sometimes have difficulty in understanding and expressing speech. Those with Down syndrome will also have be much more likely to experience medical complications such as heart disease and leukemia. So when making diagnosis on symptoms on the social work exam remember what symptoms relate to down’s syndrome as well as all other disorders or diagnosis.
Cognitive development therapy is typically administered to children with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome will show a wide range of cognitive development, and many individuals can live a normal life with early intervention and therapy. Communication therapy is also used, as children with Down syndrome typically show some speech delay.
There are numerous other disorders that lead to atypical cognitive growth and development. There are also other developmental delays that arise from a delay in attention, memory, or problem solving ability. It is important to note that communication delays are a separate class from cognition delays, but that the two are commonly associated with one another.
Atypical cognitive growth will typically include a deficit in problem solving skills and a delay in concepts such as object permanence and recognition of object functions. Atypical cognitive development also includes a deficit in the ability to acquire new skills. Oftentimes, children experiencing atypical cognitive growth will play and interact with children who are chronologically younger.
That concludes our look in typical and atypical cognitive growth and development. Again this is just an overview on concepts that you will need to know for the ASWB bachelor’s social work licensure exam. This test covers a lot of information, and I recommend that you consider purchasing a study guide for the test. I am currently working on a study guide which will include everything that you need to know for the test. If you have any interest, feel free to sign up for our mailing list, and I will be happy to let you know when the book is complete.
Hope your studying is going well.