Problem-solving and intelligence

To read on Noah’s Dad website:

How Problem-Solving Is An Indicator Of Intelligence For Children With Down Syndrome

by Noah’s Mom, MD   June 8, 2012


He’s always aware that his parents are very proud of him!

While I was studying for the Pediatric Board exam only one question I studied remains with me;

If language development is delayed or hindered due to other motor delays such as apraxia, then problem-solving is the best indicator of intelligence.

I have clung to that statement because I know that Noah’s language will be delayed; so I look for his ability to problem-solve every day.

Actions speak louder than words, literally.

There are various aspects of development and one of those is cognitive development which includes problem-solving as well as language. Problem-solving is the manipulation of objects to achieve a specific goal. Noah has figured out that by using his very flexible lower extremities that he can get things that are out of reach. Pretty cute right? We thought so. His curiosity and exploration of his world continues to amaze us.

He may not talk yet, but he is one smart cookie!

Cognitive development starts when a child is born. Some very smart people with PhD’s and MD’s have done the research to see how we can monitor cognitive development from the very first few weeks of life.  The very first sign is with a child’s eyes. Tracking is one of the very first milestones your baby will achieve. They will follow faces, followed by objects.  We have talked previously about how we waited patiently, ok, maybe not so patiently for Noah to stare at us. Typical babies are able to do this almost at birth, where as children with Down syndrome it may take a few weeks.

Don’t let low muscle tone get in the way of your little genius!

Cognitive development often has to wait for the body to catch up with gross and fine motor skills. From gaining head control to look around, to being able to lift a hand to bat at an object or bring it to their mouth; attaining the strength to do these things limits further development. One of the important things in helping children with Down syndrome develop is to make adaptations so they can continue to explore and develop all of their needed skills.

Take for example laying them on their sides to bat at objects so they don’t have to work against gravity. This is why early intervention is so important as all of development works together and delays in one area can filter into others.

Catching your child putting their intelligence on display.

The best part about today is that no one taught Noah how to do this, he just figured it out.  His goal was to get one of his favorite toys and once he figured out how to grab it with his feet when it was out of reach, he kept doing it over and over again.

The definition of intelligence is the ability to learn, understand or deal with new situations. (…)

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