Cognitive development is the gradual development of a child’s intelligence. At various stages, cognitive impairment associated with perinatal lesions of the nervous system, diseases at an early age, psychosocial and other factors can occur. The classification of cognitive development periods is based on the ability to interact with the outside world and other people more meaningfully (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2018). The period of development of the child in the middle years of childhood (approximately 7 to 12 years) is called the period of specific operations.
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If, in the previous period, the child distinguishes between an object and a concept about it, then from about seven years of age (6-8 years), he or she is already capable of operating with these concepts. Even though Piaget claimed that children discover the world by themselves, Vygotsky stated that “development is an apprenticeship in which children advance when they collaborate with others who are more skilled” (as cited in Kail & Cavanaugh, 2018, p.144). Therefore, children acquire one of the essential skills for further growth and living with or without the supervisors’ assistance. An ability that is critical for schooling, where the child needs to think in categories, build hierarchies, and organize information into a knowledge system develops during this period.
The delay in intellectual development here may be manifested in the inability to logical operations, and the child does not see the general and the particular, similarities and differences. This stage is characterized by speech dysfunctions, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia. As a rule, the disorders at this stage relate to mild cognitive impairment syndrome and can be successfully corrected.
Depending on the manifestation of mental retardation in children and on their specifics, such as motor, speech, emotional disorders, ADHD, and others, diagnostic measures are prescribed, and treatment is recommended. Programs for children with mental retardation and modern methods of therapy can achieve a pronounced positive result at any stage of the disorder.
Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2018). Human development: A life-span view (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.