Cognitive development as well as issues that can arise with the ability of an individual to comprehend and express thoughts through language have been extensively studied by researchers. This scholarly area focused on the variety of conditions, disabilities, and general issues that limit a person’s ability to effectively communicate; however, extra efforts went into identifying the most successful intervention strategies that can help people with any condition – ranging from dyslexia to aphasia.
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Sarah and Byron
After watching the videos, it became evident that the symptoms of Byron and Sarah are completely different and similar at the same time. While Sarah is suffering from expressive (Broca’s) aphasia in which comprehension is impaired moderately (SymphUK, 2010) but the quality of speech is on the low level, Byron is an example of receptive (Wernicke’s) aphasia (Tactustherapy, 2015), in which a person can speak fluently but is unable to comprehend the speech in any form. Their symptoms correlate with the dysfunctions in the specific areas of the brain – receptive aphasia is a result of damage to the posterior of the lateral sulcus (located close to the auditory cortex), and expressive aphasia resulted from the damages in the anterior of the lateral sulcus. The study of aphasia made it possible to trace the workings of the brain as it processed and decoded incoming messages. MRI and CT scan allowed researchers to identify the location of damage and test an individual’s abilities in speaking, expressing ideas, social conversion, reading in writing. The difficulties person experiences are analyzed against the location of the damage to determine the type of aphasia.
Research conducted by Walker, Sunnerhagen, and Fisher (2013) found evidence for the rehabilitation of stroke patients in the community can improve patients’ conditions as well as re-acquiring independence in everyday living. The research focused on community-based interventions for delivering high-quality therapy in agreement with the needs of patients. The support from the community has proven to be a motivator for patients that experienced a stroke and should be researched further for making sure that best evidence-based care is administered. Overall, community-based interventions for stroke survivors can become fruitful areas for research since they imply the combination of common efforts of different representatives of the society that can contribute differently to elevating the burden of the stroke.
During the first years of children’s lives, their abilities to understand, process, and produce language develop very quickly. Between ages 3 and 6, children exhibit signs of language explosion and start acquiring spoken vocabularies that consist of up to 14,000 words (Oswalt, 2008). However, it is important to mention that language explosion is followed by the emergence of expressive and receptive abilities that facilitate the process of cognitive development (Owens, 2015). The explosion of expressive and receptive skills in children occurs due to the increases in the levels of attention and memory – children become very proficient in remembering and using the language that surrounds them while being able to modify their use of words based on the reactions of other people. For example, if a child remembered and reproduced a swear word during a family dinner, laughter can be regarded as approval, so the child will continue to use the word in other settings for gaining more attention.
If to rank facets of learning in order of importance to language development, the most important facet is Environment: Assimilation and Accommodation since it implies incorporating external factors into the personal development through the updates of the already existing mental frameworks. The environment in which a child is being brought up has been proven to directly affect the way he or she develops; this suggests that if a child encounters a negative environmental stimulus, the language development may be impaired. The second facet in the ranking is Organization and memory: Rehearsal and storage strategies because it implies the storing of information on a long-term basis and the association of new information with already existing knowledge. Without such an association, a child will be unable to store new information for a long period. The last facet is Schemes: Concept formation and mental mapping which is based on differentiating between experiences and putting them into categories as well as planning of activities. This facet is the last in importance because a child should adapt to the environment and learn how to remember information before formatting concepts or making mental maps.
Research Topic Selection: Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a learning disorder (or difference), which is neurological in origin and can occur in children with normal intelligence and vision. Its main characteristics relate to difficulties in reading that arise from the inability to identify sounds of speech and learn their connections to words or even letters. Difficulties in learning and reading are usually results of a phonological deficiency in the language’s phonological component, which is very often unexpected with regards to other cognitive abilities of a child (Australia Dyslexia Association, 2014).
Symptoms and signs that a person might be dyslexic vary from one individual to another because this learning disorder is highly hereditary. Therefore, each person is likely to possess a unique set of weaknesses and strengths that he or she exhibits in learning. However, the primary symptoms of dyslexia include the following:
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- Difficulties learning sounds that letters stand for in spelling and reading;
- Issues in decoding (reading separate words without a context);
- Poor spelling and fluency skills;
- Slow reading with mistakes;
- Problems with visual coding (Australia Dyslexia Association, 2014).
Choice of Topic and Expected Outcomes
The choice of the topic was associated with the fact that dyslexia is not an actual disability; however, it cannot be fully treated and eliminated from a person’s life. According to the International Dyslexia Association (n.d.), on average, 15-20% of the population has a language-based learning disability. Among the students that receive special education, up to 80% are struggling with reading issues, and dyslexia is one of the most widespread causes of reading and writing difficulties. During the research, it is expected to find out more about how dyslexia develops and what external factors can facilitate the improvement of the condition. It is also expected to learn more about the Structured Literacy instruction program for dyslexic individuals that encompasses six key components of learning: phonology, sound-symbol association, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Learning more about a beneficial program that facilitates the development of reading and writing skills not only among dyslexic individuals but all people will possibly put a start for the development of new and innovative methods of helping students with learning problems.
To conclude, dyslexia is not a disease or disability, rather, it is a hereditary condition that can be uplifted and controlled through the use of appropriate methods. While symptoms include difficulties in reading and writing, visual coding, as well as poor spelling and fluency skills, the introduction of effective strategies for eliminating or reducing the issues can significantly improve the condition and help individuals learn better.
Australian Dyslexia Association. (2014). What is dyslexia? Web.
International Dyslexia Association. (n.d.). Frequently asked questions. Web.
Oswalt, A. (2008). Early childhood cognitive development: Language development. Web.
Owens, R. (2015). Language development: An introduction (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
SymphUK. (2010). Expressive aphasia – Sarah Scott – Teenage stroke [Video file]. Web.
Tactustherapy. (2015). Fluent aphasia (Wernicke’s aphasia) [Video file]. Web.
Walker, M., Sunnerhagen, K., & Fisher, R. (2013). Evidence-based community stroke rehabilitation. Stroke, 44, 293-297.