Posts Tagged ‘Deafness’

Do Deaf Children Lack Attentional Control? How Language may be the Answer

November 10th, 2014 3 comments

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Imagine being deaf. Do you think it would make it harder for you to pay attention to things? Make it easier to be impulsive? It is easy for many people to take for granted many of the things that they have in life. Especially some things as that are so seemingly common as a sense. However, for those people, such as deaf people, they know that there is much more to their struggle than it would appear. It is a common misconception that the only difference between those who are deaf and those who are not is the ability to hear. However, lacking the sense of hearing has far-reaching implications, some of which are still being discovered. One of these areas of implication is within the domain of attention. Attention is a fundamental cognitive ability in which one is able to select a particular stimulus from the environment and focus certain resources on it. For example, when one is in class there are many things happening all at once: other students are on their computers, maybe there is something happening outside the window, and/or your phone is ringing in your pocket. As a student, you are expected to block out all of these distractions and focus your attention onto the teacher, and, specifically, what the teacher is saying.

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Categories: Attention, Development, Language Tags:

Cognitive Compensations for the Visually Impaired

November 25th, 2013 2 comments

Two summers ago, I volunteered at a special education academic program at the Weston High School in Weston, Massachusetts. As I observed the students work, I was astounded by how behind in learning their disabilities put them compared to the average level their age would normally be associated with. While I was there, I helped a 13-year-old blind girl with her reading comprehension homework. I was asked to dictate a passage to her, and she had to answer one of four questions that she read in brail. As I watched her fingers trace the dots, and dictate to me the correct answer, I was both astounded and intrigued.  I wondered and still wonder, how does the human body adapt and reorganize itself to compensate for deficits, by birth or by injury? More specifically, how can blindness affect one’s cognitive abilities, in particular the various parts of the human memory?

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