Psychology Why is cognitive disorder important

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The frequently asked questions and answers about perceptual disorders

Children with impaired visual perception, that is, of their sight, sometimes have problems recognizing certain identical shapes or they have difficulties grasping the spatial position of an object. For example, children who suffer from an auditory perception disorder, i.e. hearing, have difficulties in correctly classifying a wide variety of sounds.

If you experience difficulty in your child's perception, take your child to your pediatrician and discuss your observations. Here it is checked whether your child actually suffers from perceptual disorders that require treatment or whether it is more of a temporary perceptual weakness.

If there are physical causes of the perceptual disorder, the causes will, if possible, first be treated with the aim of eliminating the perceptual disorder. Many affected children can make tremendous progress through training and exercise treatments.

How about the perception?

All external stimuli that we perceive seem to give us an objective picture of our environment. However, our perceptions are only partially determined by the actual stimuli. The nature of the sense organs also plays a role in how much we can perceive.

The next step is to forward the sensory impressions to the brain, where they are processed further. Only after this processing do we actually see a picture or hear a certain sound.

During processing in the brain, our sensory impressions are also immediately compared and assigned to previous experiences and impressions. In this way, our experiences, desires and current attention influence all sensory impressions and forms together with them in our perception.

If you take all these processes into account, it is not surprising that our perception contains many subjective aspects. For example, someone who is hungry prefers to experience things related to satisfying their hunger. Poor children rate coins higher than rich ones.

The series of examples of such perceptual errors, which are completely normal, could be continued indefinitely. This also makes it clear how many factors our perception depends on. And in each of these sub-areas there can be far-reaching disruptions.


What are perceptual disorders?

In a child who suffers from perception disorders, the sense organs themselves are often not impaired. His eyesight or hearing is usually just as well developed as that of other children.

Perceptual disorders affect the visual (seeing) or auditory (hearing) area, the perception of language or one's own body. In some children only one of the areas mentioned is affected, but sometimes the children also suffer from impaired perception in several areas.

Disturbance of visual perception

Children with impaired visual perception, for example, have difficulty recognizing certain identical shapes or have difficulties in grasping the spatial position of an object.

Disturbance of auditory perception

For example, children who suffer from an auditory perception disorder have difficulty classifying a wide variety of sounds. In connection with this - or in isolation - disturbances in the perception of speech occur, in which the affected children have considerable difficulties, for example, in breaking down words into sounds. Although they recognize the word as a whole, they cannot recognize and combine the sounds separately from one another.

Body awareness disorder

For example, children who have difficulty in perceiving their bodies do not notice when it is too hot or too cold for them. Or even in elementary school they do not notice when their nose is running and when they need to reach for a handkerchief.

Who can tell if my child has a cognitive disorder?

If you notice difficulties in one or more aspects of your child's perception, the first thing you should do is talk to your pediatrician about your observations.

If there are indications to be taken seriously, it must first be checked whether your child actually suffers from perceptual disorders that require treatment or whether it is more of a temporary perceptual weakness.

There are a number of test procedures for precise diagnosis that can be carried out by various specialists (e.g. specialists, psychologists, psychologists, curative and special education teachers).

If perception disorders have been found in your child, first examinations of the affected sensory organs and, if necessary, neurological examinations are necessary in order to find out possible causes of the disorders.

Why does my child have cognitive disorders?

The causes of perceptual disorders can be very different.
Some children have visual or hearing impairments that could only be compensated for late with aids such as glasses or hearing aids. As a result, they have a kind of experience deficit in their perceptions that can only be compensated for over time.

In some cases, perceptual disorders occur as the result of overarching development and maturation disorders, which can arise, among other things, from a lack of stimulation and support.
However, congenital or acquired defects in different processing regions of the brain are also possible causes.

An exact clarification as to why your child suffers from cognitive disorders can only be done through extensive medical and psychological tests.

Can you treat perceptual disorders?

If there are physical causes of the perception disorder, the causes will be treated with the aim of eliminating them, if possible.

However, since in the vast majority of cases no recognizable physical causes are found, or an effective treatment of the causes is not possible, there is often only one form of treatment left in which the poorly trained skills are trained through exercises.

Many affected children can make tremendous progress through training and exercise treatments.
Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, curative educators and psychologists offer treatments for children with perception disorders. Which therapy is best for your child depends primarily on their individual difficulties.

It is best to talk to your pediatrician or the facility that diagnosed the cognitive disorder about sensible therapeutic approaches and suitable therapists in your area.

How can I help my child?

Since in most cases perception disorders lead to considerable difficulties in school, even in children of average intelligence, treatment as early as possible before starting school is advisable.

If you notice signs of perception disorders in your child, you should therefore seek professional support as soon as possible, as a wait-and-see attitude only increases existing deficits.

If your child is already receiving treatment, you should be aware that therapeutic treatment will be successful much faster if your child also exercises as much as possible at home.

Playful practice

But practicing doesn't just mean working on worksheets. There are many types of games available so that your child can also have fun practicing. The treating therapist can certainly give you valuable information about which games and exercises are suitable for your child.

If the whole family is involved, it is especially fun and your child practices without perceiving it as an effort.

There are also many ways of integrating remedial exercises for your child in the course of normal everyday life.

Number against Kummer: Parents can get free telephone advice on 0800 - 111 0 550.

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