Learning and Memory Across the Lifespan
The DSRG has recently initiated a study of learning in DS (ages 8-late adulthood). This study is examining individual's use of differing strategies to solve problems, their memory skills, and their skills in motor learning. The goal is to pinpoint areas of strengths and weakness and to use this information to understand why some individuals with Down syndrome may excel in their learning when others may have more cognitive difficulties.
If you know me well, you know I often have trouble getting anywhere on time. No, I do not think my time is worth more than another persons is, there is no meanness involved, just a forgetful person who has to keep running into the house to get things I need for the appointment, trip, etc. Add to that a daughter who hates to be told what to do, perhaps as a way to gain some independence?
You can almost feel her thinking; “I will go when I want to go”
Add to that scenario my oldest son dropping by after a job interview and may I say he looked very handsome in her shirt and tie. (Some prayers he gets that job would be greatly appreciated) No way would I leave then, I had to hear how the interview went.
Therefore, we finally get on the road and are already running late when I automatically drive to UMC instead of where I was supposed to go U of A. I just did not read the map clearly enough, we had problems parking at UMC and had to walk into the hospital from a ways away, Meghan was red-faced from the 95 degree F heat and Moms rash was turning a rosy pink, made it stand out nicely, I am so weary of this rash, wish it would leave forever.
We rode the elevator to the seventh floor, nearly 30 minutes late, and no one knew what I was referring to. Why? Because the appointment was at the University, not the hospital, by the time we walked back and made our way to the University we were almost one hour late. It was mortifying, but both Jamie and Jenne were very kind about it. Thank goodness.
Meghan’s testing began with a flip chart containing numerous images, all they asked was for her to point to them, she would not do this for them (it always embarrasses me when she does this). After many failed attempts they moved on to a card sorting task, she did well on the first arm, but the second required more abstract thinking, and she got maybe 4 correct, and two may have been accidents.
They had stickers as rewards for her, but Meghan never has been motivated by them, so they did not help. The only thing that really works consistently with her is using humor to motivate her, and I shared this with them. It did help, but she is not very patient with new people, especially with therapy type activities, so she was using her avoidance tactics.
Before the computer segment of the evaluation, they allowed Meghan to choose a toy from a bin, she ultimately chose a Tonka truck, and I picked her up and sat her in front of the computer.
The first activity required her to touch the screen to indicate what square was below the cat, she caught on to this, but when they asked her to point to the opposite side with the frog, she did not comprehend what they were asking of her.
The last part of the series was a cause and effect, she was to touch the same image repeatedly to produce a green screen, she did this 4-5 times (with a lot of prompting) and then touched the wrong shape. After 3 times I noticed a gleam in her eye when she did this, she knew it was wrong, but wanted to end the “game”. After that we were done.
I was sad to hear that we would not come back for another year; I was hoping it would be a weekly or monthly session and perhaps help her in this area. That is not the purpose of this specific study, but I can see where she needs help and can reproduce the tasks at home. Obviously abstract thought is not her forte; I am cure it is not for most kids with trisomy.
We were so happy to receive two $20 Target gift cards at the end of the session; Meghan can pick out something special. Sadly we will need to use the other for diapers as it is a rough time financially for us, school starts for Tom soon, praise God, it has been a rough summer.
1 day ago