Social | Executive Functioning | Behavior | Speech-Language
Clinical Areas of Service
Developing Integrated Cogmental™ Domains
Critical for success with academics, and Essential Life Skills.
The Interplay of Cogmental™ (cognitive-developmental) Domains
Cogmental™ (cognitive-developmental) Domains establish context from which a child’s growth and change or lack thereof can be monitored, studied, and described. Domains are areas of development that include related subskills. Developmental milestones within each domain show research-based age ranges at which most children acquire each skill within typical human development. Cogmental Domains include Speech-Language Skills, Being Social (social and emotional competencies), Behavior Skills, Executive Functioning Skills, and Fundamental Neurological Skills.
These domains are hierarchical, interrelated, continuous, and dynamic cognitive processes, despite each domain having its individual and predictable trajectory. Cogmental domains also frequently overlap, mediate the learning and fluid use of new skills within each domain, and support the development of stronger and more complex versions of themselves. Ultimately these processes in turn and synergically support the development of academic skills and essential life skills.
Progress in one skill can lead to progress in other skills within the same domain and improvements in other related domains. For example, improving communication skills by supporting the development of more elaborate/complex sentences using more specific contextual vocabulary can also improve the ability to describe (within the same domain) and improve efforts to ask for help more specifically to the student's needs other domains. While this is a basic example, the actual process is more complex and dependent on the instructional strategies used to teach, the student's understanding of the skill, motivation to use the concepts, and knowledge of when, where, and how to use the concept skill in other contexts.
Children demonstrate individual differences in learning and development. The process and rate of skills acquisition across Cogmental Domains vary among children due to biological, environmental, intellectual functioning, mental health, social, cultural factors, comorbidity, and many other factors. The rate at which students learn and their ability to turn new information into stored retrievable knowledge largely depend on their core cognitive functions (Fundamental Neurological Skills and Executive Functioning Skills). Students who struggle with academic skills frequently have underlying weak Core Cogmental™ Skills commonly not addressed in school. Synergic cognitive training is utilized at Synergic Therapy to strengthen and improve Core Cogmental functions. Active engagement is an essential factor for learning too.
Depending on the nature and severity of a disturbance within these interrelated processes, students can learn missing skills, impaired skills can be rehabilitated, and weak functions strengthened. A child’s developmental progress, generally speaking, moves toward more complexity, greater independence, fluid skill use, refinement, and self-management of skills as they age.
All children are capable of learning and the key is to find that optimal level of learning that is slightly above where they typically function. As therapists, our goals for the students we work with surmount to similar long-term achievements, such as for them to live life as successfully and independently as possible by:
Completing goals, tasks, and activities efficiently throughout the day and while understanding and controlling thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and impulses
Socializing, establishing and maintaining social relationships with a high degree of fruition, maintaining social awareness, and being socially responsible
Understanding others communications and communicating effectively when speaking and writing
Attaining the highest level of functional and personal independence possible.
Achieving academic success and/or vocational skill mastery
I specialize in treating executive functioning (EF) skills and fundamental neurological skills such as attention, processing skills, working memory, comprehension, organization. Developing and strengthening these skills through behavioral techniques, brain-based learning methods, and cognitive training exercises using academic context-based activities. I design strategy-based intervention programs that teach students when a strategy is needed, what strategy to use and why and how to use it.
Metacognitive skills (self-analysis and self-mindset skills) are also crucial competencies for students to learn.