Children with disabilities benefit from classroom inclusion

(Photo: Iancarg – Wikimedia)

Language skills improve when preschoolers with disabilities are included in classes with typical peers

The secret to boosting the language skills of preschoolers with disabilities may be to put them in classrooms with typically developing peers, a new study finds.

Researchers found that the average language skills of a child’s classmates in the fall significantly predicted the child’s language skills in the spring – especially for children with disabilities.

The results support inclusion policies in schools that aim to have students with disabilities in the same classrooms alongside their typically developing peers, said Laura Justice, co-author of the study and professor of teaching and learning at The Ohio State University.

“Students with disabilities are the ones who are affected most by the language skills of the other children in their class,” Justice said.

Background TV can be bad for kids

(Photo: Tim Schoon, University of Iowa)

University of Iowa study shows link between TV programming and children’s learning and development

Parents, turn off the television when your children are with you. And when you do let them watch, make sure the programs stimulate their interest in learning.

That’s the advice arising from University of Iowa researchers who examined the impact of television and parenting on children’s social and emotional development. The researchers found that background television—when the TV is on in a room where a child is doing something other than watching—can divert a child’s attention from play and learning. It also found that non-educational programs can negatively affect children’s cognitive development.

Early warning sign for babies at risk of autism

(Photo: Lars Plougmann)

Some babies are at risk for autism because they have an older sibling that has the disorder. To find new ways to detect Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) earlier in life, researchers are exploring the subtleties of babies’ interactions with others and how they relate to the possibility and severity of future symptoms.

A new study helps us to understand the connection between early joint attention before one year and later ASD symptoms. Joint attention is an early form of communication that develops toward the end of the first year. It’s the act of making eye contact with another person to share an experience.

Previous studies have shown that low levels of initiating joint attention are linked to later autism symptoms in high-risk siblings. The current study reveals that joint attention without a positive affective component (a smile) in the first year is particularly important to this relationship.

Children’s impulsive behaviour is related to their brain connectivity

(Photo: Sinc)

Researchers from the University of Murcia have studied the changes in the brain that are associated with impulsiveness, a personality trait that causes difficulties in inhibiting a response in the face of a stimulus and leads to unplanned actions without considering the negative consequences. These patterns can serve as an indicator for predicting the risk of behavioural problems.

A new study headed by researchers from the University of Murcia analyses whether the connectivity of an infant’s brain is related to children’s impulsiveness.

“Impulsiveness is a risk factor for the development of serious behavioural problems,” Luis J. Fuentes, the main author of the study, explains to SINC. “Among the children with a typical development, we can observe individual differences in their interaction with the environment.”

 

Large twin study suggests that language delay due more to nature than nurture

(Photo: Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, Western Australia)

A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found that compared to single-born children, 47 percent of 24-month-old identical twins had language delay compared to 31 percent of non-identical twins. Overall, twins had twice the rate of late language emergence of single-born children. None of the children had disabilities affecting language acquisition.

University of Kansas Distinguished Professor Mabel Rice, lead author, said that all of the language traits analyzed in the study—vocabulary, combining words and grammar—were significantly heritable with genes accounting for about 43 percent of the overall twins’ deficit.