Cognitive Asssessment of Multiply Handicapped Young Children

  • Carl J. Dunst
  • R. A. McWilliam
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)

Abstract

The basic premise of this chapter is that traditional methods of early cognitive assessment have restricted rather than advanced our ability to adequately assess and intervene with multiply handicapped young children. Support for this contention comes from a number of sources (Decarie, 1969; Fagan & Singer, 1983; Kopp & Shaperman, 1973; Lewis, 1982), but especially from the work of Zelazo and his colleagues (Kearsley, 1979; Zelazo, 1979, 1982a). These investigators found that handicapped infants, despite significant delays on traditional psychometric tests of intellectual performance, displayed age-appropriate information-processing capabilities when dependence on gross and fine motor skills were minimized. That is, the cognitive abilities of these children were often found to be intact when psychophysiological indices (e.g., heart rate), visual attentiveness, and social responsiveness, rather than gross and fine motor behaviors, were used as a basis for assessing mental processes. Zelazo (1979) contended that such disparities between results obtained from traditional and nontraditional assessment procedures call into question the assumption of the predominantly neuromotor and sensorimotor bases of infant intelligence. He noted the need for modification of both the conceptual nature of early cognitive development and methods for assessing cognitive capabilities.

Keywords

Down Syndrome Sign Language Handicapped Child Symbolic Interaction Cognitive Competence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl J. Dunst
    • 1
  • R. A. McWilliam
    • 1
  1. 1.Family, Infant, and Preschool Program, and the Human Development Research and Training InstituteWestern Carolina CenterMorgantownUSA

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