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Interesting new study on Executive Function


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Admittedly I have just read the short summary (hey, it's Friday night here) : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210405075850.htm

But I found it interesting because a) there's just no good research on how to effectively remediate working memory issues and b) if you look at kids with ADHD and ASD, being able to get cues easily from the environment is so difficult. 

This overview suggests that increasing cues in the environment, and directly teaching kids to seek out this information, should be effective as a way of remediating executive functioning. I can see this as a functional and practical way for teachers and parents to move forward, even if it's a bit reductionist. It's certainly not new - we've been using visual supports in the field for years and years - but it adds a bit of a framework of 'why'.

 

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People think and behave in an environment, so we can't just train executive function by say doing computer exercises on working memory.

This quote from the article strikes me as a "well duh!" kind of thing. I think moms have known environment matters for approximately forever.

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39 minutes ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

This quote from the article strikes me as a "well duh!" kind of thing. I think moms have known environment matters for approximately forever.

But I think the point is that the functioning can't be divorced from the environment, if I'm reading this correctly? So then I guess practice has to happen within the context of that environment? 

I've been thinking about my kids' schooling environment a lot this year... 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

But I think the point is that the functioning can't be divorced from the environment, if I'm reading this correctly? So then I guess practice has to happen within the context of that environment? 

I've been thinking about my kids' schooling environment a lot this year... 

What do you mean by practice?

 

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4 minutes ago, WTM said:

What do you mean by practice?

Hmmmm, practice executive function I guess?? Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I thought the idea was that things like "working memory" can't be trained outside of a context. 

Quote from the article that I was thinking about: 
 

Quote

"If these different cognitive processes are what makes up executive function, you would think you could just train those processes, and then, you can then use them everywhere," he said. "Turns out, that doesn't work, and that's been shown over and over again. People think and behave in an environment, so we can't just train executive function by say doing computer exercises on working memory."

 

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Yes - again, nothing new, we learned this at uni 30 yrs ago, it's called the 'generalisation problem' - teaching a skill in isolation means that it often can't be used in other contexts (especially for kids with learning problems; being able to generalise well is a sign of giftedness). But it's good to say it again because lots of $$ is going to cogmed type working memory programs - certainly, the child does better on the program, but research hasn't shown generalisation outside that. As you can imagine, though, they sell a lot of programs using their own research which shows vast improvement on working memory (in that context)!

The interesting thing about this article though is that they're suggesting the traditional view of EF might be false, and EF may simply be the difficulty with picking up cues in the environment. I don't know if that is true or if there's research to support it, but it is certainly parsimonious and pretty interesting. 

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1 minute ago, bookbard said:

The interesting thing about this article though is that they're suggesting the traditional view of EF might be false, and EF may simply be the difficulty with picking up cues in the environment. I don't know if that is true or if there's research to support it, but it is certainly parsimonious and pretty interesting. 

I think I'd need to read more about this to understand the theory. Like, maybe I'm just not familiar enough with this stuff, but I'd be curious what the practical implications of this are or what it really means... 

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12 hours ago, bookbard said:

Admittedly I have just read the short summary (hey, it's Friday night here) : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210405075850.htm

But I found it interesting because a) there's just no good research on how to effectively remediate working memory issues and b) if you look at kids with ADHD and ASD, being able to get cues easily from the environment is so difficult. 

This overview suggests that increasing cues in the environment, and directly teaching kids to seek out this information, should be effective as a way of remediating executive functioning

 

My kid who had executive function issues benefited from the social thinking skills that @PeterPan talks about. His working memory score was in the >99.9 percentile when tested. Kid was just not actively engaging and being more “self centered” because he could get away with it to a certain extent.

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50 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

My kid who had executive function issues benefited from the social thinking skills that @PeterPan talks about. His working memory score was in the >99.9 percentile when tested. Kid was just not actively engaging and being more “self centered” because he could get away with it to a certain extent.

That's interesting and definitely fits in with the idea. What resources did you use?


I look back and I was so involved in my own imaginary worlds as a teen/young person that I just didn't notice so much stuff - I had quite poor social skills until I was forced into being more observant by moving to a completely new country where I didn't know the language or culture. And now I see the same with my boy, who lives in his imaginary worlds, and is satisfied with imaginary friends over real ones. Admittedly, he's still very young so it's age-appropriate, but I understand now how you can miss what is really going on socially, if you're inwardly battling dragons on the magic mountain . . .

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2 minutes ago, bookbard said:

I look back and I was so involved in my own imaginary worlds as a teen/young person that I just didn't notice so much stuff - I had quite poor social skills until I was forced into being more observant by moving to a completely new country where I didn't know the language or culture. And now I see the same with my boy, who lives in his imaginary worlds, and is satisfied with imaginary friends over real ones. Admittedly, he's still very young so it's age-appropriate, but I understand now how you can miss what is really going on socially, if you're inwardly battling dragons on the magic mountain . . .

Actually, this happened to me, too. My social skills really benefited from moving to a new country with a new language, because I didn't have a CHOICE about engaging. But in my home country, it didn't matter if I engaged, so I didn't. I'm sure this wouldn't happen to a more socially motivated kid, but kids who aren't socially motivated can still be socially able... 

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2 minutes ago, bookbard said:

That's interesting and definitely fits in with the idea. What resources did you use?


I look back and I was so involved in my own imaginary worlds as a teen/young person that I just didn't notice so much stuff - I had quite poor social skills until I was forced into being more observant by moving to a completely new country where I didn't know the language or culture. And now I see the same with my boy, who lives in his imaginary worlds, and is satisfied with imaginary friends over real ones. Admittedly, he's still very young so it's age-appropriate, but I understand now how you can miss what is really going on socially, if you're inwardly battling dragons on the magic mountain . . .

Kid used to fall under this profile but in a mild manner. We just kept reminding him to act on the social cues he picked up. For example, he was aware when classmates were annoyed with him and for what reason but he didn't care enough to remediate his behavior (and then whine that people don't like to play with him during recess). My other kid who has the same working memory percentile has the personality of a diplomat, but is not concern about how many friends (real or imaginary) he has. 

https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=social-thinking-social-communication-profile

"Weak Interactive Social Communicator (WISC)

General description: May appear typical at first glance to adults and perhaps peers. The sustained impression held by peers is that of a subtly awkward and odd person.

These students demonstrate what we would consider to be fairly well developed social radar in that they are highly aware that they have thoughts about people and people have thoughts about them. They also understand that each person has his or her own unique perspective of the world. However, they lack perception of the subtleties of social cues and may be neurologically less attuned to other’s facial expressions, body stance, and gestures, thereby limiting the feedback they receive from others when interacting. As the nuanced demands of social communication increase with age, so does the discrepancy in how the WISC is perceived by his or her peer group.

This group often tends to have normal to way above normal verbal language skills and cognition; most did not have a language delay when young. As elementary school children they typically can pay attention in a classroom but may be far more rigid than their peers and subtly more literal. Some are very bright (some in specific areas of interest and others in global areas of knowledge), but most also have executive functioning challenges that may make written expression and organizational skills more difficult than would be expected given their academic intelligence."

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So just a tip, if you don't know this. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1745691620966792  Is the original article they're citing. If you add "unpaywall" as a browser add on to your chrome, you can tap the unlock padlock that appears and it will take you to any free (not behind a paywall) version that is available. So in this case there is in fact a free draft version of the article available that you can download as a pdf. It's 33 pages. 

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22 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm, practice executive function I guess?? Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I thought the idea was that things like "working memory" can't be trained outside of a context.
 

 

I'd totally agree with the ideas that executive functioning is influenced (sometimes strongly) by environment, and that practicing / developing EF skills  is often limited by context (and thus not readily translated into novel situations). 

Is it the Montessori approach that heavily emphasizes the learning environment?

I also think that while a child may not be able to translate / adapt EF skills from one context to another, practicing EF skills in one area (context) can give them a framework for how to approach novel situations as they mature and more neurons myelinate. Or at the very least, practicign EF skills in one context can give them Confidence for approaching a novel situation.  For my child with weak EF skills, I find that confidence (or lack thereof) is a critical issue to address.

For one of my DC who has ADHD and is highly impulsive, I've been trying to help them develop a meta framework (with external cues) for how to approach a situation.  The specific contexts in which we practice these skills are math and household chores.

Chores show up as an item on the daily school checklist. There is a wheel that tells the child which cleaning zone to do that day. There is another checklist for each cleaning zone that the child is expected to work through on a given day (I've been lax about double checking lately, though - sigh.) 

For math, we're experimenting with a 6 step "methodology" or checklist for doing problems.  Step 1: Before you start tackling a problem, evaluate the problem carefully (e.g. actually read it carefully - this child often misreads the problem and ends up answering a problem they weren't asked to solve). Step 2, Make a mental map or outline or plan before you actually start doing any calculations. (this child often jumps into calculations, but misses more efficient ways to approach the problem because they haven't stopped to consider possible ways to approach it; or, they jump to calculations, but lose track of the pieces of info because they didn't have a master plan). Step 3. Reread the problem to make sure your plan matches the problem (this is necessary because this child misreads problems so frequently). Step 4. estimate if possible.  Step 5. Solve / calculate. Organize your work from top to bottom and left to right on the page (yes, I have to cue this child to do that).   Step 6. Reread the problem again. Does your answer make sense? Did you write / enter your answer in the correct place on the page? 

This might sound like total overkill (and it would be for my other DC) but it's been hugely helpful here, and I think it speaks to the need for external cues. I don't know if these are the types of cues the article is talking about - maybe I'll try to read the 33 page paper that @PeterPanshowed us how to access 🙂 .  We also have to have a quiet space. The sibling cannot be working at the same table. It's too distracting. Sometime we put on instrumental music. And we chew gum. It's relaxing.

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8 minutes ago, WTM said:

This might sound like total overkill (and it would be for my other DC) but it's been hugely helpful here, and I think it speaks to the need for external cues.

I think different kids need a lot scaffolding for different things! 

I've just discovered that my kids need scaffolding for what it means to "think hard about a question." And literally, I've had to make a detailed list for what it means, and it feels very artificial -- first, they repeat the question in their heads, then they think about the question and ask for clarifications if needed, then they ask for more time if they need more than 10 seconds, then they raise their hands if they've thought of an answer after asking for more time.  

And yet it's all incredibly helpful for my kids. Otherwise, they blurt out totally pointless answers that don't relate to my question but relate to whatever is in their heads, and that doesn't work very well if you mostly teach via Socratic questioning 😉 . 

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On 4/10/2021 at 3:27 PM, Not_a_Number said:

I think different kids need a lot scaffolding for different things! 

I've just discovered that my kids need scaffolding for what it means to "think hard about a question." And literally, I've had to make a detailed list for what it means, and it feels very artificial -- first, they repeat the question in their heads, then they think about the question and ask for clarifications if needed, then they ask for more time if they need more than 10 seconds, then they raise their hands if they've thought of an answer after asking for more time.  

And yet it's all incredibly helpful for my kids. Otherwise, they blurt out totally pointless answers that don't relate to my question but relate to whatever is in their heads, and that doesn't work very well if you mostly teach via Socratic questioning 😉 . 

Yes! Or it undermines their confidence! And what parent wants to be a confidence killer?

For my DS with poor working memory-- the child can't find information quickly when they need it, then feels anxious they can't find it, then the anxiety totally derails learning and problem solving. I can't organize the brain for them, but I can help them slow down and take stock of the problem and figure out how to work around the way their brain works

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Just now, WTM said:

Yes! Or it undermines their confidence! And what parent wants to be a confidence killer?

For my DS with poor working memory-- I liken this child's brain to Schtoompa's Closet. There's so much good stuff in there, but the child can't find it quickly when they need it, then feels anxious they can't find it, then the anxiety totally derails learning and problem solving. I can't organize the closet (brain) for them, but I can help them slow down and take stock of the problem and figure out how to work around the way their brain works.

N.B. I haven't watched the video. We read the story in a Richard Scarry book.

I've been messing with environmental cues this whole year, actually. We had gotten to a point where "attitude" and "emotions towards the work" were absolutely swamping any other difficulties. We've had to really formalize and streamline our rules this year, because when a child spends most of their energy on emotional response (and that response can be to difficulties, or to a power struggle, or to anxiety, or to who-knows-what), there's actually no energy left for learning. 

It's been really interesting to see HOW MUCH of a difference some simple stuff makes. Like, I've finally given up on being easygoing and made strict rules for our teaching interactions, like "raise your hand if you want something" and "don't speak out of turn or there will be a small penalty," and amazingly, those have made things better for absolutely everyone, including the kids. (Not arguing that everyone needs it, but WE did.) 

Anyway, I totally see how all kinds of functioning are very tied into their environment. It's all super interesting. Very little of it is entirely conscious and accessible via willpower, either... you really DO have to change the environment, not just tell yourself to change yourself on the inside. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

I've been messing with environmental cues this whole year, actually. We had gotten to a point where "attitude" and "emotions towards the work" were absolutely swamping any other difficulties. We've had to really formalize and streamline our rules this year, because when a child spends most of their energy on emotional response (and that response can be to difficulties, or to a power struggle, or to anxiety, or to who-knows-what), there's actually no energy left for learning. 

It's been really interesting to see HOW MUCH of a difference some simple stuff makes. Like, I've finally given up on being easygoing and made strict rules for our teaching interactions, like "raise your hand if you want something" and "don't speak out of turn or there will be a small penalty," and amazingly, those have made things better for absolutely everyone, including the kids. (Not arguing that everyone needs it, but WE did.) 

Anyway, I totally see how all kinds of functioning are very tied into their environment. It's all super interesting. Very little of it is entirely conscious and accessible via willpower, either... you really DO have to change the environment, not just tell yourself to change yourself on the inside. 

I think that's why some kids behave and perform better in school for teachers than at home for parents. Teachers and school environments are structured, rule driven, with lots of environmental cues (room full of peers all doing their work, I guess I should be doing some work...)

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1 minute ago, WTM said:

I think that's why some kids behave and perform better in school for teachers than at home for parents. Teachers and school environments are structured, rule driven, with lots of environmental cues (room full of peers all doing their work, I guess I should be doing some work...)

Uh-huh. Exactly. And we did this experiment with DD8 pre-pandemic, too -- she was part of a class I was teaching, and she behaved far better in the class than she did for me at home! And... not to belabor the obvious point... but I was the teacher in both of those situations! So obviously it wasn't my teaching that was the issue. It was the environment. 

So for us, the question this year was how to create an environment conducive to everyone's learning that did not require starting our own school 😉 . And it turns out there are definitely fewer tools at home than in a classroom, but there are by no means no tools. 

Anyway, I don't know if this is a bit off-topic, but this thread is definitely reminding me of these issues 🙂 . 

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https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691620904771?journalCode=ppsa  abstract for article linked next.

https://psyarxiv.com/au9rn/  And if you'd like to read Doebel's article which is otherwise behind paywalls.

https://www.devminds.gmu.edu/  Doebel's site where they're excited about a grant to study self awareness (hello, interoception) and EF in preschoolers. We already know about this and talk about this all the time on the boards here. I think you're going to see a convergence of fields, as psychs gather data that validates what OTs and SLPs are seeing as they work on interoception. (Kelly Mahler's phases of interoception intervention have phase 3 involving application to others.)

On 4/9/2021 at 6:12 AM, bookbard said:

there's just no good research on how to effectively remediate working memory issues

??? Therapists work on working memory all the time. Where are you coming from with this? Cogmed has issues, yes, but on a functional level SLPs, reading tutors, OTs, all kinds of people work on working memory and there are a variety of products and methods to do it. It's easy peasy for a mom at home to make significant gains for her dc with almost no cost.

On 4/9/2021 at 6:12 AM, bookbard said:

if you look at kids with ADHD and ASD, being able to get cues easily from the environment is so difficult.

It's not a shock to say someone with ASD has issues with social referencing https://infantva.org/documents/CoPA-Nov-JointAttentionSocialRefer.pdf  

On 4/9/2021 at 7:48 PM, bookbard said:

in my own imaginary worlds

I think the book Let Me Hear Your Voice was the one that had an exploration of the word autism as the root aut=self. So autism = falling into ones self. I tell my ds that he's falling into the aut. And you can fall into it or come out and be with others. For him, as a person of support level 2, if he falls into the aut it takes significant work to get him out. And it takes consistent work every day to help him not fall into the aut. With the ASD1, it's more subtle. But the idea is still the same.

4 hours ago, WTM said:

I think that's why some kids behave and perform better in school for teachers than at home for parents. Teachers and school environments are structured, rule driven, with lots of environmental cues (room full of peers all doing their work, I guess I should be doing some work...)

It's true structure is our buzzword and that ADHD and ASD *thrive* on structure, predictability, clear expectations. However the reason it's harder at home is that we don't have all the tools and training the people in school have to create that structure. It's visuals, mindset (what we take personally), an OT helping consultatively to work on self regulation, SLP coming in to work on social thinking consultatively or directly, training on positive behavioral strategies, on and on. We can get there, but it's a big gap. We're essentially trying to be a lot of people when we do it at home ourselves. 

So I'm reading through Doebel's paper, and it's interesting that she takes argument with isolated work on attention, working memory, and shifting, the very things https://www.proedinc.com/Products/34290/efte-nu-executive-functions-testelementary-no.aspx  tests. And of course, if they've made a test for it, they also have a plan for intervention. https://www.proedinc.com/Products/31212/executive-functions-trainingelementary.aspx  And when you go through this workbook, there is this goal of getting the skills back into context pretty quickly. I'm not sure it's so isolated as Cogmed and plunking out $1500 to a psych for 6-8 weeks of Cogmed would be. 

I'm just trying to figure out who the boogie man is here, because I don't think SLPs and interventionists working on this are doing it in isolation. Doebel's may be trying to write on things that people have already sorta figured out but that psychs haven't put into words. Like it's fine, but what changes?

I'm still trying to read this article. Some of it is just obvious, like the putting in context on page 15. Of course you would. Now page 16 she's suggesting a link between theory of mind and EF. My head is swirling on this. I still don't see what difference it makes. Just as a total aside, it's a really interesting suggestion that shifting assessment of the desire of others would drive participation of the person being evaluated. That could have happened with my ds, lol. He definitely had a different reaction a few years later from when he was evaluated the first time.

Page 18 is so weird, because it seems like the boogie man here is the testing. For the actual intervention, everyone knows you would generalize and do it across a variety of contexts. So is the problem the testing? Cogmed? 

Page 20 makes an exceptional point, that we want to have "experiences that could help them value using control more.."

At the end of page 20, going into 21, she talks about working memory, and I think she misses the point. The working memory is BUILT EASILY AND NATURALLY when there's context. It's only Cogmed and the profit driven therapy model that turned this into a $$$ scenario where parents spend weeks haranguing kids over software for comparatively little improvement (1.5 digits of increase). We've known this all along that you get kids into a context, playing a game, doing it in real life in varied, meaningful ways and it usually comes in. 

Page 22. Yes, we needed another paper to tell us good teaching is good teaching, lol.

Page 23. She finally says it. The boogieman is isolated EF work like software or isolated EF drill tasks.

Page 24. She's waging war with how EF is measured. Fine. Right now I'm really wishing I had seen this EF test the SLP did when she administered it, because I don't know what the tasks were like that measured shifting, etc. Given that they were done by an SLP, I would assume there's some sort of context and real life ness to it. So just because the psychs are doing purist tap tap tests and making assumptions doesn't mean that's what the SLPs are doing. After all, the point of the SLP testing is to drive IEP goals, much more practical. 

Page 25. After all that, she says keep doing those tests anyway, hahaha, that they're predictive of scores on real life stuff and real life function in the classroom, ie. those IEP goals.

Ok, I'm up to page 11 of Perone Buss, but my lands he's saying stuff we already know. I keep going back to this, but who are they saying is the boogie man? So far everything they're saying to do is what ABA says, what K5 teachers know, what everyone knows. So it's only the psychs selling Cogmed and intervention in isolation who are being called out, yes? 

Page 12 he's talking about what I informally call multi-sorts. Kelly Cartwright includes them in her book Word Callers because difficulty with this (which Perone is saying is a marker for EF issues and directly connected to prefrontal cortex development) causes difficulties with reading with comprehension. So it's something we worked on and I've seen it be an issue with ds in other areas too. So whether it's objects or words or whatever, doing multi sorts is hard for him as an individual with ASD2.

Page 15. I'm here now and he's STILL going on about the multi sorts and I'm kinda getting confused. I thought the whole thesis was that EF needs to be developed in real life and in context, but they're going on and on about the great value of multi sorts for developing EF and EF skills. I mean, they almost seem to be implying that working on multi sorts in isolation is valuable. I must be missing something.

Page 17. So not to be too rocket sciency, but at this point he's saying that the EF issues and multi sort issues at the simple level lead into logic stage, logic problem issues. I had been trying to do logic puzzles with my ds recently, and it has been striking to me how COMPLETELY ABSENT my ds is in ability to get these. He literally does NOT get them. Poof, nothing. But this is a dc who needed at 10 explicit instruction in multi sorts. So it's striking to think that the issues there are affecting his ability to do other tasks that build on them. I've clearly got holes here and need to understand more.

Page 17 into 18. Ok, I mentioned above that Doebel's was getting ready to do work on what is essentially interoception. Now this article is getting into it, no shock, with the obvious point that self awareness drives self regulation, self determination, self advocacy, and self control. 

The rest is boring and obvious.

I think he has at least two strands going here and hasn't figured it out. One, working on interoception would improve behavior. Two, they haven't explained how to work on multi sorts to improve that process in the EF even though they established a direct correlation between multi sorts and outcomes. 

https://www.kelly-mahler.com/what-is-interoception/  So here's the curriculum to work on interoception, which these people haven't quite figured out is the missing piece in almost everything they were wanting to see with self awareness, others awareness, and self regulation. 

And then for the multi sorts, I don't know. I'm going to think on that because it blew my mind.

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The multi sorts and the implication for behavior fall under Cognitive Control and Complexity Theory (Bunge and Zelazo). 

My brain is fading out. I'll have to read about it another day. But this may give me some things to work on. Doesn't take much imagination to figure Timberdoodle was right and that working on logic games develops this. My ds has done a lot of games, but he did them with support, not independently. That would be much harder for him to do the tasks independently. 

It's just fascinating to think about the implications of this and where it goes. We all know people with developmental problems who are totally screwy in how they process the rules of the world, who have an inability to balance different expectations and rules, to prioritize and figure out the heirarchy. They end up with funky simplistic views of how everything will work because they can't balance the complexity.

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@PeterPan Absolutely speech paths, OTs etc 'work on' working memory. But there isn't a lot of really good research which shows what is effective. There are certainly studies here and there, but look closely and a lot of them use undergrad students doing the usual number recall test - not exactly kids with special needs with struggles in that area.  I've read a couple of meta-analyses and they all say 'small improvements which typically don't generalise'.

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13 hours ago, PeterPan said: We all know people with developmental problems who are totally screwy in how they process the rules of the world, who have an inability to balance different expectations and rules, to prioritize and figure out the heirarchy. They end up with funky simplistic views of how everything will work because they can't balance the complexity.

Thank you for this wording. I have to write a letter for an autistic patient who is losing their disability because they think he can work. After 6 jobs in two years lost for the above problems, it helps to have you write the concise reason those jobs didn’t work out for him. You saved me some time. 
 

BTW I am not usually in this position. This patient came in for a Shoulder problem, which is resolved, and not keeping him from working, but they requested records from me and I know his work history, so I am including my 2 cents on it.

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On 4/9/2021 at 6:29 PM, bookbard said:

being able to generalise well is a sign of giftedness).

I have not heard this. I assumed it was more a function of personality (big picture vs. details, etc.). Interesting. Do you have a link about this?

17 hours ago, PeterPan said:

It's just fascinating to think about the implications of this and where it goes. We all know people with developmental problems who are totally screwy in how they process the rules of the world, who have an inability to balance different expectations and rules, to prioritize and figure out the heirarchy. They end up with funky simplistic views of how everything will work because they can't balance the complexity.

This is interesting, especially since this can be context-specific. As in, the logic/problem-solving works super well in some contexts or domains and not in others (like problem-solving with language vs. non-verbal logic). 

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18 hours ago, PeterPan said:

We all know people with developmental problems who are totally screwy in how they process the rules of the world, who have an inability to balance different expectations and rules, to prioritize and figure out the heirarchy. They end up with funky simplistic views of how everything will work because they can't balance the complexity.

This is the wording I was thankful for.  I thought I had it quoted correctly, but apparently I didn’t.

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

I have not heard this. I assumed it was more a function of personality (big picture vs. details, etc.). Interesting. Do you have a link about this?

No, but I have seen it quite a bit when you dig into specific studies on classroom strategies/behaviours, especially when they're about gifted mathematicians. After learning one idea or concept, they're able to generalise it across other areas of mathematics or even outside the field itself. I've certainly seen it myself, teaching gifted students - you introduce one concept and they're quickly able to link it to other existing ideas. 

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22 hours ago, kbutton said:

I have not heard this. I assumed it was more a function of personality (big picture vs. details, etc.). Interesting. Do you have a link about this?

@bookbard
https://www.davidsongifted.org/gifted-blog/what-is-giftedness/

“Some General Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

(These are typical factors stressed by educational authorities as being indicative of giftedness. Obviously, no child is outstanding in all characteristics.)

  1. Shows superior reasoning powers and marked ability to handle ideas; can generalize readily from specific facts and can see subtle relationships; has outstanding problem-solving ability.

...

11. Shows initiative and originality in intellectual work; shows flexibility in thinking and considers problems from a number of viewpoints.”

https://www.education.act.gov.au/support-for-our-students?a=587311
“Consistent indicators of giftedness
   • “Good” thinking – e.g. reasoning, conceptual understanding, abstract thinking, problem solving, generalising;”

 

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9 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

@bookbard
https://www.davidsongifted.org/gifted-blog/what-is-giftedness/

“Some General Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

(These are typical factors stressed by educational authorities as being indicative of giftedness. Obviously, no child is outstanding in all characteristics.)

  1. Shows superior reasoning powers and marked ability to handle ideas; can generalize readily from specific facts and can see subtle relationships; has outstanding problem-solving ability.

...

11. Shows initiative and originality in intellectual work; shows flexibility in thinking and considers problems from a number of viewpoints.”

https://www.education.act.gov.au/support-for-our-students?a=587311
“Consistent indicators of giftedness
   • “Good” thinking – e.g. reasoning, conceptual understanding, abstract thinking, problem solving, generalising;”

 

I have probably read and glossed right over this. It can be challenging for 2e folks. 

Shelagh Gallagher did a presentation one time at a homeschool convention that touched on this, now that I read this. She had data about intuitive vs. sensing types for lack of a better term, and it seemed like gifted personality types tended to fall into the broader intuitive category, which I think of as being responsible for generalization a lot of the time. I think part of the discussion was whether it's truly representative. I do know that she talked a lot about gifted people being needed in all fields, but when I tried to follow up on that line of thought, she was kind of vague about what our kids want to do vs. what we think would be good careers for them. I was seriously vested in the answer since my older kid is non-intuitive and is a sensing, hands-on type that plans to work in the trades, lol! He has multiple labels that include ADHD, but he has quite good EF overall. He was eligible to apply for Davidson, but we decided he's not the kind of gifted they are likely to have resources for. There are lots of hands-on gifted folks in my family that aren't into traditional gifted pursuits, and I wish we addressed those folks better. 

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4 minutes ago, kbutton said:

. I was seriously vested in the answer since my older kid is non-intuitive and is a sensing, hands-on type that plans to work in the trades,

My late granduncle is a talented self taught carpenter. I would have described that as having the intuition for carpentry rather than sensing. Or I might be confusing sensing with all the sensory overload issues that run on my side of the family. 
 

The last sentence I bolded is what’s probably important for us. The entire extract is about 10 pages.
https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ682705.pdf

““Research also reveals that most gifted adolescents are intu- itive, as opposed to the general population, most of whom (70%) prefer sensing (Gallagher, 1990; Hawkins, 1997; Hoehn & Bireley, 1988; Mills, 1983; Myers & McCaulley, 1985a, 1985b; Ol s zewski-Kubilius & Kulieke, 1989; Williams, 1992). Since intuitive types are better at abstraction, symbols, theory, and possibilities, they outperform sensing types on aptitude tests. For example, when MBTI types of 3,503 high school male students in a college-preparatory curriculum were com- pared with the students’ IQ scores, all intuitive types had higher scores than sensing types (Myers & McCaulley, 1985b). Also, Delbridge-Parker and Robinson examined the MBTI preferences of 72 gifted junior high students who we re final- ists in the Duke Talent Identification Program and found that the gifted students showed strong preferences for intuition (75%).

...

The most common type among gifted adolescents is intu- ition. The high pre f e rence of gifted adolescents for intuition compared to general high school students in this study is con- sistent with what Myers and McCauley (1985b) wrote about the connection between the psychological type theory and aca- demic aptitude. They stated that people showing high scores on introversion (I) and intuition (N) show greater academic aptitude than those who score high on extraversion (E) and sensing (S). While sensing types almost always fall below the mean in IQ, intuition types are mostly above the mean. Indeed, IN types with P or J usually have the top scores in the comparisonsofstudents’SAT,IQ,andFloridaEighthGrade Test in the manual of the MBTI. However, according to McCauley and Myers, this is not necessarily related to intelligence; rather, it is related to the match between the academic characteristics of IN types and the content of aptitude tests.“

 

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

My late granduncle is a talented self taught carpenter. I would have described that as having the intuition for carpentry rather than sensing. Or I might be confusing sensing with all the sensory overload issues that run on my side of the family. 
 

The last sentence I bolded is what’s probably important for us. The entire extract is about 10 pages.
https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ682705.pdf

““Research also reveals that most gifted adolescents are intu- itive, as opposed to the general population, most of whom (70%) prefer sensing (Gallagher, 1990; Hawkins, 1997; Hoehn & Bireley, 1988; Mills, 1983; Myers & McCaulley, 1985a, 1985b; Ol s zewski-Kubilius & Kulieke, 1989; Williams, 1992). Since intuitive types are better at abstraction, symbols, theory, and possibilities, they outperform sensing types on aptitude tests. For example, when MBTI types of 3,503 high school male students in a college-preparatory curriculum were com- pared with the students’ IQ scores, all intuitive types had higher scores than sensing types (Myers & McCaulley, 1985b). Also, Delbridge-Parker and Robinson examined the MBTI preferences of 72 gifted junior high students who we re final- ists in the Duke Talent Identification Program and found that the gifted students showed strong preferences for intuition (75%).

...

The most common type among gifted adolescents is intu- ition. The high pre f e rence of gifted adolescents for intuition compared to general high school students in this study is con- sistent with what Myers and McCauley (1985b) wrote about the connection between the psychological type theory and aca- demic aptitude. They stated that people showing high scores on introversion (I) and intuition (N) show greater academic aptitude than those who score high on extraversion (E) and sensing (S). While sensing types almost always fall below the mean in IQ, intuition types are mostly above the mean. Indeed, IN types with P or J usually have the top scores in the comparisonsofstudents’SAT,IQ,andFloridaEighthGrade Test in the manual of the MBTI. However, according to McCauley and Myers, this is not necessarily related to intelligence; rather, it is related to the match between the academic characteristics of IN types and the content of aptitude tests.“

 

Thank you. This is what she was presenting. This was before WISC V, and I wonder if that makes a difference. My sensor kid (and I do mean it in the MB way), had several personal things change between the WISC IV and the WISC V changeover (ADHD meds, vision therapy), but the WISC V also removed a lot of inadvertent need for language on the non-verbal portion of their test. His score went up dramatically at the same time that he got an expression language diagnosis, lol! This was when he qualified to apply to Davidson. So, he either beats the stats, or the WISC V is more representative, or both.

I know my sensing type relatives (hands-on, etc.) are less likely to be identified than their more intuitive siblings and cousins.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

, but the WISC V also removed a lot of inadvertent need for language on the non-verbal portion of their test. His score went up dramatically at the same time that he got an expression language diagnosis, lol! This was when he qualified to apply to Davidson. So, he either beats the stats, or the WISC V is more representative, or both.

I know my sensing type relatives (hands-on, etc.) are less likely to be identified than their more intuitive siblings and cousins.

https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6437&context=etd
“Model 1 showed that race accounted for 3% of the variance in scores between groups. Model 2 showed that parent education alone accounts for 17.1% of the variance, and controlling for parent education reduces the variance in FSIQ accounted for by ethnic group by 96.7%. In model 3, parent income contributed an additional 1.7% of variance in FSIQ scores, reducing the variance explained by ethnicity by 98.6%.

...
Next, using the WISC-VCDN assessment results in potential bias of the testing paradigm. As with most major intelligence tests, there is an emphasis on literacy, and a stimulus-response paradigm is used. This testing paradigm assumes children will: try their best, give relevant answers, ask when unclear, and answer questions in front of a stranger. This may not be the case for all children based on cultural or social differences, and is therefore a limitation here and across the majority of intelligence testing overall.”

ETA:

@kbutton edited faulty link.  My younger one that needed scaffolding thrives in a structure which is very structured with clear deadlines. He actually does well in community college classes because they are so structured. His worst classes are english and history.

Edited by Arcadia
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22 hours ago, bookbard said:

No, but I have seen it quite a bit when you dig into specific studies on classroom strategies/behaviours, especially when they're about gifted mathematicians. After learning one idea or concept, they're able to generalise it across other areas of mathematics or even outside the field itself. I've certainly seen it myself, teaching gifted students - you introduce one concept and they're quickly able to link it to other existing ideas. 

Having taught a lot... I wonder if it's also partially because they are aware things CAN generalize. Sometimes, the piecemeal way we teach math leaves kids with the impression it's all incredibly disjointed. I've definitely seen this symptom in a range of kids, including kids that were almost certainly gifted. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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7 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Having taught a lot... I wonder if it's also partially because they are aware things CAN generalize. Sometimes, the piecemeal way we teach math leaves kids with the impression it's all incredibly disjointed. I've definitely seen this symptom in a range of kids, including kids that were almost certainly gifted. 

Truth. Maybe not the whole truth, but truth, for sure.

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14 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

viewcontent.cgi?article=6437&context=etd
“Model 1 showed that race accounted for 3% of the variance in scores between groups. Model 2 showed that parent education alone accounts for 17.1% of the variance, and controlling for parent education reduces the variance in FSIQ accounted for by ethnic group by 96.7%. In model 3, parent income contributed an additional 1.7% of variance in FSIQ scores, reducing the variance explained by ethnicity by 98.6%.

...
Next, using the WISC-VCDN assessment results in potential bias of the testing paradigm. As with most major intelligence tests, there is an emphasis on literacy, and a stimulus-response paradigm is used. This testing paradigm assumes children will: try their best, give relevant answers, ask when unclear, and answer questions in front of a stranger. This may not be the case for all children based on cultural or social differences, and is therefore a limitation here and across the majority of intelligence testing overall.”

This link doesn't work for me. I think I found the paper, but it's 102 pages that I don't quite have time for. 😉 I found this specific passage.

I am not sure where I read that the WISC V "fixes" the reliance on verbal stuff that was part of the non-verbal portion of WISC-IV, but I'm nearly positive it was in materials about the WISC V explaining what was changed between tests and why. 

Are you thinking that my son's performance varied based on cooperation, etc.? Or on literacy? Or is your point something else entirely? I am not sure what to do with this information. I gather from our psych that kids don't usually do better on the WISC as they age--scores are generally pretty stable, and for 2e kids, they often go down just a bit. 

My main point was to speculate that differences in the WISC (specifically the non-verbal portion) might lead to kids who are less intuitive (and therefore sensors) being identified more readily as gifted and skewing results if we had all new data. Since the main article was a literature review, I don't think they used all the same criteria for including students who are gifted--it's not likely to have been only WISC scores that identified kids as gifted. 

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37 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

ETA:

@kbutton edited faulty link.  My younger one that needed scaffolding thrives in a structure which is very structured with clear deadlines. He actually does well in community college classes because they are so structured. His worst classes are english and history.

I totally believe that. My son is a box checker extraordinaire. He likes English and History now that he has had language therapy, but I don't think they'd be his best subjects; however, he's proved to be a hard student to categorize over time.

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23 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Are you thinking that my son's performance varied based on cooperation, etc.? Or on literacy? Or is your point something else entirely? I am not sure what to do with this information. I gather from our psych that kids don't usually do better on the WISC as they age--scores are generally pretty stable, and for 2e kids, they often go down just a bit.. 

After sitting through the WISC-IV twice but not in the testing room itself, I would say it has a literacy bias and a cultural bias. Kids who do not like to talk are also likely to end up scoring lower if the tester is used to "talkative" children. My kids are not classified as ESL but the report for both my kids explicitly stated that they come from a multilingual household. There would be things that my kids would feel impolite to say and a tester used to "dealing with" that kind of politeness would know when to prompt or switch to another question. My quiet and diplomatic older kid had the comprehension sub test swap out for information. My younger kid is blunt and did well on the comprehension sub test.

ETA:

Meant to say tester's experience with 2E and atypical kids play a part. My younger kid was fidgeting throughout and the tester allowed him to jump/run in the courtyard in between sub tests if he wanted to.

Edited by Arcadia
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14 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

After sitting through the WISC-IV twice but not in the testing room itself, I would say it has a literacy bias and a cultural bias. Kids who do not like to talk are also likely to end up scoring lower if the tester is used to "talkative" children. My kids are not classified as ESL but the report for both my kids explicitly stated that they come from a multilingual household. There would be things that my kids would feel impolite to say and a tester used to "dealing with" that kind of politeness would know when to prompt or switch to another question. My quiet and diplomatic older kid had the comprehension sub test swap out for information. My younger kid is blunt and did well on the comprehension sub test.

ETA:

Meant to say tester's experience with 2E and atypical kids play a part. My younger kid was fidgeting throughout and the tester allowed him to jump/run in the courtyard in between sub tests if he wanted to.

We went into that with eyes wide open and with people who are good with 2e kids. There were lots of breaks to maintain focus, etc. We don't have a significant cultural divide with most of America that would show up on testing either. I sat through enough parent sessions at the local gifted enrichment program that addressed some of these things that we were aware of this stuff. We're not the most highly educated Americans, but we're more educated than many (bachelor's for me, master's completion program for DH). 

 

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