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Roger E. Lauer, Ph.D.
Roger E. Lauer, Ph.D. Director
Developing Unique Minds
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Woman and Girl

Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive impairment (CI) is a term used synonymously with mental retardation (MR) or mental disabilities by the State of Michigan’s Department of Education. CI is evident during early childhood and manifests as delays in intellectual functioning and age-appropriate adaptive behavior (e.g., skills related to communication, social interactions, daily living, personal care and being able to function at home, at school and in the community).

In the past, personal attitudes, beliefs and feelings regarding children with CI impacted the care and assistance provided to them. The last 30 years have seen increased opportunities for children with CI including services, assessment and treatment that can lead to better education. In order to provide more appropriate care plans for children with CI, our evaluations address several areas including intellectual, attention and memory functioning.

Reuven Feuerstein, Ph.D., is an expert in cognitive modification in children with varying levels of functioning. One of the areas of learning he discusses in his writings is that individuals who have developmental delay – such as those with CI – need adult support in order to learn critical thinking skills and to ‘stretch’ their thinking. The results from an assessment at CNLD can help adults understand what kind of support is best for those with CI.