Middle Childhood Intervention 6-12:

Category — 3.0 Eight to Ten: Academic Skills

Eight to Ten: Academic Skills

Between ages 8 and 10, children’s academic skills are getting better and better. They are now very good at reading and writing. They can spell a large number of words and can perform mathematical operations. This is the time when many delays or difficulties with academic skills become more apparent and difficult to ignore. Children who get diagnosed with ADHD and/or a learning disability usually get referred for a psychological or psycho-educational assessment during this time. Although the signs and symptoms of ADHD or a learning disability can usually be noticed before this age, it is between the ages of8 and 10 are the time when most referrals for a diagnosis are made. It is extremely that those working with children this age be aware of the most common signs of academic delays (Fig. 1).

academic delay

Figure 1. Academic delay


Children experiencing delays reading, may:

  • avoid reading and resisting reading activities;
  • take a very long time to read a simple paragraph (Fig. 2);
  • be unable to recognize most common words by sight (that is, without having to decode them);
  • not understand that we read for a reason, and that this reason is comprehension;
  • not be able to retell a story that he or she just read (possibly because he or she was so busy decoding words, she did not pay attention to the meaning of what she was reading);
  • heavily rely on others when reading and need help decoding a word;
  • struggle with the identifying of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in sentences;
  • be unable to put words in alphabetical order (for example: apple, boat, cookie…);
  • not know the difference between numbers and letters;
  • struggle with phonemes (like “s” sound) and syllables, like “ba-na-na” or “ti-ger.” For more information, please visit the following website.

difficulties reading

Figure 2. Difficulties reading


Children experiencing delays in writing, may:

  • take a very long time to write a simple sentence (Fig. 3);
  • struggle with writing even simple words, like “mine” or “apple,”  from memory;
  • have unclear printing or writing;
  • write words very close to each other in a sentence (that is, not spacing words properly. For example, “Iam notgoing toschooltoday” instead of “I am not going to school today”);
  • struggle with punctuation (that is, using very little or no punctuation; for example: “My sister and I went home we played with friends,” instead of “My sister and I went home. We played with friends”);
  • have difficulty copying words from the blackboard or an example;
  • avoid any form of writing activities at all cost (this could include writing activities that most children this age enjoy like text messaging or sending email messages);
  • struggle with homework and written reports;
  • not know when to use capital letters; for example, proper names, like “Megan” or “Canada;” at the beginning of a sentence, or following periods, like “You ate the last cookie. Now we are out of cookies!”

difficulties writing

Figure 3. Difficulties writing


When experiencing delays in math, a child may:

  • struggle with the addition of basic one and two digit numbers;
  • struggle with the addition of simple fractions (Fig. 4);
  • struggle with the subtraction of one and two digit numbers;
  • have difficulty counting in twos (that is: 2, 4, 6, 8) and fives (5, 10, 15, 20);
  • not know the difference between odd and even numbers;
  • struggle with counting high numbers (that is, numbers over 100);
  • not know how much change they will get when paying $5.00 or less for an item;
  • not be able to tell time, with either a digital or analog watch or clock;
  • struggle with basic math concepts (such as “less than” and “more than”);
  • know the rules of basic multiplication; this consists of counting by grouping and repeating the same number instead of counting one by one
  • struggle with relative concepts (such as “bigger” and “biggest”) (Fig. 5)
  • struggle with simple word problems (for example: “If Johnny has three cookies and Harpreet has five cookies, who has more?”);
  • be unable to count down from 10 to zero.

doing fractions

Figure 4: Doing fractions


Figure 5. Relative concepts, such as “bigger” and “biggest”
see References

May 6, 2012   No Comments