I’m in LA and I just saw a great little eight-year-old boy who happens to have Down syndrome. He has a wonderful family who are doing all they can to help him in his development. He attends school and is in a special education class with kids with mild problems. He is the best reader in the class, which has everything to do with what he has been doing at home for years and nothing to do with school. If he were in college, he would evidently be a film major, because watching TV appears to be the primary activity in his school day, particularly on Fridays. Every Friday is TV day. Not that they don’t watch TV on other days, which they certainly do; but Friday is all TV. Ten children, four teachers (want to do the math and figure out how much that is costing us?), and what do they do to help these children develop? They watch TV–and not even “educational” TV. They watch movies.
Sadly, a significant chunk of the neuropsychological world and the educational world still doesn’t get that the basis of brain function is neuroplasticity, and that we can change and develop if given the opportunity. Perceive us as limited, and provide “opportunity” based on that perception, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for all of our children and us as well.
You would think that after all these years this nonsense would no longer make me angry; but if anything I just get angrier.
What develops changes, and that which changes can be developed; and that includes working memory and intelligence.