Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Concept Development

So many times we come across an IEP goal which refers to "concepts."  The development of concepts may come easily to some children, while others identified with communication delays or disorders may need more opportunities to develop them.  Concepts can seem very abstract, especially if the child has a limited vocabulary.

Here are some basic descriptions of various concepts that are developmentally appropriate for preschoolers, in order of acquisition:

Spatial (Prepositions)   in, on, under, off, out of, next to, beside, between, behind, in front, around 
Directional   up, down, first, middle, last
Quantity   another, one, many, one, two, empty, a lot, one-to-one
Size    big, little
Time   soon, later, wait
Qualitative   same, different, color, both

Linguisystems offers an amazing, comprehensive Communication Milestones Guide written by Janet R. Lanza and Lynn K. Flahive.

Children tend to generalize their knowledge rather and may not fully realize that an object may have more than one attribute.  For example, it is fairly common for a very young child to generalize that all animals with four legs are dogs.  It is through their experiences in comparing different characteristics (shape of the face, length of the tail, places they are found), that they begin to discriminate between the four-legged creatures.  I have found the best way to introduce a concept is to offer many, many opportunities to model and experience the concept.  Also, introducing contrasting concepts seems to be the most effective.  For example, it is much easier to develop the concept of "up" if you are also developing the concept of "down."

1 comment:

  1. I love the Communication Milestones Guide from Linguisystems - reference it all the time. Great blog you have going here! Can't wait to read more.

    Schoolhouse Talk!