Cognitive Skills----boring, right?

Warning: This post is all about Jake's cognitive skills and includes his artwork. One may find this incredibly boring and fall asleep! Consider yourself warned!

It's been awhile since I've had the typical 4 yr old. Grant was not typical. He colored like a pro and could read my sidewalk chalk words at just 4 yrs. He is a puzzle genius and loves thinking games. Jake is behind obviously due to a language barrier and because he hasn't been subjected to some things like crayons and puzzles. I'm wondering what kind of effect, if any, will his beginning years and lack of stimulation have on him. I honestly don't think Grant had a ton of stimulation in his orphanage (although he was a favorite there). His beginnings did not effect his cognitive skills negatively. But Jake's situation was different. I think they wrote him off to cerebal palsy and kept him in a crib. So I'm just not sure what we're working with yet. He does pick up language very, very quickly and is an independent little guy.

His gross motor skills are right on track and even improving since we have had him. His fine motor skills are great if you consider what he can pick up with chopsticks. However, the things we test like coloring, drawing lines, puzzles, etc. are a different story. He hasn't been subjected to them. He can pretty much draw an "X" if I draw one or copy my circle. We've been working on coloring to help with eye/hand coordination and fine motor skills. He just turned 4 in April so maybe scribbling is normal. He is starting to color more in the lines and will color the picture versus the paper now. He loses interest quickly and doesn't fill in all the white paper with crayon. Again, maybe this is normal. I honestly don't remember what Ally did at 4 yrs. We have been working on learning colors, recognizing his written name, and simply learning what the letter A looks like and sounds like. Gotta start somewhere, right?

I did help with the little angel in the "A" picture and firetruck picture and kept encouraging him to keep coloring everything in.

I was losing hope with learning colors and beginning to think he may be color blind until this week when he correctly told me what the colors were in the lego tower he built! YEAH!!!! Okay, so he still doesn't always get them right, but it is a step forward!

Puzzles.....oh my! We have a big fire engine puzzle he loves to try. I end up putting it together for him. The pieces are a little weird so I think it is a little difficult myself. He tries so hard. The other day I found him in the playroom with his head on the floor and buried in his hands crying because he was soooo frustrated. However, while I was telling my pediatrician about my puzzle worries, Jake figured out the child locks on the drawers. So maybe the fire truck puzzle is more difficult than child locks! We'll keep working on it.

I need to keep reminding myself that he doesn't have to be ahead or even right on. If he is a year behind, it isn't a big deal at all. It just goes against my gung-ho, everything in its place, getting everything done early personality type. Of course, for some little reason, I've been the total opposite of my normal recently. Hmmmmm......wonder why THAT could be? My little tornado perhaps?

My other two kiddos don't stop schooling during the summer either. No favoritism here. No way! Ally is working on a math book to keep up her skills and doing some math on the computer. I've been trying to alternate the days with this and still be flexible enough for summer fun. Grant is doing some computer math and learning his times tables. The difference is Ally moans and groans, and Grant loves the challenge!

The Raudenbush Family  – (June 23, 2010 at 10:09 PM)  

Our Drew turned 4 March 29th, while we were in Xi'an getting Lydia. So, he and Jake are very very close in age. Drew cannot color much of anything. He does a circle with lines out of it for a person and he does attempt his name, but only we can recognize it. I think Jake sounds like he's doing great!

Annie  – (June 24, 2010 at 8:16 AM)  

I think those pics look great for a 4 year old, Heather!! Wonderful for a kid who has never been exposed to crayons and such!! The girls are both 4 and that looks just like and maybe even a bit better than their pics! I think he is doing great!!!

Anonymous –   – (June 24, 2010 at 9:49 AM)  

I have a new group of four-year olds through sixth grade every year. This is right on, better than some but there is always at least one or two in every class that seems to color very well for their age. Usually this is a little girl but not always. I have some five-year-olds that don't color better than this.

Love Omi

Kristi  – (June 30, 2010 at 7:16 AM)  

His coloring rivals my oldest, and she's been home over three years. She just can't be bothered...
And I also found that playing with toys was the best way to check colors. glad I'm not the only mom who is "schooling" a bit this summer!

Stefanie  – (June 30, 2010 at 8:49 AM)  

Isn't amazing how kids are so, well, different? We have two sets of virtual twins (5 and 9 months apart) and they could NOT be more different.
Sounds like your little guy is making some big progress...and that is something to celebrate! :)

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