Category Archives: Pediatric Psychology

Finding an Environment that Helps Motor Development

A new questionnaire, designed by researchers at the University of Texas Arlington (UT Arlington), can help parents, caregivers, and doctors assess an infant’s home environment. The questionnaire, called the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development-Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS) can identify whether objects in the home, known as affordances, support multiple levels of motor skill…

Early Childhood Education Should Focus on Play

Young children’s brains are wired to learn through play and exploration. Although discovery-based learning—a learning style that works with children’s development—is validated by a number of recent studies, education in the United States is heading in the opposite direction. Early childhood education is becoming dominated by formalized, teacher-led classroom instruction. The shift towards a didactic…

Toddlers Know Their Noise Impacts Others

Toddlers understand the relationship between the noise they make and other people’s behavior. A study from Georgia State University and the University of Washington investigated whether toddlers understand that noise affects those around them. The results demonstrate that toddlers know that the noise they produce impacts other people. The study involved 48 children ages two…

Instructional Videos Can Teach Babies to Sign

Can babies learn to communicate from videos? Past research has suggested that video instruction is not effective for infants, but a new study from Emory University finds that educational videos can be effective for some types of learning. The study shows that infants under age two can learn to recognize and produce signs for everyday…

Full-Day Preschool Supports Kindergarten Readiness

One of the best ways to prepare young children for academic success is to enroll them in preschool. New research from the University of Minnesota finds that full-day preschool programs are more beneficial than part-day preschool for three- and four-year-old children. While the United States offers federally-funded programs like Head Start and other state-funded initiatives…

Sleep Problems for Kids with Psychiatric Disorders

Children who have trouble sleeping are known to exhibit more behavior problems during the day due to tiredness. For children with psychiatric disorders, sleep problems result in more than just grumpiness. Researchers at Bradley Hospital investigated the how sleep problems affect young children with psychiatric disorders. Their research indicates that sleep problems are common for…

Mom’s Response to Baby Spurs Language Acquisition

When your baby babbles, do you answer? Research from the University of Iowa and Indiana University investigated how a mother’s response to her infant’s babbling affects the infant’s communication skills. When mothers listen to their infant’s chatter and respond to it, infants learn to use language more rapidly. The study suggests that the way in…

Experience Required for Gaze Tracking in Infants

How do infants learn to track other people’s gaze? Studies suggest that infants are unable to master gaze tracking before their brains have developed enough. However, new research from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUCC) suggests that brain development is not what leads to gaze tracking, but experience. According to an eye-tracking study performed…

Language Development Predicts ADHD

A number of studies connect underdeveloped language skills in toddlers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and with behavioral problems like inattention and hyperactivity. Although the association between language and ADHD is well-attested, a new study investigated whether language development issues or ADHD appear first during in children. Researchers at Indiana University and the University…

Motor Skills Central to Speech Development

How do babies learn to talk? First, they have to understand how to make the movements associated with speech, finds research from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, in which researchers measured infants’ brain activity in areas associated with speech. The results emphasize the importance of talking to babies, even if…

What is iLs?

iLs is a complementary approach to brain fitness which can be integrated into a broad variety of educational, therapeutic and self-improvement programs. In the same way we can train our bodies to become stronger and healthier, iLs trains the brain to process sensory, cognitive and emotional information more effectively. With better synaptic connectivity, we perform better. It’s about as simple as that.

We start with music and movement, and then gradually integrate language and cognitive processes. The exercises appear simple but become increasingly difficult as we add new layers for simultaneous processing. The program involves no computers or screens of any type. Someone once referred to iLs as “a boot camp for the brain.” We’d like to think of it more as play, and we all know we work hardest when we play!

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