Cognitive Issues by Stages
The following categories are provided as general guidelines to keep in mind when a child with Duchenne is in the classroom. Special issues listed in one stage may continue to be problematic in subsequent stages.
Pre-K, Kindergarten, & Early Elementary (ages 1-7)
- Parents and teachers may notice concerns about language development during this age period. The problem may be obvious, such as a lack of basic vocabulary, or may be subtle, in that they have a normal vocabulary but problems remembering or processing larger amounts of verbal information or expressing themselves.
- Weaknesses in phonological awareness and verbal memory place boys with Duchenne at increased risk for developing learning disabilities, especially dyslexia.
Elementary and Middle School (ages 7-11)
- Difficulty mastering academic material is a frequent concern during the primary years. Academic difficulties may be due to specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia or other cognitive deficits.
- Problems with short-term memory and attention may be problematic for boys with Duchenne at this stage, but may be overlooked by parents and teachers because they are not disruptive.
- As boys progress through the grades and more and more independence is expected in their work, problems with planning, organization, initiation, and self-evaluation may become more apparent (these types of skills are collectively referred to as “executive skills”).
Junior High and High School (ages 12-18)
- As young men with Duchenne grow older and expectations for responsibility increase, problems with short-term memory and executive functioning can interfere with their ability to keep track of and efficiently complete assignments and projects.
- These issues are likely to become more problematic as the complexity of their work increases, and for this reason learning problems can happen for the first time during this age range.
We also recommend that you view our guide to Behavioral Issues by Stages, or Connect with other parents who understand what you're experiencing.