To conclude my focus on complex needs often found within the classroom and how they effect a student ability to learn. I focused exclusively on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although there are many other complex needs very prevalent within school systems there is simply not enough weeks in the semester for me to explore them all.
An overview my past blog on ADHD concluded that ADHD is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity and sometimes even impulsivity. Individuals who have ADHD often have difficulties with problem solving and social comprehension, crucial for successful peer relationships. Peer relationships are one of the primary context in which children learn cooperation, negotiation, and conflict resolution – skills that are all critical for effective social functioning throughout our social lives, can have devastating effects to children with ADHD.
ODD is often looked at in a similar light as ADHD, ODD is characterised by ongoing patterns of anger, irritable mood, defiant, argumentative behavior and vindictive tendencies towards people of authority. These features often cause a deficit to interpersonal sensitivity and emotional reactivity, which are core features found in children with ODD. This causes issues with reading social cues and often attribute hostile intentions to other’s behavior, which is the reasoning behind their outbursts. ODD can manifest into a life time of antisocial behavior and other psychopathically tendencies, such as conduct disorder (CD). CD consist of behavioral patterns consistent with antisocial behavior and the violation of social norms and other individuals rights.
ASD, I bit different compared to ODD and ADHD, still is comprised of deficits within the social lives of those who poses ASD. ASD is a disorder which is presented in profound social disconnect, and the cause is rooted within the child’s early brain development. Social disconnect may include; unawareness of surroundings, failure to respond to sights and sounds, limited speech and language skills, difficulty playing with other children and making friends, as well as repetitive or restricted behavior that may be difficult for others to understand.
You can see an obvious trend in the negative effects complex need often entail. To summarizing my findings I found an article that consists of a meta-analysis that explores the nature of social deficits among students with learning disabilities or complex needs. The met analysis is comprised of over 150 studies that shows, on average, 75% of student with complex needs develop social skill deficits that can exclude and distinguish them from comparison groups (those without complex needs).
Although social skill deficits appear to be associated with individuals with complex needs, however there are a number of questions about the relationship between complex needs and social skill deficits that remain unanswered. Nonetheless, social skill deficits are still viewed as one among many components that constitute individuals who have complex needs.
Taking form this I see the importance of socialization, specifically in regards to one’s cognitive abilities. Reading other various blogs on social isolation and its detrimental effects, I theorize that these complex needs themselves are not the fundamental cause to a decline in cognition, but rather the failure of peer relationship or lack of socializing often accompanying those with a complex need. These individuals may be stunted in their social abilities, this may cause social rejection, which furthers their lack of social knowledge – it’s a vicious cycle. Their best bet in developing an adequate or “normal” social cognitive ability, in the case of ASD, ODD and ADHD, is to develop a healthy, successful, and productive social environment. Social cognition is a very important aspect of our live, but we learn an awful lot through socializing as well. A successful individual does not just simply having the ability to use our knowledge to construct
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