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Ask Susan: Should One Focus on Weaker Cognitive Skills?

Hi Susan

Just wondering, does the program allow the child to focus more on areas they struggle with, rather than work on all areas equally? E.g. my daughter scored 7 in visual memory, but 2 in visual span, also struggles with logic and auditory memory. Can the program be programmed to let her do more of these areas and less visual memory?



Hi Ruby

Thank you for your question.

The previous version of our program had a free play mode. Interestingly, when children worked in free play mode they would only select the exercises that they were good at, and avoided those that they struggled with. We thus removed this feature when we designed the latest version.

I have been training children using the Edublox system for 30 years and, as far as cognitve skills training is concerned, the majority of children don’t need extra practice to strengthen their weaker cognitive skills. The reason is that improving the stronger skills even more, assists in developing the weaker skills. Scientists call this mutualism. A mutualistic view suggests that cognitive abilities mutually facilitate growth. For example, better reasoning skills allow individuals to improve their vocabulary more quickly, and better vocabularies are associated with faster improvement in reasoning ability (Kievit et al., 2017).

Exceptions to the rule, where I recommend additional exercises, usually involve children with severe spatial problems as well as severe long-term memory deficits.  




Kievit, R. A., Lindenberger, U., Goodyer, I. M., Jones, P. B., Fonagy, P., Bullmore, E. T., & Dolan, R. J. (2017). Mutualistic coupling between vocabulary and reasoning supports cognitive development during late adolescence and early adulthood. Psychological Science, 28(10), 1419-1431.

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More about Susan

Susan is an educational specialist in the field of learning problems and dyslexia and has a B.A. Honors in Psychology and B.D. degree from the University of Pretoria. Early in her professional career Susan was instrumental in training over 3000 teachers and tutors, providing them with the foundational and practical understanding to facilitate cognitive development amongst children who struggle to read and write. With over 25 years of research to her name Susan conceptualized the Edublox teaching and learning methods that have helped thousands of children who were struggling academically to read, learn and achieve. In 2007, Susan opened the first Edublox reading and learning clinic and now there are 40 Edublox clinics internationally. Her proudest moments are when she sees a child who had severe learning difficulties come top of their class after one or two years at Edublox. Susan always takes time to collect the ‘hero’ stories of learners whose self-esteem is lifted as their marks improve.