What Are The Types Of Cognitive Skills In Children?

October 20, 2018 admin No comments exist

Cognitive skill improvement in children includes the broad-minded building of learning skills, such as attention, memory, and thinking. These critical skills allow children to process sensory information and finally learn to assess, scrutinize, remember, make contrasts and comprehend cause and effect. Though some cognitive skills development is correlated to a child’s inherited makeup, maximum cognitive skills are learned. That means thinking and learning skills can be amended with practice and the right teaching.


Why is cognitive development important in a child?

Early youth commonly refers to the age from birth through age 5. A youth’s cognitive development during primary childhood, which takes in building skills such as pre-reading, verbal, vocabulary, and mathematical ability, begins from the second a child is born. Developmental researchers have found that the mind obtains a wonderful quantity of information about language in the first year of life even before babies can speak. By the time babies complete or understand their first words, they know which specific sounds their language uses, what noises can be shared to generate words, and the speed and tempo of words and phrases.

There is a sturdy linking between the developments a child experiences early in life and the level of achievement that the child will experience later in life. For instance, infants who are better at differentiating the building blocks of language at 6 months are well at other more multifaceted language skills at 2 and 3 years of age and enhanced at obtaining the skills for learning to read at 4 and 5 years of age. Not shockingly, a child’s familiarity with the alphabet in kindergarten is one of the most important forecasters of what that child’s tenth-grade interpretation ability will be.

When young kids are provided an atmosphere rich in language and literacy connections and full of chances to listen to and use language continually, they can instigate to obtain the indispensable building blocks for learning how to deliver. A child who enters school deprived of these skills runs a noteworthy risk of opening behind and staying behind.


cognitive development


What are the types of cognitive skills in children?

Here are the different cognitive skills in children along with some common signs and symptoms that normally experienced when that specific skill is weak:


Working memory allows hanging on to the information while a child is in the process of using it.

Signs of the weakening of working memory skills include:

  • Reading the directions again and again during a project
  • Experiencing a problem when following multi-step directions
  • Forgetting anything that was said in a talk or discussion


Long-term memory allows a child to hang on and access and store the information that was learned in the past.

Signs of the weakening of skills of long-term memory include:

  • Forgetting the names and things that a child used to know
  • Performing poorly on the tests/exams


Sustained attention allows a child to focus on a specific task for a long time period.

Signs of the weakening of skills of sustained attention include:

  • Jumping from one project to another project
  • Not being able to complete projects


Selective attention allows a child to avoid all the distractions and stay focused on what he/she is doing.

Signs of the weakening of selective attention skills include:

  • Easily distracted when doing a specific task
  • Jumping from one task to another


Divided attention allows a child to remember the information while doing two tasks/things at once.

Signs that skills of divided attention may be weak include:

  • Couldn’t be able to perform multiple tasks at once
  • Making frequent errors/mistakes

Auditory Processing:

Auditory processing is an important skill required for a successful reading because it allows a child to evaluate then blend and then segment the sounds.

Signs that skills of auditory processing are weak include:

  • Experiencing difficulty when learning to read
  • Struggling with the fluency of reading or comprehension

Visual Processing:

Visual processing helps a child to think in the visual images.

Signs that skills of visual processing are weak include:

  • Struggling to comprehend what a child has just read
  • Struggling to remember what a child has just read
  • Struggling to follow the directions, reading the maps, and doing the words problems of math

Logic & Reasoning:

Logic & reasoning allows a child to reason, create the ideas and solve the problems.

Signs that skills of logic & reasoning are weak include:

  • Frequently asking questions like “what should I do next”
  • Repeatedly saying that “I don’t get this point”
  • Struggling with different math problems, feeling stuck at times or overwhelmed

Processing Speed:

Processing speed allows a child to perform different tasks rapidly and correctly.

Signs that skills of processing speed are weak include:

  • Having a constant feeling that a child’s tasks are more difficult for him/her than for other children
  • Taking much time to complete any task for school
  • Often being the last one in a group to complete something


cognitive skills development in children


Cognitive abilities are actually the brain functions:

Below table shows the main functions of the brain that are involved in the cognition along with the skills that are involved in each brain function:

Cognitive Ability/Brain Function

Skills Involved

Perception Recognize and interpret the sensory stimuli (smell, hearing, touch, etc).
  • Ability to completely focus on an object or any action or a thought
  • Ability to accomplish the challenging demands in the environment
Memory Working memory and long-term memory
Motor skills
  • Ability to mobilize the muscles and the bodies
  • Ability to operate the objects
Language All the abilities that allow an individual to translate the sounds into the words and then generate the verbal output.
Visual and Spatial Processing Ability to process the receiving visual stimuli, to comprehend the spatial connection between the objects and to envision the images and scenarios.
Executive Functions Abilities that allow a goal-oriented behavior such as the capability to plan and then execute a goal. These abilities include:

  • Flexibility
  • Theory of mind
  • Anticipation
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision making
  • Working Memory
  • Emotional self-regulation
  • Sequencing
  • Inhibition


cognitive abilities brain functions



A commitment to early childhood improvement would be one thing the numerous factions, all of whom want the best for their kids, could come together and create progress on. Children are every parent’s utmost joy and every country’s extreme resource. Capitalizing in them throughout their critical early years is one of the supreme gifts parents, educators, and the government can give them and one of the keenest moves to make for the future of the world.

If you know some child in your family, friends, relatives, loved-ones who has weak cognitive skills or if your own child is experiencing this condition, the professional consultation or medical treatment should be needed. For this, you can schedule an online appointment with the pediatric occupational therapists at Hand In Hand Occupational Therapy Of LI, who offers a customized treatment plan according to the cognitive difficulties of an individual child. Our cognitive skills development and training help the child to live an independent and a successful life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

If you agree to these terms, please click here.