Cognitive Developmental Therapy
Cognitive Developmental Therapy (CDT) is a comprehensive approach that addresses a child wholly. The goal is to utilize each child’s strengths to overcome specific challenges in development, such as cognitive and academic skills, social interactions, emotional-behavioral reactions, and gross-fine motor skills. Since children learn best through play, and all areas of enrichment require critical and creative thinking, we tailor specific experiential activities for our patients to explore through trial-and-error opportunities. This ensures that each child’s growth occurs smoothly and fully, while minimizing learning gaps that interfere with overall development.
Cultivate a Desire to Learn
Whether engaging with toys, people, or other objects, when a child’s interactions with the world are compromised by specific developmental challenges, their ability to learn and grow fluidly becomes hindered. This often creates unnecessary stress and anxiety as the child approaches their environment with apprehension and uncertainty. Consequently, the child may adopt an internal “I can’t” or “I’m unable” outlook, and prefer to avoid difficult or unfamiliar situations, which often lowers self-esteem. Our Thinking Games foster curiosity and result in meaningful “ah-ha” experiences that mitigate the reluctance that often comes with developmental challenges. With stress and anxiety minimized, learning can take place as the child’s inherent desire to discover strengthens.
A Proactive Approach that Builds Authentic Self-Confidence
Unlike traditional play therapy, CDT is a hands-on approach that tailors specific play activities to help children overcome certain challenges and improve the quality of interactions with their environment. Confidence is gained from “ah-ha” experiences as the child explores thinking games that target a particular area of need, and gains awareness of the what, where, who, when, and how’s behind each task. This encourages a belief in their own ability to learn and further apply the skills acquired to everyday life.
Thinking Activities that Target Developmental Challenges Directly
Our Thinking Games utilize Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development to ensure smooth, continuous flow from one stage to the next without gaps that can hinder conceptual learning. The activities are comprehensive and multidimensional to cover the various needs of each child, and include the following:
- Cognitive-Logical Skills: Logical Thinking Games give children the opportunity for trial-and-error exploration to fully comprehend why a solution may or may not work. The ability to think logically is the foundation for all critical thinking skills, and facilitates higher-level reasoning that is needed in all areas of life, whether academically, socially, or interpersonally. To learn more, visit our Logical Thinking Activities.
- Gross-Fine Motor Skills: General and Discriminative Movement Thinking Games facilitate building and mastering the body awareness and control needed for balance and efficient movement. To learn more, visit our General & Discriminative Movement Thinking Activities.
- Visual-Spatial Skills: Visual Thinking Games help children to interpret what they see and to manipulate that interpretation visual-spatially, which is required in many life competencies and especially needed in math and science. To learn more, visit our Visual Thinking Activities.
- Hand-Tactile Sensory Awareness Skills: Hand Thinking Games help to differentiate various tactile experiences, such as texture and shape. Having this tactile perception and awareness adds to overall thinking abilities. While Graphic Thinking Games improve the arm-hand-finger-visual processes that are needed for drawing, coloring within the boundaries, cutting on the line, or writing smoothly and legibly. To learn more, visit our Hand Thinking Activities and Graphic Thinking Activities.
- Language-Communication Skills: Auditory Thinking Games improve the interpretation and discrimination of specific sounds unique to a language. This allows a child to utilize and sequence various sounds in a meaningful way that is needed for speaking, reading, and spelling. To learn more, visit our Auditory Thinking Activities.
- Social-Emotional Skills: Social Thinking Games provide opportunities to understand others’ perspectives, build empathy, expand social skills, and develop healthy self-expressions while children solve problems to social situations. To learn more, visit our Social Thinking Activities.
Treatment is Short-Term with Lasting Benefits
Treatment is short-term because the child actively acquires and applies the skills gained. The benefits are life lasting since our Thinking Games promote conceptual learning and divergent thinking skills versus content learning and rote memorization. Our program is available for treating children between 2 and 18 years old in the following age and developmental groups:
- Toddlers – Pre-Operational Stage, 2-4 years old
- Little Kids – Pre-Operational Stage, 4-7 years old
- Big Kids – Concrete Operations Stage, 7-11 years old
- Tweens – Formal Operations Stage, 11-14 years old
- Adolescents – Formal Operations Stage, 14-18 years old