Professional Support for Cognitively Impaired Students

Professional Support for Cognitively Impaired Students

Schools are tailored to offer a formative experience to students. Schools can end up being a haven or a horrible place for a children since it depends on their experiences. A child ought to perfectly adapt to the school environment in a bid to embrace the entire learning processes. The academic performance of a child is likely to be challenged if the child does not get the necessary help if they are experiencing a psychosocial issue. Cognitive impairment is one major psychosocial issue that most children face and end up dropping out of school if they do access the help of a school psychologist. Besides not being capacitated to make sound decisions, learn new things and concentrate in their tasks, cognitively impaired student require the help of a school psychologists to address their; emotional outburst, inability to express themselves, and attention deficit disorder. This paper discusses cognitive impairment as one of the psychological issues creating a barrier to learning in a school setting and the role of a school psychologist in addressing the issue.

Emotional outbursts is a major characteristic of a cognitively impaired student. As such, they experience anxiety or angered by trivial issues that can be resolved in an amicable manner. Amongst the commonest reasons why the cognitively impaired children have behavioral challenges is on account that they find it difficult to cope with the learning process and for this reason, they do not easily catch up with the cognitive content in the same manner as their peers  (Egan & Granados, 2018). This has a negative ripple effect on their self-esteem and hence, makes them feel uncomfortable and misunderstood. Consequently, this can result to uncontrollable anger, anxiousness as well as depression. 

In addition, cognitively impaired children have challenges expressing themselves. For instance, in a classroom set up, a child may perfectly grasp the concepts although they might not express their answers as required during an evaluation(Egan & Granados, 2018). On the other hand, the student might be willing to inform their teachers about a bothering issue, but due to their inability to effectively communicate, they end up isolating themselves to avoid similar encounters. Due to solitude, the children may suffer depression and this can delay their emotional development. 

Conditions such as attention deficit disorder may develop as result of cognitive impairment. This is a condition where a child has a short attention span, hence experiencing challenges on solving a specific task at a time(Nigg, 2009). However, there are cognitively impaired children who focus on interesting things while absolutely disregarding others. Such a situation is undesirable, especially if the student is to handle multiple subjects or courses during their learning process. 

To avoid translation of a mild cognitive impairment to a severe cognitive impairment, the child’s emotional, psychological and social needs ought to be addressed in tandem. For this reason, it becomes necessary to discern whether a school psychologist, a school social worker or a school counselor is the best profession to address such a psychosocial issue. Whilst some of the issues that are characterized by a cognitively impaired child can be solved by either profession, it would be wiser to choose an expert who would address all undesirable characteristics of a child in tandem. 

 The school social worker is vested with the responsibility of assisting a child to respond appropriately to a new environment. Therefore, their major role would be assisting the student to conform to the school environment in a bid to improve their lives(Openshaw, 2008). However, this would not assist the child to grasp much from their cognitive content. Similarly, the school counsellor would assist the child to relate with the rest of the children in the school environment. As such, they would offer the student perfect guidelines on how to eschew from deviant behaviors in a bid to improve their academic performance. However, their approach to addressing cognitively impaired child would not be adapted to improve their memory, concentration span and making feasible decisions. The school psychologist role is multifaceted in a manner that it would address all the needs of the cognitively impaired student(Ncube, 2014). The school psychologist would thus be best placed professional to address cognitive impairment in a school setting. This is because their approach is individualized in a manner that it is tailored to enhance a student’s mental health, social and emotional behavior. Besides, their expertise requires that they partner with teachers, the school administrators and the child’s family in a bid to provide the necessary support for them to improve academically. 

Conclusively, as demonstrated in this discussion, cognitive impairment detrimentally affects the academic performance of a child. The learning process of a cognitively impaired child is hampered due to inability to express themselves clearly, development of attention deficit disorder, and emotional outbursts. Besides, the need to assist the cognitively impaired to adapt to the school environment, they require support to improve their memory and interact with their peers. For this reason, a school psychologist is best placed to offer the support since their approach addresses the mental issues, social issues and the student’s learning challenges. 


Egan, L., & Granados, A. (2018). Cerebral Palsy Cognitive Issues. Retrieved from

Ncube, A. (2014). Challenges Faced by Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities in the Acquisition of Adaptive Behaviour: Insights from Teachers of Special Classes in Zimbabwe. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies. Retrieved from

Nigg, J. (2009, March 19). Cognitive Impairments Found With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Retrieved from

Openshaw, L. (2008). The Role and Function of the School Social Worker. Retrieved October 29, 2018, from