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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 4, Lesson 5


Lesson 4 illustrated the importance of using adults for scaffolding language. Some theorists, such as Vygotsky (1978) believe language leads development and is especially critical in fostering cognitive skill attainment. Certain augmentative devices and situations that stimulate language can be modeled and then coached by the ITDS for successful use.

In Lesson 5, we will focus on cognition. Some of these same coaching methods can be used by ITDS' to help families and caregivers stimulate infants/toddlers' cognition (gathering information and using it) and the construction of knowledge through interactions with objects and other people. There are three basic processes related to infant/ toddler information processing:

  1. Attention (focusing of perceptual processes on something in the environment)
  2. Perception (ability to take in, discriminate, interpret, and organize sensory - taste, touch, smell, vision, hearing - experiences), and
  3. Memory (stored information taken through attention and perception).

baby playing in paintIn this lesson we will concentrate on enhancing curriculum strategies, such as scaffolding and environmental organization already presented in previous lessons and illustrate others that relate to these three processes. As the learner has been reminded in previous lessons, it is important to remember that although we are discussing cognition in the lesson, skills are being integrated holistically across domains.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability, with the family and other team members, to implement and monitor the IFSP that incorporates child and family cognitive outcomes - intentionality, means-end behavior, trial-and-error exploration, object permanence, and deferred imitation within natural environments embedded in everyday routines, activities and places
  2. Implement integrated interventions that focus on children's interests within the context of family preferences and daily routines including natural interactions with family members and other caregivers
  3. Discuss how cognitive skills can be broken into steps and embedded into everyday routines
  4. Explain constructive tasks, including block play, that support mental connections.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the federal requirements and state regulations for transition


The following resource is necessary for the completion of this lesson. Learners may wish to access and print hard copies of the resource prior to beginning the lesson for future reference. Some resources listed below are found in the Resource Bank. Others are available online

Key Words

Definitions of key words are found in the glossary.

  • Attention
  • Multi-sensory
  • Receptive Language
  • Memory
  • Floor Time
  • Perception
  • Task Analysis
  • Creative


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