Cognitive impairments

Girl playing tic-tac-toeChildren with cognitive impairments might have greater difficulty with one or more types of mental tasks than a peer who is typically developing. There are too many types of cognitive impairments to list here, each unique to the individual. Cognitive impairments can impact a child's memory, judgement, perception, planning, orientation, concentration, or attention.

Simple things can be done to support children with cognitive impairments in your playspace:

  • Design for safety
  • Include a variety of challenge levels in your playspace activity areas
  • Be sure to have a variety of activities to hold attention
  • Use color-coded pathways to support memory of areas within your playspace

Helpful links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2005). Intellectual Disability. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/parents_pdfs/IntellectualDisability.pdf

Learning Disabilities Association of America, https://ldaamerica.org/

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2004). Mental Retardation. https://www.parentcenterhub.org/nichcy-gone/

National Down Syndrome Society, https://www.ndss.org/

(Photo courtesy of PlayWorld)