In Part 1, we discussed that children presenting for a psychoeducational assessment to assess for Specific Learning Difficulties often acknowledge that one of the concerns is attention and concentration. This concern may be a result of how much screen time they have and how this affects their quality of sleep. I also highlighted some of the advantages and disadvantages of technology in education and general mental health and wellbeing.
In this article, I will provide further examples of the pros and cons of technology that have become evident when completing a psychoeducational assessment to determine a child’s learning potential.
One of the advantages of technology to academic learning is the efficiency of obtaining information. Children researching topics for an assignment can easily get information through the internet rather than spending time wading through a large quantity of textbooks. Also, a child who has poor spelling ability—perhaps discovered through an educational assessment, adhd testing or dyslexia testing they took—may be assisted by utilizing various spelling programs designed to correct typical dyslexia spelling errors. A lot of assisted technology that can be very useful for children or teenagers struggling academically is also available. For instance, there are computer softwares that write the words spoken, useful for individuals who struggle to write or use a laptop.
There are also disadvantages to technology that can negatively affect a child’s mental health and wellbeing. Research in the last few years have discovered links between screen time and use and the child’s behavior. For instance, if a child views television/internet content with violent themes, they are more likely to act in an aggressive manner.
In my practice, an effect that seems to become more common is that children who are heavily influenced by screen time appear to have more difficulty with social skills; they tend to interact poorly with others and have limited enjoyment in activities that are non-technology based. Children and teenagers are spending more time connecting with friends via the internet with a much lower focus on building relationships in a face-to-face manner, therefore limiting their skills in social situations that will be important later in life.
In my opinion, it is important that the psychologist administering a psychoeducational assessment determine what impact technology is having on the child or teenager.