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The Quest for an Instructional Delivery Framework for Children with Gerstmann's Syndrome

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Gerstmann's syndrome, a disorder of cognition, is characterized by the tetrad of finger agnosia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and right-left disorientation. A review of areas in the brain affected by the syndrome is discussed in order to determine cognitive weaknesses and strengths of affected children. Because of the tetrad of symptoms associated with Gerstmann's syndrome, providing educational assistance to children with this syndrome is a challenging task for the educator. One of the most challenging problems presented to educators is to plan an education program based on the child's information-processing strengths, taking into account his or her disabilities.

No systematic cataloguing of an instructional delivery framework concerning children with Gerstmann's syndrome is available. To provide such a framework, the following two research questions were asked: How can the medical, neuropsychological and educational elements of Gerstmann's syndrome be'converged so that an instructional delivery framework for children with Gerstmann's syndrome be formulated? How can the information-processing strengths of the child with Gerstmann's syndrome be translated into an asset-based instructional approach? The goal of instruction is to move from the child's strengths to those areas with which the child is less comfortable or had less experience. Furthermore, educational implications as well as specific recommendations for children with Gerstmann's syndrome are discussed.

Keywords: Dyscalculia; Dysgraphia; Finger agnosia; Gerstmann's syndrome; Right-left disorientation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa 2: Department of Anatomy, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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