• Gross motor development and the implications for learning

      Obergh, Rachel (2019-12)
      The purpose of this thesis is to identify the acquisition of developmentally appropriate gross motor and physical skills and to investigate the effects of incorporating physical activity into the classroom environment. I have explored current and foundational research literature to meet this goal with the intention, and hope that my findings will initiate further discussion and research work in this increasingly important area of development and curriculum for children. As an elementary and middle school student at the Progressive School of Long Island, I became intrigued by the high success rate of the students. I began to look for a common reason and immediately recognized the potential correlation between movement and learning. Every morning at the Progressive School, the entire student body gathered in the gym for a yoga inspired movement period. Throughout the day, movement was encouraged through classroom housekeeping, and running errands. The students also had outdoor recess every day, except in severe weather conditions. We brought boots, hats and gloves and played in the snow, helped rake the leaves and maintained our own garden. Play was so ingrained that we automatically created recess games combining physical and mental challenges.
    • Neuroplasticity: the impact of age and injury

      Celentano, Alexis M. (2017-12)
      Background: Neuroplasticity is an ongoing process of the brain that allows for learning, changing, and adapting to every day changes as well as to trauma. As we age, the rate of neuroplasticity (that combats the ramifications of brain injury) starts to decline. This has been seen throughout many different species and is the justification for why adult systems have more devastating deficits from injury than children. The brain can spontaneously recover from injury but for improved long-term results, speech and language therapy in conjunction with spontaneous recovery is ideal for maximal recovery of function and language. Purpose: In this review, the primary goal is to discuss past and present research on neuroplasticity, neural aging and the effects of injury on the language centers of the brain. Results: I have discussed neuroplasticity and peak neuroplasticity in children known as the critical periods and sensitive periods, discussion of normal aging on neuroplasticity, the results of prenatal strokes in comparison to the results of adult strokes, and the different types of recovery that occurs post-stroke/traumatic brain injury (TBI).
    • Peter Najm & KAT6A disorder; living with a little known genetic mutation

      Freeman, Julia (2021-05)
      Peter Najm is one out of only 311 people around the globe who were born with the rare genetic mutation more commonly referred to as KAT6A disorder. While he may appear to be a 12 year old, nonverbal boy on the outside, there is simply so much more to Peter. What is KAT6A? It is a gene mutation of the KAT6A protein in chromosome 8, which is a major protein involved in the packaging of DNA molecules. So how does it work? The KAT6A gene makes the KAT6A protein, which is involved in controlling the production of proteins from other genes. Therefore, when there is a change on the KAT6A gene, problems can occur in various parts of the body. Currently, scientists do not know all of the functions of the KAT6A gene, so our knowledge will increase as research advances (KAT6A Foundation, 2021). However, what we do know is that when a person has a mutated KAT6A protein, all of the cells in their body will be affected. Interestingly enough, most of the time that a child is born with this mutation, their parents did not have or carry the gene, labelling it a ‘de novo’ gene mutation, as opposed to a typical genetic disorder or something that is hereditary and has been passed down. However, if a person does have the KAT6A mutation, there is a 50% chance that they will then pass this gene along to their children, as it is autosomal dominant.