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Developmental Disorders and Support for Acquiring Reading and Writing Skills
(Developmental Disorders Research Domain)

Project Leader
Sakiko Yoshikawa, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Collaborative Research Affiliates
Nobuo Masataka, Ph.D. (Human Sciences), Professor, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University (Comparative Behavioral Science, Developmental Psychology)
Yasuko Funabiki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Kyoto University Hospital (Psychiatric Medicine)

Collaborative Project Researchers
Hiroyasu Ito, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University
Ayana Tanaka, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University
Miwa Fukushima, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University
Shino Ogawa, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University

Collaborators from the Kokoro Research Center
Ayako Morisaki, Assistant Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University
Chika Nagaoka, Researcher, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

We will identify problems in children with developmental disorders by conducting fundamental research on cognitive mechanisms that cause learning difficulties. Currently, cognitive mechanisms of autism and learning disabilities have yet to be clarified accurately. In Japan in particular, screening tests for learning disabilities regarding reading and writing are insufficient. Therefore, fundamental studies evaluating cognitive features and examining evaluation issues will enable us to accurately assess children with developmental disorders.

We conduct this study with two goals: (1) to experimentally evaluate the cognitive features of children with developmental disorders; (2) to conduct training programs tailored to the cognitive features of each child identified using our evaluation. Based on our results, we will develop and implement care and educational programs that incorporate feedback from basic research, tailoring programs to each child with developmental disorders. Also, we will examine the effects of educational assistance by providing these children with care and education suited to their cognitive features identified through our evaluations. Doing so will enable us to provide them with systematized programs and offer support from a long-range perspective. This will also suggest ways of providing special educational support. We will also use an e-learning system by introducing reading software and writing support at the children’s homes and ask them to return their results by e-mail. We will evaluate and examine these methods and further investigate methods of supporting home learning assistance.