Peer Reviewing is an incredibly valuable aspect of creating any type of project or solving any problem. Constructive criticism is important for getting input from someone who has a different perspective than you. The feedback from our peers has allowed us to gain insights about how to strengthen the solution to our big question:
How can we improve the peer interactions for children with pragmatic language disorder to increase self-esteem, reduce difficulties in social settings, and prevent further issues relating to behavior and learning?
Our solutions and their respective feedback:
Create and offer a network of social camps held throughout the year and country for all kids with pragmatic language disorder (possibly related disorders as well) to learn and improve upon skills that they may be lacking, and to boost their confidence in conversing with and developing relationships with people in a similar age group as them. Being in the same environment as people with similar struggles should increase self-esteem, confidence, and could lead to breakthroughs in therapies that work for this population.
Yes, AND... maybe this would help them be more successful with their interpersonal relationships in adulthood too?
This is the goal! We are hoping to foster relationships in childhood to encourage healthy childhood development that will be critical for making and maintaining emotional and social relationships in adulthood for these children. Though our solution is aimed at a child aged population, our goals reflect a desire to help them for their future selves.
Yes, AND... with platforms like Zoom, it will be much easier to gather people from all over the world and increase connections as opposed to being tied down to one physical location.
Platforms like Zoom will allow us to one day expand to helping international children form valuable relationships. This may be difficult to do because of the cultural differences that can be noted for different aged children in different countries. Zoom will allow us to seek out and contact the best researchers, social coaches, and experts in the field to help us create our social camps! Our solution will not be altered by this comment, because in-person interaction is the primary source of relationships for these children, and our focus for their improvement.
Yes, BUT... aren’t there possible restrictions to these social camps that would limit the attendance rate? (i.e: price or location)
This comment gives the group a great alternative perspective that we had not yet thought about. It will be important to make these camps accessible to as many children as possible. Our solution will need to be revised so that children coming from all backgrounds and locations will be able to attend.
Yes, BUT... this might make kids with pragmatic language disorder feel like their disorder is being highlighted in a way they are not comfortable with. There would have to be some way to make sure they (and their parents) feel comfortable participating.
We hope that these camps will boost the confidence of these children by exposing them to and allowing interaction with children who struggle similarly. The camps are completely voluntary and parents that do not feel comfortable labeling their children as disordered will not be forced to enroll their children. However, this solution option is meant to precipitate meaningful conversation among children with pragmatic language disorder to establish comfort in their day-to-day conversations outside of this network. This comment will not influence our solution because our goal is to normalize the condition and allow these children to feel free talking to whomever they come across.
Yes, BUT... why aren't these camps being held now? If they are, what can you do better?
Camps for children with autism, Down syndrome, deafness, and other disorders currently exist. We drew inspiration from these networks to come up with the idea of social camps for children with a pragmatic language disorder. A pragmatic language disorder is generally addressed within the education system, which is why we believe that there aren't many outside options for these children. However, we feel that these children would benefit from having a similar network of others with this disorder.
Develop a technology that pairs a dopamine release with a child’s appropriate response in social interaction. Using this technology as a form of conditioning, the child will eventually pair their appropriate social interactions with a feeling of happiness and the dopamine technology will be able to be removed.
Yes, AND... could this technology be used to treat and train people to overcome other disorders.
Yes! This is our goal overall, when discussing as a team we said that this would be a trial to expand on other disorders. We plan to make it as easy as possible to interact better socially for these children. We realize that this is just the beginning of disorders that impact children socially, such as autism, down syndrome, etc.
Yes, AND... by studying the relationship between dopamine and positive reactions/emotions, more research could be conducted to help diagnose and treat other mood disorders early on!
Exactly! We hope to make social interactions better for these children with language disorders, the earlier we catch the disorder, the easier it will be to treat to make their everyday life easier. Language Pragmatic disorder affects 7% of all children, but this is just the beginning of other disorders that affect children’s social interactions. As we said before, Pragmatic Language disorder is just the beginning of disorders we hope to treat in the long run.
Yes, AND... this idea of conditioning can also be paired with other forms of exposure therapy that could help with easing the fears of social interactions!
Yes! While this device will help, the child will still need therapy to reach the full potential. This technology will hopefully make positive therapy outcomes sooner than just having therapy alone. Fears of social interactions also affect many other children, not just those with Pragmatic language disorder, therefore if successful, it will be great to pair with other types of therapy for other diseases/ disorders from social anxiety to autism.
Yes, BUT... the dopamine technology would be very invasive.
While it would be invasive, the impact would be extremely effective. Also, it would take less time than years of therapy would, this could help with expenses that therapy would cost for the family. We would also have medical professions to help make this device as comfortable as possible for the child.
Yes, BUT... could this have a negative impact on their normal dopamine cycles?
This idea is still at the beginning of its thought process, we will have trained medical professionals that will test this until this is no longer a larger concern for our device. While there will be an impact on the dopamine levels, we will do as much as possible to reduce the possibility of there being a negative impact.
Yes, BUT... is this safe?
We will be sure to have the most trained professionals to perform this. This will take much longer to produce the technology before performing it on the children, we will make sure it is safe before executing. Also, while there is a risk, all medical technology has risks, but the outcome will be worth it.
Yes, BUT... wouldn't it be less invasive, to begin with, less invasive methods, such as drug therapy?
While drug therapy would be a good option, our hope is for children to not always need the device. This will help them learn to interact better socially and then eventually need it less after being conditioned. Drug therapy would cause the child to be dependent on the drug and eventually need higher doses, drugs are also very expensive. Therefore, this would be a less expensive option because the family would not need to pay for prescriptions every month, and eventually, the child will not need to use a device.