Neurologists and psychiatrists work every day to diagnose patients. One way they do this is by observing patients and asking them to describe their symptoms. In this activity, students will fill the role of a neurologist trying to diagnose a disease or disorder based on the evidence provided.
After studying the provided materials on diseases and disorders in the eighth edition of Brain Facts, students will investigate the symptoms of an unnamed disease using a handful of clues. Students will sift through their knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases, injury, and psychiatric disorders to eliminate wrong answers and solve the mystery.
This activity is based on chapters 11–15 (pages 71–104) of the eighth edition of Brain Facts. Encourage students to read the chapters during class time or on their own to study for the Guess the Disorder Quiz.
- Provide your student with the “Disorder Clues” prompt.
- Ask your students to read the prompt and use the information they learned from the Brain Facts book to determine the diagnosis. This can be done individually or as a group.
After your students have completed the quiz, ask them to share their answers with the class. Ask each student or group to give their rationale as to why they chose the diagnosis they did.
This disorder is the most common learning disability, impacting 15–20 percent of Americans. People with this disorder have a pronounced difficulty with reading despite having normal intelligence, education, and motivation.
A few of the symptoms include poor spelling, poor reading fluency, and difficulty retrieving words. People with this learning disability might need more time to respond orally to a question and might read much more slowly than their peers. This disorder is usually diagnosed in elementary school, when a child is slow to read or struggling with reading. Although reading skills and fluency can improve, this disorder persists lifelong.