The brain and nervous system, more specifically the neurotransmitters, are linked to the way a person not only thinks but behaves. The neurotransmitters that may be problematic for Melissa are her glutamate which plays an important role in memory, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which can influence aggression, dopamine which assists with learning and attention, and serotonin which helps the brain with mood regulation (Feldman, 2015, p. 54-55). It is important to note that a person’s behavior can also be affected by his or her genetic makeup. Studies have shown that a person’s cognitive abilities, personality, and predisposition towards mental illness, to a certain extent, can be influenced by heredity (Feldman, 2015, p. 58). In Melissa’s case, a deeper look into her family history could help determine if Melissa’s behaviors, both positive and negative, are influenced, in part, by heredity.
Also the fact at the age of four, Melissa had a grand mal seizure resulting in some lasting after effects, such as involuntary muscle movements on the left side and walking difficulties, is worthy of mention. An article written by Victor A. Aniol and colleagues (2013) indicates that even a single-episode tonic-clonic or grand mal seizure can potentially have lasting effects on cognitive functioning. Considering Ms. Subocz reports Melissa has a problem with memory in relation to math facts and Ms. Smith has mentioned Melissa’s aggression towards other students this may be true in Melissa’s case. Even the smallest amount of injury to her brain from the grand mal seizure could potentially explain Melissa’s difficulty with memory as well as her issues with aggression. The brain is comprised of two hemispheres, the left an...
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...es that underlie learning” (Feldman, 2015, p. 189), thereby sparking her mental processes to see the joy in learning rather than doing it to receive a sticker.
Melissa also shows evidence of observational learning which is learning by watching others (Feldman, 2015, p. 191). Ms. Smith, Melissa’s school psychologist, finds her to have a low emotional intelligence often waiting for cues from others to determine what emotion is appropriate. Melissa also demonstrates behaviors that indicate she is disorganized and insecure as she tends to go along with the group without considering the consequences. Melissa not only needs improvement in academics such as with her learning and memory but also with her emotional relationships. In order to assist Melissa with the necessary behavior modification, Ms. Smith should determine what motivates her and begin goal-setting.
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