Can Parents Do Anything to Improve Slow Processing Speed in Children?

By Kendra Racine on Monday, February 24, 2020
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Kids with slow processing speed are often seen as sluggish and slow-moving. Parents have often observed these traits since early childhood. While kids with slow processing speed can occasionally complete tasks quickly, this is typically a result of rushing through something they do not want to do, and they often do not complete the tasks particularly well. Kids with slow processing speed typically need more time to accomplish tasks than their typically developing peers.

Until recently, many of these kids have been misidentified as being lazy, unmotivated, or just careless. Fortunately, a full neuropsychological evaluation can provide evidence for slow processing speed. This helps us to see the contrast between children’s slow processing of information compared to their other abilities that could help to foster better processing speed. A full neuropsychological evaluation provides the evidence for slow processing as an area of biologically-based difficulty as opposed to a lack of effort on a child’s part.  

The traditional approach to slow processing speed in public education is to make accommodations for these children, possibly through a 504 plan or an IEP that gives them additional time to complete tasks. When they are older, they may receive extra time in high-stakes testing such as the SATs. While all of these interventions are crucial for kids with slow processing speed, there is also increasing evidence that slow processing speed can be moderately improved. 

Read the following articles to learn more about some of the newest innovations for improving slow processing speed:

A Parent’s Guide to Slow Processing Speed – LW4K

This is a fantastic resource for parents that explains what slow processing speed is and how it works. Articles on this website are designed to prepare parents with everything they need to help their child with slow processing speed succeed. 





Slow Processing Speed and Working Memory: What’s the Connection?

Learning Works for Kids is an organization with many great resources on executive functioning in children and teens. This page on their website will tell you everything you need to know about the role working memory plays in slow processing speed. 



What Parents Need to Know About Slow Processing Speed 

On this website, parents can learn about the signs of low processing speed and why it is important. The website also discusses what to do if you suspect your child may be struggling with low processing speed. 

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