How to Explain Slow Processing Speed to Kids

By katiemulligan on Tuesday, January 5, 2021
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Slow processing speed is a complex topic, and even the experts – psychologists, neuroscientists, and neurologists – do not fully understand the causes and mechanisms of slow processing speed in children. We do know that slow processing speed is biological in nature and may even be hereditary.  We also know how important it is to understand the ways that slow processing speed impacts learning and working so that it can be accommodated. Helping children to improve processing speed and recognize when they might need to ask for extra time and assistance can change their attitude about school and help them put forth the effort necessary to overcome slow processing speed.

It is extremely important to help children or students who have recently been diagnosed with slow processing speed understand what this means. And in the 21st century, if you want to teach them about something, one of the ways to do so is through an informative and entertaining video. 

Our team at LearningWorks for Kids has rounded up a list of videos we believe can help kids understand slow processing speed better and compensate for this difficulty. We have also included videos for parents and teachers who want to understand slow processing speed better. Our descriptions also provide talking points so you can use these with your children and teens.

Slow Processing Speed

A very casual video of a mom and daughter discussing slow processing speed and how it affects learning. Great to watch with your child to spark a conversation! Here are some of the major points.

  • Describes the struggle with doing BOTH listening & taking notes AT THE SAME TIME 
  • Test anxiety caused by falling behind 
  • Afraid to ask for help, to be the one person who needs help; “everybody else was getting it” → sometimes advocating for oneself is hard 
  • Loses place easily when reading; takes 5 minutes to write 3 words when taking notes on reading 
  • Loses focus/trail of thought in conversations; goes off on tangents/”down the rabbit hole” 
  • Covers many topics, from handling material in class, to reading, to math 

Your Brain Sucks at Video Games

This video is less about slow processing speed and more about how the brain processes information in game play. As a result, it may engage your child or teen and open them up to discussion.  The video describes the relationship between brain processing and video games. Informative about processing speed in gaming- but not super focused on slow processing speed. The video describes:

  • 80 millisecond delay between your eyes seeing something & your brain processing it 
  • Neural Prediction -brains correct this by ESTIMATING; happens in the anterior dorsal thalamic nuclei; set of rules your brain has been gathering since birth by observing the behavior of things and recording it for future use
  • Sensory Gating -deciding what input is important for moment to moment because if you noticed/processed everything your brain would be on overdrive 

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