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Slow Processing

(60 Posts)
IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 10:07:31

After a year and a half of fighting asking, and moving school, I have finally managed to get school to test DD for dyslexia. (Not that they disagreed she had dyslexia, they just didn't want to test her....)

Anyway, it said exactly what we knew already. That she can do all the parts of reading, i.e. knows her letters and can blend, she just can't read. And that she has problems with her working memory, and slow processing.

Does anyone have any ideas how to help slow processing?

cpbp Thu 15-Jul-10 10:30:17

IndigoBell, in year 1, the school thought that ds might be dyspraxic. They did a test on him (not sure of the name) which can't be done before a child is 6. It wasn't for dyslexia- but it did test in part his processing which was found to be on the slow side. However, we were told not to worry at all- as he had just turned 6, brain was still developing etc.

Being a mum, of course I worried- I knew something wasn't right. He was bright in himself but had difficulty following instructions and working independently.

A search with regard to dyspraxia let us to a wonderful chap who I don't want to name here for fear of being accused of "advertising" and we found that DS had retained reflex syndrome which was affecting his ability to learn.

Here are the RR syndrome symptons for children.

Bright yet underachieving
• Low-self esteem, frustration
• Problems reading, writing cursive script
• Emotionally and socially immature
• Problems socialising with peer group
• Poor short-term memory and concentration
• Easily distracted, fidgety; problems remaining seated when required to do, difficulty waiting in turn
• Talking excessively, finding it hard to play quietly
• Tendency to interrupt and not listen when spoken to by an adult, tendency to blurt out answers
• Short-tempered, argumentative, defiant, blaming others for mistakes
• Fussy eater
• Poor self-organisation, lacking in fine and gross motor skills
• Bedwetting over the age of 5
• Hypersensitivity – to light touch, fabrics, labels, etc
• Problems with maths, telling the time
• Hearing problems
• Eczema, rashes, migraine, asthma
• Tantrums after school
• Lacking in confidence, eg reluctant to take part in extra-curricular activities
• Difficulty putting thoughts on paper
• Dislike of change or surprise, poor adaptability

We started treatent- body brushing and listening to a cd for 10 mins a night. The results have been marvellous: our bottom of the class in year 1 boy got a 2a for reading in his sats and 2bs in maths and writing which we are very proud of given that he effectively missed reception (long story!!).

Sorry to bombard you with information but the change in him has been amazing.

If you are CAT able and interested in any further info, I'd be delighted to help.

I am sure there are plenty of teachers and mums here who will be able to help too.

The best of luck with your dd.

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 10:43:37

Thanks cpbd.

Treatment for retained reflexes is one thing we're considering. I think I know who you're referring to - or at least someone in London who sounds like him.

Very glad to hear that it's worked for you. Gives me hope...

OfficeBird Thu 15-Jul-10 10:45:35

Will be watching with interest Indigo, as our son has just been assessed and this has been suggested as his problem too.

We weren't given many suggestions at this stage hmm about how to help - other than to really practice, practice practice some of his phonic sounds to really embed them, as he seems to have quite a slow response while he 'works them out'.

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 10:51:37

OfficeBird - we have been practicing phonics for 2 years. It hasn't worked. After 2 years of 20 minutes daily phonics she still can't recall all her phonics.

I really feel that practicing phonics is trying to fix the symptom rather than the cause...... (And should therefore be done after or as well as some other treatment)

oldenglishspangles Thu 15-Jul-10 10:52:08

cpbp - who tested your ds for retained reflexes? was it an occupational therapist?

Lulumaam Thu 15-Jul-10 10:54:55

DS has phonological processing disorder.. took til about year 3 to actually read . lots of practicing and games like word shark and repetition seem to eally help

but it does not actually go away, he just learns coping strategies

he takes a note book into school to jot things down as the teacher gives instructions and has done 2 courses at the chidlrens' centre with a SALT about how to remember/learn to remember new words and organise his thoughts

OfficeBird Thu 15-Jul-10 10:55:16

How old is your DD?

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 11:22:23

Lulumaam - interesting. Word shark and lots of repetition haven't helped my DD. Interesting that they helped your DS.

OfficeBird - DD is 7 and just finished Year 2.

Lulumaam Thu 15-Jul-10 14:15:29

It has taken a long time and a lot of help for things to staet to fall into place.. he's just got his year 5 report and got A grade ( above national average ) for reading, science and speaking/listening. <<proud>> but this time last year i was desperately worried about his progress.

have you looked at mindmapping?

SENCOs have told me it is a narrow and specific issue that won't go away and coping strategies are essential

good luck !

oldenglishspangles Thu 15-Jul-10 14:26:45

Indigo was it an educational psychologist that did the assessment at school or the school? I thought only an educational psychologist could test for dyslexia?

Malaleuca Thu 15-Jul-10 14:31:44

....knows her letters and can blend, she just can't read. ...
What does your daughter do then, because this does not make sense to me. Once she has blended the sounds to make a word, what comes out of her mouth?

oldenglishspangles Thu 15-Jul-10 14:31:54

being dyslexic - I found the forum on this site particulary useful. If you post your question here you will get excellent advice from other parents. There are a lot of very knowlegeable people.

oldenglishspangles Thu 15-Jul-10 14:32:33

ignore the being dyslexic bit - cut and paste mix up blush grin

oldenglishspangles Thu 15-Jul-10 14:43:01

malaleuca - its to do with how the short term and working memory work. A dyslexic / struggling reading may have forgotten the first part of the blend before they can put it together with the 2nd part. That is a very simple explanation. I am sure someown who can explain clear will be along shortly. smile

HoopyFroodDude Thu 15-Jul-10 14:46:04

I am dyslexic and was a slow processor as a child. I have a PHd now. For me the only thing that helps is repetition. One thing that I find is that I may be slower than some when it comes to reading writing and processing but I am quick with concepts and abstract thought. Your child may be the same. Good luck.

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 15:01:22

Thanks everyone.

OldEnglish - thanks for the link. The school has a teacher who has been specially trained on how to test for dyslexia and has adminstired the same tests an Ed Psych would. Also the SpLD team have assessed her - but I haven't received their report yet.

Malaleuca - what I mean is that she can very slowly blend a cvc word, but she never learns it. So she has to blend every word she sees - all slowly. So her reading is so un-fluent that it's not really useful. And 2 syllable words are far too hard for her.

Hoopy - thanks. Glad things worked out for you. Not really sure at the moment where her strengths are because this slow processing thing obscures them

Malaleuca Thu 15-Jul-10 15:18:45

OK that is much clearer. You might like to try the BRI readers from which do give extensive practice for the low progress, slow to fluency children. 7 is not too old. There are no other readers that I know of that provide this amount of decoding practice in continuous text, in stories that are quite enjoyable for young children.

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 15:26:01

Thanks Malaleuca - she has had extensive practice. (2 years Read, Write, Inc 20 minutes phonics a day + toe-by-toe) I am not looking for a 'learn to read solution'. This will not address her slow processing - it will only (maybe eventually) teach her to read.

I am looking for ideas like retained reflexes which address the underlying problem.

Thanks everyone.

Malaleuca Thu 15-Jul-10 15:46:55

These are all the progs. I have come across that claim to address memory, or other underlying problems.

Tomatis Listening programme
Primary Movement Programme (same as retained reflex)
Path to Reading
Vision Therapy
I have no direct experience of any so cannot offer any advice. You'll need to sift through the evidence yourself. You will also need a deep pocket and your child some stamina. Good luck. It will be interesting to see how you go.

Malaleuca Thu 15-Jul-10 15:48:10

forgot Fast Forword probably the most well-known and heavily marketed one

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 16:47:46

Thanks Malalecua. This is exactly what I was looking for. I will research them.

Anyone got any experiences with any of these programmes?

cpbp Thu 15-Jul-10 16:58:37


Do let me know if you would like any more information regarding the retained reflexes. The difference with ds has been amazing!

IndigoBell Thu 15-Jul-10 17:10:55

cpbd - there seems to be two main approaches to curing retained reflexes.

1. Body Brushing

2. sensory integration programme

I have had a quote for £600 pounds for the sensory integration programme, and have been told it normally takes 3 - 6 months of 10 minutes a day. I am planning to start this this summer holidays with my elder DS who definately has retained reflexes.

You said you have used a body brushing technique. Can you tell me a rough price and time scale? Did your child like it / hate it? Was it hard to get them to do it every day?

I think my plan is to do the retained reflexes programme with my son first, and then with my daughter afterwards - once I know what it involves and have seen how much it helped

Your help / advice is very much appreciated.

cpbp Thu 15-Jul-10 18:58:25


We used the body brushing as per your link. Have been doing about 10 mins twice a day since August and are very close to finishing!

It is not cheap. DS returns for checks on his progress every 4 to 6 weeks and it is a couple of hundred pounds a visit. BUT, it is so worth it. We are not wealthy but decided once we had had the initial assessment that we would do it, come hell or high water!

There have been times when DS has got fed up oof the brushing particularly if he is tired but the routines do vary.

It really has helped him enourmously.

He also listens to a cd for 10 mins a night; hhe seemed not to be catching things that were said to him but he is different boy know. The guy we see (and you know who that is) really knows his stuff.

I wish you and your son all the best. My chap started at 6. Thank God for the treatment- it is amazing how something as simple as body brushing works!

Happy to answer any more questions!


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