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Slow processing speed

(9 Posts)
MerryMarigold Fri 10-Apr-15 08:39:15

What does it mean (apart from the basic computer analogy( and can anything help it? Has anyone got any positive stories on it?

Just got results for ds1's WISC and feeling a bit gutted. He got average (55,50) for 2 of the tests, then 34 on working memory which is 'low average' and 7 for processing speed. This 7 is really, really worrying and I am not sure where to start with it. The recommendations were pretty minimal and mostly things we know and do anyway (broken down instructions etc.). They also tested academic achievement which was mostly low average so he is therefore not in 'real need' and I think they are basically washing their hands of it. He is 9 and in Y4 and has always struggled at school, but with a lot of hard work has managed to get where he is.

I just see so many more years ahead for him, of struggling to get to low average and it makes me really sad.

BigBird69 Sun 12-Apr-15 08:50:54

My son had a stoke and has very poor processing but equally bad working memory. My sons processing difficulties are audio rather than visual. He has to have a lot of over learning, he has lots of visual and practical based work etc.

MerryMarigold Sun 12-Apr-15 16:07:46

Thanks Bigbird and sorry about your son. That must have been very scary. They are not sure if ds's is audio or visual but possibly more visual and highly likely some sensory too. He's always struggled with left and right and mixing up letters, although is apparently not dyslexic. He just takes a lot of repetition to understand but there isn't always time for that in school.

Tissie Wed 15-Apr-15 23:50:15

I am an sen teacher and am appalled at the lack of reaction to this finding of such a slow processing speed and also the dismissal of your son's difficulties with left and right and mixing up letters. Your son needs a full assessment to profile his strenghts and weaknesses, visual/aural/kinesthetic. Who did the WISC and why? Have they discussed it fully with you?
Very slow processing means lots of extra time given, support through visual/aural/kinesthetic; much over learning and explicit teaching from someone who knows what they are doing. I wish you well but you are going to have to turn into a "pushy" mum and keep insisting on proper assessment and a detailed account of how his needs will be met. Good luck.

WordsFirst1 Wed 06-May-15 17:14:41

HI there, this is a bit late, but it might be useful. I am a speech and language therapist and dyslexia specialist. We view processing speed as the automaticity of the 'visual verbal link' - that means, basically, the speed at which your son finds the sound that goes with a visual. It can be tested by presenting the child with an array of visual symbols (usually letter of digits) and timing the speed at which the child names all of them. This is then measured against a national average. Slower processing speed MAY (not will) result in difficulties with reading comprehension. However, all is not lost! Children with slower processing speed usually do well at school but they need to develop resilience and determination - to get through the passage, page, book and then at Uni SEVERAL books! These children usually slip through the net actually as they are able to decode words well. I could go on for ever on the subject so please do let me know if you're keen to hear more.
Thanks, Amanda

Miffytastic Sun 10-May-15 16:14:33

Hi merrymarigold, how are,things now?

I wanted to join in to watch this thread and possibly ask for your help Wordsfirst1
I'm not sure if my DD has this or not. For the last couple of years at school parents evening comments are that she is a slow worker, but at the most recent one her handwriting was commented on...and then also she has poor spelling, backwards numbers and is reluctant to put her hands up. Her speed at mental maths - eg times tables - isn't great but if you give her as long as she needs to do a test she can pass it IYSWIM. Her reading is great though, and the fact that it doesn't correspond with her levels on writing is odd/a red flag...

Anyway, her teacher is also senco and said she'll look at it in the summer term, maybe do some tests. What sort of thing would this be, and is there anything I can do to help her now? What's WISC?

Tissie Tue 02-Jun-15 01:13:41

Hi Miffytastic
WISC is a very thorough set of sub tests carried out by an educational psychologist which gives a detailed pattern of your child's strengths and weaknesses. It can indicate dyslexia/poor language skills/poor short term memory but each of these could do with further specific testing. Language skills need an expert speech and language therapist but an experienced special needs teacher can test for dyslexia and short term memory. I use different dyslexia tests depending on age and the Automated Working Memory Assessment for short term memory.
When you say her reading is good that does not mean she doesn't have a specific learning difficulty. Out of interest do you mean sight reading or comprehension or both?
How old is she? The answer to writing problems is often a laptop computer although it needs careful introduction. For software I would recommend Wordshark and Numbershark. Just type the names into Amazon. A daily 15 mins practice can help a lot.

Miffytastic Thu 22-Oct-15 11:01:01

Tissie sorry I missed your reply, I'm not sure if you'll see this now but THANK YOU

In case you do- she is 9, and I think both her sight reading and comprehension is good. But I'm basing that on the fact that she can read the hobbit for example and talk about it afterwards.
SEN teacher did some tests in the summer and nothing much came out of this, nothing conclusive but I don't know exactly what was done and raised this with HT at parents eve this week, I am still pushing basically. HT said they would find out and asked if I was willing to be referred to SLT so we shall see ...

Nunu500 Mon 09-Nov-15 13:47:02

Hi all, my son is in year 8 at an independent boys school. He has a diagnosed LPD, which the school are aware of. For his last set of exams, he really bombed as they write a total of 10 subjects in 4 days and he was not prepared for the toll this can take. He studied very hard and we all expected better results. I asked the teacher for some of the exam papers and reviewed the exam questions, I then simplified the language of original questions and asked my son to take the test again. This time he scored significantly higher results proving he did know the answers and that during the exam, even though he thought he understood the questions in reality he hadn't because the language was either too complex or too long for him to de code and chunk up. His poor results left him feeling very deflated and knocked not only his confidence but also his willingness to learn!! Can anyone advise what I can ask for by way of helping him during the next set of exams? I know we can request extra time but I am not sure this is enough. He is already at a disadvantage and it seems slightly unfair that he be expected to write the same papers and perform like his peers without considering his difficulties. (Perhaps I'm being emotional) I had just wondered/hoped the questions could be simplified or chunked or a assistant teacher cld ask what his understanding if the question is and perhaps simplify the question or the question cld be asked using bullet points where possible rather than be a long paragraph type of question?

I just would like to understand how best to help him and re install a concerted interest in learning. And help him achieve given the effort he is putting in.

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