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Working memory issues

(9 Posts)
datingbarb Sat 21-Jan-17 09:37:35

Hello hope it's ok to post in this section

My dd age 13 (year 9) was diagnosed with Working memory and auditory processing issues at the start of this school year, I knew something was wrong from year 3 of school but had no luck with her primary school and finally her secondary school took action when it became apparent in year 8 that there was big issues.

She way behind academically and this really shows in her math and English, science the start of this year she has dropped a language and now use that time to attend the school special needs unit were she gets extra help, they have also put other things in place for her like a exit card (she gets very anxious and upset at times in class if struggling and this means she can leave the room immediately and go to the special needs unit to calm down get help etc, she also has all work printed enlarged on blue paper as it helps, along with extra time for exams and readers etc.

So this week we have had parents evening and everyone of her teachers have said how hard she tries, that they have noticed a huge difference in her and her anxiety this year etc so all very good and positive but the problem lies with her working memory and I'm really am worrying about her GCSEs

She is currently working at a level 1 (G) and her math teacher told me how she did a graded gcse math paper last week in class and after he had sat with her, explained, helped her on how to do he left her to it and she completed the work at a level 3 (A) which is amazing! But the problem is when she is shown, fully understands she can do the work but by the time she has walked out that class and gone to the next class she has forgotten how to do that and she just doesn't retain the information

So we need to find a away that works for her to retain the information

To be honest I'm really struggling to understand this working memory issue and how it works, she can remember to look both ways when crossing the road, and what time netball practice finishes etc get she can't remember how to do a simple maths sum

I'm honestly wondering if there is more to it, I really hate to see her struggle so much, she's a popular, sporty, social outgoing girl yet academically she is struggling so much

Can anyone give me any info pointers on working memory, if I should be pushing for things to be looked into deeper etc

user1483945709 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:44:02

School should really have some knowledge of this and have strategies they could use

user1483945709 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:45:45

GingerIvy Sat 21-Jan-17 09:52:59

My 7yo has problems with his working memory. And he is much like an etch a sketch- a bit of a jiggle and whatever he has just learned is gone.

We home educate, and I've found that it's repetition and learning by association that help him move that info over to long term memory. Building from one thing to the next also means the first part is respected as you move into the second, so it's reinforced again.

Time consuming, yes, but that seems to be the thing that works for him.

GingerIvy Sat 21-Jan-17 09:53:28

Repeated, not respected. Typo

3penguins Sat 21-Jan-17 10:08:01

This provides useful information about how working memory affects learning and how to support children in the classroom

With regard to GCSEs, you need to start asking now about the school's plans for access arrangements - they need to be establishing "normal ways of working" by year 9 and thinking about extra time in exams , reasonable adjustments etc. Many schools are reluctant to make these arrangements, so you need to give them a nudge

datingbarb Sat 21-Jan-17 10:35:39

Thank you for all the replies I will take a look at those links I also have another meeting with senco next week

It's already been agreed that she will get extra time and a reader for her exams it's just getting the info to stay in her head to complete the exams that's the issue

At home she works on computer maths/English packages, the same as she uses through school and is working her way through the levels and I'm currently on a mission to help her tell the time and to understand the past/to/quarters etc

To be honest I see a lot of myself in her when I was at school I was just classed as thick, I didn't get any help and didn't pass any exams, what o find difficult is helping her as I can't actually do any of the homework she brings home anyway and as a single parent she has no one else to help

user1483945709 Sat 21-Jan-17 10:41:30

Do they have a homework club in school? Some schools have after school clubs and others lunchtime clubs

3penguins Sat 21-Jan-17 11:07:42

It's already been agreed that she will get extra time and a reader for her exams it's just getting the info to stay in her head to complete the exams that's the issue

At least the SENCO seems on the ball. Be aware that she she cannot use a human reader for the reading part of the English Lang GCSE, but can use a computer reader.

I would really recommend Khan Academy to support her maths - there are free videos on YouTube covering all aspects of maths. I also use Cogmed Working Memory training (subscription version) for pupils - it is evidenced-based and quite good. I believe there is a free app you can get - I have never used that version, but it might be worth a try.

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