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What do you know about low working memory? Confused

(8 Posts)
Coffeecreamers Mon 21-Mar-16 22:58:23

I have been told today that 7 year old dd has low working memory and that support will be put in place to help in school. We are sitting down to go through the report after Easter.

Have had a frustrating few years with assessments for autism and dyspraxia coming up negative despite me firmly believing she was autistic and she has fallen further and further behind in school. I have never heard of this before. Have been googling tonight but there is so much information. Do you have any experience of this? What does it mean for DD?

Eliza22 Sun 27-Mar-16 21:10:06

My DS has asd and OCD. He is 15. He has a low working memory. This was found at age 5. It means that he cannot take more than one instruction at a time and needs constantly to be brought back to the task.

It's like when you go into a room for something....and forget what you've gone in for. If you receive prompts and/or go through a process or routine to "jog" your memory, you might then remember what it was. The part of the brain responsible for working memory is also responsible for focus and concentration so, say in trying to complete a maths question, you need to remember the ACTUAL question AND the PROCESS of how to get there. Two things at once. Very difficult.

My DS has a lot,of TA support at school and we use visual/alarm reminders and written timetables for daily life.

zzzzz Sun 27-Mar-16 21:55:02

I've only heard it described as "poor" working memory and it seems quite a common area of difficulty. There are lots of techniques and accommodations that can be used to help your cd learn despite poor working memory.

Waitingforsleep Sat 02-Apr-16 11:54:43

Can anyone suggest anything to help? My dad has this too. Looked at jungle memory I think it is but are there any recommendations please?
It's about retaining information- my dd had a superior processing but poor working memory so she takes instructions in fast but forgets them just as quickly!

Meloncoley2 Sat 02-Apr-16 12:05:21

Can I jump on this thread please? I wanted to ask zzzzz ( or anyone else with knowledge of this) about techniques or ideas that would be helpful, especially with secondary years.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 02-Apr-16 21:21:19

There is much discussion on how much it can be improved but playing games i think is one of the best things you can do for working memory. And from memory there is some evidence to support this with dementia and altheimers.

Basic memory matching pairs is good but not so great for olders kids so you ate looking for anything where you have to sequence a set of actions within your turn or remember where things are. Minecraft the card game is fantastic starting point as you can teach it in stages and it is relatively simple game. Forbidden island is good as it is co-operative and therefore you can help the child along. Sushi go has elements of memory game but in a more grown up format. Go fish all you need is a pack of cards but I think this is quite challenging. more complex board games like small world, ticket to ride for older children.

DS(8) has severe working memory issues, an example counting 28,29,30,31 is difficult because you have to remember to change both the units and the tens between 29 and 30. Strangely he started off with chess on a tablet about 2 years ago. Because if you touched a character it showed you where he could move it took out the language load from learning the game and enabled him to learn the game at his own pace. 6 months later he started chess club . At home we have always done we have always done memory games (but these are still hard) and forbidden island and we are now at the stage where middling games he can play independently and he is just starting to play with grown up help some more complex games. I'm told the impact of his working memory difficulties is improving.

zzzzz Sat 02-Apr-16 22:06:29

I'm not an EdPsych but there are tons of techniques that should be built in to learning, mind maps, repeating question back, highlighting key points on question papers as you read, note taking, numbered stages..... It's none of it particularly new but the combination can significantly improve learning. An EP should observe and recommend specific focused support to be taught to the child and teachers so that max progress can be made.

Meloncoley2 Sun 03-Apr-16 15:38:55

Thanks, that helps

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