PROCESSING DEFICITS

+ WHAT IS IT?

Processing speed refers to a person’s ability to take-in information, understand it and then do something with it (e.g. respond to a question). A processing speed deficit refers to an inability to manage the intake-understand-output process quickly and efficiently. People with processing speed deficits may struggle in only one or in several academic domains. E.g. reading, writing or mathematics.

Slow processing speed is not in any way tied to one’s intelligence.

A processing speed deficit is not considered a specific learning disorder though it often co-exists with other specific learning disorders as well as ADHD.

Unlike specific learning disorders, there are not specific interventions that can improve processing speed.

+ HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

An educational or psycho-educational evaluation can identify a processing speed deficit. Slow processing speed itself is not a diagnosable condition..

+ HOW IS IT MANAGED?

Though one’s processing speed will improve over time through maturation, if one has slow processing speed in comparison to same-aged peers, that will likely always be the case. Slow processing speed, therefore, must be managed rather than remediated. Management includes finding ways to work around tasks where slow processing has its greatest impact by learning accommodations and modifications to both learning environments and learning tools.

+ HOW CAN THINKING CAP HELP?

Thinking Cap’s psycho-educational assessments can include assessment of processing speed.

Since slow processing speed often comes hand in hand with other specific learning and attention deficits, pinpointing areas where the slow processing speed is creating the biggest problem is often a part of our one-on-one session. Thinking Cap learning specialists will develop accommodations, modifications and work around ideas based on provided assessment, session observations and parent input.

+ ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

www.Understood.org
Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World, a book by Brian Willoughby and Ellen Braaten