Questionnaire – Does Your Child Have Slow Processing Speed?

The following questionnaire was developed developed by LearningWorks for Kids to help parents determine the likelihood that their child may have slow processing speed. You are can learn more about slow processing speed in children here.

Indicate the frequency of the behavior described.

N=No    S=Sometimes    O=Often     A=Always

1. Does your child have difficulty completing class work in a timely fashion?   N  S  O  A

2. Does your child become easily frustrated or overwhelmed by homework assignments, even when they are moderate in size?  N  S  O  A

3. Does your child often bring home schoolwork because he/she was unable to complete it in the classroom?  N S O A

4. Does it often take your child several hours to complete homework?  N  S  O  A

5. Does your child ever display difficulties in performance on timed tasks at school such as “math minutes?  N  S  O  A

6. Does your child read slowly?  N  S  O  A

7. Does your child have difficulty in following fast-moving conversations?  N  S  O  A

8. Does your child speak slowly and tend to answer questions in a very deliberate fashion?  N  S  O  A

9. Does your child report difficulty in keeping up with classroom discussions?  N  S  O  A

10. Does your child sometimes need a moment or two in order to process what he/she has heard before answering a question?  N  S  O  A

11. Does your child often ask for questions to be repeated?  N  S  O  A

12. Does your child experience problems in finding the “right” words to say?  N  S  O  A

13. Does your child have difficulty copying from the blackboard quickly enough to write down all homework assignments?  N  S  O  A

14. Does your child report having difficulty taking notes in a timely fashion?  N  S  O  A

15. Does your child have particular difficulty in completing written assignments in a timely fashion?  N  S  O  A

16. Does your child appear particularly slow at copying tasks?  N  S  O  A

17. Does your child seem to tire easily, particularly when he/she is doing writing tasks?  N  S  O  A

18. Is your child’s handwriting sloppy?  N  S  O  A

19. Does your child have difficulty in keeping up with fast-paced and changing activities at home, at school, and with peers?  N  S  O  A

20. Does your child always seem “one step behind”?  N  S  O  A

21. Does your child take too much time to complete simple chores?  N  S  O  A

22. Does your child become frustrated because he/she completes his/her work slowly or sees him/self as working slower than his/her peers?  N  S  O  A

23. Is your child sluggish and slow moving across most situations?  N  S  O  A

24. Does your child often need extra time to finish play activities such as drawing, building with LEGOs, or completing a puzzle?  N  S  O  A


Processing Speed Questionnaire Description

The Processing Speed Questionnaire is a face-valid set of questions that assesses different aspects of processing speed difficulties. The issue of “processing speed” is a significant concern for many struggling students. In part, this is due to the sense of frustration that many of these otherwise capable students experience in their difficulties completing work in a timely fashion. It has become a more prominent concern as some of our newer psychological instruments, such as the WISC-V and the Woodcock-Johnson-III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, have identified processing speed or cognitive efficiency as a major component of intelligence.

Adding to the confusion are the multiple methods of evaluating the components of processing speed.  Varying measures assess issues of fluency, reaction time, naming speed, visual processing, auditory processing, or written processing speed.

The current scale attempts to give a broad-based assessment of written and auditory processing efficiencies and, at the same time, assesses how difficulties in these areas have an impact upon children’s performance in school, in communicating with others, and in their self-evaluation.

While this is not a standardized measure at the present time, our pilot studies indicate strong correlations with neuropsychological test measures of processing speed.  We are confident that the scores you collect will help a child who experiences slow processing speed.

Scoring Procedures

 N = 0          S = 1          O = 2          A = 3

The items are grouped into four separate categories/subscales:

Items 1-6          SCHOOL-BASED SCALE




Interpretive guidelines for each scale

 Scores of 0 – 5 on a scale is not suggestive of processing speed concerns in the area assessed.

Scores of 6 – 9 reflect moderate processing speed concerns, and attention should be paid to whether there are any scores that are elevated above a score of 10.  Interventions can be tailored to specific deficits.

Scores of 10 and above suggest significant difficulties in the area of processing speed, and accommodations at home and school, as well as interventions to enhance processing speed, are indicated.  High scores on more than one subscale suggest processing speed issues are global in nature, and both developmental and accommodation strategies will be necessary.



Featured image: Flickr user Miroslav Vajdic

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2 thoughts on “Questionnaire – Does Your Child Have Slow Processing Speed?

  1. Good day, sir. I am Johanna Bagayao, a student researcher at Saint Louis University Laboratory Senior High School in the Philippines. I am writing to ask written permission to use your Processing Speed Questionnaire in my research study entitled “An Analysis of How Listening to Pop Music while Studying Affects the Processing Speed of Senior High School Students.” However, the respondents for my study are Senior High School students while your questionnaire is intended for parents to answer. In addition to that, some questions are also not applicable for the current setting of my study which would be on online classes. As such, I am also asking for permission to modify the questions in this questionnaire to fit the purpose of my study. An example of said modification would be from “Does your child have difficulty completing class work in a timely fashion?” to “Do you have difficulty completing written and performance tasks in a timely fashion?”.

    Rest assured that:
    • I will use the questionnaire only for my research study and will not sell or use it for any other purposes
    • I will include a statement of attribution and copyright on all copies of the instrument. If you have a specific statement of attribution that you would like for me to include, please provide it in your response.
    • At your request, I will send a copy of my completed research study to you upon completion of the study and/or provide a hyperlink to the final manuscript.

    That is all, sir and I hope to hear from you as soon as possible. Thank you very much

    • Dear Ms. Bagayao,

      My name is Shanna Hillard and I am the Director of Education with LearningWorks for Kids. I spoke to Dr. Kulman and he said he was happy for you to modify and use the Processing Speed Questionnaire for your research. As you mentioned in your previous message, please include a statement of attribution within your work. Please send your completed research to and I will pass it along to Dr. Kulman. I wish you all the best in your research and look forward to hearing from you upon its completion.


      Shanna M. Hillard
      Director of Education

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