How Teachers Can Help Students with Slow Processing Speed

Slow processing speed often has a far larger impact on kids in school than it does on the rest of their lives. Parents may have already adjusted to a child’s slow-moving approach at home where, yes, they are always the last to finish eating dinner, and it takes them longer to do homework than it should. But their slow processing speed is not causing significant problems for anyone at home.

Yet in the fast-paced classroom full of quick thinkers, slow processing speed can be problematic. Children not only need to complete their work in a set amount of time but they also need to work at an equal pace with classmates on group projects. There are many specific accommodations and technologies that can be supportive for these students, but perhaps the most important thing a teacher can do is to create a sense of understanding and communication to help a child with slow processing speed.

Here are some ways to facilitate this approach:

Ensure that the recognition of slow processing is shared with other teachers, special educators, kids, and parents.

Be understanding and supportive, but create expectations for  sustained effort and improvement.

Use classroom aids and peers who can model executive-functioning skills that support weak processing speed.

Communicate regularly with parents and the school psychologist via email so that everyone is on board with similar strategies to improve slow processing speed.

Allow additional time when you see the need, but also teach children to advocate for themselves when they need more time.

Ensure materials are readily available by sending a second set of schoolbooks home so that slow processing speed does not interfere with the time needed to gather materials for homework.

Share homework, projects, and school activities electronically with parents.

We have many, many article on slow processing speed, from identifying, parenting, teaching, and preparing for the future. Is your child affected by slow processing speed? What strategies have you found most helpful? Share with us in the comments or come talk to us on Facebook.


Featured image: Flicker user USAG – Humphreys

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