A Teacher’s Guide to Slow Processing Speed in Students

Teacher's guide to slow processing

Students with slow processing speed are a confusing lot. They may be able to keep up with their classmates on subjects of interest or expertise but often appear to be very slow at learning and completing work in other areas. For teachers, the first prominent sign of slow processing speed in students is their difficulty in completing written work in a timely fashion. A comprehensive teacher’s guide to slow processing speed in students requires far more information, which can be found in the many articles that are presented below.

At the most basic level, children with slow processing speed may have difficulty with their intake of information or how efficiently they hear, read, or see the information at hand. Other students with slow processing speed may slow down when they are thinking about what to do or when they are processing specific information. Other kids have difficulty with output efficiency, whether putting words onto paper or forming thoughts before speaking. In addition, slow processing speed may result in a degree of frustration, loss of motivation, and what frequently appears to be an avoidance of completing schoolwork. Kids will slow processing speed may appear to be slowpokes who move along very slowly. This impression of a plodding student may underestimate their capacity for learning and creativity. It is for all these reasons that teachers need to be acutely aware of the symptoms of slow processing speed in their students.

The best thing a teacher can do for students who have been identified with slow processing speed is to make appropriate accommodations but continue to have expectations for high quality work. Viewing slow processing speed as a mild to moderate disability is probably the most helpful approach, while at the same time helping children to recognize that they are fully capable of learning and succeeding at school. 

Our team at LearningWorks for Kids has been compiling a series of articles to help parents with slow processing speed in children. Here are some of our recommended articles for a teacher’s guide to slow processing:

Slow Processing Speed: What Does This Mean for My Teen?

Classroom Strategies for Students with Slow Processing Speed

Slow Processing Speed and Executive Functions

Kids Who Spend Too Much Time on Homework — The Impact of Slow Processing Speed

Slow Processing Speed and 504 Plans

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