I dislike seeing brilliant kids fall behind in school or at home because they process information slowly.
Does that sound like you? You’re at the right place to learn how to improve your child’s processing speed!
The tips shared in this article are recommendations from brain experts and other seasoned educators.
The tips span from simple techniques to the adoption of technological tools.
Many parents and teachers have implemented these tips with great success!
Can’t wait to explore? Here are ten tips on how to improve processing speed in child(ren)!
- How To Improve Processing Speed In Child(ren)
- 1. Allow For More Time
- 2. Repeat Task Directions And Instructions
- 3. Design Summaries And Outlines Of Lessons
- 4. Encourage Overlearning
- 5. Allow Them Work It Out On Paper
- 6. One Question At A Time
- 7. Shorten Assignments
- 8. Grades For Knowledge
- 9. Utilize Technology
- 10. Fight Background Noise
- How Technology Can Help Improve Processing Speed In Children
- Final Thoughts
How To Improve Processing Speed In Child(ren)
We’ve provided practical examples for proper understanding. So, Read on!
1. Allow For More Time
One exciting thing about kids with slow processing speed is that they aren’t lazy.
They are only slow at processing information. And for that reason parents and teachers must give them time and more time!
But what does that mean? They need more time to understand the lessons they take and complete schoolwork.
Also, it means they need more time to complete quizzes.
In simple terms, everything from reading to taking instructions can take more than usual time, and it shouldn’t be a crime.
So, the golden rule is: Give them as much time as they need.
This should even come before you think of implementing other strategies.
Ideally, parents should expect about ten minutes of homework per grade level of school.
What does that mean? It means that a third-grade student will require a maximum of thirty minutes to complete their assignment.
Granted, the amount of time needed for a child with a slow processing speed will vary dramatically.
Therefore, parents should ask their child’s teacher the time it will take their child to finish their homework or complete a task.
Once you know that a child is slow in processing information, it’s best to understand how much time it will take to complete homework.
When you figure it out, inform the parents how much time is best.
You can tell them if they need extra tutoring assistance or need more instruction on a given task.
2. Repeat Task Directions And Instructions
Instructions and directions are often difficult to process.
Ideally, directions demand grasping several pieces of information into a person’s working memory, long enough for making sense of it.
But with repetition, kids with slow processing speed can hold enough information and act upon them.
Therefore, reading instructions loud and clear, displaying diagrams, charts, and examples of finished works are excellent ways to help a child with slow processing speed.
Here are ways to ensure that direction and instructions repeated bring excellent results:
a. Make Eye Contact:
Make sure you get and retain your child’s visual attention before repeating the instruction.
b. Single, Simple, And Precise Instructions:
One instruction at a time should be the goal.
Do not fall into the temptation of giving multi-directional instructions.
For instance, instead of saying: Go pick up your bag, get into the car, and pick your books.”
Say this: “Go pick up your bag.”
When your child follows that instruction, give another instruction: Get your books from the car.
c. Ask Them To Repeat The Instruction:
If you have your child repeat an instruction, they will understand better what they are asked to do.
You could say: “Would you please repeat what I told you?”
d. Sequential Order:
This concept is ideal for communicating the order you require your child to finish up a task, like the one mentioned earlier.
First, get your bag. After that, get your books from the car.
e. Clarify And Reconfirm:
Always encourage your child to seek clarifications when they forget a task or do not understand the instruction given to them.
You can even encourage them to rephrase the instruction.
f. Visual Aids:
Body language, gestures, pictures, and several other visual aids are effective in assisting a child to comprehend and recall instructions.
You can physically point to the direction you need a child to go or use your eyes to direct them to a place you are pointing to.
These exercises might occasionally feel overwhelming.
Nevertheless, remember how important and helpful they will be for your students or child.
Keep in mind: Consistency is key to building healthy habits in children!
3. Design Summaries And Outlines Of Lessons
Cognitive overload can result from paying attention to many details at a time.
Therefore, for teachers, present summaries that focus on the main point and gist of the lesson.
Teachers should also allow students with slow processing speed to understand the big picture before they reveal detailed points.
Summarizing helps students with slow processing speed understand the most crucial ideas from what you teach them.
This allows them to ignore the irrelevant that might impact their processing speed.
Most importantly, summaries allow kids to integrate main ideas in meaningful ways.
It also enhances their memory for what they read.
Here are tips to make summaries and outlines of lessons as easy as a breeze:
a. Let your student or kids listen to the selected text.
b. Ask questions.
- What are the primary ideas?
- What are the essential details needed for supporting the ideas?
- What information is unnecessary or irrelevant?
c. Allow them to use keywords to isolate main points from the text.
4. Encourage Overlearning
Most children might find it awkward to read a piece of information over and over again.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent technique for children with slow processing speed.
Overlearning has been an effective way for children with SPS to understand information.
Therefore, to help a child improve processing speed, repeat a set of directions till they understand.
Computers are excellent tools for this task. This is practically helpful when learning how to spell.
Most tutors have experienced success with Touch-Type Read and Spell courses.
It would be fine if your child could see something once and effortlessly remember it forever.
Unfortunately, that’s not how we are wired up.
Instead, we seem to remember only things with a specific connection.
For instance, adults studying a new language might discover that it takes them more time to stick a word in their memory.
If they manage to remember a word, it might slip off their memory in the weeks to follow.
While we can’t change how our brain works, we can extend our memory longevity, ensuring that we process information faster.
If you test a child on a test repeatedly, you’d be surprised that the low score they started with would dramatically increase over time.
Keep this principle in mind and let it drive how you help a child enhance their processing speed.
5. Allow Them Work It Out On Paper
Want to avoid overwhelming a child?
Drift them off the habit of juggling several pieces of information in their head and have them write it on paper.
They can become quickly frustrated with brainstorming ideas in their head. Therefore, the way out is to have those tasks written on a piece of paper.
Excitedly, lots of problem-solving activities children get at school are worked on paper.
Thus, it wouldn’t be an entirely new tip to bring all the information on a piece of paper.
There are several fun ways to play and help your student or child use a vertical surface. Here are some of my favorites:
a. Trace Objects Or Stencils-
You can tape a piece of paper to the wall and let them trace the objects
b. Draw And Color-
This is especially vital when they seem to disturb you. Ask them to use chalk to draw or color an object they have.
c. Using Smart Boards-
Allow your child to draw or write on a Smartboard.
6. One Question At A Time
Children with slow processing speed might find multiple questions on the same page overwhelming.
If you need your child to answer several questions, there are easy ways to make that work.
When taking an exam or completing a worksheet with several questions, cover up other questions and leave only the one that’s being worked on.
As an easy route, train them to use an item or a piece of paper to cover the parts they haven’t worked on and then move the object along as they solve them.
This makes it easier for the child to pay attention to the information that needs to be worked on.
Here are simple ways to present information to children to make them comply:
a. Be Direct:
Make statements Instead of asking questions. For example, say sit down as opposed to: “Are you ready?”
b. Be Close
Only give instructions when you are near your child. This is better than calling out from across the room.
c. Use Clear And Specific Commands
Say “start your reading assignment” instead of saying, “go ahead!”
d. Offer Only Age- Appropriate Instructions
Keep things simple and use words your children are familiar with.
e. Simplify Explanation
Offering a rationale can enhance the likelihood that a child will listen to a command.
But if the direction gets lost, it will be tough. Instead of saying: “Go put on your coat because it’s raining and I wouldn’t want you to catch a cold.”
Say: It’s raining; I wouldn’t want you to get a cold. Go get your coat on!”
f. Allow Time To Process Information
After giving kids instructions, allow them a few seconds to process them.
Do that without repeating your instruction.
This lets them learn to listen to instructions once instead of feeling that the instruction should be repeated.
Just watch and wait!
7. Shorten Assignments
Reducing workload is an impressive way to help a child come up with quality work.
The lesser the number of assignments given to them, the lesser the number of mistakes they’ll make.
Note these points:
When your child has difficulty completing their assignment on time, give them extra time to complete the assigned work.
When they start assignments well, but the quality of the task decreases, break the long tasks into pieces or shorten long assignments.
When they struggle to follow instructions, pair oral and written instructions
When they make careless mistakes, allow for five minutes to check the assignment before they submit it.
8. Grades For Knowledge
Instead of rewarding performance, it’s best to reward knowledge.
A child with a slow processing speed might have difficulty completing the same level of work as their peers.
Thus, evaluation based on what a child has learned is quite productive and rewarding than evaluating them based on how much they’ve done.
9. Utilize Technology
Allow assignments to be done on a computer.
Several similarities have been noted between dysgraphia, which leads to difficulty in slow processing speed and handwriting.
Kids might struggle with the best ways to space letters and how they are written. This difficulty might slow down their pace.
Using a computer and learning to type allows a child to automate the writing process.
The ideas gotten from that are transferred to words through muscle memory in the hands.
It also limits the potential distraction that results from the physical act of forming letters.
Therefore, parents and teachers should be vigilant and search for new technological tools that can help speed up a child’s processing speed.
10. Fight Background Noise
Minimizing background noise both at school and at home might help speed the processing speed of a child.
This helps them concentrate their attention and focus on what is being said.
There are visual noises like bulletin boards that could distract a child with SPS.
If you can, keep kids with slow processing speed close to the front of the classroom.
How Technology Can Help Improve Processing Speed In Children
Technology offers the required shortcuts for a child exhausted from processing a task and brainstorming ideas.
Additionally, technology offers children the opportunity to learn via repetition.
Moreover, a computer wouldn’t be frustrated like a teacher or parent would if the task needs to be repeated.
a. Enhancing Reading Speed:
Some technologies enhance reading speed. Several apps can help speed reading speed.
Some programs specifically light words up and then black them out as readers read across the line. Others scroll at different rates.
By increasing the speed of the blackout gradually, the kid’s reading speed can be increased.
b. Online Games:
Crossword puzzles, online brain games, and Sudoku are excellent tools too.
Some basic memorization exercises and logic puzzles will help the brain stay sharp and process information quickly.
You can explore a list of video games here for your kids to practice.
Research suggests that some video games that demand multiple processing steps can enhance fluid intelligence and comprehension skills.
c. Teach typing Skills-
Practicing dictation can be an effective way to enhance processing speed.
Play a short recording or speak loudly for a few minutes and allow your student or children to transcribe what you’ve said.
They should do that into a word processor or an online notepad.
This tip will allow them to master the location of keys, visualize aural input, and enhance their typing speed.
Some keyboarding programs include:
· Burning Fingers
Also, the touch-typing process offers kids with slow processing speed a privilege to learn at their own pace without feeling embarrassed or awful if they require more time.
d. Online Test Preparation Sites-
Parents and teachers can implement online test preparation sites to help children practice the content, letting them develop the myelin sheath required to transmit information along the nerves.
These websites even offer a few game-like activities where students can learn to improve their speed of processing information.
Tools like Metronome can be an essential device to increase processing speed. This device produces a click or beats at consistent intervals.
Slow beats are often calming. However, fast beats can increase energy level and improve processing speed.
The simple trick is to utilize a metronome that helps students to pick their sound and speed preferences.
If a child is improving their processing speed, then the metronome should be increased slowly with time.
Timers are also effective ways for children to stay on task and enhance their processing speed.
When a child enjoys competing against themselves, the task can then be broken into chunks, allowing them to increase the speed needed to complete each portion.
Yes, these are how to improve processing speed in child(ren)!
You might have to test and try all the steps mentioned to pick the one that best suits your child.
While working at improving their processing speed, learn to accept, accommodate, and advocate.
These three ways outlined in this article have been an effective way to help adults with processing speed.
Be sure to keep things at the same place, day, and time.
Prioritize a solid routine and schedule. This increases the speed at home.
The more automatic something is, the more your child will efficiently handle it.
Make changes to the way you speak at home. The rate, tone, and complexity of talking to children with slow processing speed should be modified.
Teachers and parents have to desist from giving too much information at a time.
Watch the clock- Help your child enhance their awareness of time, help them with time management.
Remember, action and, of course, visuals speak louder than words. So, implement both visual and verbal channels for faster processing of information.
Offer sufficient encouragement and support. Kid requires patience, time, and understanding to obtain success.
Be there for them always! This is what they need most. Before long, they’ll improve, and you will be happy.