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Children's Diagnosis & Treatment This forums is for parents to discuss issues related to diagnosis and treament of children with AD/HD

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Old 02-03-12, 02:35 PM
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Processing Speed

Our son, JD is 6 and was diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive, inability to focus) when he was 4. He's done well and is now in the 1st grade. He reads at a high level, does fine in school, but struggles with some areas of math, has some socialization issues, but in general is a pretty well behaved, well adjusted kid.

I realize that slow processing time for some children with ADHD is typical. We are certainly seeing this in JD, even though I think he is fairly bright and intelligent. He just went through a round of the standardized testing that the state requires and he scored below average on a lot of the subjects (letter fluency, letter recognition, counting fluency....). His teacher is not worried about the results of these tests for him because, really, who cares how fast a kid can say a letter when he is in the 1st grade and reading on a 4th grade level? It makes sense, but I think we are seeing signs of a processing issue.

We'll talk to his doctor to see what he recommends, but is there anything that you can do for speeding up/improving a childs processing speed? He is in karate and plays basketball and soccer and he always just looks like he is 1 or 2 steps behind everybody else (not a good thing in karate if he is actually sparring). Anyway, just a thought. We're obviously willing to work with him, but didnt even know if this type of thing is out there.

Thanks for your thoughts...
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Old 02-04-12, 08:44 AM
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Re: Processing Speed

I'm interested in any information you get too. As DS8 also has a slow processing speed.
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Old 02-04-12, 08:50 AM
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Re: Processing Speed

Sounds like he's doing exceptionally well for a kid his age. I'm no professional in the matter, but if I was in your shoes, i'd probably just hold off a grade and see if his processing speed develops.

I've always had a slow processing speed myself, and I always remember a helper coming into to visit me at school and we'd do a series of different programmes that really helped me speed up.
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Old 02-04-12, 09:44 AM
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Re: Processing Speed

If he reads on a 4th grade level and he's having difficulty saying a letter... I would think his processing speed may normal or quite fast. He may have trouble with verbalizing his thoughts because if you think about it, he would have to switch from reading to speaking and in that process, things get lost.

I would ask the school to see if he qualifies for speach therapy especially if he sputters or stutters words, if he loses his thoughts before he's able to say a full sentence. You may find the same problem in writing.
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Old 02-04-12, 11:20 AM
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Re: Processing Speed

I'd be interested in this as well. I'm wondering if there are any video games (or just playing video games in general) that would help.
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Old 02-04-12, 12:25 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

Neurofeedback could improve processing speed. However, it is very expensive and not covered by health insurance plans. Also, like any other treatment, it doesn't work for everyone.
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Old 02-04-12, 01:40 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

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Originally Posted by Ms. Mango View Post
I'd be interested in this as well. I'm wondering if there are any video games (or just playing video games in general) that would help.
I haven't read the whole article, just skimmed it, but you might find this interesting:

http://www.bcs.rochester.edu/people/...eGreen2009.pdf
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Old 02-04-12, 04:38 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

I am a slow processor, and I have fairly poor working memory to boot. It's frustrating, because in certain areas (i.e. not spatial) I actually process very quickly, so I'm not even internally consistent.

For me, more than practicing and trying to increase processing speed (which I think, for me, personally, would have been an exercise in frustration), I think that finding workable workarounds is key.

I think the first time anyone realized what was really going on was in 5th grade when I scored abysmally on the math portion of the standardized testing they gave us. The astute teacher noted that while I did score in the 20th percentile, I finished less than half of the problems on the test. Of the ones I answered, the majority I answered correctly.

After that, I was given extra time on tests, and permission to do half of the homework problems assigned (that latter one actually proved somewhat problematic in later years, when reinforcement of concepts becomes more important, but I was able to get by). And suddenly, I was able to be successful in math class, which was definitely an added bonus!

I *still* process slowly, and it is frustrating at times.
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Old 02-04-12, 04:55 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

Slow processing speed means that he takes a bit longer than other kids his age to make sense of the information he takes in. He might have trouble assimilating written or spoken information, or take longer to answer questions or finish tests. This is not a matter of intelligence, as you know, but it does make it hard for him to demonstrate his knowledge.

The school should be able to recommend specific accommodations—extra time on tests, shortened homework assignments, getting written as well as spoken instructions, and so on. Bear in mind that processing deficits like your son’s tend to be primarily auditory or primarily visual. Thus, the challenges he’ll face—and the interventions that will prove most helpful—are determined by the specific nature of his problem.
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Old 02-04-12, 05:07 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

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Originally Posted by mcnay1 View Post
We'll talk to his doctor to see what he recommends, but is there anything that you can do for speeding up/improving a childs processing speed? He is in karate and plays basketball and soccer and he always just looks like he is 1 or 2 steps behind everybody else (not a good thing in karate if he is actually sparring). Anyway, just a thought. We're obviously willing to work with him, but didnt even know if this type of thing is out there.

Thanks for your thoughts...
I would consider an evaluation to make sure you will be addressing what is actually causing him difficulty.

I would also submit a request for an evaluation through the school; as a pp said, he may qualify for speech therapy (which can also cover social issues) and possibly other help.

My son reads a few grades ahead as well, and though that may seem impressive it doesn't mean that there aren't things that can't be addressed now. I'm not a fan of waiting until a potential problem is so big that you spend a lot of time just catching up to where they could be if it was addressed early.
Neuropsychological Evaluation
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Old 02-04-12, 06:00 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

Hello, I have three ADHD, one excels at any sport but forgets to be a team player and took on the whole basketball team and won !! another loves math numbers and maniplulatives but struggles with reading to memory , short term recal (Memory Transfer disability) with new material, And the third can read remember entire dialogs of BBC specials constantly forgets basic math facts... I have an amazing memory for actual life history and events but can't remember peoples names until I've known then for a year???A couple amazing little tricks to stimulate brain, singing-to study for tests/ or massaging feet for rest and relaxation calm children before spirals- of uncontrollable activity.
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Old 02-04-12, 10:13 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

Thank you everybody! This information is great and I look forward to reading the articles and links included. He does have an IEP and Im looking forward to keeping that. He does qualify for speech in the school and is pulled out for it a couple of times a week. The speech teacher is working on the social aspect. I will talk with her about her thoughts on his processing speed as well. Thanks again for all of this information. Keep it coming if you have more thoughts!
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Old 02-07-12, 06:12 AM
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Re: Processing Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnay1 View Post
Thanks for your thoughts...
Sounds like a description of me when I was that age. For the record, I'm a computer scientist with a math degree as well.

Try exposing him to higher level ideas, a top down view of things. How things work. Beware that visual things might trip him up; e.g., if you try to teach him to tie a knot and dont' let him learn at his own pace ...

I believe I sucked at arithmatic and I still do.
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Old 04-13-12, 01:22 PM
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Re: Processing Speed

Is there a better ADHD medication for inattentive, lose focus, slower processing speed? My son has been diagnosed with inattentive ADHD. He is 9 and in the 3rd grade. He has a great memory though, but he processes slow so he reads really slow. He scored low on the working memory tests that psychologist did.

We are still trying to find the right meds to help him. He's tried 20mg Ritalin. It didnt' last and wasn't very effective. We just started 20 mg Adderall XR. I'm hopeful this will help him focus for reading.
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