Consequences of Poor Processing Speed

Processing Speed, described by Alice Kassotaki, Speech Language Pathologist MSc, BSc, "refers to the rate at which information travels across the brain. It involves the function of processing information automatically, quickly and unconsciously. It relates to the ability to complete simple, repeated cognitive tasks. Poor processing speed can be seen during the task, not during the initial learning stage. Since processing speed is done unconsciously, slow processing speed is connected with a reduced ability to perform an assignment automatically. Cognitive processing speed, affecting attention, executive tasks, memory, academic performance, and behavioral and social skills, increases through childhood and adolescents. Processing speed can be caused by motor skills, insufficient sleep, working memory, ADHD and more. 

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For those who suffer with slow processing speed, may struggle with performance problems in school and adulthood. Although these people know how to complete the task, it may take a few more steps compared to others. It is important to respond to these signs and support your child so that problems don't impact the rest of their lives. 

Processing speed tasks:

  • comparing or scanning visual information such as letters, words, numbers, symbols, patterns or pictures, for similarities or differences;
  • performing basic arithmetic;
  • reading and comprehending words and texts;
  • writing words or dictation;
  • copying from the board or from a text;
  • doing things in the correct order;
  • starting and finishing work in class;
  • starting and finishing an activity;
  • learning routines;
  • relating to others;
  • completing tests;

Neurofeedback is able to help children, teenagers, and adults who have slow processing speed. If your processing speed has not improved enough to meet your goals, your brain may need some training. Neurofeedback can train your brain to regulate, stabilize and focus itself so you're able to concentrate better on your tasks or follow directions that are given to you.

Contact us for more information on how Neurofeedback can help you and your family find the focus you need to function at your best.

-Written by Allison Parker and Tanya L. Hilber, PsyD

Reference: Kassotaki, Alice. “Consequences of Poor Processing Speed.” Upbility, Ikid Private Company. 

The Adolescent Brain

Adolescence is a time of change for everyone. Adolescents are experiencing biological changes (think puberty), emotional changes (such as dealing with hormones), and often times, multiple environmental changes (transitioning schools and/or changes in friendships). During this period, adolescents are trying to further develop their sense of self. They are seeking autonomy from parents, discovering their interests, and possibly planning their futures.

Meanwhile, parents who have adolescent children are going through their own changes. Parents may be dealing with their own emotional changes and environmental changes with their adolescent child. Parents may need to alter their parenting styles to accommodate their child’s growing independence, parents may suddenly have to manage their own stress and how they react to their child’s changes, and/or parents may be finding a balance to be supportive and encouraging of their child (i.e. helping their child do his/her homework) while also letting a child experience consequences (i.e. failing a test because the child did not study).

Just as adolescents are going through many changes, parents are too.

In the following TED talk, cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jane Blakemore discusses the biological changes that occur during the process of adolescence in the human brain. She explains why there can be a disconnect between parents and their children during this critical developmental period, but more importantly, she discusses how important it is developmentally for children to experience these biological changes at this particular time.

For adolescents, remember, this period is only temporary. At times it may be uncomfortable, but the process is allowing your brain to develop new skills that will help you to function as an adult.

For parents, remember, this period is only temporary. At times it may be frustrating, but the process is allowing your child to develop new skills that will help him or her function as an adult.

During this period adolescents may experience problematic symptoms such as impulsivity, hormone imbalances, or symptoms associated with depression or anxiety. If you are interested in how neurofeedback may help alleviate these symptoms, contact a neurofeedback technician to see if neurofeedback is right for you.