Recognizing a Child with Processing Problems

Do you have a child who doesn’t do well in school, but you’re not sure why? Maybe he is good at things he does in play, but falls apart when it’s time for school. Maybe she says she is tired about 10 minutes into the task. There may be more going on than meets the eye. Sometimes, a child behaves that way because it is hard for him to learn. Here is a list of signs that your child may have a processing problem:

  • Tires easily
  • Says he’s confused
  • Says things like “I don’t know how to do it” when you’ve just finished explaining it
  • Says, “I don’t remember how to do it” but you’ve taught it over and over again
  • Can remember things some days, but not others
  • Says he feels stupid

All of these are signs that your child may not be processing information easily. A processing problem can occur in any of three areas: in the receiving process, in the internal processing of the information, or in the output process. Some kids have problems in all three areas to some degree.

Watch your child to see how he or she learns. Does the problem seem to be the going in or coming out stage? Are things coming out, but they are not related to what went in? Listen for clues as your child communicates to you during his time of struggle. If you break information processing into those three categories, you should be able to discern where the breakdown occurs. In my next post, I will go over how to help this child learn and assimilate new information.

(c) 2010 Stephanie Buckwalter

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