April 27, 2023
Research tells us that children with ADHD have deficits in working memory compared to their typically developing peers. The same data also tells us that attention and working memory are essential to learning new information, so it should not come as a surprise that when you increase attention and working memory, learning comes faster and is more efficient.
As a speech-language pathologist for 30 years, I built a successful private practice with a mission to close the gap between intelligence and achievement. One of the most important tools that I used to do this was Cogmed because it ultimately helps optimize learning in individuals with ADHD and dyslexia. While Cogmed was the best solution for many of my clients, there were some whose success made me even more grateful for this invaluable tool. Do you have any clients in your practice with these concerns? Cogmed could help!
1. A child who was struggling with reading but was not making progress fast enough with traditional tutoring. Attention and working memory are the two primary skills necessary for a child to learn to read. In addition, studies show that 30% of children with dyslexia have a co-existing diagnosis of ADHD.
2. An individual with ADHD symptoms and reading comprehension concerns. Working memory allows a reader to digest what they read then use that information to integrate it for recall.
3. An individual that shows signs of slow processing speed. They would complain that their teachers talked too fast, they don’t have enough time to complete their work, and they become easily overwhelmed because things pile up. These kids reported that parents and teachers told them that they were lazy and needed to try harder. Weakness in cognitive processing slows down learning, but when we increase working memory, we enhance cognitive processing.
4. A child with ADHD symptoms and written expression concerns. This is the child who can verbally tell you a story that is age appropriate, complete with robust vocabulary and proper grammar, but when asked to put those same thoughts on paper, they shut down and don’t know where to start or what to write. Working memory is a key player for the executive function system of our brain and when a child is weak in these skills, their written expression suffers.
5. A child with weak executive function skills. This individual struggles with emotional deregulation, planning, organizing, and getting into action. Executive function is the set of mental skills that we use every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. Working memory is a part of those executive functions, and when it is weak, it affects all aspects of life.
If you have questions about Cogmed or how I used it in my practice, please fill out this form and I'll reach out! Talk to you soon...