Slow Processing: What is NOT Helpful

Although we all have our limits as parents, and occasionally things get away from us, we know that stress just slows down thinking and reacting even more.  So yelling, shouting and screaming is NOT helpful.  These kids are already feeling stressed just by trying to keep up during the day, and stress just adds to the issues they are facing.  Keep the atmosphere as quiet and calm as possible and stick to routines as much as possible. 

As your child is able, talk with them about how they best work (right after school, play first, then work?  Work after supper?)  If they come up with something that is reasonable but you think will fail, give them a chance to prove that it works before you insist they try another way.  Using their ideas is always best, if possible, provide they are reasonable. 

Don’t refer to your child as “lazy” or “unmotivated.”  Although this is a concern that many parents share, I explain that their child is more likely “demotivated.”  I haven’t met a child that wasn’t excited to start school.  But as things are difficult for them day after day, after day, they find ways to cope.  Many times, they would rather be viewed as someone who “chooses” not to complete work rather than someone who is “unable” to do the work.  Almost always, there is another reason for the behavior:  slow processing speed, depression, inattention, anxiety, lack of self-confidence.  Kids who process information slowly aren’t being lazy (in fact, they must work harder than their peers!), they are experiencing a slow down in a biological process. 

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