Slow Processing Speed

26/09/2018 - Published by

Blogger Pip Else – Paediatric OT

September 2018


We recently posted a link to an article about slow processing speed on our Facebook page-


Processing speed

This is so important when thinking about starting a new school or returning to school after the summer holidays. If a child has difficulties with processing new information, starting a new school such as moving into secondary or from infants to juniors can make their brains go into overload.

The link above talks about the day in the life of a child with slow processing. It is a useful reminder of how to support children who experience this difficulty. In particular this article highlights the area below:



Allow plenty of time. Bite size information and give the child time to process and respond appropriately without rushing them.




Making decisions can be difficult. This often links with time pressure as they feel rushed and therefore often don’t make the right decision; which can lead to disappointment.




Often, those with slow processing speed have reduced time and capacity to add information to their working memory log, so can be forgetful.

Help by providing clear written instructions and limit the information they are required to remember over a short period of time; provide regular repetition throughout the day.



Remember that time pressure can be stressful and anxiety provoking for those with slow processing speed. Ensure that they are supported to thrive in the way that suits their learning style the best.

Build self-esteem by setting individual test targets rather than whole class rewards!


Written Notes

Provide written notes and plans for children with slow processing. This will help them organise and remember what is expected of them.




1:1 time

Social cues and conversations can be hard to follow when you experience slow processing. Allow time and encourage 1:1 time after the conversation to recap and ensure everyone understands what is expected of them.

Children with slow processing should be encouraged to ask questions to help them clarify any missed information.


The key to helping those with slow processing is to give them time and reduce the pressure. Help them to build up an awareness of time by using timers and planners to begin to develop their self-help skills.


COVID-19 Update

During these uncertain times, we are keen to keep you up-to-date with our service provision, which as you can appreciate is changing daily.

For reassurance CTS have set up a ‘Best Practice’ policy to ensure all our Occupational Therapists and Office Staff are working to the highest standard at all times; where ever we are based in the UK.

We are currently NOT seeing families at our designated CTS Clinics conforming to the recent request 23rd March 2020 @ 2030hrs from our government and NHS.

CTS are wanting to reassure you that we are highly committed to you and your child’s OT needs are cared for. We appreciate a lot of our families and service users are vulnerable and many have EHCP’s in place. As a service this requires us to ensure we continue to safeguard and meet the welfare needs of our service users effectively.

We are now providing alternative therapy to continue to support children, families and in some cases parents. We are using your appointment times and making contact via phone calls, conference calls, emails, Zoom and or Skype to support Telehealth Interventions.

Letters are being sent out to all our service users to reassure our commitment.

Please be reassured that all staff are taking every precaution to support our country in preventing the spread of this virus.

Please continue to check this site and our Facebook page for the latest updates. Alternatively call us on: 01664 567917.

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