Processing Information

You may see the student:

  • Having difficulty processing information communicated verbally
  • Having difficulty processing information communicated via visual presentation e.g. overheads,video, graphs and charts, or on screen materials
  • Processing information more slowly than the average person
  • Freezing on tests or doing poorer than expected
  • Not finishing timed activities/tests

Types of common processing disorders:

  • Reading, decoding and comprehending skills-the student may be a slow reader because of the need for additional time to decode and comprehend written material.
  • Abstract and general reasoning-the student may have difficulty understanding the context of subjects such as philosophy and logic which require high level reasoning skills.
  • Memory (long-term, short-term, visual, auditory)-the student may have difficulty with the storing and/or recalling of information during short or long time periods or presented visually or auditorily.
  • Spoken and written language skills-the student may have difficulty with spelling, (e.g., mixing up letters) or with speaking (e.g., reversing words or phrases.)
  • Mathematical calculation skills and word problems-the student may have difficulty manipulating numbers, may sometimes invert numbers, and may have difficulty converting problems described in words to mathematical expressions.
  • Executive functioning (planning and time management)-the student may have difficulty breaking larger projects into smaller sub-projects, creating and following a timeline, and meeting deadlines

Top 10 teaching strategies to consider:

  1. Assist the student in finding an effective peer note taker.
  2. Allow the student to tape record lectures.
  3. Post course materials on the instructor website
  4. Consider giving an option for oral exams or using a word processor for written exams
  5. Allow the student additional time to complete in-class assignments, particularly writing assignments
  6. Allow an instructor approved memory aid in testing
  7. Allow a calculator or multiplication table on exams
  8. Encourage the student to share strategies which have helped in the past
  9. Provide feedback and assist the student in planning the workflow of assignments. It may be helpful to break the larger assignment into smaller components with opportunities for draft feedback
  10. Provide assistance with proofreading written work.

Check out these other resources:  http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/