Slow Processing Speed – How Does It Affect You?
As a child, I really LOVED doing mathematics. I just love figuring things out. Throughout my primary school days, I did well. Not distinctions, but I was happy with my marks and I enjoyed it.
When I went to high school, this changed quite significantly. I was really struggling to keep up with daily tasks. I was however a dedicated student and I did not want to disappoint my parents. Especially my dad. He was a Maths fundi, and I always had to bring back my tests to show him my answers even before I got my results back.
In grade 9 I had a total breakdown as I could not keep up and as I was struggling more, I was becoming more and more anxious. Now at the time (remember this is now in the early 1980’s – wow I just gave away my age)
I could not understand why I was struggling all of a sudden and my parents thought I was not attending to my schoolwork as I was also in the Tennis first team and we practiced every day.
The next thing that happened I had a teacher on my back and she made me so anxious about being faster that I could not do anything at all. For the whole of Grade 9, I was really trying my best but my teacher was not supported at all.
She just felt that I was not paying attention to anything. End of the story, I had a choice to carry one with Maths in Grade 10 or take another subject. That same teacher Mrs de Wet ( I will never forget her) said the wise choice for me would be to choose another subject.
Years later I would always get very nervous when I had to complete tasks that required me to do so in a certain amount of time. I would get so nervous in fact that I could not function at all.
When did I discover what was “wrong” with me? Only after helping my own son with his challenges, did all the pieces fall together.
I was a slow processor. And no that does not mean that I am slow, I needed just that second longer to process what I needed to do.
Everything just made perfect sense after discovering that there was nothing wrong with me, I was not lazy or had poor motivation to try. I just couldn’t do it.
The wonderful thing about understanding one’s own skillset is that it helps you to connect the dots. This was not my parent’s fault as well, remember in those days, we did not have the tools that are available to us now.
Understanding processing speed, or the challenge with it, can help you make suitable adjustments not only at home when you are a parent but also if you are a teacher in your classroom. So many times I would speak to teachers and they would refer a child to me and they will always say. “I know he/she has a concentration problem” more often or not it is in fact SLOW PROCESSING SPEED that “looks” like attention.
LASTLY, please also remember that being a slow processor has NOTHING to do with being “slow” at all. So many parents have this understanding.
My advice is to find out what is your child’s specific skill level if it comes to PROCESSING SPEED. We have an amazing tool that will quantify the level for each individual.
Find your nearest agent to find out more.