Archive for the ‘working memory’ Category


Working Memory

January 19, 2010

When Meeshie was in first grade, I got a call from her teacher claiming she had ADD type tendencies. I was devastated. What did this teacher mean? Sure she fidgets a bit but so do a lot of 6 year-olds.

Is she getting her work done?
Is she disturbing the other children?
She has a late birthday and is one of the youngest in your class.

We went round and round for most of the year. I felt the teacher was overreacting and I’m not sure what she thought about me. Progress reports and report cards showed she was right where she should be academically.

Let’s be honest here there is nothing wrong with any learning disability. I just didn’t want her to have one because I felt it was somehow a direct result of what I had done. I think that is just a basic reaction to being a parent. You want them to do better than you and you want them to be better than you. If she has some sort of disability then I’m doing something wrong. That isn’t true but that is how I felt.

So the year progressed and as summer vacation began we took her to see a neuropsychologist. My pediatrician recommended this doctor with the stipulation that Meeshie is too young to be tested for ADD. The neuropsychologist spent about 6 hours giving her tests what I would equate with IQ tests. It was then determined that although very bright, Meeshie has a low working memory which is about 18 percent.

According to Wikipedia: Working memory is the executive and attentional aspect of short-term memory involved in the interim integration, processing, disposal, and retrieval of information. Basically she sometimes can’t determine which step to do next.

We purchased software to help her with exercising her working memory because it is a part of the brain that when exercised can increase its capacity. She still uses it a few times a week.

When she gets a few years older will I have to have her tested for ADD? I don’t know. Has this program helped her? I want to say yes but I’m not 100 percent sure. I have seen a huge improvement in her school work this year. Her penmanship is better and she follows the directions on her homework more closely.

But how do I know that isn’t just part of her maturing as a second grader?

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