Does your smart student need constant reminders to complete simple tasks? Does that same student also complain about timed tests in the classroom? Does it ever seem that one family member is holding up everyone else? Perhaps then, you might find comfort in learning about slow processing speed. Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up: Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World offers a comprehensive look at this often passed-over subject. Parents can follow along easily with no prior familiarity of processing speed required. This book contains helpful worksheets aimed at informal observations for parents whose children have not been assessed, in addition to detailed descriptions of processing speed testing results for parents referencing a child’s testing data.
Slow processing speed can stem from several causes, both genetic and environmental, and take on different forms, making it an elusive area of cognitive functioning to study. Authors Ellen Braaten, PhD and Brian Willoughby, PhD bring their years of experience to their work on slow processing speed. Both authors have held positions with the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the Harvard Medical School. Throughout the book, the authors share stories from their field to help illuminate the relationships between processing speed and home-life, school, and social relationships.
This book contains descriptions of processing speed testing results as well as helpful worksheets aimed at informal observations for parents that have not undergone assessments. The book itself is broken down into two parts. The first part is organized by a series of initial questions, such as, “Why is my kid so slow?” to introduce the basics of slow processing speed. The second part of the book is organized by the ways in which slow processing speed interacts with different aspects of life, such as family dynamics. In addition to insights from their work and research, the authors share information in small digestible units, often using bullet points or separate text boxes, to highlight the most important pieces of information. Each chapter includes a worksheet or checklist, also available for download, to help parents work through the various issues presented in the text.
While Braaten and Willoughby’s accessible descriptions of the psychological and neurobiological aspects of slow processing speed are eye opening, the most helpful is their concept of the three As: Accept, Accommodate, and Advocate. The three As structure each strategy for working with a student with slow processing speed, whether it is in the home, in the classroom, within social relationships, or their emotional well-being. Understanding slow processing speed will help parents and educators alike accept their bright yet slow student, and better understand that the student is not choosing to be slow or purposefully frustrate others. Accommodations, such as extending test time and teaching time management skills, can help bolster your student’s success. Finally, understanding your role as your student’s advocate can help mitigate the harmful mislabeling of these students as “lazy,” “slow,” or “unmotivated.”
The modern era is a busy one and the need to address slow processing speed is more pressing now than ever before. Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up creates a much-desired foundation for understanding slow processing speed and its intersections with daily life. Parents and educators can now look to Braaten and Willoughby’s work for an easy-to-understand explanation with practical strategies for helping any student with slow processing speed.
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