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What helps with processing speed?


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#1 spaceman

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:03 PM

What helps with processing speed?

#2 PeterPan

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:30 PM

Is there anything evidence-based for processing speed? We've had some people with psych testing from before and after Interactive Metronome showing they went from single digits to say mid-30s percentiles. For a child who starts that low, it's a HUGE, life-altering amount of progress, even though that mid-30s range is still quite disabling. 

 

My dd is in that 30s percentile range. I think she would say meds help slightly, and I think if you google you'll find evidence of that.

 

Then you're looking at cognitive therapies and claims. Cogmed has data, so you can look on their site and see. You could have theories like integrate reflexes, work on the corpus collossum, work on midline. Metronome work is doing some of that. But that's going to be harder to get data on.

 

How low are we talking? 

 

The other thing to remember is that what you can't fix you compensate for by making something else stronger. So working memory is going to be the big sister that makes it go better. If you're slow AND your thoughts drop from low working memory, you're super screwed. Bring up the working memory and you give yourself a fighting chance. Cogmed has some data on that, but again there are ways to work on working memory without paying $$$$$ for Cogmed. But sure, Cogmed has data behind it. The stories are good, the logic good, and people get EF and just livability bumps.

 

The other thing, if you want to go in the cheap (compared to Cogmed), might help, theoretically should help, but doesn't have data yet, category is Mighteor. Mighteor: Video games to help kids build emotional strength  I don't know that they're working on any studies yet, but this product is KILLER. For the stupid low price (get a coupon code and it's around $200), you get the tablet, heart rate monitor, support, and all the newest apps. They've been trying, trying, trying to develop one a month (ish). 

 

The brilliant thing with Migheor for your purpose is that they're motivated (it's a game, hello), and they're holding in their mind their missions (working memory, executive function) while trying to process faster and play the games. So I think you should see some FUNCTIONAL bumps, definitely. And for that price you're getting almost $200 in tech anyway, meaning it's essentially free. I assume the price will go up at some point. I crazy highly recommend it, just as a valuable, low-priced try. It's money, but I pay $125 an hour for almost anyone my ds sees. We've gotten all kinds of interesting progress in all kinds of areas for the cost of less than 2 hours of any other therapy. It's one of those things you can't lose with, basically. 


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#3 Storygirl

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:49 PM

Processing speed as measured by the WISC is largely determined by the score of the coding subsection (I'm no expert, so there may be other aspects to the measurement, but coding is the big one). You can google that coding subtest to see what is involved. It requires good hand dexterity, since the task is to copy certain figures in the correct boxes. Problems with fine motor skills and handwriting can definitely impact that score. But it also measures the thinking process, as the student looks at the test and figures out how to do it.

 

So for some students, improving the fine motor skills can improve the processing score. And it seems to me that the metronome activities would work on both the motor planning of the hands, as well as the processing in the brain, as the child thinks and responds during the activity.

 

I'm just thinking through it. DS13 has a coding score in the less than first percentile. But he is a talented drummer, so I don't think the metronome work would make a difference for him. He also can play bass guitar, but his fine motor skills are so poor that he can't twist a twist tie and finds tying his shoes to be tedious. He is an enigma!

 

If fine motor is an issue, you could work on those skills. It may or may not improve the processing speed score when tested in the future.

 

I think the general consensus is that there isn't a surefire way to "fix" it and that accommodations should be used by the student -- extra time for testing and projects, note takers or copies of teacher's notes in class, various ways to help with scaffolding the writing process (writing issues are common with low processing speed), using text to speech or scribing, etc.

 

Occupational therapy or other fine motor and/or body awareness work is worth trying, to see if might make a difference.


Edited by Storygirl, 13 February 2018 - 01:50 PM.

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#4 PeterPan

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:57 PM

They do coding work in VT too. I think Story is onto something there, that you get scores that are that low because multiple things are going on. I think we had already done our VT before dd's first evals with IQ testing, and we had done OT. We did metronome work and meds later. The metronome work for us was free because we adapted Heathermomster's instructions. 

 

Fwiw, I'm really of the mindset that little things add up. Like no one thing gets my kid functional, but if I can get enough 10% improvements then, those 10%s add up... 

 

So until I have perfect answers, that's what I go for, little things that add up.


Edited by PeterPan, 13 February 2018 - 01:59 PM.


#5 summerreading

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:04 PM

Brainware Safari is supposed to help. I think it has helped my son but don't have any specific test results to prove it.

#6 summerreading

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:10 PM

Adding that I don't have tests for my son, but Brainware has studies cited on their site showing results. https://brainware-wd...isabilities.pdf

Edited by summerreading, 13 February 2018 - 02:14 PM.


#7 spaceman

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:28 PM

He’s in the 9th percentile for processing speed. I can’t find his working memory score (he was uncooperative during the test, so they only reported what they get might be accurate, so it could be missing).

But his nonverbal reasoning is 99th percentile, and there is a note that that may be a low estimate of his abilities because of his uncooperativeness.

He’s frustrated a lot.

Also, the test was when he was 6 and he’s now 11.

#8 PeterPan

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:41 PM

Why is he frustrated? And how frustrated? Like throwing things or storming from the room? Does he *realize* when he's growing more frustrated? How long does it take him to cool down? What strategies does he use when he's frustrated? He has SLDs? What are the triggers?

 

You're probably going to want a combo approach, with some therapies for the working memory and processing speed and whatnot and some calming/coping strategies for the self-regulation. Mighteor is going to bring in mindfulness, body awareness, calming strategies, and it will hit your working memory, EF, and processing speed. It would probably be useful to you. Also Zones of Regulation, 5 Point Scale, etc.


Edited by PeterPan, 13 February 2018 - 03:42 PM.

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#9 Crimson Wife

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:24 PM

Have you read Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up by Brian Willoughby and Ellen Braaten? That might be more focused on accommodations than you would prefer but the compensatory strategies are still important even if you also try things to directly improve processing speed as well.


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#10 exercise_guru

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:29 PM

Story girl your post just shot down my drummer idea. So did you notice any improvements in learning listening or paying attention as your son improved in drumming?

I am debating interactive metronome or drum lessons. We already do guitar but a SLP I work with told me that IM significantly improves attention. I can do IM through a home program but it is around 1000 dollars that is almost a year of drum lessons.

As for processing I think the key is to look at how your child is performing when they give 100 percent effort. Can they attend. Do they focus and recall ?
Processing is hard to seperate from attention in fact all testing is hard to do if the child isn't cooperating. It's hard to know there real potential. The original test may not have reflected your son's true ability if he wasn't cooperating.

I might start by trying to do some self testing. Ask him to name every kind of food kids can eat for breakfast. See if he can follow 3 to 4 directions . Test if he can repeat numbers back to you. Maybe there is a test online you can try.

If he is still uncooperative or if he is inattentive you might have to address that first before trying to improve processing.
If you homeschool something like brain safari might be just the thing. I would start with mighteor because self regulation is key to getting cooperation with other areas.

I am thinking of trying it but my son only gets frusterated about very specific things so if he homeschooled I would have him take a break when he is frusterated and play mighteor and then go back to the writing work that frusterated him. It's at school for us that he can get frusterated so I haven't figured out how to translate the coping mechanisms he is learning at home to a school environment

Edited by exercise_guru, 13 February 2018 - 11:43 PM.


#11 Storygirl

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:29 PM

exercise_guru, that's an interesting question about the affect of the drumming on DS's learning and attention. Hmm. It's hard to say, because he started the drum lessons at the same time that he entered brick and mortar school and stopped homeschooling (5th grade). He gets a lot of intervention help at school, and things are just different for him than they were when we were homeschooling in many ways. It would be hard to pinpoint exactly what effect drumming has had, since so many other things changed at that same time.

 

His writing has improved a lot over the last 2.5 years. I think his handwriting is slightly better but not by a lot. His composition skills have improved noticeably, but then again, he is almost three years older and has had those extra years of intervention.

 

His overall attention has not improved due to the drumming, but he has accomplished so much more musically than I would have been able to predict, and he is able not only to follow along with the rest of the band, but actually lead it by maintaining the beat as the lead percussionist. That requires a ton of attention!

 

He happens to have a fairly severe ADHD and is medicated, so it's really hard to separate out how the drumming has impacted him. But we know it has been therapeutic in unexpected ways. He is also a sensory seeker, so percussion has been great for that. I think when music is involved, he is able to hyperfocus, and some of the inattention seen the rest of the time is not as much of a factor.

 

He is due to have all of his testing updated for his IEP in the fall. The last round of testing was done just as he was first beginning the drums. If his processing scores increase at all, first it will be miraculous :p, but secondly I would guess that drumming would have played a role. It will be obvious if those scores improve, since he has been below 1%.

 

DS has NVLD, and his low processing speed goes along with that. For him, it is not just a weakness, but is part of his disability, so I don't really expect to see improvement on the testing next fall. If I do, I will report back. :001_smile:

 

DS has always been musical, so we love that drums have become a way for him to be successful, when so much of his other schoolwork is hard. I'm a big fan of trying it out, if you have a child who is willing!


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#12 Storygirl

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:41 PM

http://forums.welltr...ing-speed-15yo/

 

Found this old thread, which has a lot of good information in it.



#13 PeterPan

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:15 PM

The timing for the drumming and rhythm is in the EF portion of the brain, so the fact that he's working so hard to keep beat is therapeutic. That's a major component in IM, that effort to get the timing. IM gives you feedback and tones. If you do it for free at home with apps, you aren't getting the feedback but you're still activating that portion of the brain. 



#14 Crimson Wife

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:31 PM

 Processing is hard to seperate from attention in fact all testing is hard to do if the child isn't cooperating. It's hard to know there real potential.

 

I think it is definitely possible for a child to be paying attention but still show processing issues. I see that a lot with my SN child. She'll be able to repeat back exactly the words she heard (so she was paying attention) but then it'll take time for it to "click" in her brain. And then once she's actually had the time to process the information, she'll be able to respond to it. Think of it like someone who is a novice at a foreign language- there is additional processing time required to translate the message before understanding its meaning.


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#15 exercise_guru

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:57 PM

Your example is awesome and that is a perfect example of what auditory processing is like. It takes my son a few minutes some times to get all the information and formulate an appropriate responce.

I fixed my post above because it was poorly worded. My intent was to point out that it might be more useful to make sure that processing is the issue before trying to solve it If a child was not cooperating during testing. I have had this happen as well with my son. One test he was uncooperative and that data was pretty useless.

Now to the original post my son has auditory processing issues and we have pursued intensive therapy over the last 2 years. We just finished phase one of Fast Forword which has a processing component. The challenge is to see the improvement.....uhg sometimes it is obvious and some times it is hard ro nail down. We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. I agree with the insightful posts above. I am trying to help my son improve 10 percent here and there in hopes that overtime I can help get my son through school successfully.

Story girl I think it is incredible that your son is lead percussionist! That is awesome in so many ways. I read an article that 3.5 years of music lessons significantly changes the brain in ADHD individuals I will see if I can find it but if you do a search for music lessons and autism, ADHD and brain attention there are some good studies that show it has profound benefits on the brain. The challenge is getting them  to practice and finding ways to keep them motivated so they stick with it. Luckily my kids are pretty compliant with musical instruments but not with many other things. 

Back to the original thread for temporal processing two audiologists recomended music lessons for my son. He had some passion to learn the guitar so we pursued it. Also four different experts from different areas of the US have all suggested Interactive Metronome. Either they all drank the same kool-aid or there is something there. I have been trying to help my son with processing speed and working memory so I am traveling a similar path.

But for full disclosure my son has hearing issues not visual processing issues. His working memory is good if he reads it but it's the hearing and responding part of processing that could use a boost along with the hearing and remembering part of working memory.


Edited by exercise_guru, 14 February 2018 - 03:05 PM.

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#16 PeterPan

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:53 AM

Btw, if you google video games and processing speed, there's quite a bit of data on this. Like if you go get a Wii or a Playstation or something, it's another way to bump processing speed. For my dd, the Wii was very hard! Even simple games were hard. So for kids like that, playing video games is therapy. My personal theory is a kid with low processing speed isn't likely to get addicted to the video games either, because it's harder for them. 

 

But yeah, there's a lot of data and research behind video games and processing speed. Now whether it would carry over to other areas is a good question. You could see if there's data behind that.


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#17 Storygirl

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:08 PM

I don't know. DS13 loves video games. He's not as good at them as his brother, but he likes certain ones in particular. We have to watch his behavior with them and limit them, because he can want to overdo it. His perseverative interests change, but for awhile, he was overly attached to a game called Geometry Dash on his iPod.



#18 PeterPan

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:17 PM

Yeah, when I'm saying video games, I mean like PS4, Nintendo, etc., things with significant controls, lots of buttons. Apps like Geometry Dash are pretty straightforward. But it's interesting. You could head to Walmart or GameStop on a Friday night and see what happens. :D



#19 Lecka

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:56 PM

Geometry Dash was pretty challenging I thought. I could not get very far on it at all!

#20 Storygirl

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:33 PM

DS also likes the Wii, as well as his iPod. I would think that he would find video games frustrating in general, but he doesn't seem to.


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#21 kbutton

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:36 AM

From doing VT work and retained reflex work that (eventually) added a metronome to most body exercises we did, I would say that adding a metronome to various tasks might actually help more than you would think even if the child has rhythm. 

 

One of my kids is just starting to take up percussion, but he seems to be a natural. He has always had good rhythm. But doing certain body movements to a metronome is very difficult for him. Drumming has not been hard for him, and he also displays good rhythm on the piano. 

 

I have also noticed that he gravitates towards doing some tasks in rhythm once he realizes it helps--for instance, he'll sometimes do his spelling lists orally, and if he's stumbling over a word, he slows down and says each letter to a beat. I have noticed kids at church use rhythm to help them learn or recite Bible verses--some speak a rhythm, and some move in a rhythmic pattern. Most of the kids don't even seem to realize they do it.

 

 

 

 


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#22 ElizabethB

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 01:57 PM

If his nonsense word reading speeds are below age norms, direct work with daily nonsense word fluency drills might help.

http://www.thephonic...lesspellsu.html

Direct link to test, above is link to program to teach them and then drills.

http://www.thephonic...nseWordTest.pdf

Edited by ElizabethB, 17 February 2018 - 01:58 PM.


#23 exercise_guru

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 11:59 AM

About video games. https://www.scienced...70622103824.htm

 

I have read that mario games where they sweep from left to right and you are not first person help with tracking and visual scanning. So basically you are watching the character and they are running from left to right. It probably does improve processing speed as you have instant feedback on your motor control as you make decisions. Here is the thing though they do nothing for auditory processing and attention as far as I can tell. I have had to seek out games that have instant feedback and auditory components to build this in my son because normal video games do not do that. I also find that 1st person games even ones where they are nonviolent mess up his visual spatial aspects. I always wanted to get one of those dance games with a dance mat and get my kids into that because that is likely building both the motor and processing areas. BrainHQ has awesome games for processing and attention but I find their interface and reward system to be difficult to navigate. I do it and find it very hard to stick with. I created a kid account for my son but I do not believe he will stick with it long enough for me to see results. The science tells us 3-5 times a week for 8-12 weeks to see gains. So my recommendation is find a program that your child can do with good tracking and for that long. Cogmed puts its stake in working memory. I think processing has to come up before working memory. I am looking into braintrain and brainware safari but I suspect they  work on working memory more than processing. 

 

Interactive metronome sounds intriguing but I have yet to meet someone who did it ( its quite the investment) and raves about the results. 

 

The most important aspect is building automaticity. How do  you build automaticity because that is what gets that processing speed up is going something you are good at faster and faster. The only program I know that does this for auditory processing is fast forword. There are other auditory games that build processing but none that I have found that start with spaced out audio information and slowly build speed of comprehension. So using Crimsons analogy the speaker starts out slow and has you recognize the language and you have time to respond but over time it slowly increases the speed of the sound and decreases the  time you have to respond. 

 

 

With some kids it video games causes behavior problems. I "accidently" broke the wii for 2  years when my son was 5 because truly he had started computer games too early and the way he responded to the visual stimulation was not positive at all. 

 

 


Edited by exercise_guru, 19 February 2018 - 02:12 AM.