Working Memory – Improving Your Child’s Working Memory
What is Working Memory?
Working memory is what helps children retain information long enough to make use of it. It plays a vital role in the ability to concentrate and follow directions. If a child has poor working memory, it can affect his or her learning skills in a number of subject areas.
Think of it this way: you go to the store without a shopping list because, “Oh, I’ll remember what I need…” Then, when you get home you realise that you actually forgot several things. If you can relate to that, you understand the limits of working memory.
Working memory is the same as short-term memory. It accounts for the mental notes we take to keep information in our minds until we need to use it. After that, our brains generally dump the information. Think about it – what did you buy at the supermarket three weeks ago?
Working memory is foundational to developing good learning skills. If a child has poor working memory, odds are he or she will under-perform in school and have difficulty maintaining an understanding of rudimentary concepts. This can have a serious impact on learning how to read, write and do even the most simple maths.
You’ve most likely heard people say, “I’m a visual learner,” and you’ve likely heard people say, “I don’t do well on standardised tests.” Working Memory is either auditory or visual/spatial, so the former is really saying, “I have poor auditory memory.” The latter is saying, “I have poor visual memory.” The two are closely related and research has shown that one can affect the other. Specifically, auditory issues can cause and even masquerade as visual issues.
Our ability to effectively listen has a direct correlation with our overall ability to learn. This is why, in my practice, I tend to focus on the auditory aspect of poor working memory – it is the culprit in a majority of cases, even if it seems like the issue is visual. Learning how to listen also teaches the brain how to concentrate on the things we see.
Improving Working Memory
So how do we approach the problem? I believe (and have observed in numerous children) that the vast majority of these issues can be managed or even eliminated through the use of certain therapies, most predominantly TOMATIS® Sound Therapy.
TOMATIS® Sound Therapy literally teaches the brain how to listen more effectively. It has been able to help children all over the world overcome poor working memory and given them the ability to:
• Remember instructions better
• Pay closer attention in school and to parents
• Learn how to read
• Learn how to do maths
• Increase self-esteem and reduce stress
If your child is struggling in school, if he or she has trouble following simple directions or grasping the core concepts necessary to complete simple tasks, then, pick up your phone and call me. I have helped children all over Australia overcome the limitations of poor working memory and I can help yours as well.