Processing Speed Disorders – Understanding the Basics

July 26, 2012

Processing speed disorders is the general term given to a set of learning difficulties that can impact children in learning and then as adults in everyday life. as they are becoming better understood the problem is being recognized more often but it is still a difficult one to deal with.

What is Processing Speed

The human brain is a very hardworking organ indeed. It has the task of dealing with every signal it is sent and then formulating the correct way to react to those signal in milliseconds. These signals come from nerves all over the body in relation to movement and pain, from the eyes and from the ears.

If a person’s brain has a slower processing speed then these reactions are all slowed as well, something that can lead to all kinds of problems, especially when it comes to learning. Sometimes though a person may only have a problem processing one certain kind of signal while they may do well with another.

Visual Processing Speed Disorder

Visual processing speed disorder tends to be the most common speed processing disorder. this means that the brain is slower to react to the visual signals it is sent. This means that they will read more slowly than others might which can certainly impact their learning at school.

It can also be a problem in life too. A person who has a slower visual processing speed may take slightly longer to react to certain everyday things – the color of a traffic light for instance – than others. In this case that could even be rather dangerous of course if their reactions to a red light are too slow.

Auditory Processing Speed Disorder

On the other hand there are those who have a problem with the speed at which their brain reacts to auditory signals.

In a classroom setting this can make note taking – a common task for students of all ages – almost impossible to achieve properly. If their brain is moving a little more slowly in relation to the information their ears are sending to them it won’t be too long before they are simply too far behind in what is being said to make proper notes that make sense at all.

Often these students are sadly misunderstood. They are mistaken for lazy, disobedient or not as intellectually capable as others. This is not the case. In fact may people with all kinds of speed processing disorders actually fall into the gifted category in terms of intelligence.

If a person is fortunate enough to have their problem recognized then it can be better dealt with. There are certain exercises that seem to help improve brain processing speeds in general and they can be implemented. There are also those who believe, because of emerging research, that a diet change can make a difference as well.

The one thing that people with speed processing disorders really need most though is that others understand their condition. Then the issues that are being caused by processing speed disorders can begin to be addressed.