Understanding Reading Processing Speed Disorder

July 26, 2012

Reading processing speed disorder is not really the official name of any condition but it is a way some people use to describe the impact that a slower brain processing speed can have on a person’s everyday life.

Processing Speed and Reading

Everyone reads at a different rate. There are those who can speed through a book in a single sitting and there are those it takes days to read the same book. If a person – especially a child – has a significant issue with brain processing speed though it can slow their reading speed to a point where keeping up with their peers can be hard.

A person with a slow brain processing speed can usually read and read very well. It merely takes longer for the visual signals that their eyes are transmitting to their brain to be processed and understood as the words on the page.

This lack of reading speed can often lead parents and teachers to believe that a child either cannot see the book properly – that the issue is a physical vision problem, or that they are having difficultly understanding the words at all. In some cases the children are even though of as lazy or disobedient.

Improving Reading and Processing Speeds

The biggest hurdle that a person with a slow brain processing speed often has to overcome is getting people to realize that this is a problem in the first place. This is especially true since the problem often manifests itself in children.

Once the issue has been recognized though it can be equally as hard for the child, their families and their teachers to decide just how the issue can be dealt with best and how reading processing speed could perhaps be improved.

There are some who are working with the issue on a research basis who think that diet may be able to make a difference, even it is only a slight one. A great deal of research into the general function of the brain has found that a chemical called acetylcholine is responsible for brain processing speed and a lack of it may cause slower speeds.

To produce enough acetylcholine a person needs to get enough choline in their diet. Choline is found in many foods but lean meats, green vegetable, especially broccoli and low fat cheeses are all great sources. These are all common foods but they may not be so common in the average Western child’s diet as they should be.

While a diet change may make a small change and is well worth trying there are also exercises being developed to help children and adults improve their brain processing speeds and therefore their reading speeds. One recent study even suggested that simpler video games might help.

A child or an adult who reads more slowly than their peers will encounter problems in school and in everyday life. However if they can be diagnosed and helped the impact of their reading processing speed disorder may be lessened significantly.

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One thought on “Understanding Reading Processing Speed Disorder

  1. Ed Scott, PhD on said:

    My 9-year-old son is having difficulty reading at grade level in third grade. We believe this is related to him having suffered Japanese encephalitis in China at age 2 and the petit mal seizures he had earlier this year. We believe his difficulty reading is related to processing, although he was not tested for that. The psychologist attributed his reading deficit to poor memory. We are looking for strategies to help him read better. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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