Understanding problems with working memory

Children (and adults) with dyslexia can have trouble with their working memory. These are the short-term memories that we use when we are doing a task such as following instructions or adding two or three numbers together. This can affect performing a series of tasks such as getting dressed, making a sandwich and maths ability. It also affects reading; having figured out each sound in a word, remembering what those sounds to make the whole word can be tricky.

Here are some ways to help with working memory:

  • Explain what the end result of the task will be and why so that the child understands the outcome, eg you need to have warm clothes on to be ready for school.
  • Only give one or two instructions at a time, eg please put your socks on, then put your shoes on. In maths, this may mean giving only one part of a sum at a time.
  • Present the instructions in the order they are to be followed (so not ‘put your shoes and socks on’).
  • If necessary, repeat instructions and ask your child to tell you what they have understood.
  • If you can, and especially for a new task, show the child what you mean as well as say it.
  • Give them time to process and respond to these instructions, then carry them out, before offering further instructions, eg now get your coat from the hook and put it on.
Understanding that your child may have problems with their working memory and adjusting how you instruct them but also your expectations, will hopefully make life slightly less fraught – especially in the mornings!
By |2024-02-29T11:02:20+00:00February 26th, 2024|Latest news, Team blog|0 Comments

Volunteers with dyslexia needed for psychology research

Doctoral research student Ella-Joy Osofisan is based at Richmond University and London South Bank University. She is looking for volunteers to help with her executive function research into performance of computer- and paper-based tasks.

Volunteers should:

  • Be aged between 18 and 40
  • Be a native English speaker
  • Have proof of a dyslexia diagnosis, eg a dyslexia assessment

Volunteers will receive a £35 Amazon voucher.

Can you help? More details are here.


By |2023-04-26T15:55:48+01:00April 25th, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

New Spotlight session on dyslexia and executive function skills

Monday 24 April, 6 to 7.30 pm

Executive functions are a family of three core brain processes: inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. These three core executive functions work together in different ways resulting in a set of other high-order skills called executive function skills. There are 11 executive functions skills including time-management, organisation, planning, emotional control and response inhibition.

Many neurodivergent people experience executive function challenges. As part of this talk, expert Victoria Bagnall will look at:

  • the links between Dyslexia and executive functioning
  • how executive functions impact physical health and mental wellbeing throughout life
  • how executive functions impact teaching and learning
  • introduce a 3-step approach to supporting the development of these essential skills.

Find out more and book.

By |2023-07-12T14:57:40+01:00February 20th, 2023|Course news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments


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