127. Seeing the Forest through the Trees

podcast Mar 09, 2023

Does your child struggle to pay attention? Do they have challenges with following multi-step directions? Do they lose track of what they are supposed to do? Or have difficulty applying what they know in different settings? Appear very distracted or like they are daydreaming?

If any of those things sound familiar, today’s episode may just be enlightening for you, or I hope it is anyways.  One of the brain regions that is said to be affected most by autism is the pre-frontal cortex and within the pre-frontal cortex resides our working memory.  Working memory is the system in our brain that we use to keep information immediately available to us.

Working memory affects how we learn and having a poor working memory makes everything more difficult.  Everything from learning to read, following verbal directions, or keeping up with back-and-forth conversations.  Working memory helps us stay focused when there are distractions.

Children with autism can be easily overwhelmed by many everyday experiences and unlike their typical peers, they aren’t able to automatically notice and focus on what's important or relevant in any given situation.  Many of our children are concrete thinkers right and they are focused on facts therefore, that is what they often gravitate to.

Improving working memory takes time. Don’t expect results overnight and be sure to celebrate your child’s small wins as this will motivate them to keep going.

And if you think your child struggles with working memory, I definitely recommend that you speak to a Licensed Speech and Language pathologist about your concerns and discuss options for evaluations.

Additional Resources:

Click for Webinar details


54. Understanding Memory in Autism

109. Why Waiting is so Difficult

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