Processing Speed

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with the speed and automaticity of cognitive skills.

Teaching Strategies

• Assess the student to determine greatest areas of need with processing and to determine an attainable goal for the student to work on.
• Provide additional time for the student to respond and complete work.
• Pair oral with visual instructions.
• Give the student advanced warning of a question for him/her to answer.
• Reduce the quantity of work expected.


• Use preferential seating to reduce distractions.
• Post reference materials for the student.
• Post and refer to a daily/class schedule.
• Use a visual timer.


• Provide additional time.
• Chunk assignments and tests into parts, with an indication of the dates/times they are due.
• Provide a choice in assessments.
• Provide written instructions and rubrics for assignments.
• Encourage the use of computers/assistive technology.
• Check to ensure that the student understands the questions.
• Use reading to / oral testing / scribing.
• Avoid the use of timed tests.
• Use a variety of test questions (short answer, true false, matching, fill in the blank).

For Purchase

Strategies for various student needs.