How Should My Daughter's School Help Improve Her Working Memory?


"My nine-year-old is very verbal, but her written work is poor. She was recently tested at school and scored in the ninth percentile in working memory. I asked the counselor if there were some games or activities she could do to improve this, but she said, 'That’s the way she is.' So, why did they administer the test?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Without seeing your daughter’s evaluation report, I can only generalize, but the results you cite suggest that she has executive-function difficulties.

Games or activities won’t help your daughter; specific special-education interventions will.

Since your daughter was tested by school professionals, you should request a formal meeting and ask how the school will address her areas of weakness. If they say that they won’t provide any services, you might hire a private to review the test results and to advise you on your next steps.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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