What's Working Memory?

WM is a thinking skill that focuses on the ability to remember and apply relevant information while in the middle of an activity, such as cooking, playing games, studying and more. Children who have ADHD often have deficient Working Memory – not always, but usually.


For children who have problems with WM, they have a hard time remembering their parents’ or teachers’ instructions on completing homework. Other challenges include recalling rules for a game or a sport, or completely any other tasks that involve calling up important information to complete the task.


There are two kinds of WM: auditory memory and visual-spatial memory. The difference lies in hearing vs seeing: auditory memory records what you’re hearing. Visual-spatial memory helps you capture what you’re seeing. In order to access the information that you’ve seen or heard, you have to be able to keep that information in your head, even as new information is arriving and being incorporated.


For children who have WM issues, it’s difficult to grab the current information while also holding onto new incoming information. This means that they have less material to work with when they are performing a task, such as reading and completing a word problem in math. They have to listen for clue words that indicate which operation to use to solve the problem, while also remembering numbers that have to be plugged into the equation.


This is just an example of how WM can affect our children’s day-to-day tasks. Thankfully, there are ways to improve WM issues!


Here at Learn 2 Focus, we have multiple programs that can help your child have stronger WM skills, such as Interactive Metronome, Fast ForWord and Cogmed. Memory booster tasks and video games targeting WM skills can strengthen and improve WM for almost any child. Feel free to contact me if you might have any questions.