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Memory Boosters for Kids

Memory Boosters for Kids

Are you worried that your child has some short-term memory problems that’s affecting their schoolwork? Don’t give up: kids (and adults for that matter) can train their mind to hold onto incoming information.

Working memory problems have nothing to do with I.Q.—nor, in many instances, with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ). But they do make it difficult for kids to hone their reading skills or master math; most children identified as "poor readers" or “arithmetic disabled” have problems with working memory.

If you suspect your child has working memory challenges try the following tips:

  1. Reduce sensory overload. No TV while doing homework; no music while reading.
  2. Work with your child’s strengths. If he or she’s skilled visually, but doesn’t listen well, convey information through images more than spoken words.
  3. Help your child focus on one task at a time. Sequential multitasking works, overlapping does not.
  4. Teach “chunking.” Group instructions or information into bite-size packages to be digested one at a time. Ask teachers to do that with their instructions, too. 
  5. Encourage physical activity. Physical activity improves working memory. Provide brain fuel with DHA-omega-3 rich foods and supplements.
  6. Get your child evaluated by a professional. But, don’t automatically opt for medication at the first sign of a learning disability! For more info check out www.ncld.org.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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