learning disabilities memory loss

Does poor short-term memory cause learning disability?

The short answer is yes. We, however, will highlight two types of common memory problems that can lead to difficulties in learning. They are working memory, and short-term memory.

learning disability short term memory loss

In a nutshell, short-term memory is how memory is stored, and working memory is how your child processes memory to complete tasks.

We shall highlight the difference between working and short-term memory below.

  • Short-term memory handles information that is active and readily available and it stores information for a few seconds. Poor short-term memory can cause a learning disability because learners
    • forget information on a subject they have already learned,
    • fail to complete all tasks when given a list of instructions,
    • have trouble remembering what they have just read.

So, now you know the reason for our clear answer to the question: Does poor short-term memory cause learning disability?

  • Working memory allows for the ‘management’ of stored information. Learners with weak working memory may
    • have trouble with tasks that have more than one step,
    • stop working because they have lost track of what they are supposed to do,
    • lack skills in planning and organisation,
    • have difficulty applying what they learned in a previous experience to a new situation,
    • have trouble remembering all the steps in verbal directions,
    • have trouble thinking and doing at the same time,
    • have relationships with a friend but have difficulty following conversations in a group.

Now it’s understandable that an inadequate working memory can lead to a learning disability.

learning disabilities readingTraining your child’s memory begins with reading. It is a brain-stimulating activity that needs remembering words and their meanings. It can improve short-term as well as working memory especially if you encourage your child to take notes or discuss what he/she has read.

There are many things that parents and teachers can do to support learning and achievement in learners with weak short-term and working memories. We, at Capulum College, are familiar with these disabilities and our professional team is well equipped to help your child – and to help you help your child.

Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it. – L M Montgomery

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