Evidence-based strategies for processing speed

Evidence-based strategies are those that have been evaluated by researchers within school settings, and found to be effective.

Consider routines and time provided

Allow more time

Give more time to complete tasks. Allowing more time for them to finish tasks and avoiding timed tests can provide them with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding.

Create a consistent daily routine

Expectations and routines help a student know what is planned for the day so that they know what to do if they have missed instructions. Consider using a daily visual schedule with a timer or clock that students can see at all times. 

Get students to re-read things

“Repeated reading”, or getting students to re-read material, may be helpful for students who take more time to read and process written information.

Consider adjustments to communication style

Repeat and simplify instructions

Use simple words and repeat. Consider breaking down big tasks into smaller ones. For example, give step-by-step instructions or visual instructions (such as pictures). It may be helpful to check their understanding before moving on to the next step or activity. For example, ask them to repeat instructions or answer questions.

Use visual instructions

Visual instructions about how to do something might be needed. Consider using a visual schedule, written notes, poster or video to outline or model the task.

Provide lots of opportunities to practise

Offer fewer tasks with more opportunities to practise
This is better than offering many tasks with little opportunity to practise.