How Weak Cognitive Skills Contribute to Learning Struggles
Q: What are cognitive skills?
A: Cognitive skills are the foundational tools we use to think and learn.
Q: What happens when one or more cognitive skills are weak?
A: When one or more cognitive skills are weak, it can impact how efficiently we grasp, process, remember, and apply what we are trying to learn. Most parents say they notice their child's or teen's confidence decrease.
Q: What are the symptoms of weak cognitive skills?
A: Struggling in school is a "big-picture" example of a what happens when one or more brain skills are weak. But more specifically, you may notice the following symptoms:
When sustained attention is weak:
Signs that sustained attention skills may be weak include jumping from project to project, and/or always being surrounded by unfinished projects.
When selection attention is weak:
Signs that selective attention skills may be weak include being easily distracted and/or jumping from task to task.
When divided attention is weak:
Signs that divided attention skills may be weak include not being able to multitask, or making frequent mistakes.
When auditory processing is weak:
Signs that auditory processing skills may be weak include having difficulties learning to read, or struggling with reading fluency or comprehension.
When visual processing is weak:
Signs that visual processing skills may be weak include struggling to understand what you’ve just read, remembering what you’ve read, following directions, reading maps, doing word math problems.
When working memory is weak:
Signs that working memory skills may be weak include having to read the directions again in the middle of a project, experiencing difficulty following multi-step directions, forgetting what was just said in a conversation.
When long-Term memory is weak:
Signs that long-term memory skills may be weak include forgetting names, doing poorly on tests, forgetting things you used to know.
When logic & reasoning is weak:
Signs that logic & reasoning skills may be weak include frequently asking “What do I do next?” or saying “I don’t get this,” struggling with math, feeling stuck or overwhelmed.
When processing speed is weak:
Signs that processing speed is weak include the ongoing feeling that tasks are more difficult for you than for other people, taking a long time to complete tasks for school or work, frequently being the last one in a group to finish something.
Q: What can I do to determine if my student has one or more weak cognitive skills?
A: You can start by taking this FREE 3-minute online brain quiz:
Alternatively, you can schedule a Brain Skills Assessment by calling 866-BRAIN-01.