Processing refers to how the brain takes in, uses, stores, retrieves, and expresses information.
There are many, maybe hundreds of ways in which the brain processes different kinds of information. But the CPI focuses on six main types of processing that are believed to be most responsible for learning:
Clarification of the 6 general processing domains:
Visual Processing involves how well a student can use visual information. When they see something, especially something complex, do they understand it quickly and easily. Can they 'visualize' things (like pictures, shapes, words, etc.) in their head? Can they remember information that they see?
Visual Processing includes:
Students with a general visual processing disability often experience most learning difficulty in the areas of math and spelling because they have trouble 'visualizing' words, letters, symbols, etc.
Specific difficulties may include:
Auditory Processing involves how well a student can understand auditory information. Can they 'keep up' when people talk very fast? Can they tell voices apart easily (even on the phone)? Can they imagine the voices of familiar people in their head? Can they remember information that they hear?
Auditory Processing includes:
Students with a general auditory processing disability usually have most difficulty with general reading, general writing, and language (understanding and expressing). Specific difficulties may include:
Sequential/Rational processing appears to be the main filing system in the brain. It involves organizing and memorizing specific bits of information including facts, figures and formulas. This is very much like a computer organizes and stores information. How well does a student remember details (like names, addresses, facts, etc.)? How organized are they?
Sequential/Rational processing includes:
Students experiencing a general Sequential/Rational processing disability often have most learning difficulties in the areas of basic reading, math computation, expressive language, and writing mechanics. Specific difficulties may include:
Conceptual/Holistic processing involves looking for 'the big picture', overall patterns and underlying concepts for use in higher-order thinking, creating, and reasoning. Conceptual/holistic filing is like throwing things into boxes with very general labels.
Conceptual/Holistic (right-brain) processing includes:
Students experiencing a general conceptual/holistic processing disability often perform quite well during early school years but later experience much difficulty with reading comprehension, math reasoning, and creative writing. Specific difficulties may include:
Processing Speed refers to how fast information travels through the brain. All LD students experience some processing speed difficulty when required to process information through their weakest processing 'channel' or 'modality'. But for other LD students, a general weakness in processing speed causes difficulty in all processing areas.
It is like having the brain work at 40 miles per hour when the rest of the world (and all the information) is going 55 miles per hour. Such students just can't keep up.
Processing Speed affects:
Students experiencing a general Processing Speed disability often have learning difficulties in all academic areas due to their inability to process all types of information quickly. Specific difficulties may include:
Executive Functioning refers to the overall ability to manage or regulate all of the various cognitive and emotional processes. This involves initiation, planning, organization, and execution of various tasks as well as the ability to cope with transitions or regulate emotional responses. Weakness in this area is often associated with an attention deficit disorder.
Executive Functioning skills involve:
ability to stay focused on tasks
ability to plan and anticipate
organization of thoughts and materials
ability to follow-through and complete tasks
ability to cope with unstructured situations
ability to cope with changes in routine
ability to regulate emotions
Students experiencing general Executive Functioning difficulties often struggle academically with work-completion, organization, and motivation for any task which is perceived as difficult, frustrating, or simply unappealing. Specific
difficulties may include:
motivation when material is 'boring'
speed/fluency - skipping words or lines
difficulty seeing the 'relevance'
difficulty maintaining motivation to complete practice worksheets
planning lengthy assignments
paying attention - easily distracted by surroundings
following specific directions
ability to keep school a 'priority'
Return to the LDinfo Web Site to find out about any of the following topics (and more):
Learning disabilities - what is a learning disability (LD or SLD)?
Dyslexia: Dyslexia is a reading disability or reading disorder
Dysgraphia Dysgraphia is a writing disability or disorder
Dyscalculia Dyscalculia is a math disability or disorder
What is an attention deficit disorder (ADD, AD/HD, ADHD)?
Gifted LD: Can a student be gifted and LD?
Emotional/Behavioral issues and LD: Do LD students experience behavior problems or depression?
Section 504: What is a Section 504 plan?
What is special education?
What is processing?
What is a severe discrepancy?
What is a nonverbal learning disability (nonverbal LD or NLD)?
What is a central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)?
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