Becca invited her friend Trisha over for lunch, and then to go swimming and fishing at the lake. She was excited to tell Trisha that she had learned a great way to catch lots of fish. “You take a handful of Wheaties and get them wet,” she said. “Then you make a ball out of the soggy Wheaties and put it on the hook. The fish love it!”
Trisha was so excited she ran straight home to gather her things. She grabbed an inner tube, towel and tackle box, and remembered little else.
When she got to Becca’s house, Trisha asked, “Now tell me again. Why are we having Wheaties for lunch?” Becca laughed, “The Wheaties aren’t for us – they’re for the fish!”
When the girls got to the lake, Trisha couldn’t swim because she’d forgotten her bathing suit. So they decided to go fishing instead and see how well the Wheaties worked as bait. As Trisha picked up her tackle box, she discovered that she’d left her fishing rod at home.
Discouraged, Becca wondered, “How did you forget the two things we needed most?” “I don’t know,” said Trisha with a sheepish grin. “I guess you were telling me so many things, and I was so excited, and I got mixed up.”
A language-based learning disability can make it a challenge to remember details correctly, and that can strain relationships. As Trisha begins to recognize the circumstances where she experiences trouble, she can manage it by asking her friend to slow down and repeat the important facts.
Trisha could repeat back the important facts, to make sure she has everything straight, and she didn’t miss anything. She could get into the habit of making notes on her phone, or in a notebook, when the details are important. And for recurring events such as an art lesson, she could make a checklist of the items she needs to bring with her.
Parents can help younger children strengthen their “memory muscles” by playing memory games with them. Make your own memory game by making cards with pictures of fruit, types of cars, animals – whatever would interest your child.
Another way to build memory is to name favorite cereals at the grocery store, and ask your child to repeat them back in the same order.
Blogger Sandi Staud shares her expertise on diagnosis and intervention for learning disability in early childhood. If you have questions, please contact Director of Learning Programs Carmen Mendoza at .