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Reply To: Think, Talk, Laugh

Rachel Barton

Hi Claire,
I don’t have experience of the resource I’m afraid but I am slightly wary of something which claims to increase processing speed: “The exercises in this workbook increase verbal processing speed so children can easily communicate their ideas and join in conversations.” I thought that there is limited evidence that processing speed can be greatly changed. It reminds me a bit of the ‘brain training’ games that claim to make you brighter but actually just train you to be better at those specific games without generalising more widely. I’m guessing that students might get faster at the games in the book but I wonder what impact it would have more widely. My understanding is that if you want students to improve at something then it is better to practice the actual thing they are required to do in class rather than something in a workbook.

This psychologist makes some good points around slow processors (I don’t know whether the child you are due to see would fit into this category but might be an interesting read):

This article is also interesting – it looks at rapid automatic naming (RAN) and the leap some have made that because better readers have faster naming abilities, that working on this must improve reading (it doesn’t).


Fundamentally if a child has issues with verbal processing and comprehension I think there can be a danger of someone recommending an SLT carries out an off the shelf programme when the main approach should be accommodations within the classroom and supporting a child to develop awareness, strategies and self-advocacy. Reading between the lines I’m wondering whether these were your thoughts when you read the EP’s report??

It would be interesting to hear others’s perspectives, I hope my thoughts are somehow helpful!
Best wishes,