The term “processing speed” (PS) encompasses many components including perceptual, cognitive, and output speed. Processing speed is typically defined as speed of completion of a task with reasonable accuracy; PS measures include such disparate tasks as quickly associating numbers with symbols (e.g., Coding from the WISC), searching for and responding to specific targets, and rapid naming of visual stimuli (Kibby et al., 2019)
Processing-Speed index measures a child’s ability efficiently to scan and understand visual information and complete a task with the data
What medications increase this? Hint…..college students love them
Methylphenidates increase the processing speed
When any of us feel anxious, we freeze for a moment. During that time, we are not processing information as fast as we might otherwise be. We may take longer to respond, make decisions, or size up situations. That is how anxiety can impact processing speed.
Children with ADHD may benefit from stimulant medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, or Vyvanse. This type of medication may not directly increase actual processing speed but can often help with activation and focus, increasing a child’s work pace (Low, 2020).
Kibby, M. Y., Vadnais, S. A., & Jagger-Rickels, A. C. (2019). Which components of processing speed are affected in ADHD subtypes? Child neuropsychology: a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence, 25(7), 964–979. https://doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2018.1556625 (Links to an external site.)
Low, K. (2020). Tips for Helping a Child Who Has ADHD and Slow Processing Speed Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/helping-a-child-who-has-adhd-and-slow-processing-speed-20822 (Links to an external site.)
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