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“She reads a word on one page, but then has forgotten it by the next page! This makes reading a nightmare…”

images1Short-term memory weakness is one of the eight causes of reading difficulty. It can be a tricky one to pinpoint, because many parents may believe their child has a poor memory because he is guessing words that he should know. However, the guessing pattern is more likely explained by Optilexia (sight-reading techniques).

True short-term memory can be assessed by how you might answer this question about your child: “When you ask her to go fetch a sweater and shoes from her room and come right back down, does she often forget what you’ve asked by the time she’s at the top of the stairs?”

Short-term memory is designed to encapsulate things for a few seconds only. So we’re not talking about your child forgetting what he ate for lunch or what day he had swimming practice last week!

If you suspect your child has a weakness in this area, there are few online games that we’ve heard good things about from other parents. Most are free.

• Mind Games:

• These games aren’t so scientific but more fun:

• If you have an Xbox, you can try Dr. Kawashima’s Body and Brain Exercises. Seems to get diverse reviews, but some people have found it quite helpful:

• Finally, a site many people have talked about is Lumosity. They have a program that tracks progress and it changes the exercises based on performance:

Have you used any of these online games or can recommend others?

Sarah Forrest has a decent short term memory, but don’t ask her the plot of a book she read 3 months ago! She helps pinpoint the underlying causes of difficulty for struggling readers and spellers in her work as a Reading Consultant for Morgan Learning Solutions.