Working (Short Term) Memory Difficulties

May struggle to follow multi-step directions.

 

  1. Ensure verbal instructions are short and to the point i.e. one step at a time in a sequence of steps.

  2. Use of written instructions in a checklist.

  3. One task/job at a time.

  4. Use memory aids such as schedules, now and next and task pictures.

  5. Use schedules/model steps of daily tasks, then increase the individuals participation until the steps become automatic, then they can be withdrawn.

 

May struggle to process multiple information at the same time and complex instructions.

 

  1. Ensure verbal instructions are short and to the point i.e. one step at a time in a sequence of steps.

  2. Use of written instructions in a checklist.

  3. One task/job at a time.

  4. Use memory aids such as schedules, now and next and task pictures.

  5. Use schedules/model steps of daily tasks, then increase the individuals participation until the steps become automatic, then they can be withdrawn.

  6. Use visual cues/labelling etc.

  7. Encourage them to ask for help if they have forgotten a task or step.

 

May only hear part of a whole instruction (can’t hold the whole information).

 

  1. Ensure verbal instructions are short and to the point i.e. one step at a time in a sequence of steps.

  2. Use of written instructions in a checklist.

  3. One task/job at a time.

  4. Play games that involve recall of objects this can help improve working memory.

  5. Allow them to write down information that they may need to recall.

  6. Encourage them to ask for help if they have forgotten a task or step.

 

May find it hard to learn new words.

 

  1. Repetition of key words may help in learning new words. 

  2. Use visual cues/labelling etc.

  

May have poor recall of information that has just been given.

 

  1. Play games that involve recall of objects this can help improve working memory.

  2. Allow them to write down information that they may need to recall.

  3. Give information, repeat and then ask for them to repeat it to enable you to check understanding.

  4. Encourage them to ask for help if they have forgotten a task or step.

 

May take a long time to process information.

 

  1. Slow down and give time to process the information given.

  2. Simplify the information; only tell them what they need to process.

 

May become overwhelmed and overloaded when given too much information.

 

  1. See Coping Techniques section for advice.

SHINE for Autism

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