Memory Development Services
11 Ways To Strengthen Memory In A Child With Special Needs
Most people don’t think about the process of remembering until they experience memory loss.
- But what if the ability to hold and retrieve memories was never there?
- How do you live life like that?
- How do you learn?
Deficits in short-term memory, long-term memory and memory retrieval are common with neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, autism, cognitive impairment and learning disabilities. No two brains are exactly alike, so medical studies have had inconsistent results in identifying memory patterns across these conditions.But what if the ability to hold and retrieve memories was never there?
These are the 11 most useful methods.
- Use Procedural Memory Whenever Possible For individuals with cognitive impairment or memory loss. The cornerstone of this program is the use of procedural memory, a type of long-term memory that helps people remember how to do each step of a process. In most cases, procedural memory is more reliable than short-term memory or memories that include emotions.
To teach everything from long division and reading comprehension to self-care and chores. Instead of introducing these tasks as concepts, model of each step and increase the level of participation until the subject is able to do it independently. For example, the subject usually does not understand what he/she is reading, but he/she knows that he/she can take a list of questions and go back through a text to find the answers. And even though he/she may not understand a math problem at first, he can line up the numbers and work out the correct answer, then go back to the problem and apply that answer to the original question.
- Make A Schedule: A schedule with words, symbols or pictures is an easy way to develop procedural memory for people of all ages. Daily habits and journaling can compensate for many types of memory impairments.
- Take Lots of Photos: Episodic memory is the feeling of remembering one’s own personal history. This type of memory is what allows us to learn from past experience and predict future events. Most people do not fully develop this sense of “autobiography” until they are at least 5 years old – but with a neurological condition, it takes much longer.
we take lots and lots of photos to document our autobiographies. Photograph special occasions and everyday occurrences, happy and sad. We name people, places, dates and events. We turn them into greeting cards and theme-based scrapbooks such as “Nature Walks 2010-2012” and “Roller Coasters 2005-2011.”
- Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise has been demonstrated repeatedly in published medical studies to improve cognitive function and memory. At home try to incorporate cross-lateral exercise into our daily routine to strengthen connections between the left and right sides of the brain. Get moving with yoga, Brain Gym, Bal-A-Vis-X, swimming and bicycling.
- Relax: The stress hormone cortisol is known to alter memories, so relaxation is an important component to maintaining the integrity of memory. Meditation and regular spiritual practice are excellent tools for supporting cognitive wellness.
- Vitamins: Some types of nutrient deficiencies may contribute to memory loss. After consulting with my son’s pediatrician, I started giving him vitamin B-12 and the antioxidant coenzyme Q10. Other nutritional supplements that may help with memory are omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E
- Sensory Input: To understand what children is thinking, often follow his/her eyes so that we can see what he/she is seeing, and we watch his/her face for reactions to changes in the sensory environment. We’ve noticed that sounds, smells, colors and textures can cause a forgotten memory to raise to the surface of his/her mind. A few bars of a song will remind of the last time he/she heard that music, and a smell will remind him/her of another place with that same smell. He/she is much more likely to remember something that has a sensory experience attached to it.
- Creative Output: Having a creative outlet such as writing, photography, painting, sculpture, woodworking or jewelry making tends to reduce stress and increase memory retrieval. Make creativity part of the daily routine!
- Repetition Through Stories: Used stories to help children process events. To ask them to state both facts and emotions in each story – he/she has a thick collection of stories now. He/she reads and re-reads, writes and re-writes each one.
- Keep It Simple: Simple concepts are much easier to remember than complex concepts. Break down large ideas into smaller chunks that can be stored in long-term memory.
- Make It A Game:Memory games and exercises have been around for centuries because they really work. A game does not have to be complicated or expensive – it can be as simple as a treasure hunt or I Spy at home – but it should always be fun!