Skip to main content

Working Memory and its Importance to Children

By 25 June 2020No Comments
           Working memory is an example of an executive function. Working memory is involved in goal-directed behavior in which information is processed and manipulated to make sure tasks are completed. Children use working memory for many things in their life such as remembering to complete their homework, directions, math equations to apply to questions and so much more. As you can see, working memory is crucial. Working memory is located in the frontal-parietal brain areas. There are different work memory subsystems. Some subsystems include the central executive, visuospatial sketchpad, phonological loop, and episodic buffer. Working memory is important for children because it is needed for reasoning, learning and comprehension. Children who have a deficit in this executive functioning find it more difficult to complete your everyday tasks. For example children with dyslexia have impairments with the phonological loop. The phonological loop deals with spoken and written material. This area allows children to hold words they hear and repeat words in a loop. If this is impaired then children have difficulty with literacy. Another disorder that has deficits in working memory is ADHD. Working memory deficits that come with ADHD have to do with the central executive subsystem. The central executive system is basically the boss of working memory.  The central executive’s functions include choosing which information to attend to and which other subsystems to send that information to be dealt with. For instance, a child is riding a bicycle and talking to their friend. This is where the central executive comes in; it directs your attention and gives priority to another activity. So in this case, instead of  the child hitting someone on the road, they stop talking to concentrate on riding. Children with ADHD have a harder time prioritizing tasks when given multiple directions. 
               Although children with dyslexia and ADHD have working memory impairments, they are various things parents can do to improve their children’s working memory skills. For example there are various games you can play with your child to enhance their working memory. Some games that you they can play are: Distraction, Sushi go!, 5 second rule, Blue Plate Scramble and Sleeping queens. Playing these games are tons of fun for children and at the same time they are bettering their work memory skills for the future.