SPEED AND SPAN are two of the most significant variables in auditory processing and working memory. Students with learning issues are often challenged by both speed and span factors. WATCH Lucy and Ethel on the conveyor belt in the chocolate factory. Notice how well they do when the speed is matched to their capacity. Then, notice when the belt speeds up and they can no longer wrap the chocolates and develop ineffective strategies to manage the chocolates.
That can happen during listening, too. If the speaker's rate of speech is not a good match for the listener's processing speed, the message will be lost. If a speaker speaks quickly AND conveys a great deal of information in one sentence, it can become a challenge to process accurately. Information can be lost. The listener can become frustrated--sometimes so frustrated, the listener will no longer bother to listen.
Language therapy can mediate and improve both speed of processing and increase span for more successful and satisfying communication. In addition to language treatment, Fast ForWord and CogMed programs are often good options for remediation.