South Brisbane Psychology - Children, Teen & Adults. Tel: 3133 0610
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Why Assess Memory in Children?


At Brilliant Minds Psychology we use The Children's Memory Scale™ (CMS) in order to provide a comprehenisve learning and memory test for children up to 16 years of age.   This is often combined with a cognitive assessment using the WISC-IV and othertimes combined with an academic achievement test (WIAT-11).

Why Assess Memory?

  • Memory plays a vital role in assessing learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders
  • Testing Memory helps to plan remediation and intervention strategies for school and clinical settings

CMS measures learning in a variety of memory dimensions:

  • Attention and working memory
  • Verbal and visual memory
  • Short- and long-delay memory
  • Recall and recognition
  • Learning characteristics


Characteristics of children with poor working memory

  • incomplete recall, such as forgetting some or all of the words in a sentence, or of a sequence of words

  • failing to follow instructions, including remembering only the part of a sequence of instructions, or forgetting the content of an instruction 

  • place-keeping errors – for example, repeating and/or skipping letters and words during sentence writing, missing out large chunks of a task

  • task abandonment – the child gives up a task completely (can lead to neg. self esteem, learned hopelessness)

  • Poor academic progress

  • Problems combining processing with storage

  • Place-keeping difficulties

  • Teachers say: short attention span and highly distractible ​

Learning difficulties can occur because memory loads of learning activities can be too high, leading to task incompletion/failure, and lost learning opportunities.  Awareness of memory difficulties, especially short term memory can put in place an intervention to minimise learning difficulties by reducing working memory overload!!!

A full assessment will provide recommendations and strategies for your child in the school and home environment.  

Some strategies for Working Memory Difficulties are noted below. (Gathercole and Alloway)

- Advise teachers to break down tasks and instructions into smaller components.

- Prompt kids with regular reminders of what they need to do next to finish a task. 

- Teaching children to ask questions

- Ask children to repeat key information back.

-Special training in the use of memory aids--like note-taking.