21 Effective Memory Strategies for Special Needs Children

Are you looking for strategies to help your special education student improve their memory skills? If so, keep reading.

  1. Teach the student to identify main points, essential facts, etc.
  2. Teach the student to rely on resources in their surroundings to recall information (e.g., notes, textbooks, images, etc.).
  3. When the student is required to recall information, give auditory signals to help the student remember the information (e.g., keywords, a brief oral description to clue the student, etc.).
  4. Assess the meaningfulness of the content to the student. Knowledge acquisition is more likely to happen when the learning content is meaningful, and the student can relate to real experiences.
  5. Correlate the information being presented to the student’s prior learning experience s.
  6. Provide the student specific categories and have the student name as many things as possible within that category (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.).
  7. Provide the student a sequence of words or images and have the student name the class to which they belong (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.).
  8. Assist the student in employing memory aids to recall words (e.g., a name might be linked to another word; for example, “Mr. Green is a very colorful person.”).
  9. Provide the student a sequence of words describing objects, persons, places, etc., and have the student find the opposite of each word.
  10. Urge the student to play word games such as HANGMAN®, SCRABBLE®, Password™, etc.
  11. Get the student to finish “fill-in-the blank” sentences with appropriate words (e.g., objects, persons, places, etc.).
  12. Inform the student what to listen for when being given instructions, receiving information, etc.
  13. Assess the appropriateness of the memory learning activities to ascertain (a) if the task is too complicated, and (b) if the duration of time scheduled to finish the task is sufficient.
  14. Tag objects, persons, places, etc., in their surroundings, to help the student recall their names.
  15. Make sure the student receives information from an assortment of sources (e.g., texts, discussions, films, slide presentations, etc.) to enable memory/recall.
  16. Teach the student listening skills (e.g., stop working, look at the person delivering questions and instructions, have appropriate note-taking learning materials, etc.).
  17. Teach the student instruction-following skills (e.g., stop doing other things, listen carefully, write down essential points, wait until all instructions are given, question any guidelines not grasped, etc.).
  18. Explain objects, persons, places, etc., and have the student name the things described.
  19. Get the student to record directions, explanations, instructions, lectures, etc. The student may replay the information as needed.
  20. Spotlight essential information the student reads (e.g., instructions, reading tasks, math word problems, etc.).
  21. Consider using an education app to help the student enhance their memory. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.
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