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Give extra time to process


This strategy can be implemented in many ways. You can:

  • Give someone more time to accomplish tasks (such as extra time in exams
  • Pause more frequently and for longer when giving instructions
  • Don’t bunch up your directions, make sure the person you’re talking to has understood each step first
  • Don’t rush people to answer questions
  • Don’t jump in to explain something you just said simply because a person is not responding

Related difficulties and strategies 

When you ask someone a question and they seem to take too long to answer, this could mean they have a processing difficulty.

This is not necessarily related to intelligence and capacity. The person just needs longer to process what has been said and prepare an answer. For such a person, jumping in and saying the same thing in a different way will just make matters worse. They now have to process two things at once.

Processing difficulties are associated with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.


These are very simple but powerful techniques. But they require you to train yourself to behave differently.

It will seem odd to have what seems like long gaps in your conversation. But it will ensure that the people you speak to understand your words better