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Terri Mauro

Memory Loss in Children

By March 12, 2009

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Do you have a child with memory problems? A parent on the Parenting Special Needs Forum is looking for parents whose child has a problem like hers, something she hasn't been able to find a name for yet. Writes Sherii:

"My daughter was born with a memory problem. She cannot retain day-to-day information in her short term-memory long enough to transfer it to her long-term memory. It is like the movie 50 First Dates at times. She is in a special class now (grade 5) but only has a grade 1/2 skills. From outward appearances she looks like the other children in the regular classes, which causes problems with the other learning disabled children in her class. Then to top it all off the students from regular classes alienate her because she is in the special class. She forgets friends and family members at times, panics when she can't find me, and to take her on outings sometimes causes me to age. :) I have tried to find info on the Web on her problem, but I can't even put a name to it, so that makes it hard to find help. It is very heartbreaking and very frustrating."

If you can provide this parent with some information and support, stop by the forum and help her out.

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March 18, 2009 at 8:27 am
(1) dawn says:

I truly feel for you and admire your strength with your daughters condition. I don’t know the name of the condition you speak of, but I did see that movie. There might have been more information on the commentary section, if your able to rent it again about people with this condition.
My daughter had been victim of TBI, 10 months of age, and had second surgery after the intial accident at age 1/12 years old. Thus, short term memory issues with paralasis, but nothing remotely discribes your walk in life to assist your child morning noon and night, 24 hours a day. But I’m possible their are others that have. Shriners Hospital was very helpful to us over the years with my child. Since families come all over the world you make connections with many parents sharing similar situations. We sit and just brainstorm. Sharing really helps because we are never alone unless we choose to be.
Repetative stimlation to the brain in all forms is always the start to trigger the mind for response. Simplist start is always picture form. Flash cards with what you want to keep in that memory bank. You go from what a baby would see and feel and work your way up. Repeating over and over, making it a game of matching later. Wonderful tool, that memory game, works for numbers, letters, photo’s of family, friends.
It is tiresome, so you need others to play in your place.

My child is now in H.S. Her education left her with many learning gaps, since in early years of school everything didn’t make sense to her till she started to mature mentally and allow herself to grow. School end up skipping over what ever a child just doesn’t grasp. Then you have to reteach it. That’s the problem. Holes in the system when we move children foward before they are able to master their skills. Everyone will have a different view point on this and every case, and child is different. So we can’t compare.
One thing is a fact. Repetition in all forms.

In my daughters world she only cared about fitting in socially when moved from 5th to 6th grade. As that seemed the most important. Boy do I have the stories on those years. Between students, staff and other families. Now as she has mastered more skills she has gained the self confidence to work hard on her education. The light has turned on..

I don’t know what to call it. Blessed,lucky, all they above I feel,But our daughter to me is a miracle. Since she had her disability early in life she doesn’t really see herself as others have. But those in outside world have been cruel. Mostly the girls at school.
There were some teachers that have helped in those years by demonstrating what another’s world might be like. A blind person’s world. Person with lost limb. In wheel chair. Some of this Roll play in schools have toned down the nasty glare, or inappropriate comments some students have made. Even parents have been more understanding. It can be tuff for a parent to bear. Then try being that person.
Keep researching all you can for your child. Try and get the rest you need. Without you, she will be alone. Find your support groups and true friends, extra care givers and use them to regain your inner self, strength that will allow you to teach others as well. Dawn

January 16, 2010 at 12:12 am
(2) Kim says:

You might want to look at the website. Brain Highways in Encinitas Ca. I did observe there and am extremely curious myself and have a niece with the same problem and am looking for a solution for her as well on the east coast. I am a Special Educator and would love to get trained by brain highways to bring it to my school.

November 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm
(3) Adrienne Morford says:

My daughter is 9 and has been tested as learning disabled, ADHD, delayed by 2yrs in the past year. It took several years to just to get to this point of help for my daughter. I would first need to take you back to her birth, she was weighted in at 11.5 lbs. born at 8mths at 36wks. She was out of the hospital for 3 day and became very sick, and was readmitted for 5 days in NICU on an IV antibotic drip for the 5 days. During this time the Dr ran a long panel of test, and couldn’t find any reason for her illness.

Her development seemed rather normal up to about age 2 1/2, when I noticed she was having problems with her memory. Through teaching her numbers, shapes, colors, and alphabet at this age, I was also running an home daycare with children of the same age group as my daughter. I started seeing the issues of her memory, I brought this up with the Dr which said she would be fine.

I was very observant from that point on. Kindergarden came and all students where tested for all day classes, only the children that need all day class were selected. I was informed by the teacher that she was by fare the the furthest behind starting kindergarden of all her class students. My daughter was unable to say the alphabet by memory, nor could she identify but a few letters. She could only count to 10, but couldn’t identify no numbers. The same with colors and shapes.

Now she is in the 4th grade and we have been told that she still dosen’t have the basics of learning down. She is at a 1 grade level, and every years she becomes even further behind. The school has found the repetive learning is a good method for her, but still she has memory problems.

I like you have had little to no help in figuring out what Leah my daughters memory issue’s are. I have tried and tried to get her help and to solve this problems

January 11, 2011 at 8:36 am
(4) Sarah says:

I am an instructional aide working towards my masters degree in education. I also have worked with children with memory retention problems. The only thing that seems to work for us is working one-on-one with these types of students and constant repetition, incremental step-by-step procedures and simple tasks. Work with your children at home everyday in small steps and you will see results. Also, be an advocate for your children. Do not let administration push your child away to get the help they rightly need and deserve. Be persistent and don’t give up. You’re child’s future depends on how strong you can be for them to get the help they need. Good luck!

May 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm
(5) Cathy says:

I have a daughter who is 15 years old, and in 9th grade. When she was in the 7th grade she started having memoy issues. After seeing a Pediatric Neurologist, and MRI, we were told that she had a cleft in her right temporal lobe (short term/long term memory). She does become frustrated from time to time. She had always been in a private school and is now in a public school here in Southern California. She has a 1 on 1 Aide, with her everyday at school. She escorts my daughter to every class, takes notes, while my daughter attempts to take notes, just like every other child in school. I understand it is scary for the children that have to go through something like this. They look just like every other child, and the students that are with them at school can’t begin to understand. We always try to keep everything positive for our daughter, and expect her to repeat herself over and over. Very simular to 50 First Dates. Hang in there!!!! I look every day for people that are going through this, and might have some words of encouragement. I always tell her that it is a blessing that she has what she has.

June 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm
(6) Lisa says:

My 12 year old daughter is a identical twin that from birth had developmental delay. She was like living with a person with Alzheimer, I took her to several peds and they said she had vertigo she had a simple learning disorder you name it I heard it. She has been in IEP since 1st grade.Her teachers instructed me on how I can help her by spending more time teaching her at home, its hard to teach a child who can’t retain anything.I was over stressed and needed answers what was wrong with my child? Well I found a ped who referred me to a neurologist where they gave her a EEG and a Mri. They found that she had sclerosis of her left hippocampus which affects memory and the process of learning. Also she had epilepticform discharges, they put her on latramagine to control seizure activity. She’s going into the 7th grade at a 3rd grade level, this will be long-term for her and me. I’ve learned to adapt for her she will always have this problem. And I sympathize with all of you.

July 21, 2011 at 6:33 am
(7) claire says:

my daughter is nearly 11years old and after all these years of her struggling in school and getting further behind from everyone else in her class she has been diagnosed with short term memory loss. i new something wasnt right with her and we had taken her for tests years ago and they came back she was average for her age yet she was struggling and falling further behind and it was only when i mentioned to the teacher that she kept forgetting what she was suppose to be doing that they did some test on her memory. she goes to high school next year yet she is at the level of an infant child at school how will she manage with all the work they have to do she is so far behind now at school she will never catch up.

August 15, 2012 at 5:28 am
(8) Maria says:

It is so lovely to find others who are dealing with this. Our daughter is now 12yrs old, school didn’t work at all for her (they refused to accpet she has difficulties learning) now she’s home educated, she’s coming on in leaps and bounds, she’s learnt to read and can do basic maths, but more importantly, she’s making friends.

She struggles with conversations he can’t hold the words long enough in her short term memory to decode them and formulate a reply, on a good day she can remember the alphabet, on a bad day it’s gone, we’ve mastered days of the week and are working on months. Give her something technical, not language based, and she runs rings around me.

She learns better and retains info better if it has a social context, so we use lots of visual timetables for her, and that really helps too.

The hardest thing is trying to explain her difficulties, she looks fine, and it’s only when she smiles at you completely blankly that we realise she’s out of her depth and can step in to help.

Hopefully some up and coming appointments in Neuro will help shed a bit of light on it all for her.

October 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm
(9) tammy says:

My son has epilepsy, was diagnosed at age seven, had seizures sence three years old.Now diagnosed with ADD.
He is in fouth grade but at a second grade level. He has short term memory loss. he forgets things as soon as he learns them expecially with math and reading.he struggles with school and homework.He does great with everyday life.He just struggles with school.
The school helps with his IEP tearcher but i dont think it is enough.

September 11, 2013 at 2:01 am
(10) Melody says:

I have a 10 year old son, he was dignosed with autism but high functioning. He struggles highly with short term memory. At first doctors would say that he is a boy and they learn slower. I don’t want to except that. I have been wanting to HS him for awhile. He is in a special ed class but like someone said above he needs to have repeative work in school. That is not happening. My son also struggles with sleep disorder. We are in the mist of having him tested for lower Oxygen while sleeping and depriving the brain of healthy levels. I’m hoping this is the anwser. I sympatize with parents that have worry about this in children.

January 9, 2014 at 8:44 pm
(11) carol says:

Melody – when you say sleep disorder – can you explain exactly what you mean? Trying to see if your child’s symptoms match my son’s.

March 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm
(12) Sandra says:

Melody, your situation sounds similar to mine. What ended up happening?

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