Try to explain the purpose of the task you want the learner to perform, as many APDs are visual spatial learners who respond better to the whole concept, rather than asking them to perform an abstract exercise
E.g. if they are to practise spellings or “wr” words tell them the purpose is to distinguish them from “r” spelling words etc.
Use the same vocabulary for specific task requests, and be very precise with your instructions, allowing the learner to complete each stage before going on to the next.
E.g. Ask the learner to “put his pencils in the pot” and then “put his book on the pile”, instead of asking him to “tidy up”.
There is a need to build up a process of associations so that general requests can eventually be used.
Always present instructions in small easy steps to avoid confusion, allowing sufficient time to complete one section before going on to the next.
Make sure the learner understands what they are expected to do and encourage them to ask for help. As a precautionary measure check with them in case they do not have the confidence to do so.
Those with APD are not immediately aware that they have not understood something that has just been explained to them.
Many can train themselves to just listen to a speaker, and try to record the message in their long-term memories and then replay it later to try and make sense of what was said.
When doing this they will not try to ask questions as it stops the recording flow, and cannot answer questions asked of them.
(i) Oral information may, at first, appear to have made sense, but when they have to reproduce this information they may have not have fully understood or processed (retained) all the information needed to gain a full understanding.
(ii) Sometimes they will have not processed part of the message, and will be unaware of this,
e.g. they may go away and complete a task but miss out a vital component.
(iii) Sometimes they will not have processed any part of the message.
They will be totally unaware that they have missed anything, until they are asked about that message at a later date.
They will act as if they have not heard it.
(iv) It has been noted that the delayed processing coping strategy has been developed by adults with APD and by teenagers with APD.
Most adults have developed this coping strategy subconsciously,
but some teenagers may have developed it and may have been encouraged to use this skill to help themselves.
This delayed processing is done using the long term memory like a video recorder, but like most filing systems it sometimes takes a long time to find the correct file, with the right contents, just when you need it.
(v) APD learners use their short-term memories for their daily coping routines; which they need for their priority survival needs and young children do instinctively.
Adults may be able to select their priority routines with regard to their careers, or whatever they consider to be their main life priority, and that priority governs the use of the short - term memory (coping strategies and correction routines) everything else is secondary until that task is finished.
Allow extra time to complete tasks to allow for delays in processing and transference of information.
It may help to ask the APD learner a question, and prefix by saying I will ask you this question and come back to you in a moment for your answer.
(The teacher could then go on to ask another pupil a different question, and then come return for the APD learners answer)
This will give the APD learner an some extra time to process the question; and to formulate and process an answer