Term of Art: Temporal-Sequential Organization Problems

“temporal-sequential organization problems: Children with this type of organizational problem have trouble completing long-term assignments, understanding and having a sense of time, and understanding and following directions.

Almost every task a child does involves sequence, whether that task involves getting dressed, completing an assignment, or reading a book. Knowing the sequence and being able to follow it are important developmental skills.

School can be overwhelming for students who cannot recognize a step-by-step plan needed to master a concept such as memorizing the alphabet, understanding the seasons, or learning the multiplication tables. Spelling can be a particular problem for these children, who cannot remember the sequence of letters, which is also required for word recognition during reading.

Concepts of time are also very difficult for these children, who have trouble mastering days of the week, months of the year, and how to tell time. The ability to manage time is also compromised, and completing a long-term assignment by the due date is quite a challenge. Because a concept of time is foreign to these children, they easily lose track of time, which can interfere with a child’s ability to pace work during a test.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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