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How Does Disability Affect a Child’s Memory?

September 04, 2017

Did you know that disability can negatively affect a child’s ability to remember information and events?

The National Benefit Authority has devoted this week to blogging about memory loss and how it affects the disability community of Canada. Children make up a significant portion of Canada’s disability community, and they deserve to be understood.

Something that is misunderstood about children with disabilities is the way certain physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual restrictions prevent them from properly remembering things.

Read on for a better understanding of memory function in kids with disabilities.


Most people associate memory loss with the aging process, disorder or disease. All of these factors can reduce the effectiveness of one’s memory. But disability can also be a cause of memory loss, which is sometimes the case with children with cognitive disabilities, for example. Some disabilities cause a sense of inner disorganization, which makes it tough for a disabled child’s memory to work as it should.

As you are well aware, there are different types of memories — some emotional in nature, and some purely factual/data-related. A child who has a cognitive disability might experience difficulty distinguishing between these different types of memory functions. The good news is some children’s memory functions can be increased.


Does your child have a disability that prevents him or her from having a fully functioning memory? If so, consider the following:

  • Repetition is an excellent way to improve a child’s memory. This is because repetition exercises connections in the brain that are responsible for creating long term memories.
  • Creative activities are wonderful for children with certain types of disabilities. Why? Because creative activities help to incorporate the senses, which might increase memory function (ask an Occupational Therapist or physician about this).
  • Providing your child with sensory input might be helpful for his or her memory function. Sensory input may help with improving the long-term memory. Sensory input includes sights, smells, sounds, textures and colors. (Note: Before providing sensory input for your child with a disability, please speak with an Occupational Therapist about what types of sensory input would be helpful. This is very important, especially if your child is sensitive to textures, certain foods, etc.).

We invite you to share your thoughts with us by commenting on this blog post!

The National Benefit Authority is Canada’s leading service provider of the Disability Tax Credit, a disability program that offers financial support to people with medical conditions, including memory loss in children. We’ve helped over 40,000 Canadians successfully receive their Canadian disability benefits!

Contact us today to learn more!