Have you ever wondered if your child is hearing properly? Have you marveled that your child can vividly remember details from a movie or past event, but when you give a simple direction it is forgotten almost immediately?
If you tell your child to go upstairs, get his tennis shoes, and bring down his dirty clothes only to find that he made it upstairs and forgot what to do, then he may be suffering from an auditory processing problem.
If a child has an auditory processing problem, it is so difficult to maneuver through not only a classroom but through life. We are dependent on auditory processing skills for even the most basic relationships. That is why temper problems are a symptom of auditory processing problems. These kids are angry and frustrated because they are failing to communicate.
And, in the classroom these poor kids are lost. They struggle to make sense of what is going on. Some are distracted by noises that they are unable to filter out. Others only hear parts of words or every other word, struggling to make sense of what the teacher is explaining. Auditory memory is key as well. If auditory memory is weak, it is as if there is no “Velcro” to hold information in their brains.
There is a lot that can be done to help students with auditory processing problems. Following are a few things you can do with your child if you feel he is struggling to process information in an auditory fashion.
1. Limit oral directions to one step at a time at first. Slowly build up to two step directions. When your child can easily follow two step directions without problems, then move to three.
2. Play the “animal” game. You start by naming an animal that starts with the letter a. Then your child is to name your animal as well as an animal that starts with the letter b. Then you say the a and b animals and an animal that starts with the letter c. Continue until the child can’t remember the animals. Then, the next day play again, trying to stretch the animals all the way to letter z eventually.
3. Tell your child two “nonsense” words, such as retz and clib. Have your child repeat them back to you in the order that you said them. Do several sets each day. When your child can easily remember two nonsense words, go to three words. Eventually try to work up to four or more words.
I love the game Simon for children who struggle with auditory memory and processing issues. The color and sound make a great combination for students, as they get both a visual and an auditory cue. This game has been around for a long time, but it is still one of the best I have found to slowly build up auditory memory skills. It can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com for $44.98. There is a pocket version for $9.98, or you can go to http://www.freegames.ws/games/kidsgames/simon/simon.htm for a free version on your home computer.
I hope these activities help your child. So often we hear that there isn’t much that can be done for auditory processing problems, but there is!