A network to share best practices for children with special needs
Does the following scenario sound familiar? I bet it does!
(Mom) “Joey, turn off the television, take your clean clothes to your room, then wash up for dinner”.
5 minutes later….
(Mom) “Joey! What did I ask you to do?”
(Joey) “Turn off the television”, and “I did”!
(Mom) “What else did I ask you to do”?
(Joey) “I don’t know”.
I am confident that many of you parents and also teachers are shaking your heads in the affirmative right now! When we give our children a series of directions, more times than not, they are not carried out correctly or in a timely manner! As a parent or as a teacher, it is very frustrating to have to repeat the same requests several times! Have you ever thought about the reason why children do not carry out a series of instructions efficiently and timely? I know, I know….the immediate response is that they do not listen nor do they pay attention to you, and sometimes that is absolutely true! BUT, there could be another reason.
Children have to process all information that comes in through their senses…..including auditory. Auditory processing is what we do with the information that we hear. If the auditory processing channel is sluggish, then the auditory information that comes in takes longer to process. If your child looks at you like a deer in headlights when you give him/her a series of directions, it could be that he/she is having difficulty processing what you are saying. For example, when Mom told Joey to
1) turn off the television
2) take his clean clothes to his room
3) wash up for dinner
He was still processing the first instruction to “turn off the television” when Mom said the additional two instructions; so, he did not hear those directions. Joey thought he was doing exactly what his mom instructed him to do and was confused when she asked him what else had she asked him to do. He was being very honest when he said, “I don’t know”. What can parents/teachers do to help children be successful in carrying out instructions in an efficient and timely manner?
1. Only give one instruction at a time. If you have several tasks that you need for the child to do, wait until he/she has completed one before you give another.
2. Ask him/her to repeat the instructions to you. That ensures that they understand what you are asking them to do.
3. Stand in close proximity to the child when giving the instructions. It is very difficult to hear and process the information when it is coming from across the room or even another room.
4. Allow “wait time” for the child to process what you have asked him to do.
By following these simple suggestions, you can drastically reduce frustration associated with your child not carrying out instructions! The auditory processing channel is very important. If your child is not processing efficiently, he/she will be missing a critical component for reading in addition to not processing directions and information that the teacher gives in the classroom.
Teachers, these suggestions are very effective in the classroom also!
If you would like more activities that strengthen auditory processing, please let me know. I have many activities that you can do with your child that will not cost anything. I will be happy to send those additional activities to you! Just send me a message and I will send them to you!
Below are a few links of excellent sites and products that are available:
Lumosity is an excellent website. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity exercises improve core cognitive functions. Researchers have measured significant improvements in working memory and attention after Lumosity training. You can get a 30 day free trial. The games are interesting and will keep your child engaged.
School Specialty has many programs available in their catalogs. I have listed just a few of them for you. If you go to their online catalog and search for “auditory processing”, many more products will be found for you.
Earobics Step 2
Earobics Step 2 teaches critical language comprehension skills. Five interactive games (593 levels) help 7-10 year olds learn.
Earobics 1 For Adolescents & Adults Home Version
The highest level Earobics uses high-tech graphics to help older clients master phonological awareness skills they need to become stronger readers and spellers.
The Colorcards Outdoor Sounds Listening Skills feature crystal clear recordings on audio-cassettes that are linked to high-quality photographs. Contains everyday sounds such as pool water splashing, rain and much more. A great way to address auditory processing goals!
Colorcards-Indoor Listening Skills
The Colorcards Indoor Sounds Listening Skills feature crystal clear recordings on audio-cassettes that are linked to high-quality photographs. Contains everyday sounds such as sneezing, clapping, crying, eating, a ticking clock, guitar, hammering and much more. A great way to address auditory processing goals!
Colorcards - Sequencing Sounds
The Sequencing Sound Set includes individual sounds of fourteen two-step and four three-step sequences (40 sounds total). Includes sounds for coming home, woodwork, cleaning teeth, having breakfast and more. A great way to address auditory processing goals!