by guest author Lynn Carahaly
Does your child have good hearing but listen poorly?
Some parents refer to this as selective hearing, but your child may actually have trouble listening. While hearing is the ability to detect sound, listening is how the brain processes auditory information.
Children with poor auditory processing skills tend to exhibit the following problems:
- Trouble hearing or easily distracted in noisy environments.
- Hard time following a conversation or following directions.
- Disorganized and forgetful.
- Problems with reading, comprehension, spelling and/or writing.
- Trouble recalling a story in proper sequence.
- Difficulty understanding verbal math problems.
Auditory Processing problems closely mimic AD/HD symptoms, and children are often misdiagnosed. If a child is having trouble processing auditory information, he or she will often appear to be inattentive. It is similar to a bad cell phone connection. The child does not get all of the information, which results in absent-minded behaviors.
Auditory processing difficulties are also related to dyslexia. Neurologists at Yale University compared brain images of children reading. From these scans, researchers discovered that the auditory/language centers of children who read well light up — indicating plenty of blood flow. Children with less blood flow in those areas had difficulty reading.
Promote phonological proficiency
Children begin to read with their ears first. Sound-play activities such as nursery rhymes and sound-to-word associations such as “D is for dog” all pre-wire the brain for the concept that a letter (visual) is a code for a sound (auditory). Children with strong phonological awareness tend to be good readers.
Phonological awareness is the explicit understanding of a word’s sound structure. It is critical to decoding printed words (reading) and forming connections between sounds and letters (spelling).
Tasks that require children to segment words into syllables, produce rhyming words, identify sounds in words and blend sounds to make words are examples of phonological-awareness skills.
Here are activities to enhance phonemic awareness:
• Phonemic deletion: What word would be left if the “K” sound were taken away from “cat”?
• Word-to-word matching: Do “pen” and “pipe” begin with the same sound?
• Blending: What word would we have if we put these sounds together: “S,” “A” and “T”?
• Sound isolation: What is the first sound in “rose”?
• Phoneme segmentation: What sounds do you hear in the word “hot”?
• Phoneme counting: How many sounds do you hear in the word “cake”?
• Odd word out: What word starts with a different sound: “bag,” “nine,” “beach,” or “bike”?